Continued Conversations With AT&T

So, previously I got depressed about SMS conversations with AT&T. I was then consoled and warned at the same time by my friend that I was not alone. And after his advice, and some other random advice from google results I decided to try the magic “stop” word. It is supposed to work when “no” doesn’t. So, when the next message came around:

AT&T from #4436:
AT&T Free Tip: Get weather, movie or restaurant tips from Google
on your phnoe. Text HELP to 466453 to get started.
To end Tips send no to 4436

Ah ha! I got you now silly AT&T. I now know your magic key word!!!

me:
Stop

And then I waited. I’ve never waited so long for a text message. I felt like I was in high school again. Ok, not really.

AT&T from #4436:
You have Opted out of AT&T Tips messages.
Please do not REPLY to this message.

Victory! I stood up, danced around my office and laughed at the ceiling while beating my chest with my fists. Ok, not really either.

But I was happy. Finally an end!

And then…

And then…

5 days later:

AT&T from #1111301000:
AT&T Free Tip: You can check your
voice plan minutes used & sms
messages sent with My Account.
Click Go to try.  To end Tips no
to 4436

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Now, I don’t know if you caught it. Go back, look at that last message and catch the difference. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Done?

You didn’t cheat did you?

Good. You spotted it (I’m giving you the credit here): it’s from a different number. It’s no longer from 4436, it’s now from 1111301000. Now, lets do some quick math. 10 digit number, with 10 possible digits (1-9) in each spot. I actually think that first number is a 1 meaning country code one (+1 is how they write it in the rest of the world; that same “rest of the world” that uses metric and other standardized conventions). So, lets assume that there are only 9 numbers they can vary. That’s 10^9th possible combinations.

Or: 1,000,000,000 (1 billion to save you from counting zeros)

Now, assuming I can send 200 free text messages in a month under my plan (they say their messages are free. They never once say that sending back “no” or “stop” is free), then it would take me….

1000000000/200 = 5,000,000 months to cancel them all with “stop”
which is:
5,000,000/12 = 416,666 years!

Yes! I can actually calculate the days until freedom! (152,187,500 days)

And yes, I included leap years. Because I’m just that much of a geek.

3 Comments

  1. Jason Said,

    September 22, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    I keep getting these as well, they are so unbelievably annoying and intrusive. I knew sending “stop” to 4436 was a bad idea, so I’ve left it alone for now and have tried to keep researching on the web how to stop these damn things from ever coming back. All I’ve been able to find is frustration from others experiencing the exact same thing. The only thing I’ve found is that you might (and I emphasize MIGHT) be able to get this to stop by getting AT&T’s customer service to place you on their “DO NOT SOLICIT” list. I was hoping someone else would try it first before I gave it a shot though because it looks like they charge you money for it (what a racket). I will only pay for it if I know it will stop these things from ever showing up again.

  2. Wes Said,

    September 27, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

    The sad thing is that I got a spam comment from a company that was aiming to fix all your problems. That’s right, the problem is so bad that an entire company has been created to help you fight the battle. All for a simple fee, of course.

  3. b Said,

    October 13, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    laughed a lot!

    now the message has been corrected and it actually uses the word “stop,” but who knows, i might also get a tip from #1111301000.