Recently I received an advertisement SMS from Standard Chartered Bank having “StanChart” as the Sender ID. I accidentally pressed the dial (green) key and to my surprise my phone started to call 782624278. All I could get was, however, an automatic IVR announcement saying that the number is invalid. For a moment I wondered where the phone retrieved the number from, as I did not have an entry name ‘StanChart’ in my phonebook, and certainly would never store an invalid number in my phone book.
The answer is that, Blackberry supports auto-detection of text in phone numbers, For example, you can have a contact with 1800-CALL-LTA as its number, and the phone will automatically call 1800-2255582 (Singapore Land Transport Authority) for you. My case was a similiar example, the phone automatically translated “StanChart” to 782624278 and dialled the number for me.
Although the first case (1800-CALL-LTA) is no doubt very useful to assist users in memorising the phone number, automatically conversion of an SMS sender ID to a phone number is sort of an overkill and result in the wrong number being called.
The same behaviour can be seen on iPhone as well. Windows Mobile, however, does not support the feature.