Telenor and Ufone to Charge Balance Inquiries – To provide (better) Services

Do you remember that Mobilink used the same dialogue (back in August 2007) “In order to provide better services, we will charge your call center calls”, which was followed by everyone.

This time its Telenor, that is displaying following message on its website

In order to provide better services to our valued subscribers, each balance inquiry via *444# (Rupee Account Balance), *111# (Free SMS Balance) and *222# (Free Minutes Balance) strings will be charged 10 paisa (exclusive of tax), with effect from 1st Aug 09

Technically, PTA can’t question cellular companies for imposing such service charges. Reason is that they are providing services, and they can charge whatever they feel like (unless it’s not SMP, i.e. Mobilink), but its subscribers who can ask them anything. Here i am asking these two questions

  1. So Telenor is not offering better services before this service charges imposition? Sort of confession?
  2. What betterment Telenor can bring for balance inquiries? like they gonna send periodical alerts or what?

You can ask your questions, or share your answers to my questions in comments

Update: Ufone is quick enough to impose the same amount of service charges on balance inquiries.

Update: Responses from customers, and involvement of PTA made both the companies re-consider their decision of imposing service charges on balance inquiries. For time being, both Ufone and Telenor has withdrawn charges for balance inquiries.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • had hai kasam se ..
    0r kis kis tarah looten gay ye users ko ..
    har 2 weeks baad lootnay ki nayi scheme nikaaltay hain !!

    very bad.


  • oh yaar.. its 12 p including tax.. itney to faiqir ko bhee nahi daitey.. lolz.. hamari kaum bhee akhir bhooki nangi hey.. aik 12 paisay keh charge.. woh bhee aik aisee service jo her wqat istemaal nahi hoti.. keh liey itna shor.. humm.. shor machaney ki aadat see ho gai hey… shukar ada nahi kertey keh world class services.. world cheapest rates per milti hein.. seriously ppl… think abt it.. these companies will colapse if they dont make money..
    btw.. as per TP relased numbers.. Pakistan is lowest revenue per person in all of its 26 companies around the world.. lowest by multiple times..
    still they are herre giving jobs.. bringing good culture.. commited to social welfare pograms.. please be a lil thankful.. too

  • Boys Its not only telenor but UFONE is also going to charge 12paise for balance enquiry from 1st august

  • Ufone also displaying same message that they are going charge 10paisas +tax from 1 aug 09 on balance inquiry….so ufone customers also must be aware of this

  • Hi Everyone,

    Please understand that the purpose of this act is not to make money; rather to ensure that only those people use the service that actually need it (rather than those who needlessly check their balance 40 times a day).

    Habitual users only end up abusing the service; resulting in the fact that actual users end up with degraded response times.

    This way, good service can actually be guaranteed to those that really need it… (in fact, this was also the reason behind introducing charging at all the call centers within the telco industry).

    hope that this clears things up, and apologies if I have offended anyone.

  • pakistani telco companies offer the lowest rates in the world. I personally dont have any problems with these companies charging 10 paisas..10 paisas is nothing.. imagine if you were being charged $5 per intl mms like they do in Ukraine..

  • telenor having bad coverage near pehlwan goht,gulistan-e-jauhar..i am using it thro mnp i had jazz network and converted it to telenor talkshawk…

  • Y only for Telenor and Ufone ? Y other mobile fone networks r not mentioned in this matter ? its cheat.

  • sir jis tara zong waly outgoing call ka detail daty ha kya is tra ufone ka b koi site ya tariqa ha . tell me about it saeed kakar 03322357657

  • So this time, will any body abuse on Ufone? Ufone was used to charge balance inquiry charges 50 paisa per inquiry.. writer should mention this also.

    anyway when cost of sms and call will go so down then users should accept this small increase in charges. we must keep in mind that misuse of free things in Pakistan is very high. But as company impose a very small charge then every body stops it.

    I remember of congestion in Mobilink network in 2000 and 2001 due to free SMS service. People were used to literally suck the network by useless messages. As company imposed SMS charged, things got ok in just one day. So I support such small imposition of charges… Yes Government should reduce taxes because taxes are high on telecom in Pakistan.

    • Ufone’s balance inquiry through USSD (*124#) was free – but now following Telenor, Ufone bas also announced charged USSD based balance inquiries – 10 paisa plus tax (Mentioned in post already)

  • It can do a bit increase ARPU (Average revenue per Unit/User) & To avoid congestion in the network. We people in Pakistan get habitual of free services and these codes remains on our thumb. This is the time that we should compare call rates with global market, companies are about to collapse after this recession period of 2009. Telenor maintained its performance thoughout the year on the cost of revenue. Off-net calls are almost free from operators perspective. RS 1.20/min is charged by each operator as inter-connect charges so in such scenario off-net calls adds 0 to revenues. i remember when i used to make offnet call 0f RS 18/min and on-net RS 12/min and we are still not satisfied. We want more like they give us free of charge services which is not possible. So we need to think over it, money is required to provide good services and cover OPEX

    • Telenor nay sub say pehlay apnay call center per charges lagayay aur un k call center k charges b sub say ziyada hain

      telenor nay sub say pehlay balance checking per charges lagayay

      Kehtay hain Yai sub paisay customers ko quality services provide kernay k lyiay hain

      banda khara khara thuk jata hai telenor call center per 30min tak call he nahi chuktay

      haftay main 4days telenor ke balance checking service and easy load service band rehti hai, shop per jao shop wala daant dikha kar kah deta hai “load nahi ja raha telenor network kharab”
      jub telenor call center per rabta karo, bhai kio nahi chal rahi telenor balance checking service aur easy load, to kehtay detay hain “chand network upgradations ke wajah say services ko temp disable kia gaya hai”

      phir meray jesay b unko keh detay hain haftay main 4 din services he upgrade hoti rehti hain baki 3 din wo he slow mehangi services.

      fittay muh telenor jhoton ka yai charges sirf lootnay k liyay lagayay or apni jeebain bachanay k liyay, baki sari kamai telenor pakistan say loot ker telenor malaysia, telenor bangladesh, telenor india ko day rahi.

  • @Corporate
    Issues is not with amount but it is with the policy. In other markets like India, Bangladesh etc no operator is charging even helplines. How can they charge balance check. Also I don’t agree with the statement that telcos are offering cheapest rates in Pakistan. One has to compare the quality of service also. Yesterday I call 345 @ about 2pm. I was charged amount but call disconected when it was tranfered to CRO.

    2) Also this tax would increase corruption by telcos as we have to change the habbit of balance check after every call. Soon telcos would start charging more. If all operators start the call charge summary like warid is offering then you can charge such tax claiming people misuse balance check facility.

    3) Last year Telenor started this charge with a condition that 1st three attempts will be free and following will be charged.

    4) Also people should mention their original identity by making such rude comments on majority of our society.

    5) Also its date is changed from 1st August to soon. Kindly check it and condemn this respective helplines and PTA. I strongly believe that PTA can take action as it violates the practiced norms of telecom operators in the world. I am lodging a complaint against Telenor at PTA. You should also follow…. Thanks

    • You hit a very interesting point – valid up to some extent, that if customers are made not to check their balance after every call, there are good chances of over charging. We know this happens with postpaid: Every postpaid user will agree with me.

      • wat such companies want if govt decrease tax so its nt fair for such companies to act like this.

        anyhow wat can v do??

  • UFONE has not implemented this service charges . Mods Should update this as soon as possible :).

  • Already made port out request to ZoNG’s Rs. 2999 offer.
    No more chances of being with Telenor.
    Seems like Telenor really wants to loose customers to roll back its operations in Pakistan.
    Good Bye Telenor.
    Enjoy yourself in India.

  • 10 crores per day on sms pakistani khrch krte hian,

    fuzool sms k liye money hai, or waise nahi

    ch ch ch ch ch ch ch

  • I don’t know why this service is beeng charged. is there any expenditure for this service on the company. we have a habit of checking balance and sms so many times a day. telenor should not take any advantage of that. The company if cant make its rates cheaper ,it should atleast maintain its rates.
    Telenor is the most affordable and reliable company. but it will lose its fame due to these kind of satatements

  • dear 12 paise balance chek per katite hain or agar hum kisi ko call karen or wo na uthae to 12 paise app k account main se gayab ho jaenge ab is main call karne wale ka kia kassoor yeh service khatam honi chaheye
    ALL companies ko requiest ki jaey

  • Don’t worry dudes
    Yes there is no need to worry for ufone customers about 12paisas imposed because I know another procedure to know about your balance without giving the tax.
    100% Guaranteed……..

  • Dear Zubair,
    why are you Inviting us to Zong ?? Is Zong not Charging this 12paisas?
    and Why everyone is talking Only about Telenor??
    Not Only Telenor is Charging this but Every Network is Charging. without Warid.
    soo Condemn All the Network Equally!!
    Thanks and Regards!
    Wafa Khan

  • Dear Corporate Wars,
    Just tell me One thing, Which Service is Going to be Better? and For What The Operators are Charging this 12 paisas?

    Wafa Khan

  • Telecommunication companies have started sucking the blood of customers. all companies have taken decision to charge 10 paisa upon every balance check without permission of PTA. PTA is there to secure customer rights.

    i am user, i need to check balance and my amount will be deducted upon every balance check and i have no way to escape into. this is imposition on us and we are compelled to bear this exploitation so there shud be some one who may bring some flexibility for us and this is none else but PTA.

    i think warid has been doing best. it used to tell the call cost after every call and also remaining amount. and many times it happened to me that they deducted extra money and when i checked i called to CSR and had my rebate. but now warid has gone one step down and only tell remaing amount.

    i request to authorities that plz secure our rights too. and make such a plan which is neither against these telecommunication companies and nor harmful for customers. for e.g PTA shud direct all companies that:-

    1) show the remaining balance after every call to the customer so that he may recharge if amount is low or get rebate if wrong deduction (low amount criteria differs from person to person. for a business man 500 is low amount and for a commoner 20 is a low amount).

    2) three balance checks shud be free in a day.

    3) it should tell also that its ur first balance chack try and 2 tries remaing and so on every time.

    if PTA applies these rules then these campanies will be happy and customers also will not be exploited. both parties will be happy.

    if PTA debates with these companies and advise them to impose anything but with a limit, ethics and flexibility then it shows PTA as an authority and influential entity and its beneficialness for public and if PTA lets these companies apply rules partially then who will secure our rights? and moreover ppl will not be checking their balance and these companies will get open field to play blunders with trillions of rupees and possibly one day some scandal may emerges in newspapers, PTA might be held in court to support this rule which leads to corruption. so plz create a balance in both side rights. dont let them do whatever they want and let the people do audit of their amount themselves.

  • Dear Usman,
    I am Agree to Your 3 points given below.

    1) show the remaining balance after every call to the customer so that he may recharge if amount is low or get rebate if wrong deduction (low amount criteria differs from person to person. for a business man 500 is low amount and for a commoner 20 is a low amount).

    2) three balance checks shud be free in a day.

    3) it should tell also that its ur first balance chack try and 2 tries remaing and so on every time.


  • wafa khan i like your idea to go on strike for one day lets fix one day in every month until they take back this wrong action.

    now let decide what the day shud be. i think first day of every month our mobile shud be powered off. if some ppl think not to call but power on, this is not fair with your brothers. so complete power off of our mobile phone so that they may be forced to take back 10 paisa deduction on every balance check or come on such a plate form which is acceptable for all.

    so i am gonna power off my mobile on first date of every month. and i am determined to do it.

  • Dear Usman,
    I am agree the Date You Fixed, But We shall have to Aware others.. Soo is it Should through SMS? should we aware our friends and other ppls through Calls/Sms?

    Wafa Khan

    • Wafa Khan!

      Don’t waste money on calls/sms :P use email service to aware others and really best option is to click media about this they will quickly convey your msg to all Pakistan :)

      Am I right Friends :)

  • dear wafa khan

    either sms or email to all news media, i think news media will catch this news as flashing and burning piece of information and cause to disseminate it.

    so i will email it to all news media. and insha Allah sooner your TV speaker will utter this words.



  • Dear Usman,
    We have started a Daily basis Strike since 10September, All Mobile Phones Of My Friends/Family Comes Swithed Off from 4pm to 5pm(New Time).
    Please be with Us. and if Possible Kindly Mention some Tv Channell’s ID’s also.

    Wafa Khan

  • Well better Services from Ufone for SMS, they have even blocked SMS delivery report.

    What else better we can have from UFONE.

    Better to be called UR Fone

  • Jazz ka network be gunda hota jarah din ba din or uper say loutna shuru kardia hain, main to kafi dair pehlay gunda network honay ke waja say warid use karnay laga hoon

    chwal network jaaz

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