T-Mobile said it blocked a texting service because it didn’t comply with regulations not because the content was associated with marijuana.
The text messaging company EZ Texting is suing T-Mobile because the fourth-largest U.S. carrier cut off its access to shortcodes. EZ Texting implied that this was because it dealt with a company which supplied information regarding legal (in some states) marijuana.
A spokesperson from T-Mobile sent us the following message via e-mail:
“T-Mobile believes that the recent complaint filed by EZ Texting is without merit; and we are pleased that last Friday, September 17, 2010, the court rejected EZ Texting’s motion for early relief. Though T-Mobile doesn’t typically comment on pending litigation, we believe it is important to clear up some of the confusion generated by EZ Texting’s allegations. Each carrier has a process to ensure that content providers like EZ Texting follow the Mobile Marketing Association’s U.S. Consumer Best Practices Guidelines for Cross-Carrier Mobile Content Programs, as well as other regulations applicable to the mobile content business. When T-Mobile discovered that EZ Texting had not followed this process for WeedMaps – the text messaging service at issue in the lawsuit – we turned off the short code that EZ Texting was using for these services. The content of the WeedMaps service simply had nothing to do with T-Mobile’s decision.”
So, it looks like EZ Texting may not have had its ducks in order before it launched the service, if you believe what T-Mobile has to say. The SMS messaging company has publicly said it will take it quite a while to rework its infrastructure to get its service back in place but I have very little pity for it if it didn’t know the rules of doing business.
Still, the case will go forward and we’ll see who’s telling the truth shortly enough. What do you think?
EZ Texting just hit us up with a response and it’s calling T-Mobile out. The company says the statement is “inconsistent” with the reasons it heard and that it tried to solve the issue amicably before it brought out the lawyers. Here’s the meat of its response:
T-Mobile now claims that it is blocking Ez Texting because we didn’t follow some unidentified “process” to T-Mobile’s private satisfaction. In any event, T-Mobile’s reason for blocking Ez Texting is irrelevant as T-Mobile has no right to block Ez Texting in the first place. One thing is for sure, however, T-Mobile has never stated that any of its customers have ever complained about text messages from Ez Texting. That’s because T-Mobile’s customers want to exchange text messages with Ez Texting’s customers. Consumers have a right to exchange text messages with whomever they like, just like any other type of call.