So, no kind words from subscribers in response to Econet’s “@Econet Wireless” tag on SMS messages. Almost everyone we’ve spoken to about the matter says Econet should just stop. But no, Econet is not giving this one up. Not yet.
In a message to subscribers yesterday, Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms firm sought to explain, again:
To assure our valued customers that SMS’s received are genuine, Econet has added a network ID tag “@Econet Wireless” to all SMS’s.
It’s all lies, says one ‘knowledgeable’ reader who contacted us through our tips mailbox. And he can prove it he says:
You probably also received Econet’s poorly conceived SMS which could only have come from their __ marketing department, saying that they’ve added the “@ Econet Wireless” tag to SMS’s to prove that they’re genuine (copy attached). Now, apart from the obvious fact that few of us have doubted the originality of our SMS’s, this is also a lie.
Firstly, anyone can send an SMS with @ Econet Wireless stuck on the bottom and it’s comes through fine. There’s also no user-side validation that can be done to prove the originality or not. We just sent ourselves SMS’s from Telecel and Skype where we typed the @ Econet Wireless tag and they came through fine.
Secondly, and closely allied to our first point, Econet are not appending this tag to SMS’s flowing through their system, nor are they checking for SMS’s coming from outside sources whether they include a “fake tag” when received by their switch, so really what’s the point.
In closing, if Econet were going to discount or subsidise our SMS’s because of the free advertising they’re receiving, great. If not, stop it and stop wasting characters that we would rather use ourselves.
Now we’re not telecoms engineers, so we thought we’d get Econet to explain further. We forwarded them the letter. We got no explanation, and 24 hours later, we’ve decided maybe if we publish the letter here, an Econet guy can post an anonymous comment explaining how exactly they’re doing the message verification. Or a Telecel guy even. Telecoms techies out there, please educate us @Econet Wireless
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