Ez Texting sues T-Mobile for blocking its short code
Mobile marketing company Ez Texting has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile in response to the carrier blocking its primary SMS short code 313131.
The disagreement apparently stems from a medical marijuana dispensary that was using Ez Texting?s short code. Ez Texting alleges that T-Mobile?s decision to block its short code was unjustified and illegal.
Mobile Marketer?s Dan Butcher interviewed Shane Neman, CEO of Ez Texting, New York. Here is what he had to say:
Why did Ez Texting file suit against T-Mobile?
The fact is that T-Mobile cut off our short code, and put my business in jeopardy, without any warning, without any justification and without any appeal.
What was T-Mobile's reasoning for blocking EZ Texting's short code?
I was told that T-Mobile did not approve of the Web site Weed Maps [a medical marijuana dispensary] http://legalmarijuanadispensary.com/ using our short code 313131 to legally opt-in consumers into their SMS marketing program.
This is far more serious than a simple technical process issue that they are currently claiming.
The issue here is the unlawful blocking of text messages by T-Mobile.
Consumers have a right to send and receive text messages with whomever they wish. You could not take away someone's telephone number in the same way T-Mobile cancelled our short code.
The FCC has found that text messages are calls, and that it is illegal for common carriers, like T-Mobile, to block calls.
Consumers have just as much a right to send and receive text messages as they do any other type of call.
T-Mobile is harming consumers with its unlawful and unjustified blocking.
Why is this an important lawsuit in terms of setting a precedent for the wireless/mobile industry?
If T-Mobile takes a stance on blocking lawful content on medical marijuana, does this mean they are going to take a stance on all issues?
What about gay marriage? Does T-Mobile plan on blocking information on that? Where does it end?
Imagine if a licensed medical marijuana business had a toll-free 800-number on its Web site. Could T-Mobile block its subscribers from making calls to and from that number?
Should T-Mobile be able to screen what 800-numbers its consumers can access based on T-Mobile's preferences?
Could they block calls to Verizon Wireless, their competitor?
I think that it is time T-Mobile thinks twice about its current discriminatory practices and stops deciding what content Americans can have access to and with whom they are allowed to exchange texts with.
Clarification: Mr. Neman meant to say that Americans sent out 1.5 trillion texts last year.