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Old 05-05-2012, 09:29 AM
Chief Editor Chief Editor is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Riyadh
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Default UAE Sheikh Tweets spam complaint

UAE Sheikh Tweets spam complaint

Yahoo! Maktoob

The telecoms operator Etisalat has come under fire in the UAE after a senior royal became the latest to fall victim to unsolicited text spam, newspaper The National reported on Wednesday.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, turned to Twitter to voice his frustration after he was apparently bombarded by messages that he had not signed for over two days, the newspaper added.

"I just received this message now: 'Dear customer, thank you for subscribing to Reuters breaking news service. You will soon receive the latest updates straight from Reuters to your phone'. I didn't subscribe," the newspaper quoted the Sheikh as saying, citing a message from his Twitter account at 10.06pm on Sunday.

Two minutes later he added: "My apologies to Etisalat but I will tweet every message or service that I get from them until they put an end to this inconvenience."

He even Tweeted Etisalat directly asking the issue be dealt with, not only for him but all affected. The company replied stating that its team was working on the issue and that it would be ‘resolved soon’.

Yet after the promises the minister continued to receive the messages for almost 17 hours more, despite an attempt by Etisalat’s chief executive, Saleh Al Abdooli to intervene, the minister said.

Since raising the issue Sheikh Abdullah’s two new discussion threads have been created under the Arabic hash tags: "And Etisalat continues the annoyance" and "God protect us from Etisalat's excellence".

According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), a policy on unsolicited electronic communications has been in place since 2008, the report added.

"Any customer who has signed with the telecom operator before February 1, 2008, has the option to opt out of such services," said Fintan Healy, the executive director of the TRA.

"If you had the service before the policy was issued then you will receive the messages. However, if you joined an operator after the issuance, you would have to apply for them before you can receive such messages," he told The National.

Mr Healy said it was possible that in the case of the Sheikh the messages might have been sent automatically, because he had ‘been with the operator since before the policy was created,’ adding: "However, one of his tweets suggests that he opted out."

Operators are apparently issued a warning when a customer complains to the TRA, Mr Healy said. Persistent offenders are then fined, he added.

"We have been liaising with His Excellency's office and all concerns are resolved," Etisalat told the newspaper.
Meanwhile Sheikh Abdullah has not made any further comment regarding the issue.
"The duty of a member of this chamber is not to pander to what is popular
but to uphold what is right..." -RR

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