Last week I receive more than a dozen calls from friends in the Seattle area asking if was responsible for the SMS SPAM below that Jiffy Lube sent to their customers.

Jiffy Lube SMS SPAM example

My answer was HELL NO, Tatango never allows businesses to send SMS campaigns to customers that haven’t opted-in to receive them. This type of  SMS SPAM is a violation of FCC regulations, CAN-SPAM and the carrier guidelines. What counts as an opt-in for SMS campaign? It’s very simple. A customer must text message a mobile keyword like JIFFY, to a SMS shortcode, which is a 5-6 digit phone number. (i.e. Text JIFFY to 68398) That’s the only thing that counts as a true mobile advertising opt-in. Things that don’t count.

  • Dropping your business card in a fish bowl with your mobile phone number on it.
  • Giving your mobile phone number to a business when purchasing a product.
  • Leaving your phone number with a business to have them call you when they are done with a service.
  • Filling out any type of paper form that asks you for your mobile phone number. Even if they disclose that they will send you text messages in the future, it still doesn’t count. The reason… There is no safeguard in place for someone else to give the business your phone number.

While this definitely has hurt Jiffy Lube, I wouldn’t put all the blame on them. The rules and regulations for SMS marketing are extremely confusing and most big corporations work with an SMS provider to launch their campaign. It looks like whoever Jiffy Lube was using gave them the wrong information and lead them down this destructive path.

I still think SMS campaign for Jiffy Lube would be a huge asset, if done correctly. With that being said, I want to extend an olive branch out to Jiffy Lube with this blog post.

* Update – It seems like this might have been a nationwide campaign as I’ve had friends from across the country tell me they also received this SMS campaign.


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