Full guide for all networks: How to stop unsolicited text messages

Unsolicited text messages are the achilles heel of the modern day contraption called the mobile phone, causing bursts or anger and irritation among mobile phone owners. Some have even damaged their mobile phones in fits of rage. The actions that the phenomenon of unsolicited text messages has managed to eke out of the human race since the inception of SMS service are sometimes funny but altogether unpleasant.

If you can identify with the sentences above, there is hope. In fact, I don’t think any category or group is exempted from receiving unwanted text messages and SMS ads on their mobile phones. There’s good and bad news, so let’s begin with the good.

The good news is that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has rolled out a policy that mandates all network providers in Nigeria to provide a USSD code that subscribers can use to opt out of any category of unwanted text messages, and one that can be used to totally shut down unwanted messages from all categories. The following are the various methods that can be used to opt out of receiving unsolicited text messages on your mobile phone for MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat networks.

1. MTN Nigeria
There are two ways to go about this for MTN subscribers. You can activate the Fully-blocked Mode, which stops every type of promotional text messages from reaching your mobile phone at all. Or you can activate the Partially Blocked Mode where you can choose which categories of promotional sms to unsubscribe from.

  • Fully-blocked Mode
    To activate the fully-blocked mode whereby you wouldn’t receive any type of unsolicited messages on your phone again, send STOP to 2442 as SMS. You will be unsubscribed immediately.
  • Partially Blocked Mode
    To activate any of the following categories of promotional text messages, simply send the following (bolded) text to the short code 2442 as SMS.
    • Banking/Insurance/Finance Messages – SMS 1.
    • Real Estate Messages – SMS 2.
    • Education Messages – SMS 3.
    • Health Messages – SMS 4.
    • Consumer Goods and Automobile Messages – SMS 5.
    • Communication/Entertainment/Internet Technology/Broadcasting Messages – SMS 6.
    • Tourism and Leisure Messages – SMS 7.
    • Sports Messages – SMS 8.
    • Religion Messages – SMS 9.
    • To receive all categories – ALLOW.
    • To check your stats – STATUS.

2. Etisalat Nigeria
To opt out of SMS advertising services on the Etisalat Network, simply send the letters STOP to the short code 224 as text message. You will receive a confirmation message.

3. Glo Nigeria
There are two types of unsolicited text messages service on the Glo network.

  • The first type is usually received with the a number starting from 547. To unsubscribe, simply send the letters UNSUB to the short code 547 as text message.
  • The second type is usually received from the number 8888, and is split into different categories, so you have to opt out from each of the categories. The following (bolded) text should be sent t the short code 8888 for you to be able to opt out of the category).
    • Word of the Day – UNSUB WORD.
    • Dating Tips – UNSUB DAT.
    • Romance – UNSUB ROM.
    • Health Tips – UNSUB HT.
    • Weight Loss Tips – UNSUB WLT.
    • Weight Gain Tips – UNSUB WGT.
    • Christianity – UNSUB CHRIST.
    • Islam – UNSUB ISLAM.
    • Jokes – UNSUB JOKE.

4. Airtel Nigeria
The process of opting out from receiving promotional text messages on an Airtel line is quite easy and straight-forward. Follow the following procedures:

  • Dial the code *902# using your Airtel line. A list of two options will pop up.
  • If you re willing to deactivate the SMS ads service, choose 2. You will be shown all of the text message categories you are currently subscribed to.
  • Select any of them and choose unsubscribe.
    • If you are willing to activate an SMS ad category on your Airtel line, choose 1 instead. A list of all promotional text messaging categories available will appear.Simply choose any category of your choice and select ‘subscribe’ in order to start receiving promotional text messages in that category.

I believe the above information has helped you. Now to the negatives.
The bad news is that some people have been unable to utilize the above codes in stopping unsolicited messages on their mobile phones. They get failure messages when the codes are dialed on their phones. The rate of occurrence is however, minute.
Have you tried out these methods to stop unsolicited text messages on your line? Which one(s) of them worked for you and which one(s) didn’t? Do let me know by commenting below.

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