The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) was formed in 2004 as a self-regulatory body with a mandate to represent and regulate its voluntary members, which provide mobile-based Value Added Services (VAS), otherwise known as WASPs.
Membership of an industry body with a recognised Code of Conduct has been made compulsory by Telkom Mobile, Cell C, MTN and Vodacom for all WASPs.
WASPA’s Code of Conduct and Advertising rules were developed and implemented in 2005. It has developed a complaints handling process, to enforce these rules, that is totally independent of the WASPA Board. Anyone may lodge a complaint and each complainant is given a reference number.
Complaints are handled by an independent secretariat who process complaints using a mandated civil procedure policy, while some 13 independent ICT lawyers and a 3-person appeals panel of ICT lawyers adjudicate the complaints lodged with the secretariat. An emergency panel of three WASPA adjudicators may sit to shut down offending services, pending a formal adjudication, where there is evidence of immediate and ongoing consumer harm.
These lawyers may adjudicate on any matter related to the WASPA Code of Conduct where a complaint has been lodged. All completed adjudications are posted publically on the WASPA web site. The adjudicators may sanction any infraction, which may include fines, suspensions, remedies, refunds, expulsion, or any combination thereof.
WASPA also has a compliance department who check advertising, and test services on a daily basis, for compliance with its Code of Conduct.
WASPA is also a prominent member of the International Audiotext Regulators Association.