Telenor Denies Its Commitment, Extends Blogging Competition [UPDATED]

A week before the launching ceremony of Telenor’s online portal Weblounge, Telenor organized separate bloggers’ meetups in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to demonstrate and brief the blogging community about their new service.

These meetups were very fruitful for Telenor as bloggers quickly highlighted the loop holes in the service and suggested their appropriate fixes. It was in Islamabad meetup that the bloggers’ asked Telenor’s product development team to secure their weblounge portal by ensuring SSL on payment page – which Telenor implemented later on.

In these meetups, Telenor announced that a Blogging Competition is going to be held among the bloggers. Telenor asked the blogging community to review their Weblounge service, highlight its pros and cons and do an overview of the service.

The rule was simple and clear:

To write a review on the Weblounge service and link the post to Telenor Weblounge page. The blog which would generate the maximum number of refereed visits to the Telenor Weblounge page will win the competition and a Blackberry Bold would be awarded to the winner. The competition had to start on the 10th of August and was planned to end on the 10th of September (one month campaign – clearly communicated).

Bloggers from all three cities took interest in this competition and participated with great esteem. Telenor collected email addresses, blog URLs and other information from all the bloggers so they could easily track, include and rank the blogs in the competition. Bloggers were excited that for the first a giant company like Telenor had approached them but they didn’t know what was next for them.

According to the stats which Marketing Operations, Telenor sent to the bloggers in the end of August, only six blogs were included in the competition. Their names with stats are given below:

  • Propakistani: 388 visits
  • Pak-sms : 252 visits (They did a review, plus a banner ad is being displayed)
  • Telecompk.net: 75 visits
  • Lahore.metblog: 20 visits
  • Sajjadzaidi: 12 visits
  • Pakmediablog: 0 visits

These stats are for first 18 days…

Just two days back bloggers discussed this issue and asked each other on twitter that if anyone had any idea when Telenor is going to announce the result of this competition. And it was decided that bloggers will contact Telenor regarding the status.

Today when we contacted Telenor’s concerned person, he replied to all the bloggers with a shocking message. Below is the official verdict:

Kindly note that we haven’t received any good numbers in blogging competition, seems like our esteemed bloggers are a bit busy in other work :). Therefore we are extending the competition date uptill 31st October and putting in the limit of 1000 visitors at least referred to our weblounge page.

However in order to encourage and appreciate the efforts we are gifting gift hampers to bloggers, kindly send reply with your postal addresses thanks.

After all the work and hope – Telenor simply rules out its commitment and extends the competition date. There was no requirement of minimum 1000 visitors in the initial rule of this competition.

All this proves following

  • Maybe they never had a plan to conclude the competition
  • They thought bloggers are kids – and they can manage them with Gifts, in the end
  • They totally miss-calculated the campaign and announced a bigger prize for little return. (50K for 2000 visits is not bad at all though)

During this whole competition, Telenor kept sending its various news and press releases asking bloggers to publish them – which bloggers did happily. And now Telenor is simply running away from this competition by giving gift hampers.

I’m personally very disappointed on Telenor, I think it is a total scam and nothing else. What you think about this whole scenario and what should be done to stop such scams from prevailing in the future.

Update:

I’m glad to update here that Telenor responded to our criticism in a positive manner. After a long conference call between a Telenor official and the blogging community – it was concluded and accepted that Blogging Competition will continue and will come to an end on the 31st of October.

The minimum requirement of generating 1000 refereed visits to the Weblounge page is taken back.

Now, the blog which generates the maximum number of refereed visits (regardless of how many) to the Weblounge page till the 31st of October will be declared the winner.

Good luck to all the bloggers!