Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stucked Into Debt Through A Telco Promotion!

What a dangerous and irresponsible promotion by a corporation. I am referring to the Maxis Year End Promotion – Download and Win Contest. It would have made about 40 subscribers to win a BMW and the organizers a whopping profit but it would have made many others lot poorer! I have been a loyal Maxis customer for about 13 years but now it looks like my line may be terminated. My monthly bill for my whole family is normally around RM 350 but now I owe Maxis some RM 1,450.

I am really shocked that Maxis would go along with such a contest.

On Friday, the 6th of November, I decided to give it a try and discovered soon that I had sent some 30 over SMSs. I felt that I better cut my losses there.

On Saturday, 7th November an SMS enticed me to continue saying that my earlier points were still intact so I continued and achieved some 350,000 points.

On further enticement on Sunday, the 8th of November, I achieved about a million or so points. By then my bill would have been around RM 300.00.

I was getting worried as there was no sign of any prizes. I again wanted to call it quits. However an SMS I received, at 1.20 pm put me into high gear.

“In a few hours 1 BMW 118I will be won! Come on increase your 354,700 points and chances to win! You’ll thank yourself if you win tonight.”

There was an added sweetener - I would get 100,000 points for every 10 questions answered correctly. This put me into a frenzy. By evening, my bill was a few hundred ringgit. At 6.07 pm, I get another SMS,

“You have reached 1,055,330 points and left 97 % of all participants behind you! Hurry up – only a few hours remain to win 1 BMW 118I tonight!”

I was already too far into debt and my only hope was to win the BMW. I went till midnight but no further messages came and my points were 3,562,130 at 12.11 am. But NO BMW or iPhone! If anybody had already won, I was not informed. Was I continuing to waste my money after the prize was gone?

Next morning, Maxis collection department sends an SMS,

“Your total call charges of RM 1,698.49 exceed 80 % of Cr Limit of RM2,100. Kindly remit payment to avoid service interruption.”

I suddenly realized that I was sucked into a gambling game. I am not a gambler – I do not even buy lotteries or 4D. I only enter an occasional contest hoping to win and get a breakthrough in my financial situation.

This contest is a demonstration of irresponsibility and fleecing the public because of the following:

  1. The participant does not know the limit of his “investment”. It becomes difficult to have a cut-off point.
  2. It is computer generated and could very well be stacked against the consumer.
  3. The enticing SMS s bring forth a deception that the participant is close to winning.
  4. The participant is paying for almost worthless credit content at the rate of RM 2.15 per SMS. He does not really need the wallpapers, ring-tone etc.
  5. The questions are relatively easy causing the participants to answer more of them and spending more.

I called Maxis and demanded that I get a refund of the credit content I bought. I have about 513 credit points. After much negotiation, Maxis gave me a 50 % discount but it is not helpful for me.

I feel cheated by Maxis because they had allowed this contest which is stacked against the customer’s favour. I expect a greater corporate responsibility. It is a wicked scheme enticing customers to throw away hard earned money.


Azlan Mahmud said...

This should be ban like the Celcom camry contest

All About Malaysia said...

Yeah totally agreed.
is consumer who will suffer