Monday, August 14, 2006

Hit back at SMS Spammers

Spam is something that is widely associated with email, but this growing problem is slowly creeping into the world of SMS’s.
According to Dominic Cull, an associate at Niccifeguson Inc and an adjudicator for WASPA, recommended that people who feel there are being bombarded by spam go to the Wireless Applications Service Provider’s Association (www.waspa.org.za) for help.
“The Wireless Application Service Provider’s Association (WASPA) has set up a hassle-free way to deal with spam and other problems experienced with SMS communications,” said Cull.“They [WASPA] have a code of conduct (sanctioned by the networks) which is binding on WASP’s and a complaints procedure which can be used to lodge complaints for adjudication,” Cull continued.
The WASPA Code of Conduct covers issues such as:
• Spam – the Code specifies an opt-in system
• Subscription services
• Advertising and pricing
• Competitions
• Complaint resolution
• Adult services
According to Cull, if you believe that you have received spam which you have not consented to you can follow these steps:
1. Go to http://www.waspa.org.za/code/complaint.shtml
2. Fill in the Complaint Form and otherwise follow the instructions.
3. If you do not know the name of the Service Provider who sent you the spam SMS then say so and WASPA will figure it out.
4. Submit the Complaint Form after giving as much information as you can. Provide the full text of the message.
WASPA will then forward a copy of your complaint to the service provider and if it is a relatively simple matter it will be resolved within 5 days.
If not, the service provider will respond within 5 days and an independent adjudicator, a lawyer, will then make a finding.
What is encouraging to see is that WASPA have enough clout to take action that can genuinely hurt spammers.
“If there is found to be a breach of the Code then the Adjudicator can issue a reprimand, fine or suspension and can order compensation to be paid. The Adjudicator can, if the breach is serious and ongoing, request the Networks to take action,” states Cull.

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