If you are tired of receiving unsolicited calls from sales agents, or get a lot of SMS spam, there are ways for you to fight back.
Recent reports showed there are many ways through which companies get hold of your mobile number, including public domain data, Facebook campaigns, and credit bureaus.
It is not easy to make sure you do not receive unsolicited calls or SMS messages, but there are avenues which can be pursued.
Here is advice from Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom on what customers can do to stop unsolicited communications.
- If you receive an unsolicited SMS, reply with the word STOP. The company which sent the message must remove your number from its message list.
- If you receive SMS spam, lodge a complaint with WASPA (Wireless Applications Service Provider Association).
- If you want to stop marketing calls and SMS, register your details with the Direct Marketing Association to opt-out of all marketing communications.
- You can report the sender of SMS spam messages to the National Consumer Commission for failure to comply with the provisions of the CPA.
- If you are a Vodacom customer, you can contact the care line on 082 111 and provide the number you have received the spam SMS from and Vodacom will unsubscribe you.
- If you receive an unsolicited sales call – the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) holds the company responsible for obtaining your personal information.
POPI set to change the rules
WASPA said the Protection of Personal Information Act, No. 4 of 2013 will regulate direct marketing messages and associated topics.
The Act will provide for how information may be collected, what terms and conditions must be adhered to, how this information may be used, and how it must be stored.
Depending on the provisions of the Regulations, which have not yet been published, it appears that this Act will require an opt-in model.
“Therefore, the consumer’s consent will be required before a company may send them direct marketing messages,” said WASPA.
The Act will also restrict companies from purchasing databases from third parties, as the collecting party must set out the grounds for which the information will be used at the stage when the information is collected.