How often do you send commercial SMSs? I mean messages sent to four digit numbers as shown in/for the purpose of TV shows, contests, sms polls etc?
SMS can do wonders isn't it? At least it is projected so. By sending SMS you can win prizes worth several lakhs to crores, you can decide who will win the Indian Idol title. You can win a date with a superstar; you can get a whole bunch of products and services at your door step. You can get your loved ones name on screen of a television music channel, you can get whole lot of information related to astrology, weather, cricket, stock, and you name it.
True. But at what cost?
These SMS are not free. They come at a premium price, much higher than the cost of an SMS sent to another mobile number. On an average each SMS cost Rs 2 to Rs 7 (even more). I’m sure most of the people are aware of this. But people don’t mind rather they don’t care. Five rupees is no big amount for many mobile users and this is the fundamental concept exploited by those who run SMS based activities. Tiny drops make mighty ocean. Even if one lakh people out of several crores mobile users send a message each, one can make couple of lakh rupees in no time.
Luring people to waste their currency by tempting them to send SMS is another way to stay in business for mobile operators. The money is shared by network operator, SMS event organizer, and Govt (as tax). When I loose 5 Rs currency per SMS the actual value is always a bit higher. (For 300Rs talk time if I pay 350 Rs while recharging, the actual cost of Rs 5 talk time is 5.83 paisa). But generally no one cares.
SMS based activities are really convenient and hence have picked up momentum very fast. Appears so simple and cheap, but the volume of money involved behind the screen is very huge. I’m not saying don’t send such SMSs. After all it’s your mobile, your money, your fun.
Another factor to be noted is there's nothing you can do after sending out the SMS. There's no guarantee that you'll be informed who won the contest, no guarantee that your vote is counted, nothing you can do if your message doesn't appear on screen.
Let me know what you think of this…
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