WASPs continue to defraud cellphone customers

Have you been stung by a rogue WASP?

  • Yes

    Votes: 32 55.2%
  • Yes, but it was resolved satisfactorily

    Votes: 4 6.9%
  • No, never

    Votes: 22 37.9%

  • Total voters
    58

Durandal

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
1,232
Can support that claim, had several subscription services contact me in past weeks. Latest one isn't a WASP member, so there's not even any point in me complaining. Really is about time the cell companies themselves came to the party and stopped it. But we know they won't, 'cos it's too profitable.
 
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kilps

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Messages
2,620
So how do you know if you're being charged if you've got a prepaid account? (assuming that the code of conduct is not being followed and you are not getting reminders)
 

adrianx

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
3,629
Yesterday, for the first time ever, there was a "Content Charge" item on my MTN bill. It was Smartcall Technology Solutions charging me for a subscription to some sex site (chat.mob.vc) that I'd never seen/visited in my life. Not according to the receptionist (or whatever) at Smartcall.... she apparently had "proof" that I subscribed..... Whatever. I threw a little hissy fit, called them a crime syndicate and threatened them with the police.

I reported them to WASPA and complained over at Hellopeter but that's it. I will probably still have to pay... As for reporting them to the police, the police in my area have proven to me in the past (more than once) that they are not really interested in work. (Bribes seem to take up too much of their time :))
 

kaspaas

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
3,736
Have staff members being stung.

VC's response is that it is not their problem.

The WASP is not South African, and can't be touch with any means available to us small men on the street.

I wonder how fast Pieter Uys will get things sorted from a jail cell awaiting trial for assisting fraud.
 

Maddmatt

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
2,308
The attitude of our cellphone companies pisses me off. They're all a big crime syndicate.
 

biometrics

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
71,858
I've never had this problem and I'm wondering if it has something to do with who your service provider is. In my case I have a Vodacom number via Nashua. Obviously if I get dodgy charges I'm going to call Nashua and expect them to rectify it, not Vodacom.

So can we have a show of hands ... who is your service provider and have you had this problem?

Nashua: No
 
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Other Pineapple Smurf

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
14,586
Have staff members being stung.

VC's response is that it is not their problem.

The WASP is not South African, and can't be touch with any means available to us small men on the street.

I wonder how fast Pieter Uys will get things sorted from a jail cell awaiting trial for assisting fraud.

Hi, if they are billing the numbers, then they have to be a member/affiliate of WASPA which means they can be held liable. This is a requirement by all 3 networks when connecting to their billing platforms.

If the WASP was operating a rated premium shortcode, then thats consumer initiated and no WASP or network can be blamed.
 

stricken

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
2,265
They are giving us other WASPS a bad name. We will make sure they are brought to book through our contribution to WASPA.
 

dagwood4455

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2010
Messages
78
i also was billed about R150 the one month and R250 the other month for an apparent subscription I agreed to. Over this period they apparently sent more than 50 sms's related to this service (which I swear I never received). I took it up with VC, WASPA and the Service Provider (will post the name tomorrow from work). Waspa even raised an official investigation into the matter. VC said that their reports show that the sms's was delivered (to get copies of the report would have been a lot of red tape so i just left it into WASPA's hands). The end of the story was that WASPA dismissed my complaint (basically because VC's reports showed the sms's were delivered)
 

PwrpuffGirl

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
22
I had that happen to me when I was with MTN with Altech Autopage. I initially didn’t notice and then the billing went from R100 extra per month to R200 extra per month. I called Altech and had no help there. Tried to call MTN. We all know how easy that is. All you get are voice prompts. After days of investigation, I finally tracked a company in Joburg that was billing me. I stopped just short of issuing death threats. The funny thing is that I never even received the content I was being billed for. Altech said that you don’t need to receive it to be charged. The charges stopped shortly after my harassing phone calls.
 

Johnfpro

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
537
So how do you know if you're being charged if you've got a prepaid account? (assuming that the code of conduct is not being followed and you are not getting reminders)

A very good point; how do you know?
 

ike

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
586
So how do you know if you're being charged if you've got a prepaid account? (assuming that the code of conduct is not being followed and you are not getting reminders)

well, i guess youll just see your airtime *vanish* :crying:
 

ike

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
586
this problem is being complicated all the time, mainly because of the kind of money VC and MTN make from these WASP's revenues. but it seems pretty simple to me: the networks gave 3rd parties (WASPs) access to your account, and they must take responsibility for any charges that go off and refund their customers.

WASPs and the networks make a fortune from this fraud, coz out of the 100 000 or so customers that get fleeced, what percentage complain and get recourse? i wouldnt be suprised if more than 80% of the revenues of your typical WASP are fraudulent, hence nearly all of them registered in some tax-haven island. these idiots always invite government regulation, and are always surprised when it eventually happens.
 

damian24

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
827
There's an easy solution to this problem, if only the networks bothered.

The network, not the WASP, must send notifications of billing and you must confirm the sms before any deduction can be made.

Failure to confirm the network provider SMS to the network provider means the WASP is not athorised to deduct and no services are provided.

This way the final call to make payment lies with the network and the WASP doesn't have carte blanche to your account.

D
 

Antonf

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,896
The solution to this problem is actually very simple. I have scrutinised my contract with Vodacom and NO CLAUSE in it allows Vodacom to charge me on behalf of other entities. I have repeatedly asked Vodacom for the clause that allows them to do it, and never even received a response. Since Vodacom is effectively acting like a bank, paying service providers on my behalf, it is Vodacom's responsibility to ensure that I have authorised it, just like the bank needs a signature on a debit order. If there is no contract between me and a WASP and the latter instruct Vodacom to debit my account on their behalf, it is a fraudulent transaction. If Vodacom debit my account - it is an accomplice in the fraud. I just don't pay the amount for content services. Period.

Networks should be forced to enable a "Block all WASP activity" facility by default on ALL numbers. That will require customers to first enable WASP activity, and problems will reduce immediately. Fat chance they will do that.
 
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BobsLawnService

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
2,925
In the case of T-Mobile Vodacom is to blame. Despite all the complaints and T-Mobile being in breach of the Code of Conduct they are still connected to Vodacom's network. Vodacom makes a lot of money from them so they turn a blind eye.
 

CeeBee

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
2,267
I also think the network operators aren't reeeeeaaally worried about the problem. I'm sure they still get some portion of the billing of each unwanted charge on your account.
Me have been struggling for months with MTN about a daily R5 charge, on my kid's account statement.... Have been monitoring the cellphone, there is no strange sms that comes in, that one can opt out, or at least see where it comes from, to find the sender. Only the number on the statement. Have been asking MTN to check who/where it comes from, but they just show me the Finger :-(
 

Need4Speed

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
86
Vodacom/VAS bloodsucking parasites

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is a multi-million Rand fraud industry, operating in full view of the public. South African network operators are an absolute disgrace.

I still want a straight answer from Vodacom on what constitutes "proof of registration". Until they get their **** together, ALL WASP activity must be disabled by default, with an option to enable it OTA or OTW. There's no such an option on http://www.vodacom4me.co.za.

Pathetic
 
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