Reliance Jio gives 3 more months of free service, extends Prime membership deadline

Sami Khan
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If you followed Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani's announcement on late-Friday, you'd know that Jio is far from disrupting the Indian telecom industry. Just when users started to think that Jio is out of moves to make its rivals run for shelter, the new telco pulled a surprise stunt on Friday bringing back some good old memories from a few months ago.

In what is seen as the largest migration from free to paid services in the telecom industry in such short time, Jio boasts it added 72 million Prime members in just one month. Owing to the demand with which users are flocking to Jio Prime, the telecom operator decided to extend the deadline from March 31 to April 15.

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With this, users have until mid-April to join Jio Prime membership programme, which comes with a one-time fee of Rs. 99 and numerous offers and surprises over the next 12 months. The first of many surprises, as Jio duly notes, was revealed by Ambani on Friday.

If a Jio Prime user recharges for the first time with Rs. 303 monthly rental plan or above, Jio will make the initial 3 months of services entirely free. It means users will not be paying anything until July, which is when the Jio Summer Surprise ends. This offering is labeled by Ambani as "shagun" – which is an Indian tradition of offering gifts on auspicious occasions.

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For us, your first recharge is an auspicious moment. Therefore, we want to offer a token of our appreciation and gratitude to all JIO PRIME members... the JIO SUMMER SURPRISE," Ambani wrote in a letter to its customers on Friday.

With this generous offer, or rather an extension of continued generosity by Jio, it is hard to resist joining Jio Prime. But those who fail to do so by April 15 will experience degradation or discontinuation of services, Ambani warns.

"But, I am conscious that this is the largest migration from free to paid services in history. We are committed to doing this gradually, so that both Jio and Jio customers have the time to adjust, fine tune and perfect this transition," Ambani added.

As for those who have already joined Jio Prime and done the first recharge, Jio says they will automatically be migrated to the Jio Summer Surprise offer. By making this announcement on Friday, Jio has managed to prove all the analysts' predictions about over 50 percent users leaving Jio after the free trial ends. And with the assurance that Jio Prime members will be treated with many more surprises, there's little to worry about users leaving Jio anytime soon.

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