WASPs are still breaking the law by charging you to stop SMS spam

Many Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPs) in South Africa are billing people to opt out of direct marketing, which is against the law.

Vodacom recently told its customers that it “has come to our attention that customers are still being billed for opting out of direct marketing via the WASP model”.

Vodacom told its bulk SMS customers the Consumer Protection Act, which came into effect on 1 April 2011, requires that customers not be charged or billed for opting out of direct marketing.

“SMS Reverse Billing Short Codes are available for WASPs to use to enable customers on the Vodacom network to opt out of direct marketing at no charge as required by the CPA,” the operator said.

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) Code of Conduct further states that the confirmation opt-out message must be free of charge.

Long battle

This is nothing new. In 2011, Vodacom sent out communication to WASPs to remind them that users may not be billed to opt out of direct marketing.

The Sunday Times recently reported that many consumers are tired of having to pay to opt out of SMS spam messages.

Despite the attention the issue received, many WASPs continue to break the law by charging consumers to opt-out of direct marketing SMS messages.

MyBroadband contacted WASPA for comment regarding the issue, and it provided this comprehensive response.

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WASPs are still breaking the law by charging you to stop SMS spam