Nokia and TXT Spam

Last year I bought my 4th Nokia phone in a row, a N97 on contract from Optus. What a mistake that was. The phone would drop every second call and the user experience was less than I expected from Nokia. Telstra allow customers in the bush to test drive a handset for a few days or so to make sure it works where you need it, Optus on the other hand will sell you the handset but offer a "Coverage Satisfaction Guarantee". After about 2 weeks, I bailed out of the contract with Optus through the CSG, returning the handset to Optus and eventually not having to make any repayments on the handset.

When I first turned on the phone it gave me the option of activating My Nokia tips and special offers or something like that, I thought I would turn it on and see what tips and offers I could get. It turned out the tips weren't very useful and there were no offers, let alone anything I would call special. When I returned the phone I completely forgot about the My Nokia txts. I was to discover Nokia hadn't forgotten about me. About twice a month I continue to receive messages from My Nokia.

Back in September I got fed up with receiving the text messages, which contained no option for opting out, so I filed a complaint with ACMA. 6 weeks later I was advised by ACMA that they had contacted Nokia on my behalf and asked them to unsubscribe me. I assumed this would be the end of the matter. The messages continued, so I contacted ACMA again. Two weeks later I was told again that Nokia had been told by ACMA to unsubscribe me. The following day another text arrives. In early January I received the following response from ACMA.

Thank-you for your email, I have tried to unsubscribe you from receiving messages from My Nokia.

I received the following from a Nokia Email Support Executive on the 16 December 2009.

Thank you for contacting Nokia Careline. I have searched our records using the phone numbers that you have provided and I find that all of them are not present in our system which means that they have not contacted us even once. We will not be able to unsubscribe an account without the direct consent from the owner of the account. If the customer is having difficulty to unsubscribe from the service, they should contact us first so that we can assist them. There are several ways to unsubscribe from the My Nokia service.

These are as follows:

1. Using a PC, Login to My Nokia and click on Edit my Details

2. Using the phone, open the My Nokia icon and select "Unsubscribe"

3. Click the link at the bottom of the email message sent from My Nokia

Should you have any questions regarding our product or if we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact one of our friendly Technical Support Executives on 1-300 366 733 between the hours of 8am and 8pm, AEST, seven days a week. For online assistance, please visit ‘ASK Nokia’ at our website

Have you attempted the above to unsubscribe from this service?

As I explained to ACMA, I have never installed any Nokia software on my PC, so option 1 is out. As I no longer have the handset, option 2 is out, it is txt not an email so option 3 wouldn't work, so I decided to call Nokia.

I called Nokia on the number listed above. After 15 minutes or so on hold, I got to speak to someone in a call centre on the sub continent. The line was appalling, to make matters worse the guy I was dealing with seemed to be the work experience kid on his first day. I would talk to him for a minute or 2, then be put on hold for 5 minutes or more while he put me "on hold for a minute while I check something". I don't think that there was a sentence I didn't have to repeat. In the end he terminated the call when I lost it after being asked to spell "Nokia" to him for a 3rd time. Almost an hour of my time wasted.

I called Nokia back. This time I was kept on hold again for around 20 minutes. As soon as the call was answered I demanded to speak to a supervisor. After further time on hold I got to speak to a supervisor. First he tried to tell me it was coming from Optus not Nokia and that I needed to contact them. Next I was told to use the My Nokia menu option, which I explained I didn't have. Finally he suggested that he could login to the My Nokia website and unsubscribe me - finally I was getting somewhere! Then I was asked for my password, I explained I didn't have one, "that's OK sir, you can go to the website and sign up for one". It was clear after almost another hour lost this was going no where, so I cut my loses.

After getting off the phone I looked at how much information Nokia wanted so I could sign up for My Nokia. There was no way I was going to give any company that much information just to stop them spamming me - they have the identity theft jackpot questions all there.

On Wednesday I phoned the person at ACMA who was handling my complaint. They claim ACMA is complying with the letter of the law as these are not unsolicited commercial messages, but rather factual services messages from a company I have a relationship with. Apparently you can spam people in Australia if the messages are factual. As these are factual messages, Nokia isn't even required to have an opt out option. Although such actions may be legal, I don't think they are a good way to build customer loyalty and confidence in a brand.

I'm not happy with this situation. Based on some quick math, I have spent 4 to 5 hours chasing this, which is time I wasn't billing clients. This means I am pretty much down the cost of a new phone outright. As things stand now, I am not feeling like recommending Nokia to family, friends or clients, instead I am more likely tell this story and discuss the lack of customer service. I am now also very unlikely to buy the N900 I have been admiring on amazon, let alone attend Forum Nokia Developer Conference 2010. Instead I am likely to import a Nexus One or some other open phone.

I hope someone reading this works for Nokia or has a contact there who can resolve this. If anything happens I will post an update.

Below are some of pearls of wisdom I've received from Nokia:

Tip: Automatically adding location information to your pictures means you'll never forget a place. In camera mode, select Options > Settings > Show GPS info

Tip: Find out if a surface is flat by using your device as a spirit level. Download the free Level Touch app by visiting http://nokia.mobi/os/leveltouch

Tip: Share your favourite places with Nokia Maps. When viewing a map, select a saved place, press Send, and then choose your preferred sending method.

Tip: Use the self-timer to make you don't get left out of the next family portrait. In camera mode select the Capture settings icon and select Self Timer.

Tip: Listen to music in stereo sound and manage your calls with the Nokia Stereo Headset WH-500. Visit [...]

Update 15-Feb-2010 @ 13:00AEDT I emailed Tracy Postill, Corporate Communications Manager at Nokia Australia, a link to my post. She raised the issue with Nokia Care who called me on Freiday evening and told me that they had tried some things, but it would take 2 weeks or so before they knew if it worked or not. I sent a follow up email to Tracy asking why was it so difficult to unsubscribe from My Nokia. I am still waiting on a response from Tracy.

I made the upgrade from a

coder wrote:

I made the upgrade from a Nokia 6600 to Google Nexus One and haven't looked back! Although, being in Australia makes it a little harder to acquire the accessories at the moment...Developing for Android is a lot smoother than my attempts to deal with Nokia's Symbian and related shenanigans. Also, Google don't spam me - quite the bonus!

Added Thu, 2010-04-08 11:58

No way to unsubscribe

Anonymous wrote:

Dave

It's actually NOT possible to unsubscribe by creating a MyNokia account. On my first attempt it said something like "Account for this phone already exists" and when I tried with another Nokia phone's ID it simply started to spam me TWICE on the same number...this was a year ago, I still get spammed.

Unsubscribing from the phone is not possible either (from Switzerland): "MyNokia not supported in your country".

Clicking the link in the email (yes, I get everything as email also) also does NOT work, these links end on some generic page and do nothing.

Good luck with fighting the arrogant monster, even though it will not help me much over here.

- Hans

Added Fri, 2010-06-18 22:45

Dave, Have you had any

Anonymous wrote:

Dave,

Have you had any luck?

I've come across your site by doing the exact same thing. Very frustrating.

Can you email me Tracy Postill's email address if you haven't had any luck and I'll issue my own complaint.

Regards,

Carl

Added Wed, 2010-09-29 16:18

RE: Dave, Have you had any

Dave wrote:

Last I heard Nokia's investigation is still ongoing. I am looking forward to it being finalised. If you wish to lodge a complaint, contact ACMA via their online spam complaint form.

Added Thu, 2010-09-30 13:23

I bought a cheap nokia phone

I Just Know Stuff wrote:

I bought a cheap nokia phone recently and had the same problem. Found out how to stop the messages. But since you don't have a Nokia phone, maybe you can just put your SIM card in a friends Nokia phone and try the following:

Open Applications > Collection (either on phone or SD memory) > My Nokia > Unsubscribe.

This should (theoretically) work if it's linked to your phone number/sim card.

Maybe even try unsubscribing twice if you're getting double messages on the same number.

Good luck!

Added Wed, 2010-10-20 13:50

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