Are Deal Sites Turning Into Spaminators?

Since the launch of the National Do Not Call Registry service by TRAI, the amount of mobile spam has certainly gone down. However, as SMS advertising continues to be one of the cheapest modes of advertising, not to mention highly effective with its massive reach (mobile subscribers outnumber TV & PC users combined) – some marketers continue to send unsolicited (and frequently unwanted) commercial advertisements through SMS. In this post, we look at web sites (primarily e-commerce portals) which indulge in SMS spam or m-spam (intentional or otherwise).

 

In many cases, businesses (including online portals) explicitly ask for the user’s permission to notify them about their promotions and events. In such cases, the promotional messages is not considered as spam, as the consumer is actively seeking such information.  For e.g., intimation of a sale, or when the placed order has been dispatched, etc. Even so, there are a large number of vendors who do not provide this option or worse, ignore it.

 

Nowadays, daily deal & group buying sites seem to have managed to circumvent the laws. Here’s how…

 

 

SnapDeal - Spam Subscription

SnapDeal - Spam Subscription

 

 

Soldinsixty - Spam Subscription

Soldinsixty - Spam Subscription

 

Major deal sites including SnapDealSoldinsixty, TimesDeal and Rediff’s Dealho Jaye allow anyone to submit a mobile number on their site for SMS subscription of their daily deals and offers. There is no validation done for mobile numbers. The same is true for e-mail addresses as well, but authentication is done in certain instances. Thus, it becomes so much simpler for someone (or the e-commerce site itself) to key-in random numbers on the site.

 

Why would they do this?

Well, isn’t it possible for a start-up, who out of despair want to get the word out and attract more users to their site? Or perhaps in order to hit the numbers for the quarter and please the investors? Merchants could have vested interests as well – in order to make sure that the SMS update from the deal site running their offer, reaches as many people as possible. There are simple scripts which will create a list of possible mobile phone numbers specific to a city based on the mobile operators code (for e.g., 98860 – Vodafone Bangalore; 98450 – Airtel Bangalore, etc).

 

 

TimesDeal - Spam Subscription

TimesDeal - Spam Subscription

 

 

 

DealsAndYou is one of the very few daily deal sites which actually authenticates the mobile numbers submitted on their site.

 

For those who became victims of such conniving methods, there is a way to get rid of the mobile spam. Most of the top sites provide an SMS Unsubscription link. But, the question remains as to why established players resort to such methods (whether intentional or not), when there are legal, cleaner means to get new subscribers.

 

It is to be noted that TRAI in a recent announcement earlier this month, said that

 

Access Providers have to make relevant provisions in their network before allocation of resources to telemarketers using ‘140’ numbering series from fixed line network. Accordingly, relevant clauses of regulations has been amended and the regulations are being implemented from 27th September, 2011.

 

The above amendment is applicable to any and all “Unsolicited Commercial Communications”, except SMSs which are in public interest are exempt from above rule. But, will the above mentioned instances also come under the cover of pesky calls / SMS where users have apparently ’opted’ for such communication without verification?

 

When will people get relief from SMS spam?

 

About Praveen

Co-founder at Wooplr.com. Check out my blogs at blog.wooplr.com
This entry was posted in blog, daily deals / group-buying, e-commerce and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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  • Anoop

    Just came across this website.
    http://www.dealspace.in
    Looks a bit different from others deal sites…

  • Abc

    Another website http://www.badadeal.com

  • Afiaangle

    great place for a spa deal in Noida
    Tried Awesome, must say it was a great experience……
    Looking for some dealz on dealzvan.com to relive the experience of pure bliss…….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQOUHA5FAANLDG7HG3ZB5R562I Vikas

    NOT JUST A GREAT DEAL BUT A GREAT RETURN VALUE AND SATISFACTION ……………….

    • scholarpon

      Scholarpon launch september 1st get signed up now

  • http://www.virteacon.com/ Vinesh Balan

    Hey, I’ve written about the Fake deals they provide too! Take a look http://www.virteacon.com/2012/07/shopping-deals-fake-or-real.html

  • Akash

    I am sure the deal sites are here to stay, but only serious people who are focused long term players. I came across this site which is a good one http://www.dealsdirectory.in

  • Yashi Yadav

    By far the best i have come across. It is surely to transform the online shopping.
    Check out this amazing price comparison search engine app and extension from U.S now in India :

    Chrome plugin: goo.gl/nn58Vc

    Android Store: goo.gl/TMFydH

    Website: goo.gl/UfcouN

  • http://www.etechplanet.com/ annu

    Visit http://www.getpricecut.com/ for best deals and discount coupons available across all online stores in India.

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