Verizon Kills 4INFO Text Alerts


Updated with more short code details and comment from Verizon: The nation’s largest wireless carrier has blocked a major offering from one of the nation’s largest text-alert services. Verizon Wireless (s vz) Friday night informed its customers via SMS that they would no longer be allowed to use some ad-supported services from 4INFO, a San Mateo, Calif.-based startup. 4INFO users received the following text:

“Verizon users will no longer receive messages from 4INFO at 44636. You are unsubscribed from all programs & will not receive further msgs.”

The move applies only to 4INFO’s self-branded service and short code; the company’s other offerings — which include white-label services — are unaffected. While 4INFO operates 40 short codes, the move applies only to the 44636 code, which is used to deliver 4INFO-branded content as well as content from partner brands. It stems from Verizon’s policies regarding in-text ads, 4INFO CEO Zaw Thet told me Friday, although it appears no other text services — from 4INFO or any other player — have been dropped. Verizon representatives have not been available for comment, but 4INFO users have been actively voicing their displeasure via Twitter.

Verizon and 4INFO have a contentious history: Thet last year was an outspoken critic of Verizon’s effort to impose a 3-cent fee for each vendor-generated text sent to Verizon users. Thet called the hike — which was aborted amid a flurry of criticism from content providers and messaging companies — “unprecedented and unnecessary.” While the two incidents appear unrelated, Verizon may be sending a belated and not-so-subtle message not to provoke the carriers who are the backbone of the mobile industry.

Updated: Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson today told me that the move to block 4INFO’s service was in response to customer complaints, however. Nelson said Verizon has been working with 4INFO “for several months to correct a number of problems” including compliance with Mobile Marketing Association guidelines regarding in-text ads and premium double opt-in requirements.


4INFO hater

4INFO was a pain in the ass. They got my number (from who I don’t know)and started to barrage me me their useless crap. I applaud Verizon for stopping the messages. Too bad they gave in!
My carrier got it stopped.


Yay! We won! It is back on now! At least that is what the text message said. Now I should be able to get my Gaia text messages again! I still am angry at Verizon for making me miss some of them, though. Verizon is Evil, just like all the other large corporations.


Oh, they’ll be getting customer complaints, all right! We all will be complaining that we can’t get our Gaia Online text messages! Verizon will pay for what they’ve done!!!!! They will pay with hours upon hours of irate customer complaint calls tying up all of their lines! They will rue the day! They will rue last Friday!!!!! I guess it doesn’t matter that I am incapable of being less than polite to them if I waste all their time with it. Start ruing!

Ron Sheridan

I just bought a DROID form Verizon and was blown away to learn that I can not get SMS alerts from Google Calendar via Verizon.

I’m paying through the nose for the service but they still insist on funding ways to throttle my user experience.


Ted T.

You have 30 days to return your Droid. Get an iPhone on AT&T and you won’t be having this problem.

Vote with your dollars — it is the only language Verizon understands.

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