I don’t know about you all, but I have been receiving A LOT of text messages this campaigning season. For the past month, I haven’t gone a single day without getting at least one text message stating: “Hi Meghan, this is [generic name]! Can we count on your vote for [candidate] in the upcoming election?” I have gotten up to 6 of these messages in a day and I don’t know what I signed up for but I want out. In class, we have learned about the powers of SMS Marketing. With an open rate of 98%, 90% of that being read in 5 minutes, how could politicians resist? I was getting so many messages that I had to Google it, and it turns out I’m not the only one. Here is an example of the messages I’ve been receiving, (I can’t screenshot my own as they get deleted in .3 seconds of entering my inbox), but Heather I feel your pain. I know for a fact that I didn’t give these people permission to text me so why was I getting them?
An article on AXIOS.com written by Kim Hart explains just how these messages are getting through, no permission necessary, and all completely legal. These text messages aren’t the typical automated bulk messages, these messages are being sent one at a time, giving the sender the ability to personalize the message with your name. The problem is that “peer-to-peer” texts aren’t subject to federal limits like robocalls are and do not require prior consent.
Complaints with the FCC as well as class action lawsuits have been filed to no avail. Typical marketing text messages usually conclude with a “text STOP to stop” allowing the recipient to opt out of the contact list, but not these. Many advise people who are getting the messages to try and reply with “STOP”, but since these messages are coming from different individuals with different phone numbers, that will hardly do the trick. All I know is that I am excited to exercise my right to vote as well as for the text messages to finally end today.