WASPA Code of Conduct

Version 13.0 (ratified 2014-05-26, effective 2014-08-26)

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1. Introduction

About WASPA

1.1 WASPA is a non-profit body, founded in 2004, which represents the interests of mobile application service providers operating in South Africa. WASPA provides a neutral forum for members to address issues of common interest and interact with industry stakeholders, network operators and government bodies.

1.2. WASPA aims to ensure that consumers receive world-class services and that members operate according to ethical and reasonable business practices. The WASPA Code of Conduct was developed as part of an industry self-regulatory framework.

Scope of the Code

1.3. The primary objective of the WASPA Code of Conduct is to ensure that members of the public can use mobile services with confidence, assured that they will be provided with accurate information about all services and the pricing associated with those services.

1.4. The Code aims to equip customers and consumers with a mechanism for addressing any concerns or complaints relating to services provided by WASPA members, and a framework for impartial, fair and consistent evaluation and response to any complaints made.

Objectives of the Code

1.5. The WASPA Code of Conduct is binding on all WASPA members.

1.6. Unless otherwise specified, this Code of Conduct applies to all mobile application services offered by WASPA members to customers in South Africa.

1.7. Where this Code deals with services provided by members, it applies only to mobile application services, and not to other unrelated services that the member may provide.

Alterations to the Code

1.8. WASPA reserves the right to make alterations to this Code of Conduct from time to time, following due consultation with members. The amended Code of Conduct remains binding on all WASPA members.

1.9. WASPA will notify members of any changes to the Code of Conduct and will make each version of the Code available on the WASPA web site.

1.10. WASPA reserves the right to immediately amend or alter this Code of Conduct without due consultation with members if directed to do so by a court of law.

Disclaimers

1.11. WASPA's office bearers, employees and contractors shall not be held liable for any consequences that may arise from the implementation of this Code or for the failure to implement the Code.

1.12. This Code of Conduct does not constitute legal advice, nor is it warranted as legal advice.

2. Definitions

Placement of definitions

2.1. Terms defined in all sections of the Code have the same meaning throughout the Code.

Undefined terms

2.2. Any undefined terms will be given their ordinary meaning as defined in the Oxford English Dictionary.

General definitions

2.3. "Member" means a member of WASPA.

2.4. A "premium rated" service is any service charged at a higher rate than a standard rate service.

2.5. A "standard rated" service is one charged at the nominal rate on a typical customer's billing plan.

2.6. "WASPA" means the Wireless Application Service Providers' Association, a nonprofit organisation registered in terms of the Nonprofit Organisation Act, 1997, registration number 115-491 NPO.

2.7. A "web page" is a document on the world-wide web, and includes pages accessed by a mobile phone using protocols including but not limited to WAP and HTTP.

3. Services provided by customers

Extent to which the Code applies to customers of members

3.1. If a customer of a member provides services covered by this Code of Conduct, those services are subject to the relevant provisions of this Code, as if that customer was a member.

3.2. If a customer of a member is found to have breached this Code of Conduct, that member must abide by any order to suspend or terminate the services offered by that customer.

Customers who are also WASPA members

3.3. In the case of a customer who is also a member of WASPA, any complaint regarding the services provided by that customer should be directed to that customer. WASPA's members must assist WASPA in identifying services that belong to customers who are also members of WASPA.

3.4. A member is not liable for any breaches of this Code of Conduct resulting from services offered by a customer, if that customer is also a member of WASPA, provided that the member can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that that customer provides services in a manner consistent with the requirements of this Code of Conduct.

Customers who are not WASPA members

3.5. Members must ensure that any customer who is not a member of WASPA, but is providing services covered by this Code of Conduct, is aware of the requirements of this Code of Conduct.

3.6. Members must ensure that any customer who is not a member of WASPA, but is providing services covered by this Code of Conduct, provides those services in a manner consistent with the requirements of this Code of Conduct.

3.7. A member is liable for any breaches of this Code of Conduct resulting from services offered by a customer, if that customer is not also a member of WASPA. If the member can demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that that customer provides services in a manner consistent with the requirements of this Code of Conduct, this must be considered as a mitigating factor when determining the extent of the member's liability for any breaches.

4. General provisions

Employee awareness of the Code

4.1. Members must ensure that any relevant employees are made aware of this Code of Conduct and any associated procedures.

Professional conduct

4.2. Members must at all times conduct themselves in a professional manner in their dealings with the public, customers, other service providers and WASPA.

Freedom of expression

4.3. Members must respect the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

Intellectual property

4.4. Members must respect the intellectual property rights of their clients and other parties and must not knowingly infringe such rights.

Content control

4.5. Members must not knowingly transmit or publish illegal content.

4.6. If a member becomes aware of illegal content under that member's control, the member must, immediately suspend access to that content. Where required to do so by law, the member must report the illegal content to the relevant enforcement authority.

4.7. Members must co-operate with any content orders lawfully issued by enforcement authorities.

Decency

4.8. Members must not provide any services or promotional material that:

  1. contains a visual presentation of explicit violent sexual conduct, bestiality, incest or rape or extreme violence which constitutes incitement to cause harm;
  2. results in any unreasonable invasion of privacy;
  3. induces an unacceptable sense of fear or anxiety;
  4. encourages or incites any person to engage in dangerous practices or to use harmful substances;
  5. induces or promotes racial disharmony;
  6. causes grave or widespread offence; or
  7. debases, degrade or demeans.

4.9. A service must not be replaced on the same number by another service that might give offence to or might be inappropriate for customers reasonably expecting the original service.

5. Customer relations

Service levels

5.1. Members must not offer or promise services that they are unable to provide.

5.2. Services must not be unreasonably prolonged or delayed.

5.3. A member is not liable for any failure to provide a service due to circumstances beyond that member's control.

Provision of information to customers

5.4. Members must have honest and fair dealings with their customers.

5.5. Members must not knowingly disseminate information that is false or deceptive, or that is likely to mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration or omission.

5.6. Each member must provide contact details on their main corporate web site, which must include the member's registered company name, telephone number, email address and physical address.

Terms and conditions

5.7. A web page containing the full terms and conditions of a service must be readily available to current and potential customers of that service.

5.8. The full terms and conditions for any service provided by a member must contain:

  1. the registered company name of the WASPA member providing the service;
  2. a customer support number;
  3. unsubscribe instructions (for subscription services);
  4. any handset compatibility requirements for the service;
  5. an indication that network fees may apply;
  6. an indication of how billing errors are handled;
  7. a statement that the service must only be used with the permission of the bill-payer (for paid services);
  8. a statement that the service must only be used with the permission of a parent or guardian (for children's services); and
  9. the following statement:
    "[member name] is a member of WASPA and is bound by the WASPA Code of Conduct. Customers have the right to approach WASPA to lodge a complaint in accordance with the WASPA complaints procedure. [member name] may be required to share information relating to a service or a customer with WASPA for the purpose of resolving a complaint. WASPA web site: www.waspa.org.za".

5.9. The terms and conditions for any service must not contain clauses that contradict the requirements of this Code of Conduct.

5.10 Whenever a customer is asked to consent to the terms and conditions of a service, it must not be assumed that the customer consents by default; a customer must take a specific action to confirm consent. (Example: A consent tick-box must be empty when presented to the customer, and the customer must click on the tick-box to indicate consent.)

Customer support

5.11. Customer support must be easily available, and must not be limited to a medium that the customer is unlikely to have access to. (Example: support should not be limited to email if a significant number of customers do not have access to email).

5.12. Telephonic support must be provided via a South African telephone number and must function effectively. Customer support must be provided via standard rated numbers, and may not be provided via premium rated numbers. Should the member be unable to provide immediate support, a customer should be provided with the ability to leave a message. Support numbers must not forward to full voice mailboxes.

5.13. The option of speaking to a call centre consultant (or leaving a message for a call centre consultant) should be obvious to the caller.

5.14. Members must have a procedure allowing consumers to lodge complaints regarding the services provided. Members must acknowledge receipt of complaints expeditiously, and must respond to any complaints within a reasonable period of time.

Privacy and confidentiality

5.15. Members must respect the constitutional right of consumers to personal privacy and privacy of communications.

5.16. Members must respect the confidentiality of customers' personal information and will not sell or distribute such information to any other party without the explicit consent of the customer, except where required to do so by law.

Refunds

5.17. Any refunds provided by members to customers must be provided either in South African Rands, air-time or any other form acceptable to the customer. Refunds must not cause the customer to incur any bank charges, or alternatively must compensate the customer for any bank charges incurred. Refunds must not be unreasonably delayed.

6. Billing threshold notifications

Definition of billing threshold

6.1. The "billing threshold" for any service is a total cost of R200 for that service for any calendar month.

Requirement to confirm billing over the threshold

6.2. The requirement to confirm billing over the threshold only applies to services where the customer is not already confirming the billing of the service. Specifically, subscriptions services (where the customer is already confirming the service via double-opt in) and ad hoc billing (where the customer is required to confirm each individual transaction) do not require billing threshold notices.

6.3. Once a customer reaches the billing threshold for a service, the member must send that customer a notification that they have reached that limit. The member must keep a record of this notification, and provide that information to the customer, on request.

6.4. Where a member is in control of the billing for a service, in addition to the notification, a communication must be obtained from the customer confirming acceptance of any costs over the billing threshold before any additional charges can be billed. The member must keep a record of this communication, and provide that information to the customer, on request.

6.5. Once a customer reaches any multiple of the billing threshold for a service, the member must send that customer a further notification of the total cost incurred for that service so far. The member must keep a record of this notification, and provide that information to the customer, on request.

Ability of a customer to opt-out of billing threshold notifications

6.6. A customer may enter into a contract with a WASPA member to opt-out of the required billing threshold reminders provided that:

  1. Any such contract between the service provider and the customer is clear and easily understood.
  2. The provisions in the contract which deal with opting out from reminders must be obvious to the customer and not hidden in the general terms and conditions or otherwise.
  3. The contract contains a description of the service provided, the duration for which the service will be provided, the frequency and amount of any billing, and information on the mechanism the customer can use to terminate the service.
  4. A copy of the contract is retained by the service provider.
  5. A copy of the contract is made available to WASPA in the case of any dispute.
  6. The contract must provide the customer with the ability to request the resumption of the billing threshold reminders.

7. Provision of information to WASPA

Nominated representatives

7.1. Each member must supply WASPA with contact information (including at least a telephone number and an email address) for a primary and a secondary Code of Conduct representative.

7.2. Should the nominated representatives change, or the contact information for the representatives change, the member must notify WASPA of the changes.

Provision of information about services

7.3. Members must provide WASPA, on request, with a list of all short codes, long codes and alphanumeric identifiers assigned for use with that member's services or the services of any of the member's customers.

7.4. Members must not refuse a reasonable request from WASPA for information about the services they operate, for the purpose of testing those services or for the purposes of resolving a complaint.

7.5. Members must provide WASPA with any customer records relating to any service which is the subject of a complaint, including, but not limited to:

  1. all communications sent by or to a customer in the process of joining a service;
  2. all required reminder messages sent to a customer;
  3. a detailed transaction history indicating all charges levied and the service or content item applicable for each charge; and
  4. any record of successful or unsuccessful service termination requests.

8. Advertising in general

Definition of pricing information

8.1. For an ad hoc transaction, the "pricing information" consists of the cost to the customer for that transaction. Examples of pricing information: "R5 once off", "R10".

8.2. For a subscription service, the "pricing information" consists of the word "subscription" and the cost to the customer and frequency of the billing for the service. The cost and frequency portion of the pricing information must follow the following format, with no abbreviations allowed: "RX/day", "RX/week", or "RX/month" (or RX.XX if the price includes cents). For services billed at an interval other than daily, weekly or monthly, the required format is "RX every [time period]", with no abbreviations permitted when specifying the time period. Examples of pricing information: "Subscription R5/week", "R1.50/day subscription", "RX every three days", "RX every two weeks".

8.3. For a notification service, the "pricing information" consists of the cost to the customer for the notification service, including any regular and incremental costs. Examples of pricing information: "R5/notification", "R10/month plus R1/notification".

8.4. For a promotional competition, the "pricing information" consists of the total cost to the customer for an entry into that competition plus the words "per entry". Examples of pricing information: "R1.50 per entry", "R1 per entry".

8.5. For a contact and/or dating service, the "pricing information" consists of the cost to the customer for using the service. Examples of pricing information: "R1/message", "R5/month subscription".

8.6. For a service not covered above, which is billed on the basis of time or sessions of a particular length of time, the "pricing information" consists of the cost to the customer for using the service plus the time interval at which costs are incurred. Example of pricing information: "R1.80 per 30 seconds or part thereof"

Accuracy of pricing information

8.7. Pricing information must not be misleading. The price must be the full retail price of the service, including VAT. There must not be any hidden costs over and above the price included in the pricing information.

Accuracy of content advertised

8.8. Content that is promoted in advertising, must be the same content that is provided to the customer as part of the advertised service.

Definition of call-to-action

8.9. A "call-to-action" is any link, input box, short-code, or any other component of an advert which triggers the confirmation step for a transaction or a service.

Language

8.10. The language used in all communications with the customer must be the same as the language used for the initial advertising, unless the customer elects to change the language.

9. Television and cinema advertising

Display of pricing information

9.1. For any television or cinema advert, pricing information does not need to be displayed for services which are free, or which are billed at standard rates. For all other services, pricing information for the service must be shown on the screen for the entire duration of the advert. Pricing information must be clearly and prominently displayed immediately adjacent to the call-to-action.

9.2. There must not be any intervening text or images between the call-to-action and the pricing information. Pricing information must be legible, horizontal and presented in a way that does not require close examination. Pricing information must not be obscured by any other information. Pricing information must not be animated.

Display of minimum terms and conditions

9.3. For any television or cinema advert, the minimum terms and conditions for the use of the service must be shown on the screen for the entire duration of the advert. The minimum terms and conditions must be clearly displayed at the bottom of the screen. They must be legible, horizontal, and not obscured by any other information. They must be static and may not scroll across the screen.

9.4. The minimum terms and conditions displayed on any television or cinema advert must include at least the following information:

  1. a customer support number, and
  2. a link to a web page where the full terms and conditions for the service are available, and an indication that that link leads to the terms and conditions.

10. Radio advertising

Pricing information

10.1. For any radio advertising, pricing information does not need to be announced for services which are free, or which are billed at standard rates. For all other services, radio advertising must include a voice over stating the pricing information clearly and unambiguously.

Terms and conditions

10.2. Any radio advertising must include a statement that terms and conditions apply. "Ts&Cs" is an acceptable verbal abbreviation for "terms and conditions".

11. Print advertising

Definition

11.1 "Print advertising" includes, but is not limited to, advertising appearing in newspapers and magazines, on flyers and leaflets, distributed via email, in store promotional material, billboards and other outdoor advertising.

Display of pricing information

11.2. For any print advert, pricing information does not need to be displayed for services which are free, or which are billed at standard rates. For all other services, pricing information for the service must be clearly and prominently displayed immediately adjacent to the call-to-action.

11.3. There must not be any intervening text or images between the call-to-action and the pricing information. Pricing information must be legible, horizontal and presented in a way that does not require close examination. Pricing information must not be obscured by any other information.

Display of minimum terms and conditions

11.4. For any print advert, the minimum terms and conditions for the use of the service must be included at the bottom of the advert. They must be legible, horizontal, and not obscured by any other information.

11.5. The minimum terms and conditions displayed on any print advert must include at least the following information:

  1. a customer support number, and
  2. a link to a web page where the full terms and conditions for the service are available, and an indication that that link leads to the terms and conditions.

Adverts with a long shelf-life

11.6. For adverts which are likely to have a shelf-life of more than one month, the date of publication must be stated and an indication provided that the information is correct as at the date of publication.

12. Web advertising

Display of pricing information

12.1. For any web page, pricing information does not need to be displayed for services which are free, or which are billed at standard rates. For all other services, where there is a call-to-action, pricing information must be clearly and prominently displayed immediately adjacent to the call-to-action.

12.2. There must not be any intervening text or images between the call-to-action and the pricing information. Pricing information must be legible, horizontal and presented in a way that does not require close examination. Pricing information must not be obscured by any other information. Pricing information must not be animated. It must not be a requirement that the viewer of an advert has additional software installed in order to see pricing information in the advert.

Verification of a customer's number

12.3. A member must confirm that any MSISDN entered into a web page by a customer is, in fact, an MSISDN belonging to that customer. This must be done in one of the following ways, or in a functionally equivalent manner:

  1. The customer's mobile carrier can provide the member with confirmation.
  2. The member can send an SMS to the customer's MSISDN containing a unique password or PIN which, when entered on a web page, validates the handset number.
  3. The member can send an SMS to the customer's MSISDN containing a unique link, which, when clicked, validates the handset number.

Display of minimum terms and conditions

12.4. For any web page advertising a service for which there is not a subsequent confirmation step containing a link to the terms and conditions, the minimum terms and conditions for the use of the service must be clearly displayed at the bottom of the web page.

12.5. The minimum terms and conditions displayed on any web page must include at least the following information:

  1. a customer support number, and
  2. a link to a web page where the full terms and conditions for the service are available.

13. USSD advertising

Display of pricing information

13.1. For any service offered using USSD, pricing information does not need to be displayed for services which are free, or which are billed at standard rates. For all other services, pricing information must be clearly and prominently displayed at the top of the first page. Any additional costs associated with specific menu selections must be clearly indicated.

Display of minimum terms and conditions

13.2. The minimum terms and conditions for a USSD service must be clearly and easily available and must include at least the following information:

  1. a customer support number, and
  2. the full terms and conditions for the service, or a clear and unambiguous indication of where the full terms and conditions for the service are available.

14. Ad hoc transactions

Record keeping

14.1. For all ad hoc transactions the member must keep a record of the source of the transaction request, and provide that information to the customer, on request. Records must be kept for a period of at least three years after the date of the transaction.

Confirmation step

14.2. For all ad hoc transactions that are service-provider initiated, there must be an additional specific confirmation step before the customer is billed. This confirmation step must be provided in one of two ways:

  1. The customer's mobile carrier may implement the confirmation step.
  2. The member can present the customer with a confirmation step.

15. Subscription and notification services

Definitions

15.1. A "subscription service" is any service for which a customer is billed on a repeated, regular basis without confirming each individual transaction.

15.2. A "notification service" is any service where there are ongoing charges for the service that are not individually authorised by the customer, but which are not subscription services, because the billing is not repeated/regular.

Record keeping

15.3. For all subscription and notification services the member must keep a record of the source of the service initiation request, and all subsequent interactions with the customer. Those records must be made available to the customer, on request. Records must be kept for a period of at least three years after the customer terminates the service.

General requirements

15.4. A member must not require that a customer join a subscription or notification service in order to claim an existing reward, to be able to redeem existing loyalty points or to claim a similar benefit. (Example of incorrect marketing: "to claim your prize, join this service".)

15.5. A member may offer an incentive for joining a subscription or notification service, provided that it is clear that the benefit only applies once the customer has joined the service. (Example: "if you join this subscription service, you will be entered into a monthly draw for a prize".)

15.6. Once a customer has joined a subscription service, neither the amount and frequency of the billing nor the frequency of the service may be increased without the customer's explicit permission.

15.7. Once a customer has joined a notification service, the amount of the charges may not be increased, nor may the trigger for the notification service billing be altered without the customer's explicit permission.

15.8. Billing for subscription services must not exceed the total amount specified in the pricing information.

Subscriptions initiated via a web page

15.9. For all subscription services initiated via a web page, there must be an additional specific confirmation step before the customer is billed. This confirmation step must be provided in one of three ways:

  1. The customer's mobile carrier may implement the confirmation step.
  2. The member can provide the customer with a "confirmation page".
  3. The member can send a "confirmation message" to the customer. The customer must not be charged for the confirmation message.

15.10. A confirmation page must contain the following information:

  1. the name of the service,
  2. the pricing information,
  3. a customer support number,
  4. instructions for confirming the initiation of the subscription service, and
  5. a link to any applicable terms and conditions.

Additional information about the service may also be included, provided it follows the above information.

Subscriptions initiated via an SMS

15.11. For all subscription services initiated by the sending of an SMS, there must be an additional specific confirmation step before the customer is billed. This confirmation step must be provided in one of two ways:

  1. The customer's mobile carrier may implement the confirmation step.
  2. The member can send a "confirmation message" to the customer. The customer must not be charged for the confirmation message.

15.12. A confirmation message must contain only the following information, in this order:

  1. the name of the service,
  2. the pricing information,
  3. a customer support number,
  4. instructions for confirming the initiation of the subscription service, and
  5. (optionally) additional information about the service.

Subscriptions initiated via USSD

15.13. For all subscription services initiated via USSD, there must be an additional specific confirmation step before the customer is billed. This confirmation step must be provided in one of two ways:

  1. The customer's mobile carrier may implement the confirmation step.
  2. The member can present the customer with a confirmation step via USSD.

15.14. The confirmation step must present the following information, in this order:

  1. the name of the service,
  2. the pricing information,
  3. a customer support number, and
  4. instructions for confirming the initiation of the subscription service

15.15. The option to unsubscribe must be listed in the top-level menu of any USSD-initiated subscription service, under the heading "unsubscribe".

Welcome message

15.16. Once a customer has joined a subscription or notification service, an SMS message must immediately be sent to the customer confirming the initiation of the service. This message is referred to as the "welcome message". The customer must not be charged for the welcome message.

15.17. The welcome message must be a single message and may not contain any line breaks or carriage returns. The welcome message must begin with the word "welcome" and then contain only the following additional information:

  1. the name of the service,
  2. the pricing information,
  3. a customer support number,
  4. instructions for terminating the service, and
  5. (optionally) a link to a WAP landing page or a web page describing the service.

Reminder messages

15.18. A reminder SMS message must be sent to a subscription or notification service customer within 30 days of the initiation of the service, and once per calendar month thereafter. This message is referred to as the "reminder message". The customer must not be charged for any reminder message.

15.19. The reminder message must be a single message for each service the customer is subscribed to, and must not contain any line breaks or carriage returns. The reminder message must begin with the word "reminder" and then contain only the following additional information:

  1. the name of the service,
  2. the pricing information,
  3. a customer support number,
  4. instructions for terminating the service, and
  5. (optionally) a link to a WAP landing page or a web page describing the service.

15.20. Some notification services are of a seasonal nature (example: sports-related notifications). During calendar months where a member does not send the customer any notifications and where no billing takes place, the member is not required to send a monthly reminder message.

Terminating a service

15.21. Any instructions for terminating a subscription or notification service must be clear and easy to understand and should be readily available to customers.

15.22. A member may not charge any fee for receiving a service termination request. Network fees may still apply.

15.23. If a service termination request received from a customer is unclear, the customer making the request must be provided with sufficient information to be able to terminate any services provided by that member to that customer.

15.24. If a member is unable to immediately act on a service termination request received from a customer, the customer must be informed. (Example: "This may take up to 24 hours to be processed.")

15.25. The processing of any service termination request must not be unreasonably delayed and must be honored within two working days (48 hours).

Terminating a service via SMS

15.26. If technically feasible, a recipient must be able to terminate a subscription or notification service by replying 'STOP' to any SMS sent to the customer regarding that service, including the welcome message and any reminder messages.

15.27. If a 'STOP' reply could pertain to multiple services, either all services must be terminated upon receipt of the termination request, or the customer must be given a clear choice of services to terminate.

15.28. If the words 'END', 'CANCEL', 'UNSUBSCRIBE' or 'QUIT' are used in place of 'STOP' in an opt-out request, the member must honor the unsubscribe request as if the word 'STOP' had been used.

Confirmation of termination of a service

15.29. Once a customer has terminated a service, a message confirming this must be sent to that customer. This message must specify the service the customer has terminated, and the customer must not be charged for this message.

16. Direct marketing messages

Definitions

16.1. "Consent" means any voluntary, specific and informed expression of will in terms of which permission is given for the processing of personal information.

16.2. "Direct marketing" means to approach a person, either in person or by mail or electronic communication, for the direct or indirect purpose of (a) promoting or offering to supply, in the ordinary course of business, any goods or services to the person; or (b) requesting the person to make a donation of any kind for any reason.

16.3. "Electronic communication" means communication by means of electronic transmission, including by telephone, fax, SMS, wireless computer access, automated calling machine, email or any similar technology or device.

Right to restrict unwanted direct marketing

16.4. Any member authorising, directing or conducting any direct marketing must implement appropriate procedures to facilitate the receipt of a demand from a person who has been approached for the purposes of direct marketing to desist from initiating any further communication (an "opt-out request").

16.5. Any member authorising, directing or conducting any direct marketing must not direct or permit any person associated with that activity to direct or deliver any communication for the purpose of direct marketing to:

  1. a person who has submitted an opt-out request to that member,
  2. a person who has registered a pre-emptive block with a registry established by the National Consumer Commission, or
  3. a person who has registered a pre-emptive block with a registry established by WASPA.

16.6. If an opt-out request or a pre-emptive block is specified as being limited to a particular service, or to a particular category of services, then the member may apply that block only to the services specified. If it is not abundantly clear that a limited block has been requested, then the member must assume that the block request applies to all services and all marketing.

16.7. A member may not charge a consumer a fee for processing an opt-out request or for registering a pre-emptive block.

Prohibited times for direct marketing

16.8. Unless a consumer has expressly or implicitly requested or agreed otherwise, a member may not engage in any direct marketing directed to a consumer on:

  1. Sundays, public holidays contemplated in the Public Holidays Act, 1994;
  2. Saturdays before 09:00 and after 13:00; and
  3. all other days between the hours of 20:00 and 08:00 the following day.

Rights of consumers regarding direct marketing

16.9. A member may engage in direct marketing, or permit their facilities to be used for the purpose of direct marketing, to a person who has given his or her consent.

16.10. A member may engage in direct marketing, or permit their facilities to be used for the purpose of direct marketing, to a person who:

  1. has provided the party responsible for sending the direct marketing communication with his or her contact details in the context of the sale of a product or services, and the responsible party's own similar products or services are being marketed, and
  2. has been given a reasonable opportunity to object, free of charge, and in a manner free of unnecessary formality, to such use of his or her details at the time when the information was collected and on the occasion of each subsequent direct marketing communication sent to that person.

16.11. A member may not engage in direct marketing, or permit their facilities to be used for the purpose of direct marketing other than as provided for above.

16.12. Any communication for the purpose of direct marketing must contain the details of the identity of the sender or the person on whose behalf the communication has been sent and an address or other contact details to which the recipient may send a request that such communications cease.

Disclosure of source of contact details

16.13. Upon request of the recipient of a direct marketing message, the member must, within a reasonable period of time, identify the source from which the recipient's contact details were obtained. The member must also provide proof that the recipient has given consent to receive that message, or alternatively provide proof that the recipient has provided his or her contact details in the context of the sale of a product or service the same as that being marketed.

Confirmation of opt out

16.14. Once a recipient has opted out, a message confirming the opt-out must be sent to that recipient. This confirmation message must specify the marketing from which the customer has been opted out, and the customer must not be charged for this message.

Reply STOP option for SMS messages

16.15. If technically feasible, a recipient must be able to opt out of any further direct marketing messages sent by SMS by replying to a message with the word 'STOP'. If this is not technically feasible then clear instructions for opting out must be included in the body of each marketing message.

16.16. If the words 'END', 'CANCEL', 'UNSUBSCRIBE' or 'QUIT' are used in place of 'STOP' in an opt-out request, the member must honor the opt-out request as if the word 'STOP' had been used.

WAP push direct marketing messages

16.17. All WAP push direct marketing messages must contain a short code, or some other similar means by which the recipient can easily identify the member providing the service being marketed.

16.18. All WAP push direct marketing messages must include instructions for opting out of any further WAP push messages.

16.19. The web page to which a WAP push direct marketing message links must have instructions for opting out of further direct marketing messages readily available on that page, or via one clearly identified link from that page.

16.20. The terms and conditions for any service initiated via WAP must be readily available via the WAP landing page. The landing page must not be designed in such a way as to obscure ready access to the terms and conditions.

17. Messaging services

Opt-out facility

17.1. With the exceptions noted below, all subscription services, notification services, contact and/or dating services and other bulk SMS services (such as free newsletters) must have a functional opt-out procedure, including the option to reply 'STOP' to SMS messages.

Limitations on opt-outs

17.2. Members are not obliged to honour an opt-out or block request from communications that are necessary for the conclusion of or performance of a contract to which the recipient is a party.

17.3. Members are not obliged to honour an opt-out or block request for communications required by law.

Services billed based on messages sent to the customer

17.4. Services where billing is based on messages sent to a customer (examples: chat services, quiz services) may send no more than one billed message for each message the customer sends to the service. In addition, if more than 24 hours have elapsed since the customer last sent a message to the service, no billed messages may be sent until the customer sends another message to the service.

18. Promotional competitions

Definition

18.1. A "promotional competition" means any competition, game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan or device for distributing prizes as defined in section 36 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2009.

Cost of entry

18.2. The cost for a single entry into a promotional competition must not exceed R1.50.

18.3. All valid and correct entries must have the same chance of winning.

Provision of information

18.4. An offer to participate in a promotional competition must clearly state:

  1. the competition to which the offer relates;
  2. the steps required by a person to participate in the competition;
  3. the full cost to enter the competition;
  4. the basis on which the results of the competition will be determined;
  5. the closing date for the competition;
  6. how the results of the competition will be made known;
  7. how a person can obtain a copy of the competition rules; and
  8. how the successful participant can obtain the prize.

18.5. The requirement to provide the above information may be satisfied either by including the information in the advertisement for the competition, or by presenting it before the participant enters the competition. (Example: An SMS advertising a competition could direct a participant to a web page where the above information is provided as part of the process of participating in the competition.)

Closing date

18.6. Competition services must have a specific closing date, except where there are instant prize- winners. An insufficient number of entries or entries of inadequate quality are not acceptable reasons for changing the closing date of a competition or withholding prizes. Once the closing date for a competition is reached, the advertised prizes must be awarded, if there are any valid entries.

18.7. Prizes must be awarded within 28 days of the closing date, unless a longer period is clearly stated in the competition rules.

18.8. For thirty days after a competition closing date, any customer entering the competition must be sent a reply indicating that the competition has already closed.

Prohibited practices

18.9. Promotional competitions must not:

  1. use words such as "win" or "prize" to describe items intended to be offered to all or a substantial majority of the participants;
  2. exaggerate the chance of winning a prize;
  3. suggest that winning a prize is a certainty;
  4. suggest that the party has already won a prize and that by contacting the promoter of the competition, that the entrant will have definitely secured that prize.

19. Charitable promotions

Definitions

19.1. A "beneficiary" is a charity or organisation benefitting from a charitable promotion.

19.2. A "charitable promotion" is any service which has the primary goal of benefiting a charitable organisation.

Provision of information

19.3. Advertising for charitable promotions must make it clear that network fees and administration fees will be deducted from amounts paid.

19.4. Advertising for charitable promotions must specify the identity of the beneficiary, and must make clear any restrictions or conditions attached to the contribution to be made to the beneficiary.

20. Contact and dating services

Provision of advice to customers

20.1. Providers of contact and/or dating services must warn users of the service of the risks involved when contact information is given out to other individuals and must give clear advice on sensible precautions to take when meeting people through such services.

Handling of customer information

20.2. Providers of contact and/or dating services must ensure that they do not make information provided by customers publicly available. This does not apply to information that a customer has voluntarily disclosed to other users of the service.

20.3. When so requested by a customer, the provider of a contact and/or dating service must ensure that any information provided by the customer is no longer visible to other users of the service at the earliest opportunity and in all cases within 24 hours.

21. Interactive voice response services

Announcement of costs

21.1. For any interactive voice response service that costs more than R3 per minute, there must be a clear announcement of the cost per minute at the beginning of the call. This announcement must be no longer than five seconds in duration, and must use the following format: "Call billed at X rand per minute".

No misleading sounds

21.2. No interactive voice response service may have a false ringing sound (or other sound, including no sound at all) at the beginning of the call which might cause the user of the service to believe that the call has not yet started.

22. Adult services

Definitions

22.1. An "adult service" is any service where the content or product is of a clearly sexual nature, or any service for which the associated promotional material is of a clearly sexual nature, or indicates directly, or implies that the service is of a sexual nature.

22.2. An "adult content service" is any service for the provision of content which has been classified as suitable only for persons 18 years or older by an appropriate body (such as the Film and Publications Board), or content reasonably likely to be so classified.

Required practices

22.3. Any adult service must be clearly indicated as such in any promotional material and advertisement, and must contain the words "18+ only".

22.4. Promotions for adult services must be in context with the publication or other media in which they appear. Services should be in context with the advertising material promoting them. The content of a service should not be contrary to the reasonable expectation of those responding to the promotion.

22.5. Members must take reasonable steps to ensure that only persons of 18 years of age or older have access to adult content services. Reasonable steps may include the customer confirming his or her age prior to or as part of initiating the service.

22.6. Marketing messages (including commercial messages) may no longer be sent to a customer of an adult service if that customer has not made use of the service during the preceding three months. This is to prevent the accidental marketing of such services to children as a result of a recycled telephone number.

22.7. A marketing message sent to initiate or re-initiate adult services may not:

  1. include any graphical or photographic content that includes full frontal images or portrayal of intimate parts of the body; or
  2. include any words or phrases that may be considered profane, including common popular or slang terms for excretory functions, sexual activity and genitalia; or
  3. include any links to any content described in (a) or (b).

Prohibited practices

22.8. Adult services must not contain references that suggest or imply the involvement of children.

22.9. Promotions for adult services must not appear in publications or other media specifically targeted at children.

23. Children

Definitions

23.1. A "child" refers to a natural person under 18 years of age.

23.2. "Children's services" are those which, either wholly or in part, are aimed at, or would reasonably be expected to be particularly attractive to children.

Promotional competitions

23.3. Promotional competitions that are aimed at, or would reasonably be expected to be particularly attractive to children must not offer cash prizes and must not feature long or complex rules.

Subscription services

23.4. Subscription services must not be intentionally targeted at children.

Prohibited practices

23.5. Children's services must not contain anything that is likely to result in harm to children or which exploits their credulity, lack of experience or sense of loyalty.

23.6. Children's services must not include anything that a reasonable parent would not wish their child to hear or learn about in this way.

23.7. Children's services must not involve an invasion of privacy of any child.

23.8. Children's services must not unduly encourage children to ring or procure other premium rate services or the same service again.

23.9. Advertising for children's services must not make use of adult themes or adult material.

24. Complaints procedure

This section of the Code has not yet been finalised by WASPA's Code of Conduct Committee.


16. Table of Abbreviations

HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
MSISDN Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number
PIN Personal Identification Number
SMS Short Message Service
USSD Unstructured Supplementary Service Data
VAT Value Added Tax
WAP Wireless Application Protocol