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Vodafone UK’s premium rate SMS bar (“VSPAM”) stops spam immediately

This is rather interesting — reader ‘John’ posted the link to this in a comment earlier. It’s posted as an announcement on the Vodafone eForum:

Hello everyone,

Following previous discussions about Premium Rate Short Message Services, I’m delighted to announce that the bar we promised is now available. I’ve written this message to inform you all of what the bar is and how it can help you or affect your service. I’ll also be covering some alternative options and finally how to get the bar added.

The reason for Vodafone introducing the Premium SMS Bar is for instances where the normal methods of cancelling messages you’ve subscribed to don’t work, or if you’re receiving messages you haven’t asked for. The majority of premium rate subscription services can be cancelled by sending STOP or STOP ALL to the short code number that sends you the messages. If there’s no short code, or the messages continue after you’ve done this, then you can always contact us and we’ll provide you with all the contact details for the company sending you the messages. Alternatively you can seek information on the offending company from Phone Play Plus, the independent premium rate industry regulator.

We also provide a reporting service for anyone who thinks they are receiving messages they haven’t asked for. The service is called VSPAM and it’s completely free to use. Just forward the message that you receive to 87726 (a free number) and we’ll record on our database that you’ve received a spam message. Once we’ve collated evidence on offending companies, we’re then in a position to take appropriate action. This could range from financial penalties, to temporary or even permanent suspensions of the individual services on our network.

The Bar will block all incoming Premium Rate charged SMS messages being sent from and coming to your phone, and as such you won’t be able to use any kind of Premium SMS service. Television voting, polls, competitions and any other kind of offers which say “Text EXAMPLE to 00000” will no longer work on your mobile. For this reason I really recommend the Bar as a last resort if you’re really having trouble cancelling messages you don’t wish to receive. It’s also worth noting the Bar won’t stop WAP push messages or MMS from reaching your mobile, but these aren’t normally chargeable anyway unless you follow the links within them.

So, on to getting the bar set up. If you’re absolutely sure you want to block all kinds of Premium SMS services, you can do so simply by contacting Vodafone Customer Service.We’ll add the bar to your account in the same way we’d add services normally, so it’s a quick and easy process, and the bar will be active within 24 hours.

If you’ve got any other questions about the bar, feel free to post these on the eForum. Over the last few months we’ve amassed experience and knowledge on this subject and are well equipped to help, although if your query is account specific I’d recommend you get in touch by phone or email instead as the public environment of the eForum isn’t the fastest way to get account queries resolved.

I think that covers everything, but on behalf of the eForum Team I’d like to say a huge thankyou to all of the users who raised Premium SMS issues with us, as it’s due to your fantastic feedback that Vodafone has endeavoured to make the Bar available. It’s taken us a few months to get it up and running too, so thanks for your patience during this time as well.

Best wishes,

Tom

eForum Team

That should zap any premium rate spam immediately! I like it!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Vodafone UK’s premium rate SMS bar (“VSPAM”) stops spam immediately”

Hey -fantastic that VSPAM is alive and texting – I invented the damn thing about 5 years ago. the VSPAM code (=87726 on the keypad) was only for Vodafone handsets. Perhaps all networks should support the same shortcode for greater effect – after all it comes from 'Verses SPAM'.

It's all moving in the right direction… at long last. Andrew Bud resigned from the board of regulator PhonepayPlus yesterday (announced today). It finally dawned on someone that there was a potential conflict of interest.

C'mon other operators (other than T-Mobile) follow suit. Hey, why not even surpass what Vodafone are doing? You can then advertise your network as the only one in the UK safe for children, safe for pensioners, safe for low income families (and safe for anyone that doesn't like having money taken from them for services they didn't ask for).

The Vodafone announcement of the Premium Rate sms bar has been removed from their forum. When asked about it Vodafone gave this reply. It appears if the bar actually does exist then they don't want their customers knowing about it.
…………………………………….
There's no mention of the bar just like there isn't of any of our other account bars. Staff are appropriately trained and will know the occasions when using the bar is necessary.

The other methods have been gone over on numerous occasions in the last few months, and they've worked on almost all of the cases I've seen.

The eForum is here for customer support and we try and keep the information on here up to date and easily accessable. There were too many pinned items and so a number of these have been removed. If a customer raises a query for which the bar would be useful then we'll suggest it.

Tom

eForum Team

The Vodafone announcement of the Premium Rate sms bar has been removed from their forum. When asked about it Vodafone gave this reply. It appears if the bar actually does exist then they don't want their customers knowing about it.
…………………………………….
There's no mention of the bar just like there isn't of any of our other account bars. Staff are appropriately trained and will know the occasions when using the bar is necessary.

The other methods have been gone over on numerous occasions in the last few months, and they've worked on almost all of the cases I've seen.

The eForum is here for customer support and we try and keep the information on here up to date and easily accessable. There were too many pinned items and so a number of these have been removed. If a customer raises a query for which the bar would be useful then we'll suggest it.

Tom

eForum Team

The Vodafone announcement of the Premium Rate sms bar has been removed from their forum. When asked about it Vodafone gave this reply. It appears if the bar actually does exist then they don't want their customers knowing about it.
…………………………………….
There's no mention of the bar just like there isn't of any of our other account bars. Staff are appropriately trained and will know the occasions when using the bar is necessary.

The other methods have been gone over on numerous occasions in the last few months, and they've worked on almost all of the cases I've seen.

The eForum is here for customer support and we try and keep the information on here up to date and easily accessable. There were too many pinned items and so a number of these have been removed. If a customer raises a query for which the bar would be useful then we'll suggest it.

Tom

eForum Team

Thank you for the precious advice. It’s really useful for my job. If you have some related imformation about this problem, you can post here. One time, Thank for help!

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