Thursday, 14 October 2010

Free Recharge : Myth or Reality?

Of late, a lot of players in the market claim to give you, the user, free mobile recharge. In fact, some of them even claim that soon everything will be free!

So, let us see what are the different ways in which FREE  mobile recharge is available.

1) Recharge your mobile online and get free coupon for some outlet like McDonalds, Barista etc.

2) Buy a railway ticket or air ticket from a specific site and get Rs 50 mobile recharge free.

3) Copy facebook status of a site and paste it all over the walls of your friends. And then you will get Rs XX mobile recharge free. Similar technique for orkut.

4) Do some more random promotion of a brand or a website online and get mobile recharge free.

5) Fill up a form and get mobile recharge free.

Some of these above listed techniques might actually work , if you try hard enough. If you stay up all night googling all results of “free mobile recharge” and trying all of them. If you are a coupon maniac who collects food and beverage coupons like some people collect stamps or Coins ( without there ever being hope of redeeming 1% of them). If you are willing to deface your friend’s facebook profiles just for a Rs 50 recharge. If you are one of those freeloaders in college groups who is always short of money when its his/her turn to pay.  If you actually believe that recharging your mobile for free implies true FREEDOM.

If you are none of the above, you can simply head over to www.mobikwik.com. Because quality service and quality product do not come for free.

July 2010

Monday, 19 July 2010

Value Added Services: the world in your hands

A mobile phone has became an essential personal device for every Indian. One can see a mobile phone in the hands of a vegetable vendor, a businessman, a grandma and a school going kid. Today, more than 15 mobile networks connect people throughout India. Voice and text are two important services provided to mobile users. But is that all a device in your hands can provide? Absolutely not, Yeh Dil Mange More! What’s more? Value Added Services.

So what is a Value Added Service, abbreviated as VAS ? You may feel that you are well connected to the World with voice and text. Perhaps you are wrong. Value Added Services (VAS) provide you possibilities to get connected in a more interactive and rich manner. Simplest example of VAS is the Caller Tune. You have a feature to let your callers listen to a nice song when they call you – days of boring tring tring are over!

Voice Mail is another powerful VAS. Unfortunately, very few people use it. Perhaps most Indians are free to take calls all the time! If you are a pretty busy person, and you dont want people to have to call your number 5 times to reach you, you could divert calls to your voice mail box. It will record messages from your callers for you, which you can listen later when you are free.

Missed Call Alerts (MCA) has became  popular. If you get out of coverage or switch off the phone, you don’t get any idea about callers. With MCA, you get SMS from caller’s number during that times. If you don’t want to miss any call, MCA is the must have VAS for you.

Carriers like Vodafone offer some unique features like Call Filter. You can block specific number from calling you. Personalized Messages is another good feature where, you can set a message defining your current status, that a caller will listen to when he or she calls you.

GPRS enabled internet on the move. EDGE, the next version of GPRS improves mobile internet speeds.  All mobile enthusiasts are now waiting for 3G, indicating 3rd Generation. 3G is the fine combination of GSM and CDMA allowing voice/text with high speed internet. Rated speed for today’s 3G is 3.1MBPS ! You could check emails, browse thousands of sites, watch videos on the move.

That’s not all, the need for speed continues to exist. Next high speed version, 4G is already being tested. Technology is one step ahead of our demands from our mobile, so there is no need to worry!

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January 2010

Friday, 15 January 2010

Mobikwik Recharge API – Mobile Recharge made dead simple!

As a follow up to my post earlier on mobikwik’s open recharge API, let me clarify why Mobikwik offers the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to mobile recharge

1) We do *not* charge any integration fees unlike other providers.

2) Our API is ultra simple compared to API of other providers.

3) We also support recharge through SMS. This means your retailer can recharge using a local SMS , no internet required.

4) As a channel seller, it gives you an option of getting local advertisers on board to get extra revenue. In other words, mobikwik can send SMS advertisements on your behalf whenever any customer uses your recharge service.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Google needs help!

Google Adwords urgently needs a better payment gateway in India. They are using Times Direcpay which has taken Adwords payments from my bank account and others and not yet credited it to Adwords. I made another payment and even that is not credited. More users are reporting the same issue.

Many online merchants like mobikwik rely on google adwords to get new users everyday. But issues like above make me wish there was a reasonable alternative. ( No, Bing and Yahoo paid search are both a joke. On Yahoo, I have to dial a number to get in touch with a sale rep just to get started. Did anyone tell them its 21st century, 2nd decade? Bing is better but their ad format is funny. )

Why don’t we all send a “Get Well Soon” e-card to Google Adwords India? But wait, there is no contact ( email/phone/anything) info to get in touch with a Google support rep for anything.  I faced the same issue of a faceless Google when mobikwik hosted accounts were disabled with no warning and took more than 1.5 months to get re-enabled.

Google needs to understand that Customer Support cannot be automated. Help Forums are not a substitute for customer service.

Update : As of 13 Jan 10 am, my payments have been credited yet I got a reply from the google adwords contact asking me to send the reference number for my payments so he can address the issue. Looks like folks inside Google are out of Sync with one another.

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