UPDATE: The story has been updated to include Uber’s response at the bottom…
Businesses do it, political parties do it, and old folks who still haven’t figured out WhatsApp do it – welcome to the world of SMSs.
In case you didn’t know, there’s actually a Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) code of conduct that governs businesses and SMS marketing, and Uber stands accused of flouting it.
According to an industry expert, who spoke with MyBroadband, “Uber ignored STOP requests and broke WASPA’s rules regarding when SMS marketing may be sent”:
WASPA’s code of conduct requires a recipient to terminate a subscription or notification service by replying ‘STOP’ to any SMS sent to the customer regarding that service.
“As you can see from the screenshot below, I have replied “stop” twice to opt out, but Uber did not action my opt-out as required by WASPA,” he said.
Here’s the screenshot that the man provided:
The timing of the message is also important.
You’ll see that it’s 8:24PM, on a blerrie Sunday, nogal.
WASPA’s code of conduct prohibits SMS marketing on Sundays, public holidays, and Saturdays before 09:00 and after 13:00, and between the hours of 20:00 and 08:00 on weekdays…
This breaks nearly every WASPA rule related to the times when SMS marketing messages are allowed to be sent in South Africa.
Look, I like getting the message that says I have R30 off some trips this week, or I’m scoring a free ride once in a while, but rules are rules.
We were all sick to death with those election robo-calls, and I’m hit with multiple SMSs every day about someone wanting to offer me credit, or some store’s latest sale.
Please, for the love of all that is right and just in the world, make it go away.
I don’t know if there’s much one can do about the SMSs, other than reply with ‘STOP’ and hope for the best, but Truecaller is your friend. The app has reduced my ‘spammy’ phone calls by about 90%, although the SMSs still pour in.
As things stand, MyBroadband has yet to hear back from Uber.
UPDATE: Uber has now responded with the following statement:
…Uber said a system glitch caused some users to receive additional SMSs.
“We recently made a change to one of our marketing campaigns, during this change, there was a minor glitch that affected a small group of users who were sent additional SMSs,” an Uber spokesperson said.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused, we are working on having this fixed.”
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