Sheikh Abdullah hit with Etisalat spam again

At 1pm yesterday, Sheikh Abdullah tweeted that he had received another "flood" of ads.

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ABU DHABI // After Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took to Twitter on Sunday to say Etisalat was flooding his phone with SMS advertisements, the flow of spam stopped pretty quickly.

Or so it seemed. Yesterday Sheikh Abdullah was back on the microblogging service saying it had returned.

He had first tweeted his frustration on Sunday, saying: "I just received this message now: 'Dear customer, thank you for subscribing to Reuters breaking news service. You will soon receive the latest updates straight from Reuters to your phone'. I didn't subscribe."

He followed up with several tweets on the subject, including one saying: "I urge Etisalat to stop sending adverts and new services which I have asked to be stopped on my phone."

That spurred Etisalat into action. The company tweeted: "Our team is working on solving the problem since your first tweet was received. It will be resolved soon. Thanks for the cooperation of your Highness."

On Tuesday, Fintan Healy, the executive director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), said the body had "been liaising with His Excellency's office and all concerns are resolved".

Mr Healy said that since 2010, new customers had been given the choice of opting out of such services. He said any customers complaints were registered by the TRA and operators were given a warning, and if problems continued, a fine.

That, it appeared, was that. But at 1pm yesterday, Sheikh Abdullah tweeted that he had received another "flood" of ads.

Several of his Twitter "followers" responded suggesting he switch to du.

That may have been premature. At 7.14pm last night, Sheikh Abdullah tweeted: "Thanks to Etisalat for solving my problem."

But he added the company should "remember that I am only one customer … I hope they respond to other problems in the same way."