Mrs. Woodsy42 uses an Orange PAYG mobile. Generally reliable and reasonable cost and she has been quite happy with it.
But late last year while driving through France it started beeping. Damn things always know when you are busy don’t they, so we pulled off the motorway into an aire so she could check the text message and see who wanted her. It was an invitation from Bright Stuff to participate in their great offers. No, she didn’t want their offers and deleted it.
A few days later it started beeping again, Bright Stuff sending a highly resistible advertisement for some sort of crap. It was instantly deleted. Over the next few months the number of spam texts from Bright Stuff increased until by early January there was one per day. None of them gave any method of opting out.
But before binning the sim and going through the aggravation of changing numbers a little research. Bright Stuff appears to be a marketing arm of Orange, set up with some outfit called ‘Monkey Messages’. Now it may be that some people are so desperate for texts and free MP3s that they want this stuff thrown at their phone to disturb their days. WE DON’T!
It appears that the initial ‘invitation’ spam is an automatic opt in – if you don’t reply ‘no’ you are co-opted.
Having found the link between ‘Bright Stuff’ and Orange I went to the Orange web site.
http://www.orange.co.uk/ There is NOT a MENTION of ‘Bright Stuff’ or ‘Monkey Messages’ or any indication they are connected to Orange, even in the small print links at page bottom.
Having found (by web search because it’s not linked from Orange’s main page) the page http://www.orange.co.uk/brightstuff there is still no easy indication at all of any way to opt out from the messages.
If Orange think this is a moral and legitimate way to run their business I can only say I am disgusted with them. Such auto opt-in spam is not just a nuisance it is an invasion of privacy, it costs money if the phone is abroad, it blocks the phone up, and could be worrying and even dangerous to people who may only have a phone for specific notification or safety purposes. Shame on you Orange for such thoughtless and despicable tactics.
If anyone else is bothered by this particular text spamming you can stop it (apparently) by texting ‘stop’ to 200000 – I couldn’t even find that information on Orange’s web site.