Anonymous text business hoping to cash in on Valentine's Day (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Hainault-based business 'My Valentines Text' hoping to cash in on Valentine's Day with anonymous text message service
Money can’t buy you love but three entrepreneurs are hoping to prove that love can make you money with an anonymous Valentine's text messaging service.
Hainault-based entrepreneurs Sam Seller and Oliver Levy run ‘My Valentines Text’ a premium rate service that allows people to send anonymous texts at a cost of £1.50 a time during February.
The friends, who specialise in property development, have been running the service for two years in conjunction with Clinton’s Cards, but this year they are going it alone from their offices in Fowler Road.
Mr Seller, 24, said: “It took us nine months to get the permission to set up the service.
“We had to go through all manner of checks for terrorism, harassment and data protection laws, but we got there.”
By subscribing to the service, amorous texters are able to send messages to the object of their desire without revealing their identity.
Mr Seller says that the company keeps a log of all messages sent and that complicated algorithms prevent people sending crude texts.
He said: “We send a follow up message explaining that the anonymous text has come through us and that recipients can report any concerns to us.
“In all the time we have been doing it we have only had a couple of complaints.
“One of those was from a woman who was concerned she was being texted by someone she had taken a restraining order out on, but it turned out to be from someone else.”
The service is not age restricted, but Mr Seller said he was not concerned about teenagers running up big bills on their phones.
He said: “We are not out to cause any trouble. This is just a bit of a modern spin on the tradition of sending anonymous cards on Valentine's Day.
"Everything we do is above board and subject to monitoring by the governing agency for premium rate services.”
The men are hoping to deal with in excess of 10,000 messages on Valentine’s Day and say their own relationships will have to take a back seat on February 14.
Mr Seller said: “Ollie and myself are taking our girlfriends out for a meal in the evening, but we’ve told them our phones will have to be on the table. We will be working round the clock on the day.”
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