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MTN SA to root out WASPS

December 12, 2013 • Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

South African mobile service provider MTN has introduced a Token Based Billing (TBB) to address simmering distress experienced by its customers who claim that they are being unwittingly billed for content services they have not subscribed for by unscrupulous Wireless Application Service Providers (WASPS).

WASPs previously used Event Based Billing (EBB) as a mechanism to bill MTN customers for purchases or subscription services without getting their expressed consent. This normally occurred when customers unknowingly clicked on a link or URL which automatically triggered an unsolicited subscription.

Kanagaratnam Lambotharan: Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN South Africa (Image source: MTNBiz)

Kanagaratnam Lambotharan: Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN South Africa (Image source: MTNBiz)

“This will shelter our customers from unscrupulous service providers who ruin the experience of our unsuspecting customers. We are confident that this service will help to clamp down on this malpractice and will give our valued customers the peace of mind of knowing that the integrity of their accounts is safeguarded,” says Kanagaratnam Lambotharan: Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN South Africa.

Through an added value self-service option, making use of the new USSD string *141*5# to view, activate or cancel any WASP subscriptions, MTN customers can now ward off unwanted WASPS subscriptions. “We are giving our customers the freedom to manage their subscriptions without the need to call MTN Customer Services or the WASP providers directly to unsubscribe,” adds Lambotharan.

The new TBB system has additional controls and checks in order to protect customers and systems from abuse. This system will generate a token for customers to opt-in and approve their purchase or subscription to any WASP service before a customer will be billed.

MTN customers will now have access to the following information before approving a purchase or subscription:

·         The name of the WASP providing the service

·         The service or product being purchased

·         The frequency of the service

·         The amount to be charged per frequency once agreeing to purchase or subscribe

·         Disclaimer and/or Terms and Conditions, being agreed to in terms of authorising the purchase or subscription.

“The new TBB system is yet another way MTN is addressing its customers’ needs and offer them added value and peace of mind,” Lambotharan concludes.

Staff writer

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