TMobileSA (Mobbee) – The modern day THIEVES of the technology industry

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Just how much time and money one is going to waste quickly becomes apparent when one receives an SMS text message on one’s cellphone similar to the following text message, which I received at 5:21pm on the 30th August 2010 from the following cellphone number: +27 (82) 0048440.

The text message reads as follows:

“Welcome to Mobbee. U can view unlimited content! To opt out in the promotion SMS STOP to 37459 help call 0878204085. T & C apply”

Now I should start off by saying the I have NEVER subscribed to TMobileSA’s Mobbee service, nor to a service called Mobbee, nor have I subscribed to any premium rated service (or other) offered by TMobileSA (Mobbee) or any of its subsidiaries.

It does not matter if you reply to them or not, or if you actually contact them, or if you contact your Service Provider (Vodacom SP in my case), because YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN CHARGED a premium rated SMS to receive that SMS text message.

Everytime you receive a text message from TMobileSA (Mobbee), you WILL BE CHARGED.

And, what makes it worse, is that TMobileSA (Mobbee) simply bills your Service Provider for the text message, and then your Service Provider simply adds the cost thereof onto your cellphone bill, WITHOUT your knowledge, consent, or otherwise.

Unsubscribing is a complete pain in the ass, and it is impossible to hold ANY party accountable, and even more impossible to actually be refunded for any costs that you have incurred on your cellphone account.

Essentially WASPS (Wireless Access Service Providers) that conduct business in this manner are the modern day THIEVES of the technology industry and are only being assisted in their endeavours by Service Providers that we come to trust and love.

Update (01 May 2011):

It looks as if TMobile is at it again .. they have recently been sending out “Inspirational Quotes” SMS’s to people (mainly MTN customers) so you had better check your cellular account!!! R5 per SMS!  If you read the comments below, it’s plain to see that most people have NEVER subscribed or requested this service.

What ever happened to the “double opt in” that was supposed to have been implemented???

Update (10 May 2011):

63 complaints about TMobile SA on helopeter in the last 2 weeks. Wow!

Link: Helopeter | TMobile SA | Complaints

MAJOR UPDATE (13 May 2011):

Thanks to Darren for the following update:

It would seem that TMobileSA/Wirels have been expelled from WAPSA!!! :)

Due to the complaints 10931, 11177, 11287 and 11296 lodged to WAPSA and WAPSAs adjudicators upholding the complaint it would seem that they have now expelled TMobileSA!

See: http://waspa.org.za/code/detail.php?id=11287
Other Sanctions: Expulsion from WASPA

Their details are also no longer appear on the “list of members” page: http://waspa.org.za/members/index.php

This in turn should result in the disconnection of all their services on the SA mobile networks. No company is allow to have a billing service on the SA mobile networks without being a paid up member of WASPA.

We will have to see if the SA networks do in fact disconnect them but at least in the mean time it’s a small step forward.

It would appear that the most damning report from the adjudicator is the one linked above (and again below) in which the complainant was actually an employee of WASPA!!!

The report makes for brilliant reading and is listed here.

Well done to all!!!! Beers on me!

Update (24 May 2011):

It looks like IOL have picked up the story as well. Link here.

Suggestions:

Here is a few suggestions of what you can do in order to assist the WASP from losing its licence:

Identify which WASP is actually billing you

www.smscode.co.za – Need help identifying the owner of a commercial SMS or short code?

Contact your Service Provider – but remember, it is not their fault that the WASP is billing you, so don’t get too angry with them, BUT they can give you all of the contact details for the WASP, and they can confirm the name of the service that you are being charged for!

Lodge a complaint against the WASP

www.waspa.org.za – Once you’ve got the name and contact details of the WASP, then it’s tme to report them to the Wireless Application Service Provider’s Association! (Whether or not they are actually going to assist is yet to be seen!)

Confirm your subscription and recover your money from the WASP

Once you have confirmed the service that you are being charged for, and once you have lodged a complaint against the WASP, then contact them directly in order to try get a refund from them… which might be dependant on the level of your anger!

Good luck!

More links and reading:

TMobileSA’s website (link) (re-directs to an IP address)

Uniforum SA’s details pertaining to TMobile SA’s website (link)

TMobileSA is run by Tsoko Information Technology (link)

Complaints on HelloPeter.com (link) (link) (link)