Users can now opt out of receiving promotional SMS messages.
The UAE TRA announced that it has placed a new policy that will enable users to opt out of marketing messages they receive from their telecommunication providers.
The new anti-spam policy will initially focus on SMS spam, with both telecom operators Etisalat and du required to get prior consent from customers before sending them any promotional messages. Customers will be able to file complaints against the operators if they still continue to receive messages even after choosing to opt out.
In addition, the telecoms will have to adhere to a focused number of hours to send any marketing SMSes – between 7:00am to 9:00pm – to prevent any inconvenience to customers.
In a separate press statement, Etisalat confirmed that it has now implemented “sophisticated technology” that will easily allow customers to opt out receiving promotional texts on their mobile devices. To opt out, Etisalat customers must “send ‘b etisalat’ via SMS to 1011 in order to unsubscribe from the promotional marketing messages they receive from Etisalat. If customers wish to subscribe again for receiving such promotional SMS from Etisalat, they can do so by sending SMS ‘ub etisalat’ to 1011.”
Commenting on the move, Etisalat’s Senior Vice President of Marketing – Khalifa Al Shamsi said, “Etisalat has always been extremely attentive towards the needs of its valued customers and it is our responsibility to ensure them maximum flexibility in the way they use and enjoy Etisalat services. We care for and understand what they require and are happy to make this new option available to them as we are now empowering them to decide what content they receive and from whom.”
However, UAE’s second telecom provider du has not yet implemented any such service, although they have ensured its customers that they are “calibrating efforts in alignment with the regulator framework for telecommunications in the UAE to enchance customer choice”. In short, ‘pretty soon’.