MTN forces new rules on WASPs to protect users

MTN has launched its “Treating Customers Fairly” policy, with the aim of preventing WASPs from taking advantage of its users.

MTN made the announcement in a letter to its WASP business partners.

The document stated that the reason for the implementation of the policy is the “deteriorating customer experience relating to digital services”.

This resulted in MTN experiencing:

  • High churn.
  • Increased customer complaints.
  • Negative brand impact.
  • Decline in Net Promoter Score.

“This policy framework is aimed at managing subscriber notifications, subscriptions and charging and is mandatory across all services on the MTN network,” stated the document.

The company said that most of the policy guidelines are covered by existing ICASA and WASPA regulations, but certain rules are not addressed.

All third parties connected to MTN’s network now have to adhere to these policy rules.

The rules

The rules in the MTN policy are detailed below, and must be implemented by companies from 1 July 2018.

Subscription renewal notifications

  • A free SMS reminder, starting with the word “Reminder”, must be sent to subscription service customers.
  • Daily subscriptions – A reminder SMS every 7 days.
  • Weekly subscriptions – A reminder SMS every 15 days.
  • Monthly subscriptions – A reminder SMS every 30 days.

The SMS reminder must contain the service name, pricing information, and instructions for terminating the service.

Terminating services

  • USSD subscription management menu options must allow customers to unsubscribe from “All” services or individual services.
  • Once a user has terminated a service, a free message confirming this must be sent to them.

Free trials

  • Customers who accept a free trial must not be auto-subscribed to the service at the end of the trial by default.
  • Customers can be taken through a double-opt-in process at the start of a free trial.
  • Customers must be told what the service’s price is and the billing frequency.
  • Customers must be sent a reminder message when their free trial ends and the subscription price if they continue using the service.

Charging attempts

  • A maximum of 3 charge attempts per day per service are allowed.

Subscriber de-registration

The following subscriber de-registration options will apply:

  • For daily subscriptions, a maximum of 7 consecutive days of unsuccessful billing is allowed. The subscriber must be removed from the service after this.
  • For weekly subscriptions, a maximum of 14 consecutive days of unsuccessful billing is allowed. The subscriber must be removed from the service after this.
  • For monthly subscriptions, a maximum of 30 consecutive days of unsuccessful billing is allowed. The subscriber must be removed from the service after this.

Protecting users

MTN SA Executive: Corporate Affairs Jacqui O’Sullivan told MyBroadband they are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring the best customer experience is achieved by focusing on customer needs and expectations, and meeting them.

“Our Treating Customers Fairly policy aims to ensure our customers achieve fair outcomes and that their relationship of trust with us is maintained and enhanced well into the future,” said O’Sullivan.

“The policy also requires the WASPs not to charge customers for any reminder message, while reminder messages should not be sent between 21:00 and 07:00 to avoid disturbing customers or customers not being aware of these messages being received late night or early morning.”

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MTN forces new rules on WASPs to protect users