Google Text Message Spams End Users

Google is having a bad few days. First it labeled the entire Internet as malware, then it sent legit mail to the Spam folder as a side effect of the first issue. But things continue to go wrong for Google, as last night users of the SMS Search feature received message after message ... after message in return.

The SMS Search feature allows you to text a query and receive an SMS response in return.

According to threads (e.g., 1, 2, 3) in their Mobile Help forum, users were getting multiple text messages in response, and even sending STOP in reply (which should stop it) merely resulted in multiple replies from Google saying the service wouldn't be sending any more messages.

A response from Zeke at Google was:
Hi everyone, Thanks for responding so quickly. We are looking into the issue, and as soon as I have an update, I'll post it here. If you don't have an unlimited SMS plan, and you're worried about SMS charges, please let your carrier know about the situation.

Google eventually fixed the problem, but it's been one heck of a few days for Google in terms of issues.

At least they managed to launch Google Earth 5.0 (Google Ocean)!

Interestingly, some said that their carrier indicated they would not reimburse for the messages. We would have thought, if you have been with a carrier for some time, they would cut you some slack, particularly if you explain the situation and point them to some story regarding the issue, a "good" CSR would be helpful.

Unless you're talking to one of those automated IBM CSRs, I suppose.
Tags:  Google, SMS, spam