When you register at a bingo site, you fill in all of the usual details such as your name, address, phone number and email etc. You are then usually presented with a long list of terms and conditions and a couple of tick boxes, but let’s be honest here, how many of us actually take the time to read them? We know we don’t! If you decide to tick these boxes (depending on the wording), you will have agreed to receive correspondence from the brand and in some cases even its partners.
These correspondence can come in a number of different forms including junk mail delivered to your home, email and more commonly these days, text messages. They are not necessarily a bad thing though, as you will often receive newsletters, detail of the latest promotions and even bonus codes that you can use to earn yourself a bit of extra free money.
The problem arises though when you have accounts at a number of different brands as you will often find yourself receiving multiple text messages advertising not only the site you signed up with, but also others on the same network.
What Does The Law Say?
OFCOM (The Office of Communications) is the regulator in charge of all communications in the UK including the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles and postal services. Their research shows that in 2012 alone, a whopping 152 billion text messages were sent, so you can see the extent of the problem. The law states ‘It is against the law for anyone to send you spam texts unless you have previously given them permission. However, if there is an existing customer relationship between you and the sender, it can send you spam text messages about similar products and services, as long as you are given the ability to opt out of receiving such messages’.
What Can Be Done To Stop Spam Texts?
Firstly we need to appreciate that a lot of the time this problem starts with us. We need to make sure we read through the small print and check what it says under these tick boxes before we agree to anything. This simple task may cost you a few minutes during the registration process but can save you hours in the long run and help you avoid your blood pressure increasing every time you phone beeps and you are presented with yet another tempting offer!
The majority of sites out there want to build up a good relationship with you, so give you the option to opt out simply by relying with the word ‘STOP’. Alternatively, you should be able to log into your account, head to the preferences section and untick the boxes that are causing all of the problems. Recently though we have seen an increase in text from third parties that arrive without the ‘STOP’ option, and If this happens, you can forward the text to 7726. This will not cost you anything and reports the number as spam.
What Else Can I do?
Regardless of whether your phone is powered by Android, Blackberry, iOS or Windows, it is always worth checking out their app store to see what is available to help you stop these spam texts. From personal experience, we can recommend a free app called Truecaller that is available on multiple platforms. The way it works is that once it is set up on your phone you monitors all incoming calls and texts and compares them against the numbers stored in your phone.
If it does not recognise the number, it will ask you if you want to accept it or add it to your blocked list. If you choose to block, it will act as a go between and stop those texts ever reaching you. What makes the app really good though is that each time a number is blocked, it is added to the Truecaller database and they even give you the option to enter further details such as the name of the company behind the text, so when they try and do the same to someone else, the details you have given pop up on their handset!