“There is existing consumer-protection legislation in place in the form of the Consumer Protection Act. But it's important to bear in mind that the Consumer Protection Act does not apply to insurers.”Botha went on to assert that it could be said that financial services industries should be held to a higher standard of consumer protection than other industries. This is because of the risks and the failures in that these products can actually impose considerable hardships for consumers. With the new regulations, the South African insurance industry finds itself in-line with international standards. This is great for consumers who, in the past, have had nothing to protect them against unwarranted direct marketing.
13.10 Unwanted direct marketing 13.10.1 An insurer or any person acting on its behalf must afford a policyholder to whom it markets a policy through a mobile phone voice or text message the right to demand during or within a reasonable time after the message that the insurer or person acting on its behalf desist from initiating any such further messages or any other communication. 13.10.2 An insurer or any person acting on its behalf may not charge a policyholder a fee or allow a mobile phone service provider to charge a policyholder any fee for making a demand in terms of 13.10.1.Therefore, we as consumers should not be held liable for the cost charged when opting out of direct marketing, as some people claimed to have experienced. Insurance companies, for example, need to send SMS communication from a reverse billed number. This means that when consumers reply STOP or NO or GO AWAY to these pesky messages, the sender of the initial SMS, the insurance company, must be charged for the SMS, not the consumer. Most people, however, are unaware of their rights and unaware of these charges being made in the past. It helps to keep your eyes peeled from now on. We have the right to opt out, and should be afforded such. If these companies do not desist, well, you could always have a little fun with them.
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