The 420 Call Block Service

Posted on July 26, 2008
Filed Under >Babar Bhatti, Economy & Development, Science and Technology
14 Comments
Total Views: 47973

Babar Bhatti

Ufone 420 call block serviceThe aggressive competition in mobile telecom industry of Pakistan has led to introduction of many modern and useful features accompanied by some creative marketing.

So when Ufone started offering the first call blocking service in Pakistan, they came up with a catchy nickname for the call block service: 420. As every Pakistani knows, 420 in the local vernacular refers to a fraudster or con-man.

This highlights the clever use of easy-to-remember sms codes: consumers subscribe to call blocking service by sending the phrase ‘SUB’ to 420 on the Ufone network. This service has fast gained popularity as unwanted calls have become a major problem in the fast growing telecom market of Pakistan.

See here for prior ATP coverage of interesting ads from mobile companies. The mobile companies are always on the look for interesting services to differentiate them from the competition. That is not enough though – the ad campaign has become a must.

The Ufone “420” service blocks calls from any network (or landline) and works for both postpaid and pre-paid customers. There is a Rs. 9.99/month price tag (and the nominal sms charges) and it allows you to block up to 20 numbers. Click here to go to Ufone site for more specifics. I think that in the near future this will become a standard service in Pakistan and perhaps the monthly charges will be waived.

Other Posts Related to Telecom Industry in Pakistan

1. Pakistan’s telecom industry; Is the honeymoon over?
2. Are mobile companies using deceptive marketing in Pakistan?
3. WiMAX in Pakistan
4. Mobile Activism in Pakistan
5. Top 10 Gripes about Pakistan’s Mobile Market
6. Mobile Number Portability in Pakistan
7. Pakistan’s Mobile Industry: On the Growth Path
8. Pakistan’s Battle of Bandwith Rates
9. Telecom Action in Pakistan

14 responses to “The 420 Call Block Service”

  1. Imtiaz says:

    By the way, this is interesting ad for another reason. The woman in the ad is using a strainer or channi as she pours tea. Kind of to symbolize what the call block does—-keep unwanted particles out! Very clever, I think.

  2. Imtiaz says:

    I do not know what the smoking reference to 420 is in the US, but in Pakistan the reference is something everyone know. A 420 is a petty crime person, often someone who cons or tricks people. The term is based on a pre-partition British legal act penal code of “dafaa” 420 which was then inherited by Pakistan and I think India. The term is used or someone who is naughty to small illegality but not major crime.

    So, it is a really good marketting gimik against crank calls. I would say very smart marketing by the company. Easy to remember number with clear implication.

  3. Redbud says:

    Yeah sure man good choice 420 is also code word for ‘let smoke some grass” in US at least.

  4. GH says:

    What are the many other modern features? I would like to know.

    Besides, it#s a simple feature.

  5. Sarmad Qazi says:

    This read more like a press release issued by the Ufone company. Why advertise at the expense of ATP?

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