According to Smartcom’s Customer Care centre, one of the biggest concerns regularly raised by customers is the disappearance of airtime. More often than not, the disappearance is due to WASP subscription on a customer’s cellphone number.

If you are a regular reader of Rafiki’s blog, you might recall previous articles explaining what WASP services are. If you missed those, you can recap here. In short, WASP services are mostly content based services that customers subscribe to. These content services are vast and can include things like receiving ringtones or images or receiving updates about information like the weather or lottery numbers. Subscribers pay for these services with their airtime on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

The problem is not the WASP services themselves, the problem arises with the way that people get subscribed to these services. By law, WASP service providers need to make it very clear to potential customers that they are about to subscribe to a service and what the cost implications will be. Sadly, this process is not always followed and results in mobile customers having unwanted WASP services deducting their airtime.

WASPA, South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Provider’s Association, has announced that in the first 6 months of this year, 156,285 people requested to have unwanted WASP services removed from their mobile numbers. This just shows that there are still many South African’s unaware of subscribing to services they do not want.

If you suspect that your airtime is disappearing (it usually happens in small amounts) this is what you should do:

1. Find out if your cellphone number is subscribed for any WASP services

Vodacom and Cell C customers can contact Smartcom’s Customer Care centre to find out if they are subscribed for any WASP services. Alternatively, you can also contact your service provider.

2. Cancel unwanted subscriptions

Once you know what (if any) services you are subscribed to, you can request for those services to be cancelled. The WASPA website offers an Unsubscribe Query System (WUQS) here: http://old.waspa.org.za/mtncc/

The WASPA website also contains a list of contact details for all the WASP service providers in South Africa.

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