NextBus sends unsolicited gibberish texts

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Photo by tantek

This just in: Reports of SF residents receiving unsolicited, meaningless, and quite puzzling texts from “41411.” We’re having difficulty determining just WTF that is, but here’s a sampling of the messages we received:

41411:: NextBus Alert:
5 & 20 min
South Lake Union Line
Westlake & Mercer

41411:: NextBus Alert:
@3:14PM
r=Rd
s=Hrsshe
d=Cntns Lp
2&24min

Rply: 1-30) for alert or S)ave
name

41411:: NextBus Alert:
0 & 7 min
White
MIMOSA

Which prompted this response from us:

STOP TEXTING ME, REMOVE ME FROM THIS LIST

Which got this reply:

41411: Sorry it didn’t work out for you. You won’t recv any further messages from 41411.help@41411.com

Is anyone else receiving these texts? Does anyone know what’s up?

17 comments

  • s

    HAHAHA “White MIMOSA.” Sounds like Muni is trying to tell you something.
    s

  • I got all three of the exact same messages. The “White MIMOSA” thing sure was puzzling.

  • JC

    Same here – got all 3. Seems like the stop is in Seattle.

    Didn’t respond and haven’t gotten any more.

  • AlexJB

    yep, got em this morning; didn’t have time to follow up. Made me think I’d unwittingly signed up to get alerts about some bus line. Haven’t gotten any more after the MIMOSA kicked in…

  • Mike

    Me too, tho I only got the first two. No Mimosas for me 🙁

  • Mike

    MIMOSA is apparently a stop on the white line at Western Kentucky University, from a quick nextbus google search…

  • I just emailed nextbus to ask what’s up, since I received these messages too.

    According to their privary policy: http://www.nextbus.com/help/privacyPolicy.shtml

    “Is my privacy protected?
    NextBus does NOT track your identity. The system only keeps track of the last stop selected on your computer. If you choose, you can even eliminate this record by turning off the cookies for your browser. You will still be able to obtain predictions.

    For cell phone, PDA, and SMS sites NextBus will only use any collected information for providing passenger information to you. NextBus will NOT use this information for any other purpose nor sell or distribute this information to any other organization.”

    Hmmm.

    Will let you know if I hear anything back from them.

  • Salmon Dave

    …”To get back to the warning that I received. You make take it with however grains of salt that you wish. That the brown acid that is circulating around us isn’t too good…”

  • Paige

    I got three text messages in a row, and I was genuinely confused. Now I wish I didn’t delete the messages.

  • 41411:: NextBus Alert:
    5 & 20 min
    South Lake Union Line
    Westlake & Mercer

    This alert is from Seattle… it’s based on the stop at Westlake & Mercer for the Seattle Streetcar, or more fondly referred to as the “SLUT” (South Lake Union Trolley)..

    crazy to see that here in SF!

  • Kathryn

    I emailed them to complain too and here’s how they responded:

    First, thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us at NextBus to let us know about the problems our SMS Texting service caused you. We sincerely apologize to you and we want you to know that we’ve taken a number of steps to not only correct the problem but to insure that it will not happen again.

    What happened? On Thursday, February 24th, due to a glitch in our SMS texting system, many who had utilized our NextBus SMS texting system in the past had a series of text messages sent to them. In most cases three texts were sent out. As soon as we became aware of the problem, we immediately shut down our texting system so that our engineers could troubleshoot the issue and fix it. Our primary concern was to insure that those receiving the messages didn’t incur additional texting costs or use up their monthly texting limit. We also fully understand how annoying it is to receive unsolicited texts.

    What have we done? The first thing we have done is completely deleted the texting database of all telephone numbers. In other words everyone has been “unsubscribed” from our system. We’ve also re-configured our SMS texting system that provides our real-time transit arrival predictions; the telephone numbers of those who use our SMS texting system in the future will not be saved in any way, shape or form. For those riders who “subscribe” to our system to have transit “alerts” sent to them by SMS Texting, you will receive your alert and one additional text the first time you subscribe. This additional text will inform you that you have subscribed.

    Again, we apologize for all of the annoyance and inconvenience we caused you.

    The Support Team
    NextBus, Inc.

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