Letter To Zezemuze-part 3

ZEZEZeze, my rights are being blatantly abused by MTN and their value added service (VAS) partner Mobile Content through short code 1402. I don’t remember subscribing to that short code but they started sending me messages on movies at Silverbird and later added Motivational messages.

Zeze l checked a found out that they actually charge me at least 10gp for every message they send to me. Even though l don’t remember subscribing, I sent “STOP” to 1402 on October 11, 2013 at exactly 12.40pm and paid for the text just to stop them from sending any more messages. But Zeze, since then they have sent me 32 more messages.

I reported this matter on four levels:
1. To WASPAG on www.waspag.com which is an association of VAS providers aimed at stopping such abuses. And the CEO of Mobile Content (Conrad Nyur) is supposed to be the Head of WASPAG but his own company is the chief culprit in this case.

2. I sent a text message to Conrad’s personal phone because l called him and he did not pick.

3. I reported to an official of NCA but he said because a third party (Mobile Content) is involved, l should rather report to MTN.

4. I reported to MTN on December 28, 2013 at exactly 10.01am. They called and promised to stop Mobile Content from stealing my money and sharing with MTN.

Zeze, I say stealing because I don’t remember subscribing to that short code. And even if l subscribed to it, from October 11, 2013 when l sent ‘STOP’, any money they have taken from me is stealing because they did not have my consent. I can understand if it took them a few days to take me off the list after I sent ‘STOP’. But till date they are sending me uninvited messages after all the effort l have made. I thought it would have ended in 2013, but on New Year’s Day, Zeze, l received a motivational message from 1402.

Zeze, our society is largely illiterate and you can imagine how many of our people are innocently losing money through some of these money fleecing short codes without their consent. I am educated and a little bit aware of how these things work and yet for months they have been stealing my money with utter impunity and in broad day light.

Mobile Content and MTN share the money they steal from me and l have reported to both of them but nothing has been done. This letter, Zeze, is long over due as you can see, I have bent over backwards just to have this thing rectified but to no avail.

I am not a big fun of extreme regulations but the way telcos and their VAS partners are abusing our rights and stealing moneys from us through short codes is disgusting and unacceptable, to say the least. NCA has started regulating short codes but it has not started paying off yet. I look forward to some dividends in that directionZeze, because we are tired of these money fleecing and thieving short codes. Ah aden boys abr3.

Meanwhile, l am still waiting for Mobile Content to finally stop stealing my money and sharing with MTN. If l get one more message from that thieving short code l will take this matter up on a bigger scale. It is not a threat, Zeze, it is a promise.
Story by Samuel Dowuona


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