Waspa Buongiorno issue escalates

The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (Waspa) is currently escalating its legal course against multinational ‘mobile content developer’ Buongiorno, over contraventions of its code of conduct.

There is no specific clarity on what action is being taken against Buongiorno, however Waspa told BusinessTech that it is not taking the issue lightly.

“Waspa Mancom is busy evaluating legal advice after extensive investigation and consulting with a number of industry stakeholders, and we are currently finalising our legal strategy to deal with the Buongiorno issue,” it said.

Waspa could not provide a timeline for when these proceedings would be concluded.

The Buongiorno issue

Buongiorno has come under scrutiny for its banner adverts and “competitions” which draw mobile and web users into subscription services – which can charge up to R6 per day.

Since inception, Waspa has fined errant members a total of R17.8 million, according to reports.

Of this total, R2.9 million in fines have been issued to Buongiorno (South Africa and UK combined) along with its predecessor, iTouch. This is more than any other Waspa member.

As per the regulator’s website, of the 68 complaints lodged with Waspa in 2012 alone, 26 are against Buongiorno. Ten of these complaints, dating as far back as January, are still pending review.

Despite the constant complaints and proceedings against the company, to-date, Buongiorno’s adverts remain active, and the company remains a member of Waspa.

However, Waspa insists that it is actively working on the issue.

“There are some key consumer and industry implications for our industry in the decision to be made, and we are not taking this lightly,” Waspa said.

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Waspa Buongiorno issue escalates