Feature Article

November 25, 2013

AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile's Lead Anti-Spam Initiative, Verizon Sticks to its Guns

It may come as a grim surprise to learn that unless you have an unlimited text messaging plan with your cell phone service provider, you have been getting charged for whatever spam texts you receive or unknowingly send out. It's just one of those remarkably unfair things that comes with life and texting. At long last, three of the four leading wireless companies in the U.S. are putting an end to that system. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have agreed to stop billing their U.S. customers for incoming and outgoing spam texts.

William Sorrell, the Attorney General for Vermont, collaborated with general attorneys from 44 other states to coordinate the anti-spam initiative, The Verge reports. He announced the changes last Thursday.

"We are pleased that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have decided to stop the flow of money from the pockets of ordinary people to the bank accounts of scam artists," Sorrell said. "We’re hopeful the other carriers will soon follow their lead."

Among carriers yet to join the movement, Verizon sticks out as the sorest of thumbs. The nation's single-largest wireless carrier is, as of now, refusing to join the initiative, with a spokesperson explaining the decision as follows:

"While we don’t agree with all of the Attorney General’s allegations, we respect his efforts in this area. For years, Verizon has been vigilant in protecting our customers from bad actors. There have been numerous times we have terminated programs and in some cases have taken aggressive legal action in order to ensure our customers were protected. Since premium messaging was first introduced, technology advances and smartphone adoption have dramatically changed the way customers access information. Verizon had previously decided to exit the premium messaging business because of these changes as well as recent allegations that third parties have engaged in improper conduct in providing premium messaging services to our customers. We are in the process of winding down our premium messaging business. Verizon will, however, continue to support text-to-donate for charitable programs and text-to-contribute for political campaigns that use this technology."

It's nice that Verizon is continuing its participation in charitable programs, however, as a Verizon user, I can personally attest to the fact that no matter the company's vigilance, it hasn't prevented the occurrence of spam texts. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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