“Vodacom put a welcome tone on my phone without my permission”

A MyBroadband reader recently complained about issues with his Vodacom number, stating that his ringing tone had been changed without his permission.

A new “welcome tone” had replaced the standard ringing tone a caller heard when they phoned him.

You can buy or activate these tones for your mobile number, and anyone who calls you will be treated to whichever tone you have chosen.

The reader who contacted us did not choose to activate a welcome tone on his number, however, and he was unable to remove it once it was discovered.

He said he had previously been signed up to WASP services without his permission, and he was therefore careful to avoid signing up to content services accidentally.

Additionally, the reader had phoned Vodacom to permanently ban all WASPS on his number and received confirmation that this request was executed successfully nine months ago.

Complaints from callers

The reader said that he first noticed a problem when people who called him complained of a welcome tone on his number.

Upon contacting Vodacom, he was surprised to learn that a welcome tone had been activated on his number and asked support staff for help to remove the tone.

He said he was unable to remove it by following their suggestions due to system errors, and eventually he was told that the consultant had disabled the welcome tone on his number.

The reader said he received no explanation as to how the welcome tone was activated, but received an SMS saying he would be credited with R29 airtime.

When he checked the next day, however, his device was still playing the welcome tone instead of a standard ringing tone.

He contacted Vodacom for help to get it removed, as he found it unprofessional for callers to be presented with this welcome tone when calling his number.

The mobile operator was reportedly unable to say how long it would be until it was removed.

At this point, he contacted MyBroadband for help.

Valentines’ Day promotion

Vodacom told MyBroadband that it has removed the welcome tone from the customer’s number, stating that it was a free Valentine’s Day promotion which he had opted into.

“We can confirm that this was part of our Valentine’s Day campaign, which ran for the month of February,” Vodacom said.

“We offered customers free Welcome Tones during this campaign.”

“After the 30 day period, the Welcome Tone would be automatically deactivated, and the default ringtone will kick in.”

“We can confirm that this campaign was made available at no cost to the customer,” Vodacom said.

The operator said the offer was valid for 30 days from the day of activation, and its systems would have automatically removed the welcome tone 30 days.

No double-opt in

When asked how the customer was subscribed without his permission, Vodacom said he was subscribed to the service by clicking on a banner.

“In this case, the customer clicked on a banner. This is how they subscribed to the service,” Vodacom said.

The operator did not state whether a double opt-in mechanism was made available to the reader.

Vodacom said that customers have several options to opt in and out of welcome tone subscriptions, detailed below:

  • Dial *117*987# and follow the prompts
  • Dial 117800 (toll-free).
  • SMS “Stop” to 1178

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“Vodacom put a welcome tone on my phone without my permission”