Over the past couple of weeks, anyone who watches TV or browses YouTube may have come across advertisements for a certain prepaid-mobile recharge service that practically reimburses your entire recharge amount in coupons towards its partners’ businesses.
Well, that’s what Freecharge claims to be all about – “Why pay to recharge your mobile phone balance, when you can do it for free?” The thing is, as attractive as this all sounds, here in India we have been taken for rides when it comes to advertisement campaigns since time immemorial; it’s practically embedded in our culture. Why should this time be any different?
Apart from the run-of-the-mill, too good to be true advertisements, the service that Freecharge claims to be providing isn’t something we haven’t heard of before. In fact, there have been plenty of companies that have adopted this business model, but none of whom who have had the resources to pull off such a campaign until now.
Four-year-old Freecharge is probably one of the first entrants into the Indian ecommerce market with the innovative model that they have brought. In essence, a highly evolved form of the deal/coupon-based model, followed by sites such as Groupon, adapted to the burgeoning and unavoidable masses seeking to recharge their mobile phone’s balance.
The service offers users a choice of coupons to choose from among its partners’ services and products, such as discounts, vouchers and cash-back offers, equating to the total amount that you have paid for your recharge. This effectively, if utilized to its full amount, would equal to users being reimbursed for the amount they spent on recharging their phone. This makes Freecharge, in a sense, a marketing platform.
As per a report by Live Mint – in its latest move, Freecharge has taken the step a little further in mainstream ecommerce by offering a gateway to ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal by listing its products. In what would seem to be a reverse of the strategy adopted in their initial model, customers who make purchases on other sites after being redirected from Freecharge, would actually receive vouchers on Freecharge!
What started off purely as a service for recharging prepaid mobile connections, Freecharge has now diversified, covering practically every form of monetary recharge offered in the market. This includes postpaid mobile connections, DTH (Direct to Home/Dish) TV set-top boxes and Data Cards.
With its 10 million strong user base, Freecharge has been taking the country by storm with its tempting offers and unavoidable ads. Things like this make our lives pretty comfortable while not burying a hole in our pockets. Let’s hope they keep things like this and, well, we wouldn’t say no to a few more goodies either!