The rules are called GOF guidelines for SMS and have been set up by the Belgian telecom providers (Base/KPN, Mobistar, Proximus and Telenet). Their aim is to make all parties involved follow the same rules and thereby improve the overall experience for the end user.
Some main points:
- Companies cannot charge customers and consumers (end users) for receiving an SMS they haven’t asked for. Companies can only charge end users if the latter have given their explicit consent.
- A company must immediately cancel an end user’s subscription to an SMS service, if the latter sends the word ‘stop’ to a specific short code. Misspellings such as ‘sToP’ and ‘TSOP’ should also be interpreted as ‘stop’.
- Shortcodes and prices must be clearly visible for the end user on the screen; specific fonts and font sizes apply.