Telenor Invents a New Way of Minting Money

When businesses go unchecked by authority and making money becomes the only goal, companies will do any possible thing to empty the pockets of customers, without considering the long term consequences of their deeds. One such example is SMS based trivia quizzes, which every telecom company is now playing with.

Going to next level, Telenor Pakistan is sending text messages to its customers to win as much as half kilogram of gold for FREE in its “Sonay ki Jeet” contest, which could potentially mislead customers by not communicating the actual terms.

Text message received by Telenor customer claims that participation (shirkat) in the contest is free, which is untrue.

Before going into further details, let’s have a look at the SMS:


Text message is in roman Urdu, which would translate into English as following:

Free participation for 3445433332!

Telenor has selected your number for free participation for a prize of Half Kilogram gold. Send FREE to 8999 now

Rs. 0 this SMS

What a customer will get from this message is apparent, i.e. participation in contest is free. He/she will immediately send a reply back to this message assuming that he/she will qualify for the prize. Which doesn’t happen in reality.

In real, participation in “Sonay ki Jeet” contest requires at least one reply to short-code 7775, which costs Rs. 10 plus tax.

When we asked Telenor’s viewpoint on it, Telenor said that SMS from 8999 is not misleading. It argued that customer is given an opportunity to enter into the competition by sending a free SMS to 8999. Once that is done, customer then receives questions for the Sonay Ki Jeet competition to which the customer responds to, at 7775. Telenor said that Messages from 7775 informs customers that sending SMS to 7775 will be charged at Rs10+tax.

Obviously participation isn’t free, which Telenor admitted to us, unlike it claimed in text messages sent to customers (shown above).

Almost all cellular companies use tactics to trigger customers for action, but Telenor’s this action of claiming the participation as free is unique and new.

No words on PTA’s role; they are so good at showing deaf ears to things where customers suffer. Just imagine the number of customers (especially from rural areas) who will washout their credits just because of a twist Telenor invented to earn more money. Millions of Rupees will change pockets, on which Telenor deserves a bravo; and so does PTA.

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

  • zain

    i wanted some one to highlight this issue. thanks god you did it.
    this fraud technique wasted millions of people money who got trapped by this msg.


    • PAKI

      Lo Bhai ab tu Zardari ko bhi TELENOR walon se classes leany paray gi.

      Telenor walon ney apnay customer bana liye hain ab ye dil khol k lootay ga.

      • RT

        during 1.5 month :

        1)Telenor to Deduct 7% Service Charge on all Reloads.

        2)Telenor to Further Increase Tariff for Poora Pakistan Offer

        3)Telenor Starts Charging Postpaid Customers for Helpline Calls.

        and now new fraud ..

        4,Telenor Invents a New Way of Minting Money

        isi performance tu aur kisi company ki bhi nahi pakistanio ka khoon nichoor lain gay .ya 3g k license k paisey AWAAM ki jaib se pooray kar rahay hain?plzz BOYCOTT pakistanio ko beywakoof bana rahay hain.

      • paki

        Han Telenor waley apnay customer bana chukay hain ab ye un ko mazey ley ley kar loot rahay hain,telenor ki sim change karo sab.3G k license k paisey ye awaam se nikal rahay hain ye,inka jab se INDIA main FRAUD pakra gaya hai aur LICENSE cancel hoa hai ye awaam ko dil khol k loot rahay hain.

    • Anwer Ali Baloch

      Why should PTA address such issues? PTA has more important work to do in the Higher National Interest, for example, monitoring those SMS which contain anything (jokes,etc.) against the MOST Honest President Za**ari, or the MOST Competent Interior Minister Reh**n Ma**k. You stupid 18 Crore Sleeping (better to call you dead) people, don’t you know that monitoring such things is NOT important?

  • Honey

    I don’t see any miss leading information…

    Also Telenor, in your question, answered that they are not miss leading. I don’t know why did you still acted as un-understood after communicating with Telenor.

    Quoting “When we asked Telenor’s viewpoint on it, Telenor said that SMS from 8999 is not misleading. It argued that customer is given an opportunity to enter into the competition by sending a free SMS to 8999”

    * They said that Participation is FREE? YES
    * Sending SMS 8999 is FREE? YES

    And that’s it. the “FREE” thing is over. Once a customer replied to 8999 (which is actually free as Telenor told) Telenor will continue communicating with the customer from another Short Code which is 7775

    Quoting “Telenor said that Messages from 7775 informs customers that sending SMS to 7775 will be charged at Rs10+tax.”

    At this point the customer has been fully advised with the charges where they apply and where they do not.

    It’s true that Free SMS 8889 is just a gimmick to attract customers but they are advised with the charges where they apply. If still a customer unwilling continue with this… then it’s the customer who is an “Idiot” and it’s not PTA or Telenor or any other company who stands responsible.

    This has been working within the laws around the world… Pakistan is just a new market for these profitable businesses….

    PS: I am not a Telenor customer so please do not abuse me for that…

    • admin

      Participation: When a customer qualifies to win prize through lucky draw, which isn’t free.

      You said: It’s true that Free SMS 8889 is just a gimmick to attract customers; says it all

    • sacha

      yeh telenor customer nai balky telenor employe hy :D

      • Honey

        well that comment really made it funny :D
        BTW I am not an employee either… :)

        • GulSher

          Koocha tum Peshawar aao, Telenor ki sari policy humko pata hai, hum explain ker de ga… @Honey :D

          • Harry

            Hahahahaha .. go0d0ne gulsheraaaa :) sngey chal de ??

        • awaam

          :@ HONEY “khisyani Billi Khamba Noochay” .lol

          :@ TELENOR : ads main tu baraey “LECTURE” detay hain aur pakistani awaam ko loot rahay hain doosri taraf , India main bhi in ka license cancel hoa hai.choor looteray hain ye.

          • Wasim

            Pakistan sy bhe bhagaen inko…ye aur ufone donno choor hain.

    • Aasim

      @ honey
      It’s true that Free SMS 8889 is just a gimmick to attract customers but they are advised with the charges where they apply. If still a customer unwilling continue with this… then it’s the customer who is an “Idiot” and it’s not PTA or Telenor or any other company who stands responsible.

      Can telenor here mention which language are they using to intimate the customer about the charges in the message that follows. I strongly believe it would be in English, which again is fraudulent as a commen Pakistani residing in the rural areas cannot apprehend English. He would be driven to reply to those SMS believing in the first SMS and therby washing away his credit.

      Secondly Hats off to you calling the customer an Idiot. In this competitive market, Customer should be the God for the Operators, if they are here to make us (or rather prove us to be) Idiots, we might be better off boycotting them.

      What I get from your comment is that its every one’s responsibilty to be vigilant to avoid getting deceived from these fraudulent acts. In short take all Laws and regulations, throw them in the Arabian Sea and lets hold the one deceived as guilty of letting someone defraud him and lets fine him on top of the loss he already has suffered. Bravo!! No matter you tread in a country who’s President is Mr Zardari..

      • AK

        Very well written Aasim really liked and I do agreed with you !

    • Pakistan Classified Ads

      If any company is running promotions like these then they will have to arrange public gatherings to announce and show publicly who is the winner. We are just communicated about the promotion but not about the winners.

  • are you sure these are from telenor? I get these everyday 2 to 3 times sometimes from different code same day. And is That Nexus S phone? What ROM u using?

    • admin

      Yes, text was from Telenor, they confirmed it.

      About ROM, i am unsure…

  • Abdul Rafay

    ye ak software and website hai jiske zrye msg beje jaa skte hai
    mere pass bhi hai bbut me kisi ko bewakuuff nahi bnata

  • Pakistani

    I received similar SMS from Warid. Lame

  • Warid is sending same kinda advertising SMS. Which tells that “apka number CHUNA GAYA HAY”


    • admin

      Are they claiming that participation is free?

  • Khurram

    Fake and Childish

  • Moid Iqbal

    Similar kind of tactics were also run by Mobilink some time back.

    • admin

      Almost all cellular companies use tactics to trigger customers for action, but Telenor’s this action of claiming the participation as free is unique and new.

  • Khurram

    this post is so childish ahhhh no comments …

  • Talha

    Why doesn’t telenor do a ‘Khamoshi Ka Boycott’ now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We ll SUPPORT THEM :)

  • Farhan Janjua

    Seriously this message is from Telenor? I am shocked to see that :p I mean I have received a couple of them myself but such style of writing in Roman Urdu on is beyond ridiculous to the extent that I ignored the text believing it to be NOT from Telenor. Also, because on Persona, they never sent messages in Roman Urdu before.

  • Ohhhh…Hmain kab tk bewakoof banatay rhain gay.????

  • shariq

    Earlier we were tired of receiving such promotional messages, but now we are just commenting on gaming the customers etc….

    They should have customer consent to send such promotional messages, I really don’t wish to receive a single sms from my cellular operator.

  • used mobile pk

    Yup definitely there is no authority in this country to protect consumers from these type of idiot schemes even by well established companies. Thank god blogs like are pointing out these issues to protect telecom consumers in Pakistan. Blogging is powerful way to get approved many right decisions by authorities. I hope it will urge Telenor and other big telecom services providers in Pakistan to leave all these type of bogus schemes.

  • abc

    Ipso facto, all these campaigns and schemes are misleading in one way or another. I’m not sure what’s the new thing here – because it’s indirectly saying “win for free, sms costs 10 rupees” as opposed to “win, entry free, claim cost is 10 rupees” or something similar.

    It’s a play on words.

    Either way, it’s irritating. I had complained to their CS via email to disable these for me several months back. I’m sure their response was “meh!”

    I really, really want to switch networks, but data services are more expensive on other networks, and not as good as they are on Telenor. The perfect combo for locking in their customers. :/

  • Alan

    This is not misleading offer from telenor.Actually this article itself misleading.I am not a telenor employee.

    • Sabeen

      ager ap Telenor k employee ni ho tu phr Zardari k employee ho gaye.

    • sarmand

      If this is not misleading then it must be frustrating.

      • Nomi khan

        Telenor ghareeb awam ko bewafuf bna rha he mera 2
        50000 balace zaya ho gya pr sona nhe mila…….koi b telenor use na karey

  • Zingerrrrr

    This can get annoying but as I found out, you can send STOP to 7775 to stop these messages which is charged waisay….. oh and one thing you did not clearly mention is that the customer does get a clear message of the charges that will be charged

  • AZ

    I am also porting out of Telenor. Their service sucks and ******************************* oh sorry my sentiments were censored :p

    • ok


      • faisal

        Sorry ok , but I just could not wait so I had to spill this out :


        No offence but it was just a wild card.

  • Waqas

    Crap Telenor Crap Telenor, Telenor lost its biggest POSTPAID corporate account losser losser Telenor

  • Pir

    I am with Telenor…hats up to Telenor. They have got the best connectivity and packages in the country.

  • Azhar

    Telenor has bullshit policies n services n I hate for that.They don’t respect their customer.I called 345 more than 20 times in a month to change my package but useless,so I had stitched network.

  • rightly pointed out. in my view its clearly tricksters on part of telenor.

  • Sumair

    I am getting these msgs almost daily but I never reply. But yeah its annoying.

  • Wajdan Ali Khan

    on a 2 months tour to Dubai, I used a service called DU there, during this 2 months stay I received only one message from the Operator about quitting smoking habit if I do smoke, and at the end it was written If I don’t want to receive future messages from the operator I should send a message to xxx number to unsubscribe from the messages list.

    I receive 3-4 messages from telenor daily including

    275 Bojho tu Janay
    8999 halg kg gold
    +92122 cricket commentary
    1704 download latest bollywood wallpapers

    Called them 3 times and asked them to not to send me any kind of promo messages, they said you won’t be receiving any future messages after 24 hours but I do receive daily.

    Telenor offers to block unwanted calls or sms but HOW TO BLOCK TELENOR FROM SENDING SUCH MSGS??

  • Pyari

    Thanks God! Last but not least it was very essential to point out this mockery of telenor . It seems you are bit late because i’m getting these messages for a month

  • Awais

    This isn’t much..

    “UNLIMITED INTERNET… 2mb per day.”
    “UNLIMITED SMS… x sms per day”

    Now THAT needs to be stopped, because it’s beyond retarded :/

  • Qaisar

    Mobilink also does the same. They send a message saying ” your current balance is low, kindly recharge your account”. When a person checks the balance, it is not low.
    They only want us to check the balance to put 10 paisas in their pocket.

  • kashif_hassan

    Thank God I am not with Telenor anymore. All of my family now uses Zong.

  • Asim

    Which network doesn’t rip off their customers? And who are introducing these packages? It is us Pakistanis sitting at the top in these Telco giants, for the sake of Rs. 5000 increment in their monthly salary or a tap on the back from their boss, they’re ripping off millions from their own countrymen through deception…

    It sometimes becomes difficult for me to make a difference between the law of Jungle and the law of Pakistan. The only difference is, the law in Pakistan is being run by a specie called ‘the human’.

  • yea,you are right this is all fake and we highlighted it last year in our blog.


      • آپ نے اب تک کتنے لوگوں کو انعام دے چکے ہیں میرا سکور پوائینٹ اور نمبر یہ ہے 03459477417‎ 21805910‎

  • Tony

    I started GPRS service with Mobilink and Service Rep that I will be charged Rs ten daily for unlimited internet use. He explained if I do not use the internet then I will not be charged. However, I receive daily SMS from Mobilink even when I do not use internet and even my phone is switched off all day (because I have more than one phones):

    “Dear Customer, thank you for using Such Mobile Internet. You have been charged for the service”

    Mobilink keep charging daily although I have complained again and again to their contact center that I do not use Internet.

    The PTA officials are buddy buddy with telecoms companies and get their benefits for allowing these telecom companies to cheat and fraud the citizens. Perhaps, PTA officials can look and learn from across the border.

  • rashid

    telenor is also start charging rs 2 whenever some one tries to talk with cro even from postpaid customers without informing them it was free for postpaid customers now what’s this

  • zafar khan

    Very nice post about the strategies of telecom industries or mobile phone companies providers thank you.

  • Ali

    What can be done? Nothing! PTA is busy elsewhere remaining blind on the other side. That’s why companies are taking on such tactics.

  • I got that several times ….

  • Muhammad Anas

    Not a new tactic for fooling the the customers. I have used all the operators SIMs and to be honest I found the Zong the most economical and most reliable network.

    If you want to convert to Zong plz do sms(MNP) to my no. 0315-2113740


  • Saad Riaz Qazi

    A lot of negative publicity is being done for Telenor! Maybe NSN and Huawei shouldnt act so rude ;)

  • F

    Every Telco in Pakistan is doing the same there is no discretion of Mobile, LDI, LLO etc. When there are no margins, heavy taxes and intense price competition this is inevitable.
    Humay bhi Genay do… :D

  • Ahmer

    Interestingly you only find Telenor committing all such “frauds” and false “tactics”, all the rest have clean sheet as per your definition of “business”, what if someone reveals some facts behind your mode of business? Kindly stop publishing such lame and fabricated posts as people who understand will only laugh about it. I have participated in this contest many times, and I exactly know how much I will get charged, so stop making interpretations on someone else’s behalf.

    Btw I have never won anything so kindly don’t interpret this the other way around.

    • @telenor employee

      100 % authentic telenor employee ,aap k aik aik word se lag raha hai k aap telenor k employee ho.

      • JTR

        Aur app kay aik aik lafaz say yeah lug raha hey keh aap competition kay hired _________ ho…lol

        [Comment Edited]

    • :@ Ahmer

      @ Ahmer aap 100 % authentic telenor employee.aap k aik aik word se lag raha hai k aap telenor k employee ho.

    • Irfan

      I played Telenor Sonaykijeet ki Game spent 150,000 rupees and Telenor is not telling me score of winner. So I could have fair understanding and my postiion

      You call it fair”…..

      Wish I could f”duck you all @ Telenor

      Stop giving moral & ethic lessons

  • Muhammad Faisal

    Aoa, Exactly my brothers there is no check n balance or transparency here. We all need to take actions against them cuz PTA is doing nothing…

  • Could be

    I agree with the few mature voices out there which have quite correctly pointed out that Telenor lives up to the promise of SMS to 8999 being free and clearly mentions that SMS to 7775 will be charged Rs. 10 + tax. So they are certainly not misleading customers but it is it true that it is a way to attract attention which almost every single business out there does. Telephone users need to wisen up a little and realize that there only a few things in life that are really truly completely free … … I can’t think of any right now :)

    Other than that, for everyone that’s saying that whoever is defending Telenor here is an employee there’s a flip side of the coin, that is, anyone that’s blowing this campaign out of proportion and badmouthing Telenor could be an employee of one of the other mobile companies – Zindagi Soch ke Geo ;)

    • @telenor

      @ colud be :”it is a way to attract attention ” main aur :jhoot bol k dhooka denay” main bhot farq hota hai.India main bhi in ka license dhooka denay ki waja se cancel hoa is ka matlab hai ye hain hi “fraudie”.

  • Ashhar

    This is another form of gambling (Jua). You get more (from others money) or lose what you have.

  • Nasir

    I received same kind of sms so decided to check it out. When i replied to free sms 8999, it really was free but then my inbox was bombarded with the sms from 7775 to answer questions and make points for just Rs. 10…. and guess what? I never replied any of that sms and they kept sending me tempting messages but i have hard earned money and don’t want to give it to these thugs …. :)

  • Solicitor Online

    In fact the greatest of the misleading things is greed. When the greed shuts our eyes and senses we stop tinking. The sensible approach is that wherever there appears to be easy money there has to be scam or at least a catch.

    The customer is always atteracted to the words like FREE or SALE or DISCOUNT.

    The word gimmick sounds negaative; the dictionary meanings are Trick, Ploy, Device, Stubt, Promotion, Tactic and Attention Grabber.

    Everyone doing any business is entitled to do things to grab attention.

    It is only theentery into the shop or display center which is free Afterwards it is the snese and sensability of the customer to chose weather to spend money for an item which is wortht he value of his money or is mere garbage or to take chance or risk to spend money over a loterry ticket.

    I AM A Ufone CUSTOMER AND NEVER enter into any game depending on lucky draws.

  • Tan

    This definitely is deliberate misleading.

    Goes on to show, how these ‘so called ethical’ multinational telco’s will not hesitate to take advantage and resort to these wretched and unethical practices just because it is a third world country due to the stupidity of our government and people.

    In letter, PTA restricts any ‘lottery based or give away’ schemes but apparently the telco’s still can get away with it blatantly.

  • Does Telenor give sona in reality ? Is it all in air ?

  • Saad

    Han Sona daity hai…
    Lekn Apny employes ko Sirf…:p

  • wired

    Stop whining you bunch of idiots and fools…!
    Telenor is here to make profits and we will do anything to make sure that we get what we want, one way or the other… TP is not a charity.

    I guess Aamir Atta is not getting any advertisements from djuice and that’s why he is making a fuss.

    P.S. I am neither employee of Telenor, nor does I use a Telenor SIM.

  • ime

    ye log dhoky se logo ko register karwate hai…aor abe to STOP par b 10+tax katt rahe hai… funny telenor service,

    • Irfan Khan

      Basically You should not be charged if you send STOP to 7775. Better to call 345 To opt out because anything you send to 7775, it may charge you id written incorrectly!

  • Kamran

    bara pareshan kia he aaj bhi yehi msgs aay thay

  • danish Inder Gul

    The Concern,
    The Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid, Zong, V Wireless, any Booster/Towers Companies in Pakistan .


    Respected Sir,

    This is to inform you that we want to install Mobile Booster/Mobile Tower /Wireless Tower. I have ONE ideal location on straight nearest road in a Karachi Surjani Town Sector2 UC.07 Gadap Town District West Karachi ,. if you have any chance to implant the Booster of Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid, Zong, V Wireless and any Booster/Towers Companies, i offer my triple story building 36 feet’s heights 120 sq/yard for reasonable rent.
    Kindly send your Survey Team for inspection and give us a chance to be a part of your business. Other than mobile tower and other booster offers will also be considered. We welcome big project companies.
    Land is completely on the name of owner , no lease.


    Name of Contact Person:
    Danish Inder Gul

    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    Contact No.
    Address House No-708 Gali No (Street) 3 Yousuf Goth Surjani Town
    Gadap Town UC no 7 Karachi West

  • hhj

    ma na tou 7775 ko screening list ma daal dia ha

  • Umer

    funds collected on 7775 may be declared as haraam

  • Umer

    Pakistani nation has to joint against such companies & their frauds.

  • Nice article you wrote keep it up Last summer when stayed 7 months in Pakistan we were shocked corruption is in every department transferred from politicians everything spoiled in pakistan specially Mobile cellular companies of different networks ——> Zong – Telenore and Mobilink sending useless messages and deduct daily charges on almost packages even
    on prepaid postpaid as well even on help line numbers they charge you with extreme bad quality services specially when you go out of main cities just sucking blood out Pakistani nation no one ever looked serious into this matter.

  • Aamir Mughal

    And what if I dont want to receive those kinds of messages, they disturb me all the time.
    is there any method to stop those kinds of messages ?

    • Umar

      unsubscribe this service, write msg “Stop” & send it to 8999

  • Umar

    to unsubscribe, type “Stop” & send it to 8999