Several MTN subscribers recently complained to MyBroadband that they receive a flood of SMS spam from the mobile network and that it appears to be impossible to unsubscribe from it.
MyBroadband’s own investigation revealed that using MTN’s *135# USSD menu to unsubscribe from marketing messages did not work. MTN appears to have subsequently fixed the issue.
“In recent weeks we have witnessed an increase of ‘opt-out messages’ queries from our customers, particularly from our mobile money services,” the executive for corporate affairs at MTN South Africa, Jacqui O’Sullivan, told MyBroadband.
“The majority of queries are from customers that have reported that they are receiving an influx of MoMo marketing messages.”
Following MyBroadband’s enquiry regarding the problem subscribers were having with unsubscribing from marketing messages, MTN said it found two main causes of the issue.
“Upon our investigation, we have established that the USSD *135# opt-out functionality does not reflect immediately across all the various MTN databases which leads to some customers getting a delayed opt-out status,” O’Sullivan stated.
“Furthermore, we have noted that some customers do opt-out of marketing services but not competitions or personalised offers which sees them continuing to receive related content.”
How to unsubscribe from MTN marketing messages
If you are on contract, select “Contract Management”. If you are on prepaid, select “Prepaid Service”.
Select “Change Consent Settings”
Select one of the types of marketing messages and toggle your consent setting to “No”
Repeat the steps above for each of the marketing message types.
Should you experience issues with the USSD opt-out method, MTN said that subscribers can use the MTN App to unsubscribe by selecting settings and tapping on the “legal” option.
You may also call the MTN call centre to be manually removed.
Some SMS messages are compulsory
O’Sullivan said that one important thing to note is that you can’t unsubscribe from all SMS messages – only those that are direct marketing.
“Some messages are mandatory, as per the ICASA End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations,” stated O’Sullivan.
“These include data depletion message and out-of-bundle usage notifications, which are not direct marketing messages.”