Losing airtime?

If you have an unusually high phone bill, or your air time is disappearing

  • Establish exactly what is causing the problem, it could be:
    1. Unexpected data charges (apps running in the background)
    2. WASP services (subscription services)
    3. Sending lots of SMSes to premium-rated numbers
    4. Airtime transfers
    5. USSD usage (example, when the user dials *120*123# to enter competitions)
  • Check your SMS history to see if you have messages welcoming you to a subscription service, or reminding you about a service you are subscribed to.
  • Contact your mobile service provider if you need assistance in determining what you are being billed for.

Questions you should ask your mobile operator when you contact them

  • What services am I being charged for?
    • Are those WASP services, data services, or something else?
  • Is there a company billing me for subscription services?
    • What is the name of the company or companies billing me?
    • Do you have a phone number for that company?
    • Can you cancel the subscription services for me?

If data charges are the problem

  • Make sure you switch off data services on your phone that you don’t need. Some applications make use of mobile data, even if they are only running in the background. [MyBroadband article]
  • If you are not sure how to do this, visit your closest mobile phone store, and ask them to help you turn off applications which use data in the background.

If WASP services are the problem

  • Ask your mobile operator to stop the services which are being billed.
  • Use the tools provided by your network to cancel all subscription services.
    • Mobile operators allow users to manage content subscriptions through SMS or USSD codes:
      • Cell C
        • Use the USSD string *133*1# to block all existing and future content billing.
      • MTN
        • There are four separate USSD strings to manage premium content subscriptions. Each one needs to be accessed for a user to check if they are subscribed to a WASP:
          • *136*5#
          • *464*970#
          • *156*12#
          • *123#
        • MTN users can also block premium-rated services, such as a WASP, by following the steps below:
          • Dial *136*5#
          • Select option 2 (Content Services)
          • Select option 2 (Manage Premium Rated Services)
          • Select option 2 (PRS Charges)
          • Select option 1 (Block PRS Charges)
      • Telkom
        • Block all WASP subscriptions by enabling a setting in the Telkom app:
          • Log into the app and navigate to My Products > Manage > Protect Your Mobile Number, and set it to “On”.
          • To manage premium content subscriptions, navigate to My Products > Subscriptions > Content Services.
        • Alternatively, dial 180 and follow the prompts.
      • Vodacom
        • Send an SMS containing “STOP ALL” to 31050:
          • If you are subscribed to WASP services, you should receive the response indicating that your request to unsubscribe has been received. You should then receive messages confirming that you have been unsubscribed.
        • Alternatively, dial *117# and choose “Unsubscribe”.
        • It is also possible to block all future WASP subscriptions by dialling customer care (135).
  • If your mobile operator is unable to assist you, contact WASPA.

If your phone is stolen or lost

  • Report a stolen or lost phone to your service provider as soon as possible, so that your SIM can be deactivated.
  • Phone thieves often use stolen phones to transfer airtime or enter airtime competitions.