Help at last for cellphone users

If you've had enough of receiving unsolicited commercial communications, subscription services, advertising and pricing, competitions or ring tones on your cellphone, your worries are now over.

If you've had enough of receiving unsolicited commercial communications, subscription services, advertising and pricing, competitions or ring tones on your cellphone, your worries are now over.

A leading Cyber law expert, Sizwe Snail, pictured, has been appointed to stop that nuisance.

Snail was appointed as adjudicator tasked with resolving any complaints cellphone consumers may have with the 147 full and affiliate members of the Wireless Application Service Providers Association of SA (Waspa).

Snail is an attorney at law firm Couzyn Hertzog & Horak. He specialised in Cyber law and civil litigation after completing an LLB at the University of Pretoria in 2004. He was admitted as an attorney of the South African high court last year. He is also a member of the Black Lawyers Association.

Leon Perlman, Waspa chairman, said Snail was joining Waspa's ensemble of eminent technology lawyers who adjudicate in terms of Waspa's code of conduct, ensuring consumers of cellphone content and services that their interests were being protected by Waspa and its independent adjudicators.

Perlman said Waspa's world-class self regulation model of using adjudicators had been a great success.

Snail said: "I believe I will add value to consumers' mobile experiences by enabling them to consume mobile products and services safe in the knowledge that there is someone they can trust to objectively settle any potential disputes with Waspa."

Adjudicators are tasked with mediating when the public's complaints about a Waspa member cannot be resolved amicably.

Waspa's code of conduct covers spam (unsolicited commercial communications), subscription services, advertising and pricing, competitions, complaint resolution and adult services. All adjudicators are specialist information communications technology (ICT) lawyers at law firms throughout South Africa.

If the service provider is found in breach of the code, the adjudicator can issue a reprimand, fine or suspension and can order compensation to be paid. The code has been in place since 2005 and is updated constantly, as new issues arise.

Waspa represents the mobile development, value added services and content services community in South Africa. After lobbying cellphone operators and Waspa in late 2003 for an industry body, Waspa's formative meeting was held in August 2004. Waspa membership was made mandatory by cellphone operators and TV stations for any company doing value added services in South Africa.

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