Lodging a Complaint with WASPA

WASPA stands for the Wireless Application Service Providers' Association, an association that has established industry regulations and codes of conduct for the wireless application service providers in South Africa.

The need for WASPA emerged in 2004. As a result of the massive growth of the mobile phone market, the increased capabilities of mobile phones, and the ability for third parties to bill for services, has lead to a proliferation in services and applications for mobile phones. Initially, the WASP business environment was largely unregulated resulting in some practices that were damaging to consumer confidence.

The idea of an industry body for WASPs was put forward by Leon Perlman in August 2004 and this was supported by WASPs and the network operators. WASPs realised that to have a sustainable and vibrant industry would require suitable regulations and the need to enforce them by means of an industry body. WASPA was then founded in 2005 and shortly thereafter drafted a Code of Conduct. This code has regularly been updated and is enforced by a number of independent adjudicators under the auspices of WASPA.

Almost all paid-for mobile content services and all commercial messaging, including application-to-person messaging, involve WASPs. The mobile network operators however do also offer some of these services directly. All companies providing WASP services in South Africa are required by the mobile network operators to belong to WASPA. However, it is important to note that that WASPA is not responsible for any mobile billing.

How to Lodge a Spam or Billing Complaint

You can lodge a complaint directly with WASPA if you feel you or your child have been spammed, or wish to report misleading advertising for mobile services, or complain about billings related to premium rate SMS services. You can check the WASPA Code of Conduct and the WASPA Advertising Rules to see which mobile industry regulations have been breached.

You can lay a complaint with WASPA online. You can lodge a complaint here. Alternatively, you can contact WASPA via email, call them on 011 476 7710 / 087 805 3328, or send a fax to 086 606 2016. WASPA's complaint's line operating hours are: 08h30 to 16h30.

Before laying a complaint with WASPA, first gather as much information as possible. The following details are important when submitting a complaint to WASPA so that WASPA can best assist you:

  • Your cellphone number, as a contact number if the complaint relates to your child's cellphone number.
  • Your child's cellphone number. If this cellphone uses a dual-SIM, then supply all the cellphone numbers associated with it.
  • The actual name of the WASP responsible for the billing or the mobile service. You can determine this by either checking your cellphone's itemised bill or by calling your service provider. If your bill only describes a service as IBS Subs, WASP Content, or the MTN event billing numbers (083 123 6701 and 083 123 6702), then you will need to contact your service provider for the WASPs details. If you know the shortcode or longcode, you can also identity a WASP on the SMS Code website.
  • A detailed description of the problem or complaint. If it is a spam complaint, then a record of the SMS content you received, including the sender's details and date/time information. If it is a subscription service or premium rate mobile content related problem, then the shortcode (for example, 35010) associated with the service.

Once you have submitted a complaint or a problem, then WASPA contact the WASP concerned. The WASP has five working days to resolve the matter to your satisfaction. If you are not happy with this, then you can request that the matter be reviewed by an independent adjudicator. A decision against a WASP may result in a hefty fine or suspension of their service, or both.

Complaints regarding services offered directly by Vodacom, MTN or Cell C should rather be directed at them, as WASPA has no jurisdiction over the mobile network operators.

Comments

Thank you for sharing the way

Thank you for sharing the way to lodge a complaint about the spamming and the billing. It was a very good post and I have to admit that it is very informatory too. Keep on sharing information like this.

OPT IN

Why does the goernment rather have a OPT IN register that marketers can use. Those who want to be contacted can register on the data base?

Mira Networks WASPA

I can not for the life of me understand that these unscrupulous operators are allowed to carry on as they please. Surely one needs to sign a document to enter into a contract? I've now seen it all.....I have a WASPA against a data card???? now how that is possible, no call, no SMS....thieving buggers, to say I'm pissed off is an understatement. Where can we register our numbers to indicate that we do not want unsolicited spam or services. Make it the service providers responsibility to check and see if they are allowed to send us unsolicited mail. If for some reason they do send, they should be guilty of an offence and liable to LIFE imprisonment hahahah. the responsibility needs to be on them as I am constantly inconvenienced by their actions, this is unacceptable.
The government needs to regulate these unscrupulous operators. NOW.

Mira

This Mira networks is the main bugger they have charged me numerous times between R300 to R800 a month and you cancel and it back again it comes to us in many ways the most common seems as a spam sms which so it is opened it takes it as you have excepted their terms of a daily rip off charge and trying to get your monies back is like like trying to get a rock to bleed sort of a government strategy ,I can understand if I by fault subscripted to it or wanting to subscribe .

airtime deductions.

Hi I would like to inform you that I have tried to contact you @ the following number 0114767710 which had a voice message stating the operating hours in which I had phoned but I could not get hold of anyone to stop the airtime deductions of the following cell phone number 0849747278 which I had no knowledge about my service provider has advised me that should you fail to respond within this day that I have to contact ICASSA with this issue regarding the problem I sicerely hope you terminate this deductions of my airtime linked to the above number thank you waiting on your response I find it strange that it is allowed by our service provider CELL C. To deduct from our accounts then they provide us with a number thats doesn't evn work and a suspended email adress I'm so sick o CELL C im blockin my sim and terminating all ties with them just need to know how do I unrica my name from that number very pissed off

airtime deductions

Please note that Parents Corner does not have a subscription service associated to it, nor can we unsubscribe you from any 3rd party subscription service. The best thing to do is to lodge a complaint with WASPA here: http://www.waspa.org.za/code/complaint.shtml.

airtime deductions

My domestic worker came to me for help because her daughter has money deducted by Cell C, every time she loads airtime, Yesterday was R10 and last week was R55!!!!
She had called Cell C and was advised that this is nothing to do with them, they said her daughter must have signed up for a content provider, which the daughter assures us she never did (and she always replies STOP, to cell messages.)

She argued with Cell C that since they pay for Cell C airtime, and have not subscribed to anyone else, it has everything to do with them. Finally they gave her a Jhb number 011 4767710, but that no is on message all the time. It's a Nigerian accent on the recording. Cell C refused any further help.

Maggie asked me to call Cell C and I have just done that and got through to a very rude woman, who also said it must be a content provider and that she does not have to give me any further information as it is not my cell number. I said that the family has asked me to help and this is a young girl from the rural area, how dare they do this to her. She said it is nothing to do with me, the cell phone holder has to phone her. I asked if her mother could speak to her as Maggie was standing next to me and she said no.

I have advised they must open a new number with another provider, but I think this is such a huge problem, it really is time that we take the providers on about facilitating these illegal charges.

I am shocked to hear that this is happening to poor people on Pay as you Go.

As my son says "if somebody took R30 out of your back pocket you would punch him on the nose but for some reason cell providers are allowed to just help themselves! And on the most spurious arguments."

The cell providers say they don't get anything out of these charges, but seriously? Why are they facilitating it if they are not getting anything out of it?
Ronnie

airtime deductions

hi Ronnie, please ask your domestic worker's daughter to contact Cell C again and to find out who the content provider is, Cell C will have this billing information. She needs to ask for a name and a phone number relating to any subscriptions associated with her cellphone number. Once you have the name of the service provider, you can lodge a complaint with WASPA (http://www.waspa.org.za/code/complaint.shtml) requesting the cancellation of the subscription service, how the number was allegedly subscribed to this service and when, and a refund.

WASP opt-out fraud

I was actually called from a JHB number - 011 062 3541. I answered the call and was met with a recorded message about music, games, etc. When asked to press 9 to opt out, I did so...and was then informed that I had subscribed at R3 a day.

I'm very aware of sms scams, but I didn't suspect anything when I answered an actual phone call. This WASP calls itself Mobile Marley (or Marlay). I have searched for contact info for 3 hours and can't find anything on them so I have no way of contacting them. The number that the call came from simply answers with the same recorded message.

I have lodged a complaint, but in the meantime, I'm going to lose money on a daily basis until it's resolved...if ever.

You can take this up with

You can take this up with your service provider - they will be able to tell you if the R3 per day is coming off your account/airtime and will be able to tell you as well who the WASP is.

This happened also to

This happened also to me...
This should not be allowed why must I now run around and try and cancel this, MTN or the Telecommunication regulation should not allow this to happen !!

UNASKED FOR SERVICES

I recently noticed and extra R90 on my cell phone bill for 'services' and phoned MTN to ask what this was. They said I was being billed for a service I had signed up for with a third party, and gave me the name and number. After days of phoning back and forth the company refunded me my money and cancelled any further billing. Since I use my cell phone for just that, I only phone or text message, I never sign up for nay third party services. MTN told me that you can block my cell number from being signed up for any outside (non MTN) services. This would be great, an you do this?
I tried many times to phone but you are engaged all the time

Unasked for services

All the service providers should be able to block your numbers from interacting with any mobile media services,give them a call and they will advise you further.

robbery

It also happenend to me that an extra amount is billed from a third party for which i did not subscribed.I phoned MtN and they just cancelled that so called subscribtion.They told me to phone the company`s called Tanla and Smartcall .I phone Tanla which told me they cant help me.I did not even phone smartcall.Well i think somebody working at MTN is in cahoots with these company`s stealing our money.

MTN in CAHOOTS stealing money

I agree. They are too blasé about it.

re: unasked for services

Only your mobile operator ie. MTN will be able to block your phone from 3rd party billing. They already do this for telemetry services. This ability is included in draft legislation proposed by ICASA, so it could become law.

As advice, everyone should regularly check their phone bills for any unauthorised billings, and report unauthorised content charges to www.waspa.org.za .

Never click on any links in any unsolicited SMS messages.

Any sms spam should also be reported to WASPA.

Airtime Robbery

I discovered that my airtime has been deducted by a company called Sprint Media and they claimed to be registered under the name: Pre Media, the managers name is Romina and could not provide her surname. Their telephone number is 021 300 2334 which must be in the Cape Town area.

They claimed that i subscribed to see pictures of a naked woman on the 25th June 2011 at 2:02pm on a "Wednesday", they said I have filled in my cellphone number and received an activation code which made it possible for me to view this and they have deducting money ever since, they claim to be sending me downloads which i accept continuously with no argument.

I asked the lady if this is a legal process to steal my money and she answered: yes but she will unsubscribe me immediately.

I tried to get hold of the big boss and she made up some excuse that there appears to be no boss, I got so frustrated and our conversation ended.

I have never heard of such nonsense and don't know how I got into this mess, I feel it is unfair that they can just steal my money and carry on with their lives, is this law full in this country???

I don't want to top up my account anymore in fear of them robbing me, please help me.

Contact your service provider

Contact your service provider and request them to block your sim from interacting with any mobile media services.Subscriptions that take place follow an optin process,so you need to be aware of the terms and conditions attached.Ensure that no one has access to your cellphone.

Sprint Media MOBMATIC

You are not the only person having a problem with this company.

Over the last two months, I have been receiving sms's telling me that I was subscribed to MOBMATIC. The odd thing is, I dont know who they are and have NEVER subscribed to them.

I attempted several times to phone them on the 021 3002334 number and only managed to talk to someone today. According to the person with the foreign accent on the phone I had subscribed to them on the 3rd February 2012 WHICH I NEVER DID.

When I informed her that i would be opening a case of fraud against them, she banged the phone down on me.

I have since contacted Vodacom to check if this subscription exists on my account and further requested them to unsubscribe me if my account is indeed being billed by these fraudsters.

I am in the process of lodging a complaint against them with ICASA and hope they can be shut down.

Sprint Media Reply

To whom it may concern,

We would be more than willing to discuss this matter further with you,if you could contact us on 010 500 8164 or via email to support@mobmatic.com

We would be more than willing to provide you with all the relevant information with regards to the subscription that had taken place and to resolve the query in an amicable way.

We look forward to your response.

Airtime Robbery

A route you can follow is to lodge a complaint with WASPA (the industry regulator). You can lodge your complaint by following the guidelines here:
http://www.waspa.org.za/code/complaint.shtml

OPT OUT should carry no charges

Many sites have been spamming my cell phone lately to offer services that I don't want. These are unsolicited SPAM SMS's. The companies are well known South African companies. The company that sends the SMS gets a portion of the value of a standard SMS cost for me to send OPT OUT to them. Imagine that! they are doing buisness simply by getting me to respond to their unwanted messages. 1000 messages at 50 cents apiece is R 500.00 ......
The ECT Act needs to be amended to ensure that OPT OUT messages are costless to the people being spammed.
The effort that one has to go to to get heard about this matter is incredible. There doesn't appear to be a cyber crime policing division in the country???

The Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act specifies that opt out messages should be free. Complaints can also be made to the Consumer Commission, specifically set up to enforce this act. I suggest giving this a try.

Currently the network operators do not make it possible for third parties to offer opt out for free, despite the CPA. The networks earn the revenue. There is no revenue share for third parties on standard rate SMS messages (except on MTN, which charges more than 50c for these messages - 75c I think).

It will soon also be possible to add your number to the CPA Do Not Contact Registry to block all direct marketing SMS messages.