A van in remote villages of Abbottabad has sold low cost SIMs with price tag of Rs. 100/-. Poor people took this offer as a good opportunity and bought connections at said price without any CNIC. These SIMs had Rs 150 balance and 50 free SMS. But, after 2 weeks or so, a message appeared on their phones which read like this “As your SIMs is not properly registered i.e. with out proper information of CNIC, so your SIM is being blocked now”. Hundreds of the SIMs purchased through this Van went down due to improper registration, and poor purchasers lost their hard earned money as the income sources are very limited in these areas with low agri-production and zero industry level.
First of all when the villagers told me that story, I was reluctant to accept it, and I knew that nothing can be done to reset it. However, I asked them to follow proper procedure for SIM registration on which they told me that they could give a copy of CNIC or at least the CNIC No, but, the seller never asked anything, they were just selling SIMs like peanut, told an angry lady Razia of Thath Karam Shah village on Lora Havalia Road.
“We don’t know what this SIM registration is, we never heard of it, even TV never told us any such thing, as PTV is the only media available here. Recently two companies, Ufone and Warid covered this area, so that is why people were very excited and envision it as an offer of the company for them”
Coming back from Abbotabad, I kept on thinking over the strategies of cellular companies and their poor sales’ network is causing loses to these poor people of remote areas. These poor never appear on mainstream media and are unable to contact higher authorities to get their complaints registered. When I crossed the Thall Chwok in Barakahu (a near by town of the capital Islamabad), there came across a live example of so-called sales person, in fact a hawker selling Warid SIMs at even cheaper rate . Amazingly, price tag was even better than what I was told back in the village. SIMs were being sold at Rs. 50 with 60 Rupee balance and 50 free SMS. I stayed there for 15 minutes and saw that Warid lovers were very excited about that offer and purchasing SIMs happily.
I gathered some courage and tried to educate the buyers and told them that these SIMs will get blocked soon, but they replied, “No worries jigar, nothing to worry about, as these SIMs are free for us, we will use the balance and that’s it”
According to new plan as stated many times by Chairman PTA Dr. Yaseen that after 31st January 2009, no pre active SIM will be allowed to soled. A new procedure will be followed according to which SIMs will be activated after confirmation from Nadra’s data. So Warid has adopted a policy to sell all the pre active SIMs before the implementation of new policy.
It is worth mentioning here that PTA has blocked more then 11 million illegal SIMs after criticism by media, security agencies and Standing committee of the Senate. More then 3 million illegal SIMs were of Warid while Mobilink was another major stakeholder in this race. This process of blocking SIMs is still going on.
Previously we saw Paktel practicing the same routine, to sell the SIMs on footpath and often “Rahri walas” were offering SIMs instead of potatoes and vegetables. We all know that company got sold out with-in year, this made me wonder if Warid following Paktel’s footstep?
And even if it is not done by the proper permission of the company then the company should take notice of this activity and take action against those elements that are diligently trying to defame the favorite telecom company of Pakistan. I am wondering, how cellular companies give excuses that such activities are carried away without their consent.
If you want a new SIM from Warid please try your nearest franchise with your CNIC…
Lets prey for more responsible behavior from our telecom companies.