Very recently Google launched its SMS version of search in India. You can read my review on this product by following this link. This launch was much hyped with mass advertisement in various media channels and road side hoardings. There was a special note on all the ads including the information on their website as below
There are no premium charges for this service, only the cost of sending a standard SMS. Incoming messages from Google are not charged.
All looked fine until I got my mobile bill. When I went through minute details of my recent bill, I got to know Google’s claim is FALSE! I was charged Rs 1.50 per SMS sent to Google’s 9-77-33-00000. As per their promo, I should have been charged only 50 paisa per SMS. Now since it is confirmed that they are charging 3 times the regular price, how is it different from a PREMIUM Service?
To get more info on this, I called up Airtel Customer care. They had just one thing to say repeatedly – Since that Google’s SMS search number doesn’t belong to Karnataka Cellular circle, charges to that service were at National SMS rates. I am glad atleast that number is a National number and not an International Number. What a fun! Google is the new entry into the bandwagon of misleading Indian customers. Can someone let me know how much you are being charged from other mobile networks within and outside Karnataka? Now the question that still remains is whom should I ‘SUE’… Google or Airtel? Any thoughts?