Vodacom Talking Points Scam- Resolution

On February 6th I received an SMS from a company called Sprint Media unbeknown to me at the time telling me that my "4800 points will expire tomorrow and that I need to redeem them now" I assumed it to be from Vodacom as I associated it to the Vodacom Talking Points incentive programme. Between my last blog to today, several emails have been exchanged between myself, consumer watch dog Wendy Knowler, Alan Wienand of AW Consulting, Charles, Reuvers, Leon Perlman, Lorraine Hartzer from WASPA, Neil Hutchinson from http://www.grapevinemessaging.co.za/ , Direct Marketing Association and Unnamed individuals from Sprint Media S.L

The Role Players 
Consumer Watch: Wendy Knowler

As my first line of defence, I contacted Wendy Knowler who runs the consumer forum for the The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times & Daily News. Wendy Mediated and quality controlled my messages to the appropriate people involved in this long chain She was very quick to direct my complaint to the the correct channel, that being WASPA ( Wireless Application Service Providers Association )

WASPA (http://www.waspa.org.za/)

WASPA is an Authorative body that upholds public perception of services and protects against bad practices with an appropriate Code of Conduct, representing the interests of its members and consumers, by enforcing the good practices established by this Code. Over the last 14 days I have corresponded with WASPA 14 time, this was the last message I received from them

Dear Sagren Moodley

Please read the correspondence from Sprint Media

Sprint Media S.L. 2011-02-14 10:56:52 In conjunction with your request for information related to number 27*********, this number was originally supplied by the data provider AW Consulting, a proud member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The number in question was included in their database on 2/10/2010 and has not opted out since then. In addition the number does not form part of the DMASA Opt Out Register (www.facilities.co.za/dcm). AW consulting fully adheres to the current data protection legislation in South Africa. Notwithstanding, to help resolve the situation, the number has been added to their internal opt ou register and flagged fo non-contact on all future campaigns. Should the customer wish to contact AW consulting, their email address is awc.customerservice@gmail.com. Regards, Sprint Media

Charles Reuvers
WASPA Secretariat

Basically this letter states that I am still obliged to receive messages from marketing companies as I have not yet taken the initiative to unsubscribe myself from the national consumer database - http://www.facilities.co.za/dma/dnc.aspx

MOBMATIC (http://www.mobmatic.com/)

Mobmatic is the company responsible for sending me their promotional SMS telling me that my talking points will expire tomorrow if I do not redeem them immediately. Mobmatic is a company that is owned and operated by Sprint Media S.L., AP.C. 314 29600 Marbella, M├ílaga, Spain and from what I have read on their site they offer various incentives based on accumulation of reward points. They have not communicated with me directly as promised by Alan Wienand from AW consulting, all that I allegedly have from them is the above message  which looks like it has been sent from the office of AW Consulting.


Alan Wienand from AW Consulting - awc.customerservice@gmail.com

Contacted me on 10 February 2011 at 17:30 from an unknown number and advised that he is responsible for forwarding my information to Sprint Media for there sales and marketing purposes, in all of my correspondences with him, which were 5, he said that he got my information from a national consumer database which is obtainable from www.dmasa.org and that AW Consulting fully adheres to the current data protection legislation in South Africa. Telephonically he pointed out to me that I need to make myself aware of the Electronics Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002.

I summarised the following as my intepretation from the act and forwarded it to him.  

Unsolicited goods, services or communications

45.(1) Any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to consumers, must provide the consumer
(a) with the option to cancel his or her subscription to the mailing list of that person; and
(b) with the identifying particulars of the source from which that person obtained the consumer’s personal information, on request of the consumer.
(2) No agreement is concluded where a consumer has failed to respond to an unsolicited communication.
(3) Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to the penalties prescribed in section 89(1).
(4) Any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to a person who has advised the sender that such communications are unwelcome, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to the penalties prescribed in section 89(1).
Since this is a commercial message, and since I have not requested to be placed on your mailing list, this message (The one that I have received from Sprint Media on 6 February 2011, who were supplied my contact information through your Company AW Consulting) constitutes an unsolicited communication in terms of section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (Act 25 of 2002).

In terms of section 45(4) of this Act, this message serves as notification that I do not wish to receive any further marketing communications from you.I am happy that you have contacted me on 10 February 2011 at 17:30 and assured me that you will remove me from your contact list, however,  failure to comply with this request constitutes a criminal offense in terms of the ECT Act.

Additionally, I hereby request that you immediately disclose where you obtained my contact details, as per section 45(1) of the ECT Act. Failure to respond to this request also constitutes a criminal offense. Although you have told me that you received my contact information from http://www.dmasa.org/ I am not satisfied because I have not indemnified or consented the dissemination of my private contact information anywhere whatsoever

I also note that the original message from Sprint Media on 06 February 2011 did not provide me with an option to cancel my subscription or opt out from the mailing list, as required by section 45(1) of the Act. This means that they may already have committed an offense in terms of section 45(3) of the Act, and may be subject to prosecution.

Should you wish to familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation, or check my facts, a copy of the ECT Act is available on-line via the following web site:


The DMASA is an independent body representing not only interactive and direct marketers, but with a strong focus on the consumer too. At the very first splash screen on the website you are given two options, to opt into or out of the national consumer registry. The problem I have with this national registry is that I never opted in , in the first place, knowingly at least, Whenever you participate in any of those 33*** competitions or sms competitions, you are not only entering a competition, and paying R1-50 to R30-00 at a time,  but you are also entering yourself into the national consumer database giving sales and marketing companies full authority to distribute your personal information to whomever they please for whatever amount they ask for.

Once you have opted out of the national registry you have full authority over who sends you any type of marketing material and because of the binding agreement between yourself and the DMASA any marketing material received from anybody unauthorised will be in contravention of the Electronics Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002.

You can stop information or communication that's coming to you through the National Do Not Contact Database. The database can be accessed via your mobile by SMSing the word DMA and your ID number to 34385 or through our call centre which is 0861 OPT OUT.'
or by visiting the following site the DMA. Dont contact me Data base Marketing Pre-emptive Block (http://www.facilities.co.za/dma/dnc.aspx), I suggest visiting the website and completing the opt out form.

In summary and to conclude, I had to go through all the trouble above to de-register myself from a database that I didn't know existed to stop receiving messages I didn't know I indemnified, so let this be warning that you must always be aware of the competitions you enter, the documents and contracts you sign because when you don't read the fine print you are contributing to a consumer database that big companies pay top dollar to sell you stuff.  This matter has been resolved and is now closed.
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About Sagren moodley

This is my personal space where I geek out on all the stuff that I Love, from technology and entertainment, sports and politics to food and photography. I'm also a bodybuilding, parkour, martial artist..............wannabe. Click on my Mr. Burns face if you want to get in contact with me about writing/photography/Personal training.