Does a text from your operator constitute legal notification?

I just got a text in from Vodafone this morning as described here.

The text came ‘from’ Vodafone — that was the message identifier.

But you and I know that can be spoofed really easily. What would Vodafone do if I sent a text message to 500,000 of their customers saying ‘Good news, international roaming is now inclusive from midnight tonight’ and set the message sender to ‘Vodafone’?

Does a text message update constitute legal delivery of Vodafone’s message? *THEY* know they sent the message. They can trace the delivery through their network. But *I* don’t know whether it’s a genuine message or not. Do I need to wait until written notification arrives? Have I got any recourse with Vodafone if I act upon a message sent supposedly from them but actually from somebody else?

It’s at times like this when you have to think: SMS is pretty rubbish, isn’t it? Why is it ONLY 160 characters? Why hasn’t the industry upgraded the medium somehow to give some kind of certificate of authority, at least so you know that messages from your operator and bank are genuine?

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  • bernard

    I would say no.

    I don't know UK law, but I would think no as there is no guarantee you have actually read it. Neither is there a real delivery guarantee. What happens if you are travelling, do not receive the SMS due to your roaming operator not having SMS delivery agreements in place?

    Or simply your phone is turned off, and the SMS delivery timer expires?

    Whats to say your phone wasn't stolen and therefore you cannot read any messages?

    It is slightly different than postal service, as the postal service has a physical location for you, which can be verified.

    But like I said IANAL..

    (My thoughts are my own, and not those of my employer, etc)

  • http://www.i2SMS.com Giff Gfroerer, i2SMS

    I would imagine it is just as likely that a consumer will A) Open a text message and read it when it comes in from an unknown short code AS B) Open a snail mail letter that looks to be automatically generated and is junk mail.

    What we do know with SMS, (because of DCRs-Delivery Confirmation Receipt), is that the message was actually received on the phone. Now yes, I am aware that one can simply turn off the DCR function on a phone. The simple truth is 99% of subscribers don't know this option exists, nor how to execute it.

    Therefore, would the carrier rather positively know the subscriber received the message via SMS or not know if the snail mail message made it to the right address? My guess is they would like to know at least it made it to the correct destination.

    No way to know if it was opened on the phone, just as there is no way to know if the snail mail was opened. I would prefer the SMS. It is quicker and can include a hotlink to a website to click or to a phone number to click to call. Much easier that opening a letter and reading.

    But I do admit it will take time for this to become the norm.

    As for 160 characters, I actually still prefer this. I know the message will be short, sweet and to the point. No messing around with long reads. I can simply open and close the message in under 5 seconds and be on with my business. I can't be bothered these days with long snail mail messages that call for me to read, then call someone…

    Regards,
    Giff

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