20 March 2014

SABRIC 4/10.2018

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) is pleased to be releasing its inaugural digital banking crime statistics. We are all too aware that the advent of digital technology has seen the exploitation of digital platforms by criminals. In 2017, 13 438 incidents across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking cost the industry more than R250 000 000 in gross losses. While incidents from January to August 2018, already show a 64% increase, we are pleased that the increase in gross losses is just 7% when compared to the same period in 2017. When comparing January to August 2017 to the same period in 2018, mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%, with gross losses of R23 593 631, while online banking incidents showed an increase of 44% with gross losses of R89 368 722. For the same period, banking app incidents increased by 20%, with gross losses of R70 156 364. SIM swops saw 4040 incidents from January to August 2017, and 8254 incidents from January to August 2018, an increase of 104%. 

“Criminals are always looking for ways to exploit digital platforms to defraud victims, but the mitigation strategies deployed by Banks are very robust, so it is easier to target people, as they are the weakest link.” says Kalyani Pillay, SABRIC CEO. She goes on to say that criminals are very skilled at using social engineering to manipulate their victims into divulging their personal or confidential information. They capitalize on the fact that not all digital banking clients are digitally literate and exploit this vulnerability. Using technology, coupled with social engineering, criminals can gather sufficient information to impersonate victims, bypassing bank security protocols.

In most cases, clients are still compromised because of phishing, vishing or the installation of malware onto a victim’s device by having them click on a link, enabling the criminal to steal sufficient personal information to access their online banking profile. SABRIC urges consumers not to click on links or icons in unsolicited emails or SMSs.

Although phishing scams are not new, criminals are always finding new ways to trick consumers by taking advantage of the slickness, convenience and efficiency of digital platforms. In one such modus operandi, the criminal sends the victim an email that purports to be from a trusted organisation that the victim has legitimate dealings with. The email will display all the characteristics of customer centricity and promise to “optimize” the victims user experience or exclusively upgrade their benefits if they click on the link provided.

In another modus operandi, the criminal plays on the victim’s fear, and sends them an email that appears to be from their Bank, stating that a fraudulent transaction has been made. The victim is then given the opportunity to report the “fraud” by clicking on a link, and in their state of panic, does so. When clicking on links in these phishing emails, the victim is diverted to a fraudulent website under the control of the criminal, and any information entered on this page, such as a banking profile username or password is sent to the criminal. Once they have viewed your profile, and find that there is money to be accessed, they will commit fraud on your internet banking account.

It is critical that consumers are aware that they are their money’s best protection on all digital platforms. “We also cannot stress the importance of not sharing confidential information with anyone or clicking on links in unsolicited emails.” says Pillay.

SABRIC is working closely with the SAPS and Mobile Network Operators to address this scourge.

SABRIC urges bank clients to take note of the following tips to protect themselves:

Phishing, Vishing & SMishing 

Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails. 

Never reply to these emails. Delete them immediately.

Do not believe the content of unsolicited emails blindly. If you are concerned about what is being alleged in the email, use your own contact details to contact the sender and confirm. 

Always type in the URL (uniform resource locator) or domain name for your bank in the address bar of your internet browser if you need to access your bank’s website. 

Check that you are on your banks genuine website before inputting any personal information. 

Make sure that you are not on a spoof site by clicking on the security icon on your browser tool bar to see that the URL begins with https rather than http. 

Check for a closed green padlock next to the URL of the website. A green padlock shows that your connection with the website is secured and encrypted. 

If you think that you might have been compromised, contact your bank immediately. 

Create complicated passwords that are not easy to decipher and change them often. 

Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone. 

If you receive a phone call requesting confidential or personal information, do not respond and end the call. 

If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it was likely prompted by a fraudster using your personal information. Do not provide the OTP telephonically to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised. 

If you lose mobile connectivity under circumstances where you are usually connected, check whether you may have been the victim of a SIM swop. 

SIM Swops 

If reception on your cell phone is lost, immediately check what the problem could be, as you could have been a victim of an illegal SIM swop on your number. If confirmed, notify your bank immediately. 

Inform your Bank should your cell phone number changes so that your cell phone notification contact number is updated on its systems. 

Register for your Bank’s cell phone notification service and receive electronic messages relating to activities or transactions on your accounts as and when they occur.

Regularly verify whether the details received from cell phone notifications are correct and according to the recent activity on your account. Should any detail appear suspicious immediately contact your Bank and report all log-on notification that are unknown to you. 

Memorise your PIN and passwords, never write them down or share them, not even with a bank official. 

Make sure your PIN and passwords cannot be seen when you enter them. 

If you think your PIN and/or password has been compromised, change it immediately either online or at your nearest branch. 

Choose an unusual PIN and password that are hard to guess and change them often. 

Change of Bank Details Scam
  • Maintain a good relationship with existing suppliers and know your contacts whom you should be able to liaise with.
  • Ensure that you confirm any change of banking details with someone you usually deal with at the organisation before making any changes to beneficiary accounts. When calling the organisation to confirm the changes to banking details, use a number from the telephone directory and not the number on the letterhead or email as you will most likely be calling the fraudster.
  • If talking to this ‘supplier’ on the telephone beforehand, they may ask about when you last sent payments to them, looking to see if you are still an active client. Again, ask to speak to contacts that you recognise and if necessary ask your contact to call you back.
  • Question whether well-known companies would change their banking details without notifying people through more formal channels.
  • Beware of supposed confirmatory emails from almost identical email addresses, such as .com instead of .co.za, or addresses that differ from the genuine one by perhaps one letter that can be easily missed.
  • Instruct staff responsible for paying invoices to scrutinise invoices for irregularities and escalating suspicions to a known contact.
  • It is essential to make sure that you are certain of the identity of the person your business is dealing with at all times. Consider setting up designated ‘Single Points of Contact’ with companies to which you make regular payments.
  • Ensure that your company’s private information is not disclosed to third parties who are not entitled to receive it, or third parties whose identities cannot be rightfully verified.
  • Rather shred your business and suppliers’ invoices or any communication material that may contain letterheads, than to discard in rubbish bins.
  • Consider reviewing previous requests to change account details to confirm whether they were genuine or not.
  • To avoid your customers acting on an instruction allegedly from you, alert them to this type of fraud.
Email Hacking
  • Make sure your PC has the most up-to-date OS updates and antivirus/malware software.
  • Depending on the extent to which your account was abused, you may have to contact all email recipients who were spammed by your hacked mailbox to advise them that these communications were not legitimate.
  • Set up several email addresses. Use your original email address for personal or business communication as you’d normally do and use an alternative email address to communicate with your service provider, since many now ask for a different address for added protection. Then, use yet another email address for registering for websites, newsletters, online shopping and other services. In this way, the risk of a possible compromise is spread.
  • Use different and strong passwords for each account - one that is at least six characters long, and is a combination of letters, numbers and capitals/lowercase.
  • On a secure PC, log into your email and then check if any of the settings have been changed. This could indicate that your email account has been hacked, so ensure that if any of the settings have been altered, that you delete these immediately.
  • Once you have changed the settings, create a new password, and add your secondary email account as your alternative address.
  • Never list your main email address publicly anywhere online - in forums, in online advertisements, on blogs, social media or any place where it can be harvested by spammers. Use a separate email address for the internet which is not linked to your personal or business email account.
  • Don’t use public computers to check email; there’s virtually no way to know if they have been accidentally infected with malware or have had keylogging spyware installed intentionally.
[ENDS]


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TECH CENTRAL 4.10.2018

SABRIC WARNS OF SURGE IN SIM-SWAP FRAUD

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) on Thursday warned of a surge in Sim-swap fraud in the country.

The organisation has released its inaugural digital banking crime statistics, which show that in 2017, 13 438 incidents occurred across banking apps, online banking and mobile banking, costing the industry more than R250-million in gross losses.

Sim-swap fraud saw 4 040 incidents from January to August 2017, and 8 254 incidents from January to August 2018, an increase of 104%, it said.

When comparing January to August 2017 to the same period in 2018, mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%

But digital fraud is increasing across the board, Sabric warned.

Incidents from January to August 2018 already showed a 64% increase, though the growth in total gross losses was 7% compared to the same period in 2017.

“When comparing January to August 2017 to the same period in 2018, mobile banking incidents showed an increase of 100%, with gross losses of R23.6-million, while online banking incidents showed an increase of 44%, with gross losses of R89.4-million,” it said. “For the same period, banking app incidents increased by 20%, with gross losses of R70.2-million.”

Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay said criminals have become adept at using social engineering to manipulate victims into divulging their personal or confidential information. They capitalise on the fact that not all digital banking clients are digitally literate and exploit this vulnerability.

“Using technology, coupled with social engineering, criminals can gather sufficient information to impersonate victims, bypassing bank security protocols,” Pillay said.

Scams

In most cases, clients are still compromised because of “phishing”, “vishing” or the installation of malware onto a victim’s device by having them click on a link, enabling the criminal to steal enough personal information to access their online banking profile.

“Although phishing scams are not new, criminals are always finding new ways to trick consumers by taking advantage of the slickness, convenience and efficiency of digital platforms. In one such modus operandi, the criminal sends the victim an e-mail that purports to be from a trusted organisation that the victim has legitimate dealings with,” she said. “The e-mail will display all the characteristics of customer centricity and promise to ‘optimise’ the victims user experience or exclusively upgrade their benefits if they click on the link provided.”

Should any detail appear suspicious, immediately contact your bank and report all logon notifications that are unknown to you

Another method criminals use is playing on a victim’s fear, sending them an e-mail that appears to be from their bank, stating that a fraudulent transaction has take place. “When clicking on links in these phishing e-mails, the victim is diverted to a fraudulent website under the control of the criminal, and any information entered on this page, such as a banking profile username or password, is sent to the criminal.”

To avoid falling victim to Sim-swap fraud specifically, Sabric recommends that if a customer loses cellphone signal, they should immediately check what the problem could be as they could have been a victim of an illegal Sim swap. “If confirmed, notify your bank immediately.”

Consumers should also inform their bank if their cellphone number changes so that they continue to receive notifications about possible fraudulent activity.

“Should any detail appear suspicious, immediately contact your bank and report all logon notifications that are unknown to you.”  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media

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Extract from My Broadband 1.9.2018

WE SENT AN EMAIL TO CUSTOMER SUPPORT AT THE SA POST OFFICE EVERY DAY FOR TWO WEEKS – THE RESULT

MyBroadband recently ran a series of tests which showed that the SA Post Office was unable to deliver a letter on time.

Multiple letters were sent as part of the test, with many not arriving after weeks of waiting.

While many readers were not surprised by the result, a few questioned the point of the test.

They stated that sending letters was a waste of time, and no individual did this any more.

The point of the test, however, was to highlight the utter incompetence of the SA Post Office – as delivering a letter is the foundation of what the state-owned entity does.

Email test

To see if this lack of service extended to other aspects of the Post Office’s business, we tested the organisation’s customer support system.

We emailed the customer.services@postoffice.co.za address – listed on the SA Post Office website’s Contact Us section – asking for assistance with a query we had, for the test.

We sent an email every morning for two weeks, starting on 17 August 2018, to the same email address with the same request. Emails were also sent on Saturday and Sundays.

The result was definitive – not a single reply.

There was no acknowledgement of the query, and no contact from the Post Office in any form following the multiple emails.
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SANCU NEWS  :

At a meeting of the SABS Legal Metrology–Sale of Goods committee on 5 July, SANCU requested a change in the product labelling standard which currently permits the quantity of goods to be indicated anywhere except on the base of the product.  Suppliers often indicate the quantity inconspicuously, especially when reducing quantities, in order to deceive consumers. The international (OIML) recommendation requires the quantity to be stated on the display panel, which is the panel displayed to the consumer and which contains the brand name and description.  SANCU would like South Africa to align with the international recommendation.

SANCU also urged the adoption locally of indicating the unit price (e.g. price per kg or per L), in addition to the selling price, on supermarket shelf labels and in advertising.  This is now a legal requirement in, for example, the EU, Australia and in some Canadian and US states.  It is aimed at countering the practice of product downsizing and underfilling by allowing the consumer to make informed purchase decisions more easily.  An International Standard on the practice is expected to be issued by ISO soon.

SANCU further raised the issue of underfilling containers where the contents are not readily visible.  This is particularly prevalent with cereal boxes which often contain a smaller internal package which itself is only partially filled.  This practice is not only deceptive, but is wasteful of packaging material.  SANCU undertook to do further research and present concrete results to industry stakeholders.

How is SANCU doing?  Do you agree with our input at this meeting? SANCU relies on feedback from members and consumers in general to guide the input we make in such forums.  If you have any comments on the above, please drop us a line at sancu@sabs.co.za

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Media Release from the National Credit Regulator 

For immediate release June 2018                                                                                                                                                                                      
NCR and SAPS Raid the Eastern Cape 

On Friday, 01 June 2018, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) joined forces with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in an operation aimed at curbing illegal retention of consumer instruments including identity books, bank cards and SASSA cards, to enforce credit agreements.

The operation was conducted at different entities that conduct businesses in Grahamstown, Somerset East, Fort Beaufort and Humansdorp. During the operation, six hundred and eighty six (686) SASSA and bank cards as well as twelve (12) identity books were seized and four (4) criminal cases were opened. 

The focus of this kind of operation is primarily to identify credit providers who are unlawfully retaining pension cards, bank cards, identity documents and personal identity numbers (PIN) of their clients as surety. “Retaining these cards is a contravention of the National Credit Act (NCA) and it is a criminal offence,” said Jacqueline Peters Manager of the Investigations and Enforcements Department at the National Credit Regulator. 

She stated that this operation is part of the NCR’s ongoing strategy to root out predatory lending practices and to ensure that all credit providers, no matter where they conduct business, comply with the provisions of the NCA. “The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated,” added Peters.

“Consumers are cautioned to avoid credit providers who require them to hand over their identity books or cards as it is a criminal offence and it is usually coupled with reckless lending and overcharging,” concluded Peters.

Ends

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SANCU WARNS CONSUMERS

Beware: Your “alcohol free” beer may not totally alcohol free!
The South African National Consumer Union urges consumers who : 
1. avoid alcohol for religious reasons,
2. are rehabilitated alcoholics,
3. are on medication who should consult their doctor, pharmacist or the leaflet that comes with the medicine to determine allowable limits 

to check the labels on the front and back of the can/bottle, as beer labelled "alcohol free" is permitted to contain up to 0,5% alcohol, while some brands claiming 0% alcohol in fact contains 0,03% alcohol. The alcohol content of these beers is low enough so as not to cause inebriation, but may not be low enough for those consumers falling into the above categories.
  • Media Release 
    
                                               
    
    For Immediate Release  05 April 2018
    
    Consumer credit health improves 
    
    Today, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) released the Consumer Credit Market Report (CCMR) and the Credit Bureau Monitor (CBM), which are based on data submitted to the NCR by registered credit providers and credit bureaus respectively. The latest edition of the reports covers credit market information up to December 2017. The total value of new credit granted increased by 9.76% quarter-on-quarter from R123.64 billion to R135.71 billion. The number of applications for credit increased by 6.18% quarter-on-quarter from 9.87 million in September 2017 to 10.48 million in December 2017.
    
    The following were some of the most significant trends observed in terms of credit granted for the quarter ended December 2017:
  • The value of new mortgages granted increased by R3.79 billion (10.10%) quarter-on-quarter but increased by R3.99 billion (10.68%) year-on-year.
  • Secured credit which is dominated by vehicle finance, increased by R4.12 billion (9.74%) quarter-on-quarter and by R4.18 billion (9. 91%) year-on-year.
  • Credit facilities increased by R1.38 million (8.84%) quarter-on-quarter and by R2.58 billion (17.25%) year-on year.
  • Unsecured credit decreased by R2.77 billion (12.44%) quarter-on-quarter, but increased by R2.01 billion (8.73%) year-on-year.
The total outstanding consumer credit balances (or gross debtors book) as at December 2017 was R1.76 trillion, representing an increase of 1.53% quarter-on-quarter and 3.77% year-on-year. The trends for outstanding balances for the quarter ended December 2017 were as follows:
  • Mortgage debtors book increased by R8.72 billion (0.97%) for the quarter ended December 2017 and by R28.82 billion (3.29%) year-on-year.
  • Secured credit debtors book increased by R7.89 billion (1.98%) for the quarter ended December 2017 and by R21.60 billion (5.61%) year-on-year.
  • Credit facilities debtors book increased by R2.96 billion (1.32%) for the quarter ended December 2017 and by R5.67 billion (2.56%) year-on-year.
  • Unsecured credit debtors book increased by R3.98 billion (2.40%) for the quarter ended December 2017 and by R5.16 billion (3.13%) year-on-year.
    
    Credit bureaus held records for 25.31 million credit-active consumers, which showed an increase of 0.91% when compared to the 25.08 million in the previous quarter. Consumers classified in good standing increased by 406,220 to 15.62 million consumers. This amounts to 60.74% of the total number of credit-active consumers, an increase of 1.06% quarter-on-quarter and 1.84% year-on-year. The number of credit active accounts increased from 78.43 million to 79.49 million in the quarter ended December 2017. The number of impaired accounts has decreased from 20.19 million (25.74%) to 19.84 million (24.96%) when compared to September 2017, a decrease of 345,000 quarter-on-quarter and 167,000 year-on-year.
    
    The number of enquiries made on consumer credit records was 530.11 million, this was an increase of 38.67% quarter-on-quarter but an increase of 18.74% year-on-year. Consumer initiated enquiries accounted for 23.98 million of all enquiries, an increase of 9.38% quarter-on-quarter and 22.01% year-on-year. The number of credit reports issued to consumers increased from 125,555 in the previous quarter to 152,690. A total 105,083 (68.82%) credit reports were issued without charge, and the remaining 47,607 (31.18%) were issued with charge. There were 32,509 disputes lodged on information held on consumer credit records for the quarter ended December 2017, an increase of 2.49% quarter-on-quarter but a decrease of 8.87% year-on-year.
    
    Nomsa Motshegare, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NCR has noted the seasonal uptick in credit extension.  Motshegare is advising consumers to live within their means and only take credit when there is an absolute need. She further stressed the fact that consumers should only take credit from registered credit providers. Consumers must disclose all their financial obligations to credit providers when they apply for credit so that credit providers are able to conduct a proper affordability assessment.
Comparisons in this release- ‘quarter-on-quarter’ refers to a comparison between the September 2017 and December 2017 quarters, and ‘year-on-year’ refers to a comparison between the December 2016 and December 2017 quarters.
Ends


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MTN PRICE HIKE

SANCU wishes to inform those members who are on MTN's prepaid voice plans, and who might have missed the announcement, that they have already been paying considerably more for calls since a change that took place on 23 March.  "Pay per second" customers are now paying 99c per minute, up from 79c, while "Talk Free" customers are now paying R1,20 per minute, up from 79c per minute.  Other networks, including Vodacom, Cell-C and Telkom Mobile, still charge 79c per minute or lower on similar plans -- at least for now.

It is a relatively simple matter to change to a new network nowadays and to retain your number (simply enquire at the new provider), but members are warned that any prepaid credit at the old network will be forfeited at the time of changeover.
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PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE CONSUMER GOODS AND SERVICES OMBUDSMAN

19 MARCH 2018

ATTENTION: CGSO PARTICIPANTS AND OTHER RETAILERS 

PRICE DISPLAYS AND NEW VAT INCREASE ADJUSTMENTS 

The announcement by National Treasury that VAT will increase to 15% as from the 1st April 2018 has left many retailers with a headache of how they will implement the increase, comply with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act and avoid the losses that might occur as a result of consumers demanding to pay lower prices if the prices displayed or on tags are not adjusted in time.

The announcement was made on the 21st February 2018, giving retailers just under 6 weeks to apply the adjustment to millions of items as well as change the relevant software applications. The CGSO has received an enquiry regarding this dilemma where retailers will not be ready by the 1st April to have changed all the labels on the items they sell to reflect the pricing with the 15% VAT.

In view of the above, our office wishes to remind our participants of the requirements of the CPA on price displaying and offer some guidance on how the transition can be handled.

The display of prices is regulated by section 23 of the CPA. The section provides that

1) Retailers of goods or services are prohibited from displaying any goods for sale without displaying a price in relation to those goods. The exception is where:

  i.the supplier has given the consumer an estimate and the consumer has waived his or her right to such an estimate;
  ii.Section 43 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act applies; OR
  iii. The goods are displayed predominantly as a form of advertisement or in an area that the public does not ordinarily have access to.

2) A price shall be deemed to be adequately displayed if: 
   i.It is annexed or affixed to the goods, or written, printed, stamped or otherwise applied to the goods or near the goods; or
   ii. It is published in a current catalogue, brochure, circular or similar form of publication that is available to the consumer or to the public.

Consumers have the right to pay the displayed price or the lower price if two prices are displayed. To avoid losses and disputes retailers must display the correct prices at all times. The provisions of section 23(7) and 23(10) of the CPA provide for exceptions and the steps that a retailor is required to take in case of errors:

23(6) Subject to subsections (7) to (10), a supplier must not require a consumer to pay a price for any goods or services— 

(a) higher than the displayed price for those goods or services; or 

(b) if more than one price is concurrently displayed, higher than the lower or lowest of the prices so displayed. 

23(7) Subsection (6) does not apply in respect of the price of any goods or services if the price of those goods or services is determined by or in terms of any public regulation. 

(8) If a price that was once displayed has been fully covered and obscured by a second displayed price, that second price must be regarded as the displayed price. 

(9) If a price as displayed contains an inadvertent and obvious error, the supplier is not bound by it after— 

(a) correcting the error in the displayed price; and 

(b) taking reasonable steps in the circumstances to inform consumers to whom the erroneous price may have been displayed of the error and the correct price. 

(10) A supplier is not bound by a price displayed in relationship to any goods or services if an unauthorized person has altered, defaced, covered, removed or obscured the price displayed or authorized by the supplier. 

It is clear that the announcement of the VAT increase as well as its effective date caught many unawares and many will not have sufficient time to change the pricing on thousands of items and price tags within their shops. Some retailers have already sent communication to consumers that statements will be late where the transactions relate to contracts.

While the price increase is due to public regulation, it is still good business practice for retailers to ensure that the correct prices are displayed. In view of the above the CGSO wishes to offer the following suggestions to our participants and other retailers:

1) Consumers must be informed through various platforms and channels that the new 15% VAT charge will apply as from the 1st April 2018;

2) Where there will be delays in issuing statements due to software adjustments this must be communicated to consumers as well;

3) In cases where prices displayed on tags or other platforms will still be reflecting the 14% VAT charge by the 1st of April 2018, it would be reasonable for retailers to display prominently and in strategic arrears, including at till points that all prices in the shops, irrespective of the prices displayed on the tag, are subject to the new 15% VAT rate.

4) The correction to the price on the tag could also be done manually at the till to comply with section 23(6) which requires the physical correction of the price as well as communicating to the consumer the corrected price;

5) Staff members must be trained to assist consumers to determine the correct price and confirm the acceptance of the new price before processing and concluding the sale;

6) Consumers must be advised of the channels through which they can lodge disputes regarding price displays.

ISSUED BY THE ACTING OMBUDSMAN

MAGAUTA MPHAHLELE



----------------------------------
20 March 2018

 
NETWORK DIALING CODES TO CHANGE


The old dialling codes to access voicemail will fall away on 24 March and will be replaced by a standard number across all networks: 132.  The South African Nation Consumer Union would like to remind all consumers that should they not be able to access their voicemail after that date they should try dialling this new number.  Most cellphones have a shortcut way of accessing voicemail, for example by pressing and holding "1."  When the user does this, the phone dials out a preset number, say 100 or 111, to access the voicemail service.  This preset number used to be different for different networks.  A regulation issued in 2016 standardised a number of service numbers across all networks, but the old numbers were permitted to remain in use for a period of two years.  That period expires on 24 March.
 
It is a simple process to update the preset number on a cellphone, but this process is not the same on all phones.  Consumers who find they can no longer access their voicemail by the usual means, should contact the customer care number of their network.  This number has also been standardised across all networks to 135.  There they should be able to obtain assistance on how to set their phone to access the new voicemail number.  Alternatively, their nearest cellphone shop should be able to do this for them.  In the meantime they can continue to access their voicemail by making a call to the new number: 132.

The standardised numbers now in use across all networks are as follows:

Voicemail retrieval: 132

Voicemail deposit: 134

Customer care/service: 135

Prepaid recharge and balance enquiry: 136

Account enquiries: 137

 



10 August 2017

CONSUMER RIGHTS RE TELEMARKETERS

Do you hate being pestered by telemarketers?  You know, those people who phone you, usually at inconvenient times, trying to sell you something you don't want.  Did you know that consumers already enjoy some rights, and there are more to come.

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) states in section 11 that consumers may demand that the person responsible for initiating the communication desists from any further communication.  It also requires the direct marketer to implement appropriate procedures to facilitate the receipt of such demands.  So next time they annoy you, instruct them to remove your details from their contact list.  If they refuse, or if they contact you again after receiving your instruction, you should report the matter to the National Consumer Commission (details at www.thencc.gov.za).

The CPA also states that if you register a "pre-emptive block" on a database which the National Consumer Commission is busy setting up, then it will be an offence for anyone to approach you with direct marketing.  The database is not yet live, but we have been told it is coming this year.  The Direct Marketing Association of SA has a similar database that is up and running, but it only stops direct marketing from the Association's members. You can register at: www.nationaloptout.co.za

And there will be even more.  Section 69 of the Protection of Personal Information Act (the so-called PoPI Act of 2013) prohibits direct marketing by any means unless the recipient has consented to it.  Although the Act is already in place, this particular section has not yet been implemented. We hope it will be soon.

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