Econet in trouble over text messages

via Econet in trouble over text messages 29 June 2014

TELECOMS giant Econet is under fire over unsolicited text messages it is sending to subscribers, with the Postal Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) saying it was looking into the matter after receiving complaints over the unwarranted messages.

The spam messages are usually promotional texts on football, health and other matters and sometimes they ask subscribers with a number to text or call, a link to a website for more information, or a link to a website to download something.

Potraz acting director-general Alfred Marisa told Chronicle yesterday that the authority had engaged Econet on the issue, saying subscribers should be given the option to consent before receiving any texts messages from any telecommunications company in the country.

Marisa said the regulatory authority received complaints from subscribers last week and immediately launched an investigation in a bid to try and resolve the matter.

“Before any telecommunications company sends bulk text messages, subscribers should be given the opportunity to consent. Even if the text messages are promotions, the subscribers should be given an option to opt out if they are not interested in the services being advertised,” said Marisa.

“We received a complaint last week and we have since taken up the issue with Econet to hear their side of the story. We’re expecting a response from Econet this week.”

Marisa added that the authority does not allow telecommunications companies to abuse subscribers.

“All the companies are fully aware that it’s against the law to send text messages to subscribers without them consenting or at least having an option to opt out. We don’t allow such abuse.

“If we receive complaints from subcribers of other telecommunication companies we’ll also take up the issue. At the moment we have only received complaints from Econet subcribers,” said Marisa.

Econet spokesperson Rangarirai Mberi could not be reached for comment.

Econet subcribers told Chronicle that they were fed up with the unsolicited messages from the mobile company.

“Something has to be done about these unsolicited promotion texts, especially from Econet. A day never passes without them sending more than five text messages. I decided to remove all alerts and notifications for sms. About 95 percent of all text messages I receive are from Econet,” said Vincent Ncube, an Econet subscriber.

“I hope that our regulator, Potraz will do something to protect us. Unlike email spam, sms spam cannot be deleted without opening it first and some people’s phones don’t have sms spam filters.”

Another subscriber Patricia Dube said while the promotions were important to some people, it was also important for Potraz to put in place a code of conduct for commercial messages to protect mobile phone users from sms spam. “In all cases of sms spam, the sender should give the recipient an option to unsubscribe from the mailing list but Econet is not doing that.

“A vendor has no right under the constitution or otherwise to send unwanted material into the home or domain of another. Therefore, if a receiver of unsolicited text messages does not want to keep receiving them, the sender must simply stop,” said Dube.

She added that she attempted to send a message saying “stop” in response to a particular sms spam and in response the spammer responded saying “sms messaging cannot currently be changed”.


  • comment-avatar

    I find the move by potraz with regards to Econet sending text with no conscent of subcribers as NOBLE.The fact that we are subscribers to Econet does nt mean that we are their subjects.It time Econet shld start respecting us.

    Let subdcribers be askes first whether they want or not to egange in such txts.Thank you .

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    very bad service from Econet

  • comment-avatar
    easily fooled 8 years ago

    Remember these messages are spam, Econet does not even know the origin of these messages…..perhaps what Potraz must be doing is comeu up with a way to resolve the spam; not only to econet or telecel or netone…… because Econet can merely put an advert in the newspaper dissociating itself from the spam. Additionally, customers are free too to switch to the alternative service providers.

  • comment-avatar
    Mscynic 8 years ago

    Get a life. Delete unwanted messages .

  • comment-avatar
    Mafuta 8 years ago

    Strive Masiyiwa for president.

  • comment-avatar
    Bingo Wajakata 8 years ago

    TELECEL has same promotional messages, very irritating and time wadsting

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    perhaps the promotional messages are from the businessess from the likes of the one and only arrogant Themba Mliswa

  • comment-avatar
    Everthing Econet 8 years ago

    WHY IS IT THAT POTRAZ IS ALWAYS AGAINST ECONET? If any subscriber does not want to use econet there other alternatives.

    Econet is number one ZIMRA Cash cow but econet chino ne chino. Mwari pindirai

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    even if ZIMRA Cash Cow it must improve its service delivery and not take people for a ride

  • comment-avatar
    tonny 8 years ago

    get a life u have other alternatives if econet is not serving u well, so why bother. how much is a sim card? just switch over to the other junk

  • comment-avatar

    taura hako people first