The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) has said that SMS packages offered by different mobile operators have become a source of inconvenience for the public. Many are misusing the facility of unlimited packages provided against payment of few rupees.
“Last year 20 billion SMS were sent while this year the average stands at 10 billion per month,” said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. Majority of these messages may not have contributed towards anything except for the additional revenue to mobile operators. It has also helped officials claim achievement.
Facility of sending hundreds and thousands of short text messages against small payment has helped many to start SMS marketing business. Uninterested and illiterate also receive these messages on their devices. Some elements send messages with a short tragic tale asking recipients to send them money or balance.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that these practices are nothing but deceit and violation of human rights. This trend should be discouraged by fixing price of an SMS. Unlimited and Bundle packages should be discontinued and every consumer should have right to allow or disallow messaging service on his or her mobile phone.
Consumers should also have right to disable promotional messages from their respective operator. A system that allows sending and receiving messages from the numbers added in a user’s phone book will also help improve situation.
When every subscriber has a right to get internet service activated or deactivated on his phone, he or she should also have same facility regarding SMS, said Dr. Mughal.
Such a move will not only bar others from harassing consumers but also help stop rumour mills working freely across the country. This will also minimise incidents of mobile infections through viruses.
He said that ethics should not become victim of business expansion. Corporate social responsibility shouldn’t be propagated but also practiced.