Is Hutch taking SMS Marketing too far?

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 😉

11 thoughts on “Is Hutch taking SMS Marketing too far?

  1. i from sms messaging industry as well.. and very aware of sms market changes. its true that SMS marketing is a boom right now… instead sometime already. For me from Malaysia, i received 2-3 SMS marketing type of messages…. from the telco itself or from other third party short code provider. the ads are annoying, when it beep me at the wrong time of the day.

    the fact is that sms marketing in relatively effective. measuring by the number of response of sms from customer. Direct marketing would success from this method.

    If misuse… will be very annoying.

  2. hi frnds,
    i donno wht happen to hutch now a days.in the starting it had given a good tarrif it is very cool,in my col all the students mostly r hutch subcribers.but now a days due to changing in the tariff i am missing somany frnds in this hutch community….

    before tariff…
    (1) sms….free (2) any local mobile 49ps/min. (3) no rental for sms n 49ps. (4) for family numbers..10ps/min. (5) callertunes 2rs n 30/mnth

    after….
    (1) sms….0.1ps/mess n re.1 rental daily (2) any local mobile 49ps/min. (3) no rental 49ps. (4) for family numbers..10ps/min (5) callertunes 10rs n 30/mnth

    now…..
    (1) sms….0.2ps/mess n rs.2 rental daily (2) any local mobile 49ps/min. (3) rental for 49ps is rs.1.50/day (4) for family numbers..25ps/min. (5) callertunes 17/- for selection n 30/mnth if the callertune not cahanged for 2 months he is charging again 17/- excluding them.

    these r the tariffs at present.when i called to customer care and asked about this he told the offer closed so tariffs are changing…***but at the starting days he didnt mentioned any offer time or anything…i dnt know wht will be the status of hutch in the coming days……

    with regards
    pavan.

  3. helooo plss help me out..
    ihave taken hutch connection with 1800 talktime free motorola
    Please tell me how to deactivate calltunes on m y mobile
    plss replyyy thnaku

  4. Hi Priya,

    You can deactivate callertunes from your cell. Follow these steps to do that.

    Step 1 : Go to messages -> Write Messages

    Step 2 : Type DCT CT (All Letters should be Capital)

    Step 3 : Send this message to 123.

    Once you are done with this, you will get a message from Hutch which says “Caller Tunes Service will be deactivated in 24 Hrs on your Hutch phone.”

    Thank You,

    Kumar L S

  5. hi guys

    how r u???? this is venmathy

  6. I refuse to learn more as my brain is just melting. I am looking forward to the holidays ending this year. Seems outr industry has slowed a lot this year.

  7. i m getting such spam messages

  8. Poor you! Keep deleting them coz there’s no way to stop’em 👿

  9. Hi friends,

    Hutch is making fool with 300 recharge scheme for less call rates for 6 months.

    Customer support don’t tell about it that it is not a E-top up, but is a SVT.

    When you will recharge you card and get 137 talk time and no such scheme then they will tell you that you have to purchase STV not to recharge.

    And one more fun, this STV of 300 is not available in market for customers even at hutch center also.

  10. They did stop calling me after I went through the process of ‘Do Not Disturb’ and also the ‘National Do Not Call Registry’. There is a waiting time of 45-60 days and after that you won’t receive any unsolicited calls.

    I receive only ‘Has your Bill Reached?’ type of call snow 😛

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