Telecel accused of targeting Econet subscribers with SMS spam

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar
image credit: @imanyere

Telecel Zimbabwe (or whoever is doing this on their behalf) may have just pulled a sneaky and bold spam stunt on their arch-competitor, Econet. Some Econet subscribers took to Twitter starting yesterday evening to share that they were getting messages they had not subscribed for. The message, in the image on the right, had the following text:

Move over to Telecel and enjoy 100% FREE bonus across all networks in the Telecel Mega Juice Reloaded Promotion.

The promo in question is ofcourse this one we wrote about earlier. Here are some of the Twitter updates:

The question of SMS spam is ofcourse not new in Zimbabwe. Local companies have harvested numbers and emails to then mindlessly blast messages to the numbers with no care in the world. In their defence, mobile networks have said that SMS spam is difficult to control as sometimes mobile users subscribe for these unknowingly through third parties like retail stores.

A source at Econet said there’s some concern at the company at the development. At Telecel, an official we contacted said he needed to investigate this first to determine what exactly was happening.



  1. allan

    guys, this is not the 1990’s anymore where service providers can just declare something out of their hands. especially when these issues are happening on their own network. make a plan, find a solution, implent a solution. econet keeps advertising themselves as the inspired network: inspired to do what exactly??

  2. Tirivashe Mundondo

    This conduct is very unprofessional, Telecel should find more creative ways of competing. This spamming business is supposed to be illegal and a serious violation of “rights” in first world countries. I really hope this and other ways can help them:

  3. Anti Spam

    I get SPAM from Econet all the time, I did not agree to receiving anything other than my bill and yet get at least 5 messages a week from them on other rubbish! Take the stick out your own eye Econet!

    1. Zimbo@heart

      yours is the most sensible comment here. We are bombarded with SPAM from Econet 24/7 and not even once have they offered a clue on how to opt out. the fact that I am a subscriber should not expose me to adverts on solar panels etc without my consent. I cant link the two.

    2. Mark

      I agree. I get spam from econet all the time. I never asked for it and have tried to get Econet to stop sending this spam to no avail. So personally, I have no sympathy for them. Econet is only concerned because as far as they are concerned only they should be allowed to spam their customers

    3. muhomba

      Gosh this happens on every network you can use in Africa I think. I have been to 16 African countries and I am always receiving spam from network providers. Messages ranging from downloading ringtones, using mobile money transfers and some in languages I cant read 🙂

  4. lurker133

    Is it ethical to use a marketing agency, and if a client engages their services who is considered to be the spammer?
    I have received email spam from several companies offering mass marketing services and boasting massive reach through SMS, email and flyer distribution. I know I never responded nor opted in to any of these services yet I may get a dozen or more junk emails a week (Evatech, Intouchzim, and lists users, I’m looking at you!) representing hundreds of advertisers of shops, goods, services, entertainment…

  5. Robert Ndlovu

    Econet must being cry babies.Any one can send text messages using any SENDER ID over IP.It is called SPOOFING. I can send Econet messages and claim to be sending from TECHZIM. I have more over demonstrated this BULK spoofing to them and then they said they knew about it and where cool about it.One does NOT need to be in Zim to do i.The SMS servers are based all over the world.

    Send me your mobile number to my email and I wil TEXT you back using any name you wish !

    1. lurker133

      It would be quite lame if somebody was campaigning for free on Telecel’s behalf though.

      1. Ndaba Sibanda

        I would the SMS only costs 0.001 Hello !

        1. lurker133

          But why?

          1. Ndaba Sibanda

            Econet bull dozes into banking via EcoCash and tells banks to be innovative or whither so let those who are creative come up with good promoz ! Big borother crying like a baby.

            1. lurker133

              Dude, what are you on about? Banking? Crying like a baby? From what I’ve read in this article none of the networks have made any statements about this. I’m no Econet subscriber, but lets try to keep the sense flowing when discussing these matters.

    2. Zimbo@heart

      Typical Econet … “we knew about it” …. yet doing nothing about it.

  6. Ndaba Sibanda

    Econet is a very funny company.They bull doze into banking via EcoCash and tell banks to be innovative or whither and now they crying over SMS sent to their networ.Some of us are very sick of getting spammed by Econet SMS when ever u receive a call me back.Nxa Econet big brother crying.

    1. M3YA

      this article was not a press statement from Econet, i dont even see how Econet has been a cry baby here. secondly, EcoCash is very ethical, i personally can’t call to mind what practices have been flouted by EcoCash; on the other hand this spoofing business of yours is very much illegal. Use your own phone number and lets see if POTRAZ does not take a swipe at you,

      Econet sending u promos is not unethical, boring as it might be, its very legal. Ask the biggest operator by size, China Mobile how much it earns thru ads?? When done, stop being a whiny child yourself.

    2. makandiwa

      Hau, kantie do you understand that our big boys Econet didn’t complain. They can also do the same to Telecel, NetOne, Africom etc in the future hahaha

  7. James Ritala

    I’m not advocating for SPAM SMS from either party (Econet or Telecel) but when I hear things like ‘I didn’t sign up for spam’ etc, I wonder to myself and get two thoughts…
    1) Has anyone read or understood the Terms & Conditions upon purchasing a sim card from the MNO’s.. It could be that they include a ‘clause’ somewhere that allows them to send promos to your phone whenever they like.
    2) It could be that they deliberately send this ‘spam’ knowing that you don’t have any legal muscle, argument, or mileage that can be used to prompt them to stop.

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