Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tata Docomo Prepaid - VAS "cheating"?

At the risk of making this blog sound like a "bitching note", here's another one of those "cheap tricks to make quick money" schemes in the market.

My dad has a Tata Docomo prepaid number. Last night he got the following sms notifcation.

"Hi! Your subscription to Tamil Regional Love Tips alert service will be renewed in next 72hrs & you will be charged Rs 30. To unsubscribe, call 155223 (Toll-free).
Sender: 54321
Message centre: +919032055002
Sent: 4-Dec-2010 19:15:23"

We were surprised to see this since he is pretty much loved by the family and doesn't need additional tips, that too from a commercial entity at this stage in life! :) Just to make it clear for those who are too innocent to understand the ironical remark, he never "subscribed" to the "service".

It took some effort in navigating their "Tol-free" number to skip past language selection menus, trying to figure out if the service was caller-tunes/sms/voice/data based, and finally unsubscribing to the service and confirming that more than 2/3 times at various levels with different prompts (press "1" to confirm, press "5" to confirm, press "9" to reconfirm" and so on). I bet they are relying on the fact that some poor soul who does indeed want to unsubscribe will be frustrated and give up and they can charge a couple of Rs till he figures out how to actually do it.

It just irks me that corporates, and that too famous ones like Tata, can stoop to such low levels and cheap tactics.

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