Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 8:38:32 by


There is intense competition in our telecom sector and while companies fight for market share, it is the customer that is made to suffer through deceptive techniques. Ufone’s UWon Package, Zong’s 50 paisa call, Mobilink’s JazzOne package, Telenor’s 7 hours in 7 Rupees and Warid’s 60 paisa call on all networks are all examples of fooling the customers.

Zong and Ufone were already warned by CCP and it is common knowledge how it was deceptive marketing, so I need not reinvent the wheel. The rest may be alright from the legal perspective but they still mislead the people. JazzOne is about one rupee per minute call. Many people will not know the details even though they are advertised – not too clearly but advertised nonetheless.

This package is only for calls on Mobilink numbers, first minute call has additional charges of 40 paisa and it requires a change of package. The ad also said that no calculations are required due to its simplicity. It doesn’t, however mention what will, if any, be the effect on the charges of call made to other operators by subscribing to this specific package. Now that surely is a calculation!

According to a Telenor ad, a subscriber can call for 7 hours from 10 am to 5 pm for Rs. 7. The details include 20 paisa/30 sec call, activation method and that it requires daily activation of service. There are other concerns that are not answered. Will that require a change of package? Is that for calls on all networks or Telenor only? And my goodness! I can’t get the maths right.

There are 420 minutes in 7 hours which makes it 840 30-seconds. 20 paisa/30 second would mean Rs. 168 for 7 hours. That is 24 times the charges as stated by the company. What am I missing? I am sure the company can find a way to justify calculations but then how many people will understand that on their own?

Warid has claimed that the “Best network’s best offer is 60 paisa/30 seconds”. This service requires activation and the best I understand is that the service costs Rs. 1.2 for one minute which comes to 60 paisa/30 seconds, but half minute calls are not actually allowed. No other details are known in this case either.

These are services that people use every day and the companies are not providing enough information. As a result people buy the services but feel cheated.

My driver is hell bent on changing his mobile connection just because he thinks he will be able to call on all networks for 50 paisa per call by switching to a certain network. He does not know about conditions and hidden charges and is merely a victim of catchy and hollow phrases.

At times, the Competition Commission of Pakistan takes notice of such ads but mostly these companies advertise the way they want and still get away. P&G was only warned by CCP and no fine was imposed. Again no fine was imposed on Ufone or Zong.

They were only told by CCP to take off their ads. When companies indulge in deceptive marketing through mass media, a warning is not enough. They should be made to appear on media, tell the truth, apologize and should buy back their products.

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Posted by on Oct 25 2011. Filed under Business, Editorial, Opinion, Pakistan, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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