Spam has been a massive problem through text messages over the last few years. Now, T-Mobile has changed its terms of service to add fines as high as $2,000 to third-party messaging accounts that send spam, social engineering messages, or illegal content over the T-Mobile network. These new fines will take effect on January 1, 2024.
The good news is their regular accounts are not affected by these new rules, but third-party messaging vendors accounts will face new fines and termination if they continue to send spam, social engineering, or illegal content over the T-Mobile network.
“These changes only impact third-party messaging vendors that send unlawful or unallowed commercial mass messaging campaigns for other businesses. The vendors will be fined if the content they are sending does not meet the standards in our code of conduct, which is in place to protect consumers from illegal or illicit content and aligns to federal and state laws.” T-Mobile said in a statement sent to Cord Cutters News.
This news comes from a new support page from Vonage, which uses the T-Mobile network. It seems that T-Mobile is putting some of its partners and content Third- Party messaging vendors on notice about its efforts to stop spam messages over its network.
T-Mobile was not available at the time of this posting for comment.
For the end T-Mobile user, it is good news that T-Mobile is looking for new ways to stop spammers from using their network to send you illegal content. It is important to remember that if you use T-Mobile for everyday calls, texts, and data, you don’t need to worry about these fines.
Here is what T-Mobile sent Vonage:
The non-compliance fine(s) will be assessed for every Sev-0 violation issued as per the following tier system:
- Tier 1: $2000 USD
For phishing, smishing, social engineering.
- Tier 2: $1000 USD
For illegal content (content Must be legal in all 50 states, as well as federally)
- Tier 3: $500 USD
For all other violations (including, but not limited to SHAFT).
Please find below some additional definitions that can assist you understand what the terminology means:
Means all techniques aimed at getting a target to reveal specific information or performing a specific action for illegitimate reasons. Examples include but not limited to phishing, smishing, and pretexting purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
Refers to any content that is not legal in all 50 states and federally. This list is outlined in the T-Mobile Code of Conduct section 5.1 “Unlawful, Unapproved or Illicit Content” (however not limited to) includes Cannabis, Marijuana, Adult Solicitation.
5.1 Unlawful, Unapproved, or Illicit Content
No messaging programs can run on the T-Mobile network that may promote unlawful, unapproved, or illicit content, including but not limited to:
- Fraudulent or misleading messages
- Depictions or endorsements of violence
- Inappropriate content
- Profanity or hate speech
- Endorsement of illegal drugs
Programs must operate according to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. In addition, the content must be legal across all 50 states. All content must be appropriate for the intended audience. Additional legal and ethical obligations apply when marketing to children under age 13, and such programs might be subject to additional review by T-Mobile.
“All Other Violations”
Refers to Subsection 5.7 of the T-Mobile Code of Conduct, which outlines, but is not limited to “Age Gating”
5.7 Age Gating
T-Mobile may, at its discretion and at any time, suspend, terminate, or not Approve any Messaging Program it feels does not promote a legal, age-appropriate, or positive customer experience. All content must adhere to all applicable laws and support a functioning age gate when associated with but not limited to Sex, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and/or any other age-restricted content that must comply with legal regulations. Nonacceptable age gating function includes but is not limited to Yes or No responses. The age-gate mechanism should include the date of birth verification during the consent opt-in of the consumer.
Note that if T-Mobile determines that a Violation continues and is excessive during the Term of the Agreement, T-Mobile reserves the right to permanently suspend brand, campaigns, and or Company’s access to the T-Mobile Network or the Company Connection.
Update: We updated this story to add a statement from T-Mobile and to clarify that this new policy apply to content aggregators not regular account.