Vodacom customers who subscribe to third-party businesses offering mobile applications and entertainment, will now have their subscribe requests verified by the cellphone operator before the subscription process is complete.
Vodacom announced yesterday it has deployed a robust technical solution to help improve third-party wireless application service provider (Wasp) exchanges. The solution, known as double opt-in, will ensure customers who request Wasp services receive a notification that will provide full service details, including pricing information and the Wasp's contact details.
According to Vodacom, the cellphone operator has taken full control of this process, whereas notifications were previously issued by the Wasps themselves. “In the Wasp model, Vodacom is a conduit with the responsibility of delivering messages from the customer to the Wasp and vice versa.
“Over two years ago, Vodacom was the first network operator to launch double opt-in business rules to ensure that customers were fully aware of pricing information and details of the Wasp providing the service. Since then, the double opt-in has been an industry practice, which is regulated by the Wireless Application Service Provider Association (Waspa).”
In the absence of a technical solution, says Vodacom, the onus to comply is with the Wasp and enforcement of these rules may not be effective. “Now Vodacom has taken full ownership of this service there can be no contravention of the rule, as it is enforced by a technical solution developed by the company.”Vodacom says this solution took time to complete and was fairly complex to deploy, “since it required [Vodacom] to have access to databases of over 100 companies with over 10 000 services on offer”.
Managing executive of digital media at Vodacom, Prins Mhlanga, says the aim of the security measure is to give not only customers, but also Vodacom, more peace of mind.
The service is called double opt-in because the initial service request from the customer is regarded as the first opt-in, and the confirmation of the service requested is regarded as a second opt-in. Only once the subscriber has confirmed the service request, will the customer be deemed to have subscribed for the service. The confirmation message from the customer will be of no extra cost to customers.
“Customers now have a guaranteed notification from Vodacom for all Wasp services purchased,” says Vodacom.
Vodacom customers with Wasp queries can dial 111 free from their Vodacom cellphone, or 082 111 from any other handset, or e-mail email@example.com.
Customers with Wasp complaints are urged to lodge them with Waspa online, or by calling 011 476-7710.
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