Read this Article to Win

Switch on the television and  a popular serial or realty show is in the air. There comes a commercial break and there is a SMS contest and a display pops up at the bottom of your screen with a question announcing your replies can win you mobiles, gadgets and opportunity to participate in the program and what not.  And the question is so easy that even your child is up answering it.  Next, there is a live program or contest and you can call in to answer the question or share your movie song . The excitement of listening to your voice or answering a question or sending a message to your loved one is thrilling. Even better, on a few occasions, a popular actor is waiting for your call to talk to you.  Now you also get an opportunity to decide on the future course of action the serial should take by sharing your views.  Today even the consumer product advertisements ask you to call mobile nos to speak to popular actors endorsing the product. In all the above cases, without any hesitation, you grab your mobile to dial the number given. What is it you gain through this ? What is happening behind the screen?  Read on…

Television channels come in handy for mobile service providers to rake in moolah through unfair trade practices. The targets for both are homemakers, mass and cinema crazy youth. Telecom firms cash in on programmes wherein viewers have to dial or SMS a number for their favorite movie song, comedy scene or to talk to a popular actor.

A housewife, says she dialled on a show to identify the actor’s name. The call was on wait for 10 minutes and she lost  Rs.100. She said she was charged Rs 10 per minute.

“Neither channels nor service providers inform people that the charge for ‘special’ voice calls/text messages is exorbitant. Attracted by costly gifts, gullible viewers keep calling until they are connected. they end up burning a hole in their pockets,” laments another housewife, who had fallen prey to such tactics once.

It is high time we understood the hidden lines and refrain from becoming scapegoats to gullible advertising. Participating in a contest or a program is fine but it is important we know the cost behind it in terms of time and money.   If the word is “Win”, be sure you are among many and it is a courteous way of saying you may or you may not.  The process of  choosing the winners is most cases are  not transparent. How many programs take the pain to inform you about the winners or the number of people who participated in the contest ?  It is us who have to bring in the change an it is time to think and act.

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Posted on February 10, 2012, in Editors Corner and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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