Well not NDTV directly but there is a program airing on NDTV Imagine titled “Guess The Celebrity” from a company Gold Safe which is probably the biggest rip off that I have encountered on the TV till date. The show itself is very simple, a celebrity’s face is shown partially and viewers (participants) are required to call and identify the celebrity and if they answer correctly they will win Rs. 90,000 (yes the lure of easy money always works).
Looks easy right, but beware of anything that looks too good to be true which is certainly the case with Gold Safe’s Guess The Celebrity. First the callers have to dial a number 5664464 (even SMS works) but the call rates are like Rs. 12 each minute (more than ISD). Next the caller is put on hold and never ever gets through (this on a live show) and you can be put on hold for anything from 50 minutes to more. Even more perplexing is that all this while a multitude of callers keep calling in but never ever guess the celebrity correctly. On both the days I saw the show, the celebrities were Preity Zinta and Katrina Kaif, but not a single caller got them correct. Surprising right considering our entire nation literally hero worships its celebrities.
Not surprisingly I searched on Google and found a number of complaints regarding the show and the gist of it was that the real callers never ever get through but are always put on hold (thereby shelling out exorbitant mobile bills) and the “fake” callers are from Gold Safe itself who will call using different names/aliases and never ever give the correct answer. The short end of it, the viewers are scammed out of their hard earned money with the lure of winning Rs. 90,000 on a single telephone call which never ever gets connected.
Gold Safe I don’t know, but NDTV I do know and probably every Indian does. I certainly did not expect this from NDTV (never mind its Gold Safe the program is still airing on NDTV Imagine). Social justice like in the case of Jessica Lal are one thing, but if your own viewers are getting scammed and in your own backyard and nothing is done about it, then NDTV is just as good as the scammers and cheaters it talks about fighting.
PS – I will email NDTV with a link to this blog post at firstname.lastname@example.org, lets see what comes out of it. If anyone knows details about India’s TV Watchdog to whom we can report such instances then please share the details or report so that others are warned and Gold Safe is investigated.