Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another MTN Disaster

MTN is my useless cell phone company. They are "celebrating" 15 years of being in business by running a money-making competition that costs R7.50 per SMS message to enter. It's a ripoff, and there is even a Facebook group to warn people about the scheme, called "MTN is for Dumb People".
What really annoys me is that I have been trying to get MTN to stop sending me marketing messages since 2006, all to no avail. I have tried emails, SMS messages, complaints to HelloPeter, calls to the Company Secretary, and just about everything else I can think of. Still, they insist on telling me about this competition via SMS.
Don't they understand that they are breaking the law? Are they that stupid, or just plain incompetent? According to the message, you can call 173 to get you name removed. This is wrong. They will tell you to send the word "STOP" to 30915, and ignore your request to have your name removed.
Update Friday: If you go to and supply your number to opt out, they send a "code" to your phone. My code reads "TEST MSG", which doesn't work. DUH!
Update 2: After perusing their PAIA details I called 011-912-3216 and left a message for the Company Secretary. Mr A Sithole called back, and promised to look into the matter. I have forwarded copies of previous correspondence to him.
Update Saturday 7pm: Yet another SMS came through, this time from +27839301015, without any information about how to stop further messages.
Update 4th July: 2 more messages, from 083-930-1015. If you dial this number you are told it is incorrect. It belongs to MTN.
Update 5th July: 3 more messages, from 083-930-1015. A call to 173 didn't help. They gave me the number belonging to a private subscriber instead of the competitions number.


Francois Viljoen said...

I got that SMS as well. Like you I was annoyed by it (and a few other things as well - just switched providers last week...).

I was just wondering though - is it really MTN sending out those SMSes?

I think premium rated SMSes are monitored for such things, but I've worked in the telco industry for over 5 years and I can think of a few ways in which an arb company could set up their own service and send out these SMSses claiming to be MTN.

Donn Edwards said...

It is definitely an MTN promotion because it's on the front page of their web site. The Terms and Conditions mention a promoter, so who knows for sure?