Get me off Us Weekly's list!
August 18, 2006 12:58 PM   Subscribe

I get spam text messages from Us Weekly magazine on my phone that I guarantee I did not sign up for. T-Mobile won't block messages from the number they come from. How do I get myself off the list? I don't care who cheated on whom, especially since I'm getting charged for each text message they send.
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
T-Mobile won't block the messages? I'd raise some hell with your provider. Threaten to change carriers if they can't help you make this stop.
posted by raedyn at 1:09 PM on August 18, 2006

Did you Google the number it came from? It's likely a third party company hired by US Weekly that is sending you the text spam.

Have you ever downloaded/bought a ringtone or sent a text message to anyone other than people you know (such as "voting" on a TV show, etc.)? Usually that is the source text message spam.

You are supposed to reply to a text message with the word STOP to unsubscribe, but that works about as well (and just exposes you to further text messages) as sending UNSUBSCRIBE to a spam email. YMMV.

Also, you have to keep pestering T-Mobile to remove all the charges for the unwanted text messages you are getting.
posted by jca at 1:14 PM on August 18, 2006

What happened is that someone I know gave my phone number to Us Weekly in exchange for a free story via SMS, and now I get the spam. I can't even believe that's legal, that they can send that shit to me without my consent because someone ELSE typed my number in. It seems qualitatively different than spam e-mail, since I have to pay to even receive it.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:18 PM on August 18, 2006

Well you can try texting back the word STOP since you know how US Weekly got your number to text message you.

(Also, you should have included the info that you knew how/why you were getting this text message spam.)

Here is an example of text message spam that people didn't consent to.
posted by jca at 1:29 PM on August 18, 2006

Typically you're not charged for text messages recieved, only those sent, but check with your provider.

Keep in mind that your phone and its use are your responsibility. If you allowed someone else to use your phone, then you implicitly condoned their activities, and both T-Mobile and US Weekly are acting appropriately, according to the law.

Not to (intentionally) sound like a jerk, but that's how the law regards the matter.

Now, if I've read that question incorrectly and there was a web form somewhere or something and someone just mashed your number in at random (or even on purpose), then yeah that is whacky that they wouldn't offer easy unsubscription options. Did you check the US Weekly site? Give them a call if you can find a 1-800 number.
posted by Imperfect at 2:42 PM on August 18, 2006

Did you just get your phone? It could be that someone who used to have your phone number was subscribed to that service. I recently read that this is becoming a big problem with number portability.
posted by redteam at 2:50 PM on August 18, 2006

I know I DO get charged for pics and text messages recieved. It's something like 2-5 cents, but still.
posted by GilloD at 3:54 PM on August 18, 2006

When I got a spam text message on my phone, Cingular said I would only be charged if I *opened* the text message. I wouldn't be charged if I just deleted it right away. Could that be the case here?
posted by Lucinda at 4:40 PM on August 18, 2006

Contact Us

Subscription Questions
For customer service write to:
Us Weekly, PO Box 8253, Red Oak, IA 51591-1253

or send an e-mail to:

or call: 800-283-3956 (8 A.M. to 9 P.M., EST); outside of the US, please call 515-242-0285.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 4:53 PM on August 18, 2006

Cancel your contract. Seriously. Call them up, tell them you want ot cancel your contract. You'll probably end up speaking to someone in the retention department, and you should tell them that you're getting marketing messages and that you'll cancel your contract if they can't make it stop because it's costing you money. They'll probably say some crap about getting a fixed about of messages a month so they don't end up costing you money, but ignore that.

If you still don't get any love, write the whole thing up and send it to The Consumerist. You can find some tips on canceling your contract without penalty there too.

No one should have to put up with this shit.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:58 PM on August 18, 2006

Yes, sorry, wasn't clear before. Someone else, on that person's OWN phone, typed MY number in to get access to some SMS feature, without my consent. I will try the stuff listed above and report back if anything works.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:31 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

OK, so I got another text message, replied with "Stop" and got another text message back saying I had been unsubscribed. Thanks for the info. I had tried "unsubscribe" "cancel" and "omg quit sending me these goddamn text messages", but I never thought to send "stop". So there you go. The way to make it stop is to reply with "stop"
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:45 PM on August 21, 2006

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