26/02: Stay Away from BrainNET's DSL Service!

Maverick on WCCK Forums reports that BrainNET is using false advertising to lure potential customers to its unlimited home DSL packages when in fact, these packages are capped at 3GB per month. If you require more bandwidth you are charged more or else, your account is locked.

Maverick's post is quoted below as a matter of record and so that the reader's understand this matter better:


Sadly I have come to know after a bitter experience lasting 10 days that Brain Net gives you only 3GB of downloads even though they advertise unlimited downloads....That's correct folks regardless of what anyone else says Brain Net reserves only 3GB for their 'unlimited' advertised accounts.

So I am in day 12th today and early in the morning I receive an sms message that my account was due for Rs. 2300. Confused I called up the local office only to be advised that the message is erroneous and that I should ignore it. Around 1pm my internet got disconnected and wouldn't connect again, Modem error message was "Authentication Failure"!

Called up the office again only to be told that they will fix it, 3 hours later I called them again and I was quite upset this time, demanded their address and told them I will pay them a visit to which they provided me the number of their toll free number and told me that they too contact the same number as the troubleshooting is only done in Lahore.

Called up the toll free number and the CSR told me that my account was blocked because of non payment, I told him it was impossible as I had already paid in advance for the whole month which started only 12 days ago, He checked again and then told me that my downloads had exceeded the set limit consistently hence the account was locked. The guy told me that he will restore the connection within 10 minutes.

Pretty upset with all the nuisance I called up the regional head of sales department, Mr. Ayaz told me that I was downloading too much and that they cannot keep my account any more. I told him that they had advertised unlimited downloads to which he gave me stupid excuses:

Ayaz: You are not downloading like a home user rather like a corporate user
Me: It does not matter how I download as you have advertised unlimited downloads.

Ayaz: But we have a 3GB Limit for home users (30GB for 1:10 shared connection)
Me: Then why haven't you mentioned the same and why do you advertise unlimited downloads?

Ayaz: 3GB Downloads are enough for any household that is why we advertise unlimited downloads. What do you download anyway?
Me: I download HD Movies off torrents, why do you not advertise a 3GB download limit? Why do you misguide customers like me, why do you think I pay almost Rs. 2400/month for a 2MB connection?

Ayaz: All ISP's do the same, your downloads will be restricted regardless of which ISP you use.
Me: That still does not justify your false advertisement which attracted me to you in the first place. Be also advised that I am an active member of quite a few Forums and I will post about your LIE. Please refund me for the days remaining.
Ayaz: Let me arrange that when I get back to office.

Brain Net advertisement about unlimited downloads is a fucking lie, Beware!


What makes it all the more alarming is that BrainNET seems to be doing this deliberately. Proof of this is found when one looks at its website describing the packages available. You can go to the package details page by clicking here. There is no mention of any volume limit for the packages. On another page, they advertise these packages as being "24 hours unlimited". I would call this a clever use of words to state that the connections remain connected 24/7 which is sort of an implied meaning of a broadband connection. However, the potential customer (most not understanding a lot of English) takes this to mean that the packages don't have any volume limitation. Even on the above linked page, there is no mention of any bandwidth/volume limitations for the end user. The customer is thus deliberately misled into believing that the packages have no volume limitations.

In the quoted conversation with the regional head of sales department, Mr. Ayaz lies blatantly and unashamedly to Maverick. First, home users these days download huge amounts of data. This is evident with the increasing popularity of video sites like YouTube and MetaCafe which consume a major portion of internet traffic these days. In fact, I would venture very confidently to say that in Pakistan's scenario a corporate connection generates less traffic than one installed at homes of any avid internet user. 3 GB download is not enough for any household. With increasing size of web pages, and increasing multimedia content in websites, most often one finds that the [non-advertised] volume limit is crossed quite easily. Calling a 3GB limit package unlimited is lying to the customers and false advertisement.

Amongst all ISPs in Pakistan providing broadband connections, it is well assumed that they will be unlimited in both connectivity and volume. Out of all the Pakistani ISPs I have read about (and I read about them quite a lot), Nayatel is the only one providing FTTH which has volume limited home packages which makes their packages unappealing and utterly crappy. Other Wimax packages from Wateen are also volume limited for the most part. Take any of PTCL, LINKdotNET, Micronet, Maxcom or other popular ISPs providing DSL service. All offer home DSL packages which have no volume restrictions. This proves that the contention of Mr. Ayaz regarding other ISPs "doing the same" is another lie.

This underhanded maneuver by BrainNET is a patent example of how to defraud a customer. I would recommend to potential DSL subscribers currently looking for a new connection to stay far away from BrainNET's service until this issue is satisfactorily resolved either way. You can trace progress of this issue on Wired Pakistan Forums, WCCK Forums or on PKFORUM.

Stay alert and protect your rights as a consumer.

Everyone who uses BrainNET or any other internet service provider is welcome to share his or her experience in the comments section below. Good luck to you all in finding the internet service provider which provides internet packages fitting your needs at a reasonable price and great after-sales customer service.

Edit [1/7/2009]: Maverick adds:

Hey Asad, do you know I wrote that post on wcck about BrainNET, the one your turned in to a blog and have in your signature They refunded me 2 weeks later as their GM was out of the country and no refunds could be made before his return (well actually the CS at the office paid me earlier but out of their own pockets which they told me will be refunded once the GM returns!).

All's well that ends well. Congrats to Maverick for getting his money back.

16/04: The Reluctant Fundamentalist

I was just browsing info for various books and came across this book by Mohsin Hamid on Amazon. It has topped the best seller list on Barnes & Noble. What particularly got my attention was the mention of Lahore's Anarkali market. I went on the hunt for reviews and critiques and found glowing reviews for it by readers, blogs and magazines. It is a short book at 192 pages and can easily be read in one sitting. It is, now, one of those books which are on my "must get" list.

Reluctant Fundamentalist

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

About the author

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School and worked for several years as a management consultant in New York. His first novel, Moth Smoke, was published in ten languages and was a winner of a Betty Trask award, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His essays and journalism have appeared in Time, The New York Times and The Guardian, among others. Mohsin Hamid currently lives, works and writes in London.

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13/03: The world as I see it

an essay by Albert Einstein

This text of Albert Einstein's copyrighted essay, "The World As I See It," is a shortened version of the original essay. The essay was originally published in "Forum and Century," vol. 84, pp. 193-194, the thirteenth in the Forum series, Living Philosophies. It is also included in Living Philosophies (pp. 3-7) New York: Simon Schuster, 1931. For a more recent source, you can also find a copy of it in A. Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, based on Mein Weltbild, edited by Carl Seelig, New York: Bonzana Books, 1954 (pp. 8-11).


"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...

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10/03: Wikipedia: The untimely rise and expected fall

Wikipedia... When one hears this name, one thinks of one of the world's largest encyclopaedia which relies on community members contributing articles.

Being a student, I have been a huge, though passive, supporter of this project. I say passive, because I have used it for finding information but rarely have put in any information myself. However, my primary interest in Wikipedia articles lies with topics relating to computers and various other non-political topics. I have looked at political and controversial articles on Wikipedia before now but that has happened infrequently.

Wiki logo

During the last few days, I have been taking a look at various political articles. My interest in such articles relates primarily with articles on South Asian political topics. On one of the forums I frequent, some members complained about some administrative abuse issues with Wikipedia in a thread titled "Indians bragging on Wikipedia". I first thought of this to be the usual case of vitriol, and to find the truth for my own self, I spent a couple of hours browsing various Wikipedia articles, reading user pages of various community members and administrators and looking at article histories to see when and what editing was done.

What I found was slightly shocking and depressing for me.

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08/02: ‘Three Cups of Tea’ for Education

by Babar Bhatti

I discovered the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin in my local library. Once I started reading it was hard to put it down.

The book is about a bohemian American mountain climber Greg Mortensen whose life was saved in a remote northern village of Pakistan in the 1990s. To show his gratitude, Greg decided to build a school there. What happens after that is a remarkable story of triumph against what seemed enormous odds at that time.

The name of the book comes from an anecdote where Haji Ali, the elder of village Korphe tells Greg to stop making everyone crazy during the construction of the school. Says Haji Ali, “You must make time to have three cups of tea with us. The first time you share tea with a Balti you are a stranger. The second time you take tea you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family and for our family we are prepared to do anything.”

Greg confesses that it was the most important lesson he ever learned: to slow down and build relationships is as important as building projects. “He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them”.

I absolutely loved the book. But instead of rambling on with my personal impressions, I’ll share an editorial reviews of the book, posted on Amazon.com, where the book is rated 5 stars based on 76 reviews. A New York Times best-seller, it was also Time Magazine’s Asian Book of The Year for 2006.

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