How Mobilink Makes a Killing on Blackberry

The nice glossy ads with Shan and “beautiful wife at home”, the great PR and marketing strategy, shiny white teeth, smiling and laughter – all this is the indigo world of Mobilink – but beneath the shiny, glossy world of Shan & Co is a deep dark sinister underbelly that is the corporate scams of Mobilink.
I recently took my blackberry phone to get it activated from the Mobilink HQ in Roshan Plaza (downstairs is the Merc showroom…. tooooo expensive). I got into their trendy lift up to the 3rd floor to meet a Ms Annie (?) who was going to activate my Vodafone Blackberry so I could receive my emails without loss of further hair… she agreed that I could activate the Blackberry on the Mobilink service, all I had to do was take out a postpaid connection – easy I thought – but then we were rudely interrupted by an underling from the next cubicle who warned her that she could lose her job if she did that !…. how? well this is how Mobilink make an absolute fortune from you and I who just want to use thier Blackberry to get emails..
It transpired that even if she gave me a connection and activated my existing phone, Mobilink carries out a monthly scan of IMEI numbers (that ridiculous long number stored in your handset which only phone geeks can remember by heart) to check if all the activated units using their Blackberry service have been BOUGHT FROM MOBILINK… if they find the handset was not bought from Mobilink they will cancel your connection – what a ripp off I thought… So they make sure they sell you THIER Blackberry handsets and make loads of money in the process…. now I understand why they have their HQ on top of a Merc showroom, they can go downstairs and buy one.

17 Comments so far

  1. 1967 (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    That’s business bro. Although I think it would be nice if Mobilink atleast let their customers know what they are getting into.


  2. Some figure (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    Thats a quite ripoff. Thats like when you go to a petrol pump, you have to have a special car which only the petrol pump guy wants for himself.

    I have never ever trusted Mobilink, even when I was in Pakistan, i never used Mobilink. Too bad service. SMS reach the other party the next day of eid (Slow Mobilink Services = SMS) and their Email, GPRS service sucks big time.

    People only go for mobilink cuz they have roaming in many areas of Pakistan, thats it.

    Anything which is so shiny, bright and seductive in the advertisement so surely dark and sinister in real life. So beware.


  3. A for [pine]Apple (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

    @ Some Figure: Interestingly I’ve never encountered any problem with my mobilink connection. Connects every time, sms goes in and out without delays. People using Mobilink in Lahore, though, used to tell about network not available kind of messages. But thats pretty old tale. At least MBLNK do not spam its customers like Ufone does :-)

    @Majad: any variance in prices too?? Like if you buy mobiles from MobileZone its always 2K expensive coz of warranty et al.


  4. JayJay (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    Fairness and objectivity demand that Mobilink should have been given an opportunity to comments on the issue raised here. It would have given the author more credibility.

    “… now I understand why they have their HQ on top of a Merc showroom, they can go downstairs and buy one.”

    It sums up the writer’s smugness and self-righteous attitude. It is an open attack on the integrity of a large company’s business practices, where the complainant, the judge and jury ane even the jail warden happen to be a single person.

    Now, employing the same analogy, a reader here can naivly infer that a owner of a Balckberry (not a cheap tool by any means)in Pakistan might have taken recourse to unfair means to own that expensive equipment.

    I would have approached the regulatory Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on the matter rather than moaning about it in this forum.


  5. JayJay (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 4:57 pm

    Some of the responsibility of the PTA as listed on their website are:

    “To promote and protect the interests of users of telecommunication services in Pakistan.

    “To promote the availability of a wide range of high quality, efficient, cost effective and competitive telecommunication services throughout Pakistan.

    “To investigate and adjudicate on complaints and other claims made against licensees arising out of alleged contraventions of the provisions of this Act, the rules made and licenses issued there under and take action accordingly.”

    http://www.pta.gov.pk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=359&Itemid=325


  6. Majad (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

    Hey guys.. i’m just practising for a role on Geo Tv – the new sensationalist version :)

    Seriously, I like Mobilink, they are a capitalist company who want to maximise their profit, and hey if you have to force, cajole, threaten or even scrap a few customers thats business ;)

    @A[pine]apple: To thier credit, Mobilink do actually sell Blackberry handsets cheaper than RIM or the open market. I am going to buy my new shiny Blackberry from Mobilink because they are the only ones who offer the service.

    @Jayjay: chill out i’m not about to complain, so your job at Mobilink is safe ;)


  7. Kamran (unregistered) on November 20th, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

    This is a business practice of almost every telecom company in the Western World.

    If they are the only ones offering the service, they have invested in it and have the right to set their policies for their and their shareholders’ benefit.

    How about paying 3.5 lac rupees for one injection of a cancer chemotherapy drug because the company that makes it holds a patent on it for 17 years.

    Corporate world


  8. echoes (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 6:21 am

    you write this as if you have any fucking consumer rights in this country!


  9. JayJay (unregistered) on November 21st, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    “chill out i’m not about to complain, so your job at Mobilink is safe ;)”

    @MAJAD: Hahaha, so you will bemoan about it at a public forum but won’t bother to pursue it through a proper avenue…

    Oh, BTW, the bastards have sacked me because of losing a VIP, blackberry-owning, customer. But not to worry, the Merc showroom downstairs have advertised to fill in the position of Sales Manager. I have thrown in my hat and am keeping my fingers crossed. Don’t turn up there now with your driver’s licence from the Met Police:)


  10. liveunplugged (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

    I think its true that people complaining about Mobilink has become pretty old like someone said. By now we know that they do very good lobbying inside government huts and PTA works under their shoes with no action taken so far on premium quality services like indigo’s voice and data quality being in a poor shape for executive use and talking about jazz quality you should forget that you even own a mobile. When you have Government of Pakistan at your back what else do you need to cover your “black”!


  11. Nephil (unregistered) on November 22nd, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

    Dear Blackberry owner, have you mentioned that the gadget was a gift from so and so uncle/aunt who a paid a visit from UK/US after a gap of many years? How desperately you are moaning – they would be shocked to know.


  12. LIVEUNPLUGGED (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

    nephil: You moan much better than the BB owner. You should try for TV!


  13. LIVEUNPLUGGED (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

    Dear Nephil: You whine much better than the BB owner, maybe you should try for TV!


  14. Nephil (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2007 @ 8:58 pm

    I’ll plug your seven holes – then your will be a DeadPlugged Asshole. Fuck off.


  15. LIVEUNPLUGGED (unregistered) on November 24th, 2007 @ 8:43 am

    Well I guess I was right. You have a gift my friend!


  16. Nephil (unregistered) on November 24th, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

    Fuck yourself


  17. LIVEUNPLUGGED (unregistered) on November 24th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    That’s impossible I’m afraid. Call it your nature or nurture but I like it!



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