Take on spammers, SA urged

2012-08-02 07:30
South Africans tired of SMS spam should use social network tools to vent, an expert has advised. (Paul Sakuma, AP)

South Africans tired of SMS spam should use social network tools to vent, an expert has advised. (Paul Sakuma, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape Town - South Africans who are fed up with companies targeting them with spam SMSes should go on the offensive and use social networks to express dissatisfaction, an expert has said.

"There's quite a lot of recourse that consumers have today; the whole communications landscape has changed. Today, with social networking and with Twitter, every consumer can potentially broadcast their message to the entire world," managing director of BulkSMS.com Dr Pieter Streicher told News24.

He said that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was not very effective in protecting consumers from spam

"The Consumer Protection Act came into effect in 2011 and it makes provision for people who receive unsolicited messages to opt out, but does not impose any liability on the sender of the marketing material."

The CPA was intended to provide for a mechanism to prevent companies from sending spam or unsolicited messages to consumers and protect identities, but the national consumer commission (NCC) has been dogged by problems.

Dysfunction


An internal report submitted to the trade and industry ministry has raised numerous matters of concern pertaining to the conduct of the NCC.

The NCC is tasked with carrying out legal action on behalf of companies, but Streicher was sceptical about its ability to fulfil this mandate.

"The legislation is reasonably good, but when it comes to enforcement, there are many problems."

He said that companies had realised that they could get away with spam as a result of the dysfunction in the NCC.

"Unfortunately it seems that companies are realising that they can get away with anything and your ordinary consumer is going to suffer as a result," Streicher said.

He advised consumers to publically name and shame companies on platforms like Twitter or HelloPeter to get brands to change behaviour.

"My advice to consumers is that if brands behave in a way that they regard as unacceptable, to simply tweet about that. Consumers have a lot of power today because new communication tools allow them to tell everyone what is happening."

The Protection of Information Bill is designed to give the public greater protection of privacy but Streicher warned that moves were afoot to water down the intent of the proposed legislation.

"This legislation is very promising; unfortunately there are parties that are trying to water it down to change this legislation to an opt out basis as well. It's being done in very sneaky ways: The latest trick that they're trying is to change the definition of consent in the bill."


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    e-commerce  |  mobile
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.