T-Mobile says it blocked texts because client didn't follow guidelines, not because of content
Update at 11:44 a.m: with response by EZ Texting below
T-Mobile said Tuesday it didn't not block medical marijuana text message alerts because of the content of the text. Instead, its decision to cease delivery of text came because EZ Texting didn't follow "best practices" guidelines.
T-Mobile was sued in a federal court by EZ Texting, whose clients include Weedmaps.com, for allegedly blocking text alerts to customers seeking alerts on distributors of medical marijuana.
"Though T-Mobile doesn’t typically comment on pending litigation, we believe it is important to clear up some of the confusion generated by EZ Texting’s allegations," T-Mobile said in a statement.
The firm said it requires content providers like EZ Texting follow the Mobile Marketing Association’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross-Carrier Mobile Content Programs, as well as other regulations applicable to the mobile content business. It didn't specify how EZ Texting, which has supplied text marketing services for T-Mobile users for three years allegedly violated those guidelines (pdfbestpractices.pdf).
"When T-Mobile discovered that EZ Texting had not followed this process for WeedMaps – the text messaging service at issue in the lawsuit – we turned off the short code that EZ Texting was using for these services. The content of the WeedMaps service simply had nothing to do with T-Mobile’s decision."
EZ Texting responded to T-Mobile's statement saying the carrier didn't have the right to block text messages.
"One thing is for sure, however, T-Mobile has never stated that any of its customers have ever complained about text messages from Ez Texting," the firm said. "That’s because T-Mobile’s customers want to exchange text messages with Ez Texting’s customers. Consumers have a right to exchange text messages with whomever they like, just like any other type of call."
The short message code service and public interest group Public Knowledge say text messages should be regulated in the same way phone calls are, with the same rules against blocking.
| September 22, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
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