Vodacom prepaid customers hit by airtime theft

GreatWmR

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
714
This passed week my phone as automatically been opening up USSD type menus, even when locked. I'm worried I pocket dial "accept the R10 per day subscription" - does anyone know how to turn off or block these things (at least when the screen is locked)?
*111#
11
1
10
1
Thats how blocked there stuff
Though ive never received a prompt while my phone is locked
 

Geoff.D

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
16,165
Saw this coming when the whole new charging system was introduced.
Certain services are only accessible via airtime. Tried to use one of those services, loaded airtime and it was all gone before I even used the service. Now my airtime balance is constant, on ZERO.
All VC achieved with their new policy is to DENY me access to some services, which as a lifetime contract customer I used to have access to.
 

BBSA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
14,663
Saw this coming when the whole new charging system was introduced.
Certain services are only accessible via airtime. Tried to use one of those services, loaded airtime and it was all gone before I even used the service. Now my airtime balance is constant, on ZERO.
All VC achieved with their new policy is to DENY me access to some services, which as a lifetime contract customer I used to have access to.
Vote with your wallet.
 

Titan941111

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Messages
108
People who want to pay for things that way can then enable it (Opt in), not everyone opted in by default. The sellers of the product and/or Vodacom can then run advertising campaigns and make it super available on USSD to enable from first screen, not hide disabling it way deep 5 layers down.

Given the fact that not many others know about this ability, it either means the marketing department for it sucks at their job (and should be fired), OR that it is just a way to try to give legitimacy to this mostly scammy and theft ridden payment method.

I'm not gonna load R1200 airtime to buy Microsoft365, there is an added risk of the money not showing (there are complaint threads about airtime purchases not reflecting, so it's an added risk) and then you stuck between a rock (Bank customer care) and a hard place (Vodacom customer care).

And to permanently block such services seems to be *135# > 11 > 1 > 10 > 1 > 3

And Vodacom is discontinuing points from 31 July 2020, hope you also learnt something new ;)
I actually do think thatWASP/content services should be disabled by default as I'm sure the majority are fraudulent.

And your procedure of managing content services through USSD is partially correct, I say partially correct as it varies in 3 ways (prepaid, topup, & open contract) as the options in the USSD menu differ between the 3.

Don't ever, ever purchase airtime through your bank, buy from a shop like PEP that sells it at a discount or from a teller or if you really have to buy from home then you can purchase through vodacom's methods (USSD, my vodacom app, vodapay app etc...)
 

supersunbird

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
52,501
I actually do think thatWASP/content services should be disabled by default as I'm sure the majority are fraudulent.

And your procedure of managing content services through USSD is partially correct, I say partially correct as it varies in 3 ways (prepaid, topup, & open contract) as the options in the USSD menu differ between the 3.

Don't ever, ever purchase airtime through your bank, buy from a shop like PEP that sells it at a discount or from a teller or if you really have to buy from home then you can purchase through vodacom's methods (USSD, my vodacom app, vodapay app etc...)
So go to a physical store to buy airtime to pay for Microsoft365 subscription online? :unsure: Thank god for credit cards (and those virtual credit card things).

Anyway, this article is about prepaid, I have prepaid, so my method is for prepaid.
 
Last edited:

grok

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
21,663
Years ago when working on a project at VC HQ one of the auditors we did work for phoned VC customer support to try & reverse a wasp having deducted money from his account.
The operator promised to stop it but was giving the runaround for getting the money back, like it would take a month since Vodacom had to claw it back from the wasp.
He had access to billing so he was able to draw the wasps's current month's invoice during the call - and read out the amount to the operator - it was in the millions!!

Vodacom has been reticent to stop wasps all these years since it is a lucrative income stream to let the wasps fleece their customers.

You'd think there were laws against someone that has access to your account letting someone else deduct money fraudulently.
 

RandomGeek

Expert Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
1,156
You'd think there were laws against someone that has access to your account letting someone else deduct money fraudulently.
Don't get me started on banks allowing anyone with your bank details to run a debit order and deduct money from your account without permission - NAEDO fraud
 

Craig

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
20,101
Vodacon, everyone knows they are thieves but just keep on supporting them. I was on Vodacon for many years up until about 10 years ago, back then I moved to MTN, later to CellC and then eventually to telkom. Out of all of those it was only vodacon that stole my money.
 

RandomGeek

Expert Member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
1,156
For interest sake, what is the typical revenue split between mobile network and WASP? I would be guessing in the range of 50/50
 

Spliffcat

Executive Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2013
Messages
5,918
Vodacom and theft in one sentence. Should have added the ANC in there as well.
 

konfab

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 23, 2008
Messages
25,762
Golden opportunity for Telkom.

Make an advert telling people how to check whether WASPs have infected your account. Then state whether how much airtime they steal.

Give instructions to state how to turn it off.

Then tell everyone that if they don't want this to happen, they should switch to the network that blocks wasps by default.
 

Geoff.D

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
16,165
Unlocked my phone and saw this. Second time this week. Dual-sim (both Vodacom) phone, so not sure which SIM.

View attachment 883354
A classic example of the crap that VC allows and I am convinced, actually encourages. Did you by any chance work your way through the myVodacom App just before this happened?
 
Top