Nigeria’s telecoms regulator has directed phone networks to give subscribers the option of activating a ‘do not disturb’ (DND) feature to prevent being spammed by promotional texts. Networks have to provide a code “to allow any subscriber who does not want to receive unwanted messages from the operators bar such messages.”
The promotional spam text culture has been mainly driven by companies providing subscription-based information services that range from daily news to health, business and finance tips at a cost. In a bid to boost subscription numbers and revenue, networks have been known to offer one week trials after which a subscriber becomes automatically listed and charged for the service unless they expressly ask for it to be cancelled.
This tactic has been criticized as fraudulent as mobile users are charged for weeks without knowledge of being actively subscribed to the service. “It’s annoying,” a Nigerian commenter told BBC. “It’s an abuse of my rights and they intrude my privacy. In a day, I get up to 10 texts.” Read more