Many South Africans have complained about airtime being taken by Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPs).
This is often due to customers subscribing to content services provided by WASPs without noting the subscription charges, or opting in by accident.
Network operators have attempted to reduce accidental WASP subscriptions by implementing a double-opt-in process.
This requires the customer to confirm their subscription to a service before being subscribed and billed.
If you want to prevent WASPs from deducting airtime from your account, Vodacom, Cell C, and Telkom let users block all WASP-related subscriptions – as detailed below.
Telkom said its customers are required to complete a double-opt-in process to be charged by a WASP service.
“Double opt-in is a requirement for Telkom to allow a billing request from a WASP to ensure that no subscriber is automatically subscribed,” said Telkom.
Telkom allows customers to block subscriptions to all WASP services via the Telkom mobile app.
To view any active WASP service, open the Telkom app and navigate to Login > My product > Subscriptions > Content Services.
To block all content service subscriptions on your Telkom number, navigate to Login > My product > Manage > Protect Your Mobile Number and set it to ON.
Cell C requires users to complete a double-opt-in process to subscribe to a WASP service, and allows users to manage subscriptions via a USSD menu.
Customers can dial *133*1# to access the Content Services menu and manage any subscriptions active on their number.
Users can also block their number from being subscribed to any WASP services.
MTN requires users to complete a double-opt-in process when subscribing to a WASP service, and customers can manage their content services by dialling *141*5# and selecting Content Services.
MTN does not offer customers the ability to block all WASP service subscriptions, but users can select which services to unsubscribe from.
“In order for WASPs to subscribe customers to their services, MTN ensures that this must happen via a double opt-in, which is via a system called Token Based Billing,” said MTN.
Vodacom features a double-opt-in process for WASP services on its network, and customers can unsubscribe to all content services by sending an SMS with the words “Stop All” to 31050.
Subscribers must visit a Vodacom branch and complete a dedicated form to block all WASP services on their SIM.