I would like to draw the attention of senior government authorities towards the frequent prize schemes being launched by some mobile-service-providing companies in Pakistan.

Recently, one of the companies introduced an SMS quiz competition with a grand prize of Rs 10 million. I had participated in the competition and after spending thousands of rupees, I scored 448,125 points, but it is astonishing to note that I did not even get a single small prize.

It is evident that with the help of this quiz competition, the cell phone company concerned generated a huge amount of money and increased its income. The SMS quiz competition was not transparent because subscribers who participated in it did not know the highest points scored by other competitors and were not aware as to how and when the draws were held. Likewise, another mobile company also keeps offering lucrative prizes, including cars, for its subscribers. Now it has been noticed that one such mobile firm is once again offering Rs 10 million and a car for subscribers who spend Rs 15 daily on mobile calls. It is surprising how a company so frequently disburses millions of rupees to its subscribers. It seems there is some foul play going on.

These kinds of prize competitions offered by various mobile service providers should be transparent and draws should be held through the electronic media and in front of the public. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority and the Information Department, Government of Pakistan, should inquire about the matter thoroughly and make it transparent. If any evidence of foul play is discovered, then these kinds of prize schemes should be stopped forthwith to save cell phone subscribers from losing their money. A government auditor should also scrutinise the record of these cell phone companies at the earliest.


Karachi, July 29.