Zong starts an ambiguous Inami Scheme: Win a House

Despite efforts from PTA and Hon’able courts, lucky Draws and Inami schemes are not going to end in Pakistan. The latest to launch such thing is Zong which is running two Inami campaigns, win motorcycle & Win a House.

The newest of them is offering its customers an opportunity to win a house via lucky draw. If you recharge Rs. 300 on your Zong number, you can get a chance to be a part of the lucky draw and the more you recharge, chances of winning increase as more entries are placed in your name. The offer is valid for all recharges done from March 18, 2013 to April 20, 2013.

A recent order from PTA on March 20, 2013 which referred to a direction from the Islamabad High Court refrained all telecom operators to stop conducting any kind of Inami Scheme on immediate basis.

Instead of complying with the orders, interestingly, the directive was challenged by all telecom operators the very next day (March 21, 2013) in the same court and a month long stay was obtained in their favor.

Soon after PTA circulated its letter among the telecom operators, Zong temporarily stopped its campaign but very next day, not only resumed it but also initiated another one offering a house to its customers.

I don’t disagree with their efforts for improving revenues by floating such schemes as it has become an integral part of the financial cycle of any telecom operator today but the message of the campaign needs to be very clear as ambiguities may be taken as violation of PTA and CCP guidelines.

 The above mentioned TV commercial does not communicate that how many houses Zong intends to distribute among its customer nor it mentions anything about the location and size of the houses.

 An official of the company on the condition of anonymity confirmed that there is only one house in Islamabad that Zong will award to its winner which is still in the process of finalization.

What if the winner of the scheme belongs to a distant city of Pakistan? Will Zong pay equivalent cash in such a case or would winner be able to sell it if he/she is unable to move to Islamabad.

Zong win a house offerNot only is the working incomplete, the TV commercial for the offer also has a number of flaws in terms of direction and execution as we noted. A very noticeable is though lead character, the man of the house, says that it is impossible for low-income households to build a house in the current economic situation but the set and costumes totally refute their claim of being low-income. Their house is set with expensive decoration items, the wife and children are dressed quite well and the overall setting of the set does not show a household of weak financial stature. Not to mention the watch he is wearing seems quite expensive.

We tried to take the feedback from the official spokesperson of Zong but despite several attempts response from the spokesperson could not be received.

The only Zong forum where any information and the ad is given is their Facebook page. Users and customers did not give a positive feedback there as most feel that announcement of such schemes is a way of diverting customers’ attention from their state of service.