Data Protection Followup

| 19 Comments

I got a "Service Message" spam from a company called Venista a couple of months ago. I eventually found out, after being passed between Vodafone and Regtel, that the best bet is to report it to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Three weeks after the original report I got an email from them stating:

We contacted Venista in relation to the sending of these messages and as a result they have suspended all their services in Ireland. They are also going to carry out an internal review.

They have removed your number from their database.


It's nice to see a Government organisation that is actually responsive :)

So, if you're in Ireland and get a spam sms, make sure to report it to the Data Protection Commissioner. There should be equivalent organisations in most countries who should also be able to help.

19 Comments

Congrats Nial. It's a nice feeling when you stick it to the man or a group of men representing an organisation in a professional manner.

I had heard that the Data Protection Commission were slow as hell from some people. It was a pleasant surprise when they got back so fast :)

And yes, it is a nice feeling to know that I'm making life more awkward for people who annoy me!

I just got one of these service messages from Venista. I too shall be "sticking it to the man". Already contacted my provider. Looks like I'll be contacting the DP people too then.

Hi Niall

The person that dug up the link to here also gave me that link. I've just fired off a complaint to ICSTIS. Here's to another exponential fine for Venista. Obviously £15k wasn't enough.

I'll post here when I get a response.

Tony,

Glad to hear it :) Please do reply here when you get a response, I will be looking forward to it.

Niall.

I got a sms message from venista the other day. I deleted it without opening it. Then I got another sms from venista saying they were pleased I hd opened it asnd would get a £1.50 charge added to my bill. I immediately sent Venista a sms saying that if a £1.50 charge was added to my mobile bill I would call the Police and make a complaint of obtaining money by deception. Next dayVenista rang me and said they would send me a cheque for £1.50 in compensation. Mr Stephen Harris t/a SMS Services, sent me a cheque for £1.50 drawn on HSBC in Basingstoke (40-09-18 A/c. 51786237) and a Compliments Slip from SMS Services, Venista refund, www.venista.com Helpdesk: 08906091720. Then I found this site, so I thought I would post my experience. Now to see if the cheque clears!

Hi Raymond,

Would love to know how they figured that you opened it.

Niall.

That's a scary development Raymond. I didn't notice any credit disappear from my PAYG balance to be honest.

I've also heard precisely nothing from O2, or ICSTIS so far.

Tony,

Not even an automated "yes we have received this" message? When I emailed the Data Protection Commissioner here, I had a reply within a day from a human being.

Niall.

Nothing at all from O2. I also queried with ICSTIS that their online form wasn't compatible with firefox. The webmaster fella responded to that within a couple of days. No response regarding my complaint about venista though.

Tony,

Out of interested, did the received message appear on your itemised bill? It didn't on mine, and the customer support were sort of clueless as to what it was.

Niall.

I don't have an itemised bill as such I'm on a PAYG phone although I can ask O2. I didn't call O2 to find out as they charge for calls to CS. I logged a query thru the O2 site to ask them to let me know if my credit had been taken. As I say they haven't responded at all. However, the credit on my phone hasn't dropped at all since.

I am experiencing a series of these spam messages from venister also. could you assist me so that they can also remove my ceelphone number from their database. I am paying high costs for a series of unending messages from them.

LOLO,

Your best bet is to contact the local communications regulator.

Good news that somebody is taking action. The real problem here in Ireland is that RegTel, who are supposed to be regulating this business, are in fact paid for by the companies involved. It's self regulation and it simply does not work. There are thouseands of youngsters caught up in these "subscription services" as a result of unsolicited texts and misleading ads. RegTel just refuse to stop the rip-off.Write to the Minister for Communications and complain is the best strategy.

In the UK you can complain here:

http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/consumers/how_to_complain/form/

This is the new name of ICSTIS and the form worked fine in firefox. They do say it can take from 12 weeks to 6 months to get an adjudication against a company. The more people who register a complaint the better. Each one adds more weight to their case.

We shouldn't take this. I was billed by a Venista company, mobile tube, for an unsolicited text message just yesterday. I did not give them my mobile number and they haven't responded as yet to my request for a refund and information on how they got my number.

If I get a response I'll let you all know.

I keep on getting a message from Venista for a ringtone club.
I text back stop and this freaking company is still taking off money of my account R20 in two days is no joke. You can only talk to an answering machine and they say they will get back to you in 24 hours, it is now 4 days and still no answer. Please someone help to get my no off the their database 082 0644 974. This freaking company must refund me my money. If I don't get a reply urgently I'm going to take this matter further.

You best bet is to contact your phone company first and ask them to sort it out. Otherwise you'll need to contact your local communications regulator.

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This page contains a single entry by Niall Donegan published on May 3, 2007 3:08 PM.

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