TV Channel SMS scam

Every TV channel in India is today encouraging viewers to SMS to participate in polls, contests, shows and what not. However they do not tell the viewers that he SMS sent to the channel will be priced differently than a normal SMS. In some cases the SMS would cost Rs. 6, which is about 1/8th of a US dollar.

However NDTV has gone a step too far. They are running a campaign for a retrial of the Jessica Lal murder case. They want their viewers to send SMS in big numbers to voice their protest. So under the guise of a noble cause the channel is making thousands of rupees every hour. The poor mobile owner sends an SMS believing that he is either being charged a paltry sum and that he is helping a noble cause, but hat’s really happening is that he is making NDTV richer.

The channels do show a small caption that the SMS will be charged differently at Rs 5 or 6 or whatever, but you blink and you would miss the small line flashed somewhere in a remote corner of the screen.

Like cigarette packets have a statutory warning “Injurious to health”, it should be made compulsory for TV channels to show a caption “SMS being charged at Rs x” that takes up at the least 20% of screen space for more than 30 seconds. I intend to write to the information and broadcasting ministry, but if you are reading this and know someone who is addicted to SMSing TV channels, please make him/her aware.

  • Ali

    You are right. SMS is SMS whether it is sent to my buddy’s gadget or to someone else there. Why an SMS sent to a particular number / cause be charged more…that too in most cases without the user being aware of ? Moreover service providers do rob the users a lot through SMS, given that the airtime demanded by a 160 byte sting of 1’s and 0’s is too less. Just wondering whether we need something like net neutrality here too.

  • Ali

    You are right. SMS is SMS whether it is sent to my buddy’s gadget or to someone else there. Why an SMS sent to a particular number / cause be charged more…that too in most cases without the user being aware of ? Moreover service providers do rob the users a lot through SMS, given that the airtime demanded by a 160 byte sting of 1’s and 0’s is too less. Just wondering whether we need something like net neutrality here too.

  • Ajay Chitte

    Inspite of your views about the high rates of SMS it will keep on going. as a matter of fact this is their business. And more the lack of knoledge more th ebusiness. so how would you expect that the private parties will educate to great audiance to reduce the business????. Any way there are services over SMS even to encash a small feelings, views, and inter personal relations, too . for the simple cause of business. and its will grow to grat extent in near future. IN fact this is not a good practice of business with such a factastic and effective media of SMS. stilllllll thephone ( SMS ) is in your hand, so your chouce.

  • Ajay Chitte

    Inspite of your views about the high rates of SMS it will keep on going. as a matter of fact this is their business. And more the lack of knoledge more th ebusiness. so how would you expect that the private parties will educate to great audiance to reduce the business????. Any way there are services over SMS even to encash a small feelings, views, and inter personal relations, too . for the simple cause of business. and its will grow to grat extent in near future. IN fact this is not a good practice of business with such a factastic and effective media of SMS. stilllllll thephone ( SMS ) is in your hand, so your chouce.

  • The only way to save our dear ones – Kiran Bedi should become the home minister immediately. She is the only selfless, courageous and patriotic person on this earth who knows how not to make this happen again in India.

  • The only way to save our dear ones – Kiran Bedi should become the home minister immediately. She is the only selfless, courageous and patriotic person on this earth who knows how not to make this happen again in India.