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Subscribers annoyed with “@Econet Wireless” labelled SMS messages

Starting last week, Econet has been appending the name of the company to some SMS messages sent from the network. It reads “@ Econet Wireless”.  Most people we’ve talked to say they started receiving the ‘labelled’ SMSes last week on Friday.  But that the appended text doesn’t come with every SMS. It’s random.

On Monday5 December, Twitter users started asking us if Econet was going to discount the SMS rate to compensate for the company’s label on outgoing SMSes. of course that’s highly unlikely, but let’s see. Yesterday, the traffic to our Twitter account on the issue increased, and now people were expressing annoyance.

So, we decided to ask users on our Facebook page: “What do you think about the ‘@Econet Wireless’ text that is coming appended at the end of some SMS messages sent from Econet numbers?”

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We got about 35 responses with most of them subscribers expressing dissatisfaction. Some were outright rude and went to the extent of cursing (which by the way we just remove). There were a few people though that don’t mind the ‘@Econet Wireless’ label on their SMS messages. And some just threw in some ideas for Econet. Here are a few:

They should reserve it for advertisements and subscribed SMSs sent on their network

I think they should reduce the price since they are advertising on my buck … Its the only fair thing to do

‎@least they should let people opt in or out

Used to see these when a message is sent using one of those free web SMS tools. Thought the person sending me the sms was using some new Econet SMS tool or something. Do we even know why they are doing it? Part of some campaign, maybe? Would be interesting to know.

Maybe as free emergency texts, like 5 free per day per subscriber or something. For money, unbranded is the only acceptable option

The purpose of the labels, Econet says, is not promotional at all. It’s some kind of fighting SMS messages accessing the network illegally they say. At least that’s what we understood from this response an Econet representative provided on the company’s Facebook group wall:

We are working on introducing SMS signature which at the moment will be used as a tag to validate authenticity of a short message as being sent by an Econet subscriber.

What about you? You mind the company’s name on your SMS messages? If not, why?


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25 thoughts on “Subscribers annoyed with “@Econet Wireless” labelled SMS messages

  1. When tech companies revamp their user interfaces, or in this case, append their signature, there is always a bit of murmur. The truth is we clamour for for what we are familiar with, and that’s natural. But we also have to acknowledge that with time, we come to accept and acclimatise to these new bits, especially, as is in this case (in my opinion), the changes are either harmless or enhance the user experience. Think of facebook or even recently Youtube. We are have readjusted or still are adjusting, but at the end of the day, the service is great. For whatever reaason Econet is doing this, I feel they are entitled to a little lee way in branding and delivering a unique service.

    1. its called spamming whatever reason they might want to see it. Why dont they give people a little lee way and allow them to send free text msg.

    1. I have a good mind to send everyone in my contacts a message saying. “Party at 2pm Friday. Lets get drunk”
      Which of course will read:  Party at 2pm Friday. Let’s get drunk  @ Econet Wireless
      RETARDS!

  2. Just seen this on the Econet group from a guy who is obviously not up for it: 

    Kindly remove @ Econet from smes as it is distorting the meaning of the messages. I got an sms from a from a friend which read “Burial is at ten @ Econet Wireless”

    1. That’s funny in a slightly macabre way.

      Their excuse is a bunch of poppycock:

      We are working on introducing SMS signature which at the moment will be
      used as a tag to validate authenticity of a short message as being sent
      by an Econet subscriber.

      That doesn’t even make sense – what’s to stop me from adding “@ econet wireless” at the end of my ‘forged’ SMS? My sense of honour? SMS is insecure, there’s no signature in the world that will change that

  3. “We are working on introducing SMS signature which at the moment will be
    used as a tag to validate authenticity of a short message as being sent
    by an Econet subscriber.”

    Is there some kind of spamming going on with Econet sms? If you have to, introduce an option for someone to check authenticity if they want or to have an Econet username they can put as their signature. Why should I have YOUR signature on MY sms? I’d rather put mine if I want any signature at all.

    1. danygoel I think you are marketing in the wrong forum.
      Administrator please protect us from guys with Econet-like marketing strategies. respect the blog please

  4. They shld find another way of fighting spam not putting a signature. i guess the person who posted is just a student or let us say that is a student idea to fight spam. They shld learn to take high school ideas with caution because when i write an sms i want it to end where i put a period.

  5. Imagine you hire a cab, and the cab driver picks up a friend or relative goin the same direction as well. you are the one paying for the trip not the friend or relative, ordinarily the cab driver would have not have made that trip to go and drop that friend or relative. so now econet is hijacking the sms that i pay for to use for its personal gain that of marketing themselves? 

  6. While it is pretty harmless (and common place unfortunately eg sent from my ipad / windows phone) I do not see it achieving much in the way of brand recognition or positive advertising.  But I do have a couple of questions:

    – If it is random can it push my msg over the 160 character limit and am I billed more?
    – Can they explain at a technical level what they are trying to achieve in the supposed excuse of stopping spam?  It makes no sense, that is just a string of characters at the end, they could be put there no matter what the source, unless this is a test and they plan adding something more complex like a guid.  Surely if they are worried about spammers forging an econet number they can just check the source gateway or something, I do not understand how this would help, please can someone explain it.

  7. @504f6ea59b3d6ced7f3dc71b1d759565:disqus 
    The “sent from ipad/windows phone” email signature you are likening this to is different. One has the option on an iPad or Windows Phone to amend, or completely remove the signature, an option missing with the Econet Txt Message “signature”. The aforementioned email signature “sent from ipad/windows phone” may even serve a purpose, as it informs the receiver that you might possibly be on the go and not in the office.It can even be a “bling” tool if you are into that sort of thing, that look hey, I have an iPad…

    You questions however are valid, and I too would like Econet to address these.

  8. This could become fun… TXT: Nobody Cares @EconetWireless or There’s no support @EconetWireless or Whores are cheap @EconetWireless… the list could go on.

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