The Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA (ISPA) cautions prospective home Internet users to be circumspect when evaluating advertising claims. The association is concerned that some providers of home connectivity solutions may be trying to capitalise on the current demand by consumers for ICT (Information and Communications Technology) services that enable them to work from home.
“Anyone looking to update their ability to communicate, work, study, socialise and be entertained from home should be wary of overly-wordy, jargon-laced advertising designed to confuse rather than inform,” said Guy Halse, ISPA co-chair.
A quick internet search will show that overly-impressive sounding terms used by suspect operators are, in fact, meaningless.
Proper contact details and standard company information should be displayed on all adverts. Legitimate operators would also have an online presence that goes beyond social media and includes a functional company website.
Consumers can search the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission database: https://eservices.cipc.co.za/Search.aspx.
Mr Halse said one way for consumers to get proper service and accountability is to do business with an ISPA member because the non-profit association founded a quarter century ago is the only industry body recognised by government under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.
This means government is satisfied that ISPA members must abide by a mandatory Code of Conduct andfully comply with a variety of licensing and registration requirements, as well as requirements to protect customer records.
ISPA members undertake to give their customers honest and accurate information about these services.
ISPA members are required to display links to ISPA’s Code of Conduct on their websites and also include Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) documentation as well.
The association also operates a mediation and complaints process on behalf of ISPA’s members. The process gives customers an opportunity to escalate a dispute for attempted resolution. If the mediation process does not resolve the problem, and the member concerned has not complied with ISPA’s Code of Conduct, a formal complaint can be lodged.
ISPA’s membership list is available here.