Vodacom has stated that it maintains a zero-tolerance approach to rogue WASPs and will help customers who have been billed by these parties.
Vodacom reiterated its stance to MyBroadband following a complaint from a MyBroadband reader about a rogue WASP billing.
The reader – a Vodacom customer – said he was billed by a WASP without giving it permission to do so in 2015, and attempted to resolve the matter with the mobile network.
He requested a refund of just over R580 at the time, but said this was never actioned.
The reader added that Vodacom told him to deal with the WASP directly, as it was not Vodacom’s responsibility.
Several years past, and the reader then saw MyBroadband’s article earlier this month on “Why Vodacom is not blocking all WASPs by default”.
The article contains a comprehensive statement from Vodacom regarding its stance on rogue WASPs, and how it always aims to help its customers combat illicit billing.
Vodacom said it has a zero-tolerance approach to any type of illegal activity that happens on its network, and takes a “hard line in the event that a third-party contravenes any agreement they may have with Vodacom”.
It added that “affected customers are fully refunded on first contact with customer care” when it comes to WASPs billing without consent.
“In fact, we pass the large majority of credits to customers, if not for all queries, as standard practice is to refund the customer first and then investigate the query/allegation later,” said Vodacom.
Having seen the statement from Vodacom in the article, the reader contacted the operator’s customer care centre to enquire about the WASP incident he was involved in during 2015.
He again asked Vodacom if it could refund him, as the network said it will do while it undertakes an investigation.
After contacting Vodacom, however, he received the following SMS:
WASPs are Wireless Access Service providers and these services would have been activated online by the user. Please note that these are third-party services, Vodacom does not take any responsibility for any billing on a subscriber’s account by a WASP.
They make use of Vodacom’s cellular network infrastructure and billing relationship with the subscriber to deliver and bill for these services, such as SMS voting, Traffic reports, Games, Competition lines, banking transaction charges.
Kind Regards, [Vodacom employee’s name redacted]
We fell short of our standards
Vodacom told MyBroadband that the SMS to the customer was “sent in error”.
“We have extended our sincere apologies to the customer involved and have offered a full refund,” said Vodacom.
“Vodacom stands by what it has said previously to MyBroadband with regards to our relationships with WASPs.”
“In this instance, the customer was not refunded on first contact with Vodacom Customer Care and our service fell short of the standards we expect.”