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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Friday, 5 December 2003

junk texts and advent calendar competitions...

I just received this marvellous piece of sales spiel on my mobile phone:

Almost 150 weddings through MobileMatch... and 739 divorces. Just text back "GO" and find your perfect partner. To opt out txt back "STOP". POBox 39822 W11 1NX

  • Almost 150 weddings - well, 1 is almost 150, when compared with 16,344,239. And I bet they haven't even got that.

  • and 739 divorces - SOLD! This text service has been (in)directly responsible for the break up of, ooh, almost 7,500 marriages. So tempting...

  • Just text back "GO" and find your perfect partner - send them a text, and then go and find your perfect partner. The two aren't necessarily connected...

  • To opt out txt back "STOP". - yeah, right. You think I'm that dim? You won't interpret the "STOP" as meaning "there is a human at the other end of this phone. Let's send him more stuff!" I very much doubt it.

  • POBox 39822 W11 1NX - did you know that if you send, say, a breezeblock through the post with a 19p stamp on it, the recepient must pay the penalty postage. Either that or send it back to the sender; to a return address of, say, POBox 39822 W11 1NX...

I Googled for the PO Box number, to find nothing more than a few more whinges, just like this one (one of which brought up the valid point - how do they get my number?) and a football club who are clearly foolish enough to use this dodgy bunch as service providers. So now I will either:

  • Not bother doing anything. Most likely.

  • Create an account on sms.lycos.co.uk and send three free junk mail messages a day back to the number they sent it from. It'll probably not work.

In fact, I'll probably opt for the first option, as I'd never get round to keeping up something like that every day.


Here's an interesting service that turned up while Googling: grumbletext.co.uk. I haven't quite worked out the point of it, yet, though. Answers on a postcard. Or text message, I suppose.

Bad Pensions

I also came across a cautionary tale, en-route to MobileMatch perusal: badpension.com. Best not to get a pension from Zurich Financial Services, it would seem.

Advent Calendar Competitions

Speaking (as I'm sure I was, a bit further up) of things that I couldn't get round to doing every day... there are a number of websites with advent calendar-based prize draws, of which I've managed to do two days. Here are the ones I've visited (all found using the worryingly innocuous www.loquax.co.uk competition portal:
  • www.adventcalendar.net - Loqaux's own advent calendar site

  • Littlewoods - this one's a bit worrying - it needs to download software to your PC for some reason. I don't think I like this one much.

  • www.gm.tv - probably quite popular, therefore little chance of winning

  • www.mykindaplace.com - I think this one's for women.

  • www.nme.com - this one's (obviously) music related, but how on earth does one go about winning?

  • www.paramountcomedy.co.uk - that's more like it - stick my name on a form and click 'submit'...

  • www.tescopf.co.uk - Tesco's finance - even better... instant win. Or, in my case, "instant don't win."

Pretty much all of these sites require an email address to register - I used to have a separate Yahoo! mail account for such things, but now I have my own domain, I tend to use {website}.com@mus-ic.co.uk for each different one, so I can identify where the spam's coming from if/when they sell my email address on.

Good luck...

Posted by james at December 5, 2003 1:35 PM

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