[LISTEN] How you can resolve unathourised content subscription charges

Several CapeTalk listeners have complained about cellphone service providers charging a hefty fee on content that they have never subscribed to.

I am not sure how one actually okay's subscriptions... R3 000 to R4 000 a bill.

CapeTalk caller

What these people do is they switch the code behind the button so when you click the no button you are actually clicking the yes button so I went to the network operator and I said this what has transpired what can you do about it, they said we can do nothing about it, we rent the SMS platform to a content provider and what they do with that we have no jurisdiction over.

CapeTalk caller

Kieno Kammies spoke to network providers MTN and Cell C, as well as James McNab, chairman of the Wireless Application Service Provider' Association (Waspa) for their stance on the charges.

READ: How to reduce your cellphone bill

McNab explains how customers cannot be duped into unwanted subscriptions.

There us a process that you have to follow and when you are confirming with a network operator that you are accepting a charge for a subscription service, it details the amount that you are being charged and the frequency, and what the name of the service is.

James McNab, Chairman of the Wireless Application Service Provider' Association

You get people that don't necessarily comply with the regulations per say but that doesn't mean that they are doing anything scrupulous. It can be something as simple as a minor detail that is left off, but that's where the code sits, anyone that is found in that will be investigated. If it goes to a formal complaint it is adjudicated on by an independent ICT lawyer and the relevant sanctions are imposed against that member.

James McNab, Chairman of the Wireless Application Service Provider' Association

MTN's Lee-Ann Harris says they have put better measures in place over the years to protect customers and complaints have lessened.

Our complaints have gone down by 30 to 40 percent in this regard.... those complaints that we are receiving, when investigated 90 percent of the time we find that the customer did subscribe, with authorising the billing.

Lee-Ann Harris, Senior Manager: WASP at MTN

Listen to more here....

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