Think of a mobile or a cellular phone, and the one thing that springs to mind is easy connectivity and SMS. Talking apart, mobile phones nowadays have become such a big hit because of the SMS or Short Message Services they provide. Imagine how easy it is to send a text-based message to somebody without having to call’em up! Or even multimedia enabled funky messages! But this very useful feature is fast becoming a major PITA for most mobile-users, like me for instance!
Mobile communications is one industry that is growing at a break-neck speed over the past few years,with almost every operator adding new customers by the thousands each day! Getting new customers is one thing and retaining them is another! Various service providers are trying out all kinds of marketing strategies and gimmicks to keep the customers’ loyalty. In this guise of marketing, the unsuspecting user is subjcted to various unsolicited messages in the form of adverts, announcements , new offers, whatnot!!! I am a subscriber of Hutch in AP. I receive almost 5-6 SMSes everyday ,attempting to sell one thing or the other! From winning great prizes to getting to know one’s fortune, they promote a wide gamut of ‘services’. Now I am a sane and realistic individual who knows that this is all part of the game! Things reached a head over the past few weeks, particularly around the time that most schools & colleges started announcing their yearly results. Firstly, I was encouraged to know my “10th Class/SSC results by calling *** ” that too at exorbitant charges of Rs. 6 Per Min!!! Then came the “Best Wishes” for EAMCET and it culminated today when i got the following two SMSes:
Hi.Congratulations on securing a brilliant rank in EAMCET. Will you get admission into your dream college? Call 125 now to speak to your personal astrologer and find out. Charges Rs. 6/Min !
Hi. Pokiri special. Call **** for Hit songs, Contests and Free ringtones.Also stand a chance to win iPods and T-Shirts worn by Prince Mahesh Babu in Pokiri. Charges Rs. 6/min!
What does Hutch think? (I know that it is an automated system which sends out SMSes to all & sundry!) Neither do i beleive in astrology nor have I appeared for EAMCET! But yes, how do they know that?? Haven’t they heard of ‘targeted advertising’?? Or is that concept patented by Google?? And why on earth would I want to wear ‘used’ T-Shirts! I can buy new ones myself !Thanks ,but no Thanks!!! This prompted me to signup for Hutch’s ‘Do Not Distub’ service. Yes! they do have one!! Dunno whether it will really be implemented or not but I’ll know in a day or two! The URI is : http://www.hutch.in/bottom/dnd.asp
Another major PITA from Hutch is that, whenever I talk to their customer-service representative, as soon as I end the call, I get an SMS asking for feedback on the rep who just replied to my queries. I dunno abt others but I used to sincerely reply to all their questionnaires just so that they can evaluate the reps and genuinely improve it. But when i started getting’em after every single ‘transaction’ , i wondered….they haven’nt obviously taken my earlier suggestions so why bother giving’em some more! and i stopped replying to such messages ever since!
My ‘rant’ is not to direct my ire at Hutch and preach that they should stop it altogether, but there has to be a better way of doing it. When they expect to get customers and hope that they’ll stick to them, why not provide the customers with quality services and not mindless junk ads! Spam filters have not yet been invented for SMS messages ; otherwise the company that makes it would have been richer by now! All I would ask of them is to mellow down, and chalk out a betetr strategy to deliver ‘targeted’ adverts to the customers. The Postpaid category is largely organised, both geographically & demographically. Us that as a sample space initially and try to deliver targeted services and offers. Prepaid customers can wait undisturbed till then 😉