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January 5, 2010

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Customers angered by block on texts

MOBILE phone services became a cause for complaint over the New Year's Day holiday. Consumers found the short message sending function was blocked when they tried to send greetings to friends.

The city's consumers' hotline 12315 received more than 20 complaints about the mobile phone service, most being about the inability to send text messages.

They turned to the telecommunication companies for help, but the problems weren't solved in time, according to the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau.

"My short message sending function was not resumed until three days later," complained xyqing1003 on an online forum. He said he didn't know why he couldn't send messages, and the company's service hotline failed to give him a satisfactory answer.

Telecommunication companies said the function was blocked to prevent junk messages. China Unicom said the message-sending function would be blocked if a number sent more than 300 messages in an hour during the holiday, while the per-hour sending volume limit would be 200 at other times.

China Mobile said they would improve the blocking system to prevent similar problems in future. A company official said it would "try to improve the efficiency of resuming the message function."

Tang Jiansheng, deputy director of the law department of the Shanghai Commission of Consumers' Rights and Interests Protection, said he could understand why the measure was used.

"But I think it will be more human-friendly if they tell people about the message sending limit within an hour," he said. "Companies can also consider reminding consumers before blocking the function."


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