Vodacom’s WASP-blocking option that doesn’t exist

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.

However, contrary to its previous statements regarding the blocking of WASPs by default, we were told Vodacom does not offer subscribers an option to block all WASP subscriptions.

Near the end of 2017, Vodacom told MyBroadband it offered customers the ability to automatically block all WASP subscriptions on their SIM.

The operator said subscribers must complete a form requesting that WASP services be blocked on their SIM, preventing a WASP from billing them on that number.

Following our recent WASP-blocking tests, we visited a Vodacom store to fill out the form to block WASP services automatically.

We would then conduct tests on the Vodacom SIM to see if WASPs were blocked.

Unfortunately, we never made it that far.

The missing form

When visiting a Vodacom store in Centurion and requesting the form which would allow us to block WASP services by default on our SIM, we were informed by staff that no such form existed.

Instead, the store employee told us there was no way for them to block future WASP subscriptions on a SIM card.

They were only able to unsubscribe users from existing WASP subscriptions.

When it became apparent we would not be able to fill in – or find – the WASP-blocking form, we went to the Vodacom website.

Scouring the Vodacom website yielded no results, and we could not find mention of the form, or the blocking of WASP subscriptions on a Vodacom SIM.

We then called the Vodacom Customer Care line to speak to an agent about the issue.

After calling the help centre and requesting that our Vodacom SIM automatically block WASP subscriptions, the customer care operator said there is no way to disallow future WASP subscriptions on a Vodacom SIM.

They said Vodacom does not offer this service, and that the onus is on the customer to not subscribe to third-party services.

Having exhausted Vodacom’s consumer-facing channels, we contacted Vodacom for comment on the matter.

Vodacom responds

Vodacom told MyBroadband it has stopped the process where customers are required to complete a form to block WASPs.

“Customers can request to block WASP services through call centres/customer care. As part of our digital transformation, we are currently working on additional ways in which customers can complete this request,” said Vodacom.

It added that MyBroadband should have been given the option to block WASPs when we called its customer care line, and the network apologised for the option not being presented.

“We have reiterated the cancellation process to agents at call centres and Vodacom shops,” it said.

Now read: MyBroadband launches South Africa’s biggest-ever mobile network testing project

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Vodacom’s WASP-blocking option that doesn’t exist