After launching 4G services in the country, Telenor Pakistan recently started airing its campaign on 4G services in Pakistan with pretty intriguing TVCs.
Fairly speaking, Telenor has done well with the TVCs that aim at educating the masses about internet usage and its benefits. Their advertising campaign, which runs on all sort of Pakistani TV channels, portrays how mobile internet can simplify the routine lives of Pakistanis.
All of this is good. Until we evaluate whats being said in these ads, and what is actually going on in practice.
We take a look at how Telenor has, through deceptive ads, has mislead its customers.
Update: Telenor has made the video private, and apparently all ads that were uploaded on YouTube are either removed or made private.
Let’s first look at one of their TVCs:
When you reach at 0:40 seconds, the TVC says:
Telenor 4G, Bilkul Free (Telenor 4G, Absolutely Free)
That slogan is misleading on many levels. For instance Telenor’s 4G isn’t totally free instead Telenor is offering just 100MBs of daily internet as free giveaway to 4G customers, after which subscribers will be charged as per their base price or any regular plan that they are using.
To add insult to injury, unaware customers with these 100MB bundles can’t check if their free data balance has been consumed or not, meaning that there’s no way of checking the remaining MBs from this free giveaway.
Telenor on its FAQs page said:
Question: How can subscriber check remaining internet Volume (MBs)?
Answer: Subscriber cannot check remaining internet volume as these MBs will be free on PAYG
If your phone is on data mode (using 4G services), once you exhaust this free bundle, the operator will then deduct your account balance, until it is fully exhausted.
Customers, after exhausting free 100MBs, will be charged at a hefty base rate of Rs. 12 per MB.
Not to mention, with 4G internet on, and keeping the average data consumption needs of a smartphone, it can be assumed that a user can exhaust 100 MBs in less than five minutes.
Telenor Pakistan clearly lied to its customers with a trap that could cause them to lose their entire balance in matter of just minutes.