Safaricom subscribers are being spammed yet again and they are not happy about it. The mobile service provider has a history of sending its subscribers unsolicited messages, from the still unresolved issue of the CCK approved SMS message from NCCK earlier this year to the unwanted ads for their products and third party promotions. Now several mobile subscribers have gone online and complained about receiving more unsolicited texts, this time from a Senator.
Senator Wamatangi – even in a different time zone umenipata. Well played!
— GARBO (@roomthinker) September 25, 2014
You have either received an SMS from Kiambu Senator Hon. Wamatangi, know someone who has seen a complaint on Social media from someone who has and this is what a lot of Kenyans online have been seeking an explanation for. These texts are in direct violation of an individual’s right to privacy since what the complaints have in common. The concern by many Kenyans hwo expressed their concerns online were; that nobody gave or consented to their number being given out, most of the time, the messages were irrelevant (The Senator is always addressing the people of Kiambu County). A lot of Kenyans have taken onto Twitter and Facebook to take this issue up with Safaricom through their official Safaricom twitter handles.
Where did Senator Wamatangi get my number from pic.twitter.com/PExXD6LXhI
— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@C_NyaKundiH) September 23, 2014
The response to the numerous complaints has been ambiguous and slow to the point where one might think they do not want to address the issue. Users have on numerous occasions been told to simply block the number, install True Caller or take up the issue with the police. This is despite hundreds of Kenyans complaining about the same spammer.
Is this really the way to deal with people’s complaints?
@BabaWaBabaYao Please forward the sender’s number to 333 (toll-free) so as to be treated as a spammer. ^JB
— Safaricom Limited (@SafaricomLtd) September 23, 2014
It is sometimes possible to simply block the number and be done with the whole matter but, what happens when the same Spammer registers 10 lines and reverts to the others once one of the numbers if blocked. Therefore, the suggestion that people block the number doesn’t answer the main question. Why does the burden of sanity lay with the victim of the Spam messages?
@Kvaati Hatujui, however unaenza block numba yake if you have a smart phone ama you report him to the police. ^IN
— Safaricom Limited (@SafaricomLtd) September 19, 2014
Why does the senator have people’s numbers in the first place? Who gave them to him? Why has it taken so long for them to respond to the complaints? The texts have been in circulation ever since the previous election campaigns as many of the victims confirm. If the texts were targeting his constituents only, then that would be another case but the texts are being received by people all over the country, way after the election period has ended.
— Trancients (@Trancients) September 18, 2014
@bankelele I wonder. Am in Kisii my vote in Kisii but I keep getting Wamatangi’s messages in my phone he should get serious
— James (@jamesmakini) September 18, 2014
When one decides to subscribe to Safaricom, there are terms and conditions that do apply, however there is none that states they can give your number out to anybody or any company. Safaricom cannot justify giving out people’s numbers to another party without the subscriber’s consent. If it is the government they need to get court orders or ask the people concerned for their permission.
So what happens when your mobile service provider violates your right to privacy? It is either, Safaricom was aware of the leak of numbers (which is illegal) and purposefully ignored the public outcry and let the message stay in circulation or they were not, which is even worse. If they do not know how a member of the Senate got access to a large database of numbers then it is extremely irresponsible of them and they must be made accountable. Who is the public going to complain to when they do not seem bothered enough to take action? Does it now become a legal issue? The public has a right to know exactly what they are getting into when they decide to subscribe.
Afromum’s Admin raised this concern regarding the Senator with Safaricom via their official twitter handle and was informed that the Senator’s matter had been handled once and for all. We can only confirm that indeed the Senator’s spamming spree has been dealt with when no more Kenyans are taking to Social Media to complain. It took less than 24 hrs for the Senator to resume spamming Safaricom Subscribers again.
So @SafaricomLtd, how many lines does Senator Wamatangi have and how is mine saved on them? In a related post, who is he?
— Yafesi Musoke (@Yafesi_Musoke) September 26, 2014
If we did not buy our mobile lines from the police and the sms messages were not life threatening, why do we need to report the spamming matter to the police. I dare any of the victims to report and risk becoming the laughing stock at the police station
Victim: Habari boss
Cop: Sema Kijana
Victim: Nimekuja Ku-report Senator Wamatangi anani spam
Cop: Spam zimefanya nini, una wazimu kijana?
What we are seeing from Safaricom’s response is a clear case of them evading their responsibility to their subscribers. Maybe Equitel will humble them a bit. Maybe! Lets not even discuss Communications Authority of Kenya.
(Image source: mediamaxnetwork.co.ke)