MyBroadband has received complaints that Facebook is sending bulk SMS messages to South African mobile users without the ability to easily stop these messages.
According to one source, the Facebook SMS messages come from the number 13999, and it is not easy to unsubscribe by simply replying to the message.
However, Cell C and industry body WASPA said that it is possible for users to reply to 13999 and opt-out of these messages.
The Facebook SMS reads “Dennis invited you to Facebook. Learn more [link]. Reply “stop” to stop getting Facebook texts”.
Users are not happy about the Facebook SMS messages. “Anyone receiving spam SMSs from 13999 (Facebook crap)? Received two today one on my Cell C number and the other on my MTN number,” one user said.
MTN addressing Facebook SMS problem
MTN said that only Facebook users who have opted in are to receive notifications from Facebook via an SMS.
The example provided to MyBroadband clearly shows that the person to which the message was sent is not a Facebook user, which means they could not have opted in.
“MTN condemns any third party sending SMSs that cannot be opted out of. As a service provider, when we receive a Facebook opt out from our customer, we immediately request Facebook to action,” MTN said.
MTN said that it is engaging with Facebook on how to expedite the resolution of these matters as they have received similar complaints from other customers.
Facebook was asked for comment on the SMS messages, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.