Vodafone: Jio violates telecom norms by continuing Summer Surprise offer

Vodafone rechargeTelecom operator Vodafone India  has sent a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) complaining about the alleged violation of telecom regulation guidelines by Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, which started offering free data and voice services from September 2016, last week said it would stop its Summer Surprise offer shortly. Reliance Jio earlier said it has more than 72 million 4G subscribers who joined the network during Prime membership offer.

To enhance the customer base, Reliance Jio announced the extension of Prime membership offer to April 15 from March 31, 2017. But the 4G operator announced the suspension of its Summer Surprise offer that provided free services till June-end for subscribers who take Prime membership for Rs 99 and recharge for Rs 303 and above. Jio would also offer services for the recharge amount to its 4G subscribers.

Since TRAI is against Jio’s free offers, the Mukesh Ambani-promoted company decided to suspend its free package being offered as per the Summer Surprise offer. But the company ran promotion campaigns attracting customers to its 4G network without mentioning about the cancellation of the free services. The company website also said there will be more attractive packages to its customers in India.

“Reliance Jio is continuing with this offer held as not meeting regulatory norms, in the garb of configuration changes. For past three days it has been promoting and luring customers to recharge to avail the benefits of a non-compliant offer and also asking its retailers to communicate the same,” said Vodafone India in a letter to TRAI.

Sample – SMS to customers

प्रिये उपभोक्ता, ट्राई के निर्देश अनुसार रिलायंस जियो अपना समर सरप्राइज ऑफर कुछ ही घंटों में बंद कर रहा है , इस ऑफर का आनंद लेने के लिए अभी रु 303 या अधिक से रिचार्ज करें और पाएं 3 महीने तक जिओ सर्विसेज का फायदा , जल्दी कीजिये ये मौका दोबारा नहीं मिलेगा

Sample – SMS to Retailers

बड़े हर्ष और उल्लास से आप सभी रिटेलर्स  को सूचित किया जाता है कि Jio ने  Monday यानी 10 अप्रैल तक का अपने ग्राहकों को समय दे दिया है दिल खोलकर 303/499 का रिचार्ज कराएं और 28 जुलाई तक जी भर के नेट और अनलिमिटेड कॉलिंग पाए।

Vodafone said such promotion of the customers on an offer held as non-compliant, is a blatant violation and disregard of TRAI’s advisory. Such promotions to customers make the regulatory advisory meaningless. It paints a wrong picture to customers, of non-robust regulatory framework where non-complaint offers are allowed to be sold in market.

“Considering above, we request for TRAI’s intervention and issuance of directions to Reliance Jio for withdrawing the said offer on immediate basis and notifying the consumers about withdrawal of said offer from the date of advisory received from TRAI,” Vodafone India said.

The ongoing free services from Reliance Jio Infocomm have impacted the revenue growth of leading operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, BSNL, Vodafone India, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.