Ok this is some thing interesting and open for Debate, its just wonderful how with the advent of Social platforms, an organization can not just throw out a marketing gimmick and stay behind closed doors without expecting any lash back.
So chOpaal decided to take a jab at its competitors on price and got into an intense debate.
Here is some investigation and edition one of the reader (Taimur) did,
I agree completely with Shahzad that Techcrunch is a good example for GreenWhite to follow. At the same time, I also agree with HeloKitty, that this particular article falls well short of that standard; it is neither investigative nor informative — rather it appears deliberately inflammatory. Helokitty (you need a better nick) can’t be blamed for viewing such a post as a troll, designed to start a flame-war.
Re: ChOpaal. To give the devil its due, ChOpaal is, without any dispute, the first such product in Pakistan. I know the founder — Dr. Umar Saif — whose innovative spirit is laudable! SMS buddies was actually started by some of his students after seeing the success of Chopaal..
After reading this article, I did look around for some information regarding Chopaal and buddies and found the following information: ChOpaal is a third-party VAS — an independent network brand much like Twitter. On the other hand, buddies is NOT an independent VAS service. Instead, the Confiz team sold out the products to multiple operators, who launched the service with different names, brands and price points e.g. Ufone buddies, Warid Buddies etc. Worryingly, each service also has a different model and a different price point. For instance, Ufone SMS Buddies is charged at Rs. .50 for a group of 20 (+ Rs. 15/month subscription). Warid Buddies is charged at Rs. 1.0 for a group of 10 (a rate clearly too high for such a competitive market)! ChOpaal, on the other hand, has the same model and price point on all 5 operators — true to its model of an independent VAS service. I actually couldn’t find any other third-party VAS service so successful in Pakistan — kudos to ChOpaal!
As an independent service, chopaal has complete control over its branding, pricing and service model. Buddies, however, seems to have lost that control to the operator. I couldn’t even find a central site for the “buddies” service. I also found out that buddies actually does not work on all 5 operators — I certainly couldn’t use it on mobilink. chopaal works on all 5.
Now that’s an investigative piece