Reliance Jio has had sort of a dream run so far, at least that’s the case when it comes to customer acquisitions with over 26 million subscribers signing up in last 3 months. That said, the latest sensation in the highly competitive Indian telecom market has often faced customer wrath for offering below par services especially when it comes to making calls to other networks.
It goes without saying that competing telecom operators are keeping a close eye on every steps being taken by Jio. In fact, telecos like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea etc. had filed a joint complaint to TRAI against the suspiciously cheap data plans being offered by Jio. Alongside that, the telecos also raised their voice against the predatory style of customer acquisition Jio has been following thanks to their Free Jio Welcome Offer.
Now, it seems that TRAI has come up with a verdict for the deliberation held on September 30, as result of the joint representation of telecom operators dated September 20. As per the judgement, TRAI has cut short Reliance’s Welcome Offer to 90 days from the day of initial rollout. This effectively means that the Welcome Offer providing free call, data, SMS and video calls will cease to exist post December 3. It’s however worth noting that the TRAI statement doesn’t clearly indicate whether the termination of the Welcome Offer will be applicable for existing customers too. Just in case you are unaware, Reliance Jio had announced that their free offer will be applicable till 31st of December for all customers who sign up on their network during this period.
In the heat of recent reports regarding the termination of Welcome Offer on December 3, TechPP independently reached out to Reliance to confirm the news. As per the Reliance statement, the Jio Welcome Offer for existing customers will be valid till 31st of December. However, new users who would be signing up for Jio after December 3, would be ineligible for this Welcome Offer. That said, Reliance hasn’t yet confirmed how they would be charging the customers who sign up for their network after December 3. There are still chances that Reliance may roll out some other offer for those customers, under a different name as Jio’s interpretation of the law on promotional offers seems different from what the incumbents are interpreting. As per the announcement, at AGM held in Mumbai, Reliance was said to commence with the preset tariff plans starting Jan 1, 2017. In fact, official from Jio claims that the TRAI orders fall in line with the announcement made at the AGM meeting. The officials state that the order from TRAI clearly corresponds with Mukesh Ambani’s statement that the Jio Welcome Offer will be available only for a period 90 days from September 5th.
Meanwhile, in another development, Reliance Jio has come up with a statement claiming that the company is pondering on increasing the duration of the Welcome Offer, which is currently set to expire for existing Jio customer on December 31. This move was closely preceded by reports of Jio being the slowest 4G internet service provider in India according to statistical information listing on TRAI website. It’s however worth noting that the TRAI verdict on the Welcome Offer is limited to the last date of signing up new customers based on this offer, and doesn’t delve into the expiry of the offer for existing users.