Telenor Invents A New Way of Minting Money
When businesses go unchecked by authority and making money becomes the only goal, companies will do any possible thing to empty the pockets of customers, without considering the long-term consequences of their deeds. One such example is SMS based trivia quizzes, which every telecom company is playing with.
Going to next level, Telenor is sending SMS to its customers to win as much as half kg of gold for free in its “Sonay ki Jeet” contest, which could potentially mislead customers by not communicating the actual terms.
Text message claims that participation in the contest is free, which is untrue.
The SMS is: Free participation for 3445433332! Telenor has selected your number for free participation for a prize of Half KG gold. Send FREE to 8999 now Rs. 0 this SMS.
What a customer will get from this message is apparent, i.e. participation in contest is free. He/she will immediately send a reply back to this message assuming that he/she will qualify for the prize. Which doesnt happen in reality.
In real, participation in “Sonay ki Jeet” contest requires at least one reply to short-code 7775, which costs Rs.10 plus tax.
When we asked Telenors viewpoint on it, Telenor said that SMS from 8999 is not misleading. It argued that customer is given an opportunity to enter into the competition by sending a free SMS to 8999. Once that is done, customer then receives questions for the Sonay Ki Jeet competition to which the customer responds to, at 7775. Telenor said that Messages from 7775 informs customers that sending SMS to 7775 will be charged at Rs10+tax.
PTA needs to check this ongoing practice.