SMS spam in SA a growing problem

Results of a new survey that was recently released by South African technology research company World Wide Worx suggests that more South African consumers consider SMS spam a problem.

Peter Searll from Dashboard Marketing Intelligence, the company that conducted the research, defined spam as “messages from advertisers that I didn’t ask to get.”

According to the 2010 results, when compared to 2009 results, more users said that they didn’t know where these advertisers got their details from.

Results from the SMS spam portion of World Wide Worx’s Mobility 2011 survey are shown in the table below.

SMS spam survey: Mobility 2011
Dimension 2009 2010
Scared to reply to these messages 46% 66%
I don’t know where they get my name from 65% 76%
Network should filter 57% 68%
SMSed them to stop but they haven’t 11% 22%
I get too many messages 55% 55%
Contain useful information 46% 43%
Can trust messages I get 24% 18%

The results indicate that more people were scared to reply to unsolicited SMS messages in 2010 than in 2009, and that more people believe that the networks should be doing something about it.

People are also finding the messages less informative and also trust them less than they did in 2009. This didn’t seem to discourage spammers, however. 

The amount of people that said they opted out of receiving marketing messages yet continued being spammed doubled from 2009 to 2010.

While the percentage for this troubling phenomenon is still relatively low, it shows a blatant disregard for the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) code of conduct.

What recourse is there?

WASPA previously explained that they only have jurisdiction over their members and said that they’ve seen a decline in SMS spam from WASPA members due to their hard-line stance on it.

According to a source, the heavy penalties imposed by WASPA has forced “rogue SMS spammers” to change tactics. Spammers now use their own “SIM farms” rather than WASPs to send out SMSes.

Since WASPA has no say over such spammers, the only line of defence left for the consumer are the cellular operators themselves.

Of South Africa’s big three mobile operators, only Cell C indicated that they were implementing measures to block SMSes from bogus sources.

Others recommended that consumers report spammers to WASPA or the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMA).

SMS spam in SA << Do you think more should be done?

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SMS spam in SA a growing problem