How a WASP misled South Africans

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) suspended Interband Enterprises for misleading consumers. This followed an emergency panel hearing.

WASPA said that one of Interband’s products “appears to be highly misleading to consumers”. It added that the company “appears to be dishonest in both its dealings with WASPA and the public”.

WASPA was also not impressed with Interband’s service provider, Mira Networks, which it said is effectively a conduit for Interbrand’s breaches.

“We were distressed by the failure of Mira Networks to comment. We strongly recommend that they provide a response for the formal adjudication,” WASPA said.

The offending services

According to the WASPA complaint, clicking on a mobile banner took a person to a page with an alert that their data account may be at risk. This page contains some billing information.

This page quickly changes to another alert page, asking the user to insert their mobile number to continue to a virus scan app.

This page contains no billing information, and there is no clear indication that the person will be subscribed to a R7 a day service.

As is required by the WASPA Code of Conduct, the second page should feature all information, including billing. This page has no billing information.

Interband Ad
Interband Ad

WASPA said that the ad is flagrantly in breach of its rules, giving insufficient indication that it is a subscription service, especially as the page that does indicate this info appears to disappear automatically and before it can be properly read.

WASPA further found that the content of the message which is likely to cause panic in many consumers, and would lead to a quick and unconsidered response.

Interband is also facing complaints against it for sending unsolicited SMS messages. A ruling is pending on these complaints.

Mira Networks was contacted for comment, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.

No contact details for Interband Enterprises could be found.

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How a WASP misled South Africans