Categories
Ireland

Finbarr Galvin SMS Spam

Finbarr Galvin Ltd Spam SMS

I guarantee I will not be buying my next car from Finbarr Galvin Ltd and you probably shouldn’t either if you want your personal data to be respected. I should have known I’d be SMS spammed by Finbarr Galvin Ltd again. They’re a car dealer in the town of Bandon, Co Cork for those who don’t know them. I bought a car off them around seven years ago, which I traded in for another car two years later.

So, I haven’t had any business dealings with them in seven years.

In the time since then I’ve received a couple of advertising text messages, the last being about two years ago when I remember a lengthy phone call with a sales assistant to get them to remove me from their sms list. They didn’t have an “opt out” method that time.

I’ve tried to remove myself from their list now by texting OPTOUT to 50123 as stated in this text message, but haven’t heard back yet. If I was to judge by my previous attempts to unsubscribe, they probably have to manually remove my number using a chisel on stone tablets or something similarly archaic. This is part of the reason I’m making this blog post, as a reminder for the next time I get spammed by them.

I’m also publishing this because Finbarr Galvin Ltd should only send advertising text messages to customers they have had dealings with and received express permission to message them, in the last twelve months. I told them this that time I talked to that sales assistant:

Marketers may send you electronic mail for direct marketing purposes where:

(i) You have given them explicit consent to do so within the last twelve months, or
(ii) they have obtained your personal contact details in the course of a sale to you of a product or service within the last twelve months, they informed you of their identity, the purpose in collecting your contact details, the persons or categories of persons to whom your personal data may be disclosed and any other information which is necessary so that processing may be fair, and the direct marketing they are sending is in respect of their similar* products and services only, and you were given a simple cost-free means of refusing the use of your contact details for direct marketing purposes at the time your details were initially collected, and where you did not initially refuse the use of those details, you are given a similar option at the time of each subsequent communication. (If you fail to unsubscribe using the cost-free means provided to you by the direct marketer, you will be deemed to have remained opted-in to the receipt of such electronic mail for a twelve month period from the date of issue to you of the most recent marketing electronic mail).

They certainly shouldn’t be using my personal details for advertising purposes after seven years. I hope that OPTOUT text to 50123 was “cost-free”.

Bah.

Categories
Ireland

Facebook SMS Spam?

Since early September Facebook has been spamming me by text message. Each message comes from “FACEBOOK”, but I don’t have them in my phone contacts. By ringing them I found out the SMS message came from 32232665, apparently a number they use in many countries. The call never connected so I don’t know if there’s a human at the other end.

The first message read

Over 150 million people have used the Facebook friend finder. Find the people you care about: http://fb.me/….

while the following three messages are like the one pictured above:

There are 9 people you may know on Facebook. Send them friend requests: http://fb.me/…

I was travelling when I received most of the other ones. I’m sure I received at least 1 of them while in Heathrow. I don’t have the Facebook app on my phone, but I had created a test Facebook account. It was many months ago and I had forgotten I added my phone number there to try out their sms integration.

If I had noticed those settings I guessed I wouldn’t be contacted. After all, the account wasn’t under my name and I had used a x+yyyy@gmail.com account to signup so people wouldn’t find it by searching for that my email addresses.

Lastly, any SMS communication to someone in Ireland has to be accompanied by instructions for stopping them. Also go read A Consumer Guide to Dealing with Unsolicited Direct Marketing by the Data Commissioner:

you were given a simple cost-free means of refusing the use of your contact details for direct marketing purposes at the time your details were initially collected, and where you did not initially refuse the use of those details, you are given a similar option at the time of each subsequent communication.

The creepy thing about Facebook is that they have matched that account with my main account. Maybe it’s because I may have logged into it with a browser I used for my main one, or because of the gmail address I used. I get regular emails from them saying, “John, you have more friends on Facebook than you think…” or “Do you know X, Y, Z?” where x, y and z are people on my friend’s list. It’s really, really unsettling, even when I have a notion of how they do it.

So, should I make a complaint to the Irish Data Commissioner? Maybe they can convince Facebook to add STOP instructions to their SMS texts.

Categories
Web

Jelly pirates walk the plank

I can’t remember how I found this twitter account but Jelly SMS runs a jellysmspirates account listing people who are using a hacked copy of their software.

A real time feed of people who are using a hacked copy of Jelly SMS for iPhone or iPod Touch

If you use a hacked copy of their software you better watch out. Your info might be listed on that Twitter account!

The important question for developers is, “Does it work?” Apparently it does. The developer has even seen increased sales and says, “For me, piracy seems to be a good thing!”

I wonder if any other online services do the same?

jellysms

`

Categories
WordPress

Howto: Twitter sms notification for Meteor and Vodafone

A few weeks ago Twitter annoyed a lot of European users when they stopped sending sms notifications to their users. I never really used that facility so I didn’t miss it but many Tweeters did. Outrage and blue murder were spoken of in the same sentence. People marched in the streets, there were riots.

OK, maybe not, but it annoyed a few prolific Tweeters and I wondered aloud if I could make Tweet Tweet send me sms notifications when I got replies or direct messages. After quite a bit of testing and playing around with Meteor’s website I’m glad to say I cracked it. I added hooks to my plugin for other plugins to latch on to, and wrote a small bit of code that logs in to Meteor.ie and uses their free web text to notify me of replies or direct messages.

Following on from that success, Jason Roe added code so Irish Vodafone customers could get sms notifications too!

So, if you really miss the sms notifications from Twitter, and you’re an Irish Meteor or Vodafone customer, download Tweet Tweet, install it in your WordPress blog and enjoy getting those sms notifications from Twitter again!

Developers – if your phone company isn’t covered just yet, please take a look at the existing Meteor and Vodafone plugins. The framework is there. Using curl to login and send texts can be a little daunting but it’s not impossible. Get in touch by leaving a comment here, or using the contact form on the about page.

PS. Almost forgot to mention Tweetrush went live yesterday with some very nice Twitter stats. Check out what my friend AJ has to say about the launch!
PPS. I’ll be demoing Tweet Tweet at Techludd Cork on Thursday night. If you’re there, please say hi!