Friday, December 14, 2007

T-Mobile to Customers: Tweet This

So I got into my morning groove this morning the way that I normally do: picking up my cell and preparing to delete the 50 or so twitter messages from when I was asleep, and I saw....about 4 twitter messages (or tweets).

Really? Seriously? My entire twitter community slept in? Didn't seem possible...

...and then this afternoon I get shot an IM from a friend with a link to this Techcrunch article. Apparently, I am not alone - T-Mobile US customers awoke to the same issue. It seems like T-Mobile is blocking short code 40404 and telling their customers that if they don't like it, fine - pay the $200 to get out of your contract:

…Twitter is not an authorized third-party service provider, and therefore you are not able to utilize service from this provide any longer…. T-Mobile is not in violation of any agreement by not providing service to Twitter. T-Mobile regrets any inconvenience, however please note that if you remain under contract and choose to cancel service, you will be responsible for the $200 early termination fee that would be assessed to the account at cancellation.
Oooookkkkkkk then. Thanks. Nice note.

So - that's fine. I get it. I spend years of my life heavily involved in SMS text trafficing (sounds like a movie staring Michael Douglas), and carriers always get the last word on authorizing short codes (the 4-9 digit codes that allow SMS messages to pass through many-to-many gateway). Their stated goal is to protect their clientèle from expensive, unwanted text traffic. However, in this case, short code 40404 (the Twitter short code) must have already been authorized by T-Mo, or it never would have been carried on it in the first place. Also, Twitter is an opt-in service, so its the user's decision to carry the text traffic anyway.

T-Mo? Any response here? What's the deal with reversing the decision to carry tweets?

...ok, time for me to install Twibble, then.

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