Reliance Jio Violating TRAI’s Advisory on Surprise Offer: Vodafone

Reliance Jio had extended the deadline for customers to join its Prime membership by 15 days.

Vodfaone India Ltd has written to the telecom regulator alleging that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is luring customers to avail the benefits of its Summer Surprise offer in “blatant violation” of the regulator’s advisory.

Vodafone said in a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),

For past three days, it (Jio) has been promoting and luring customers to quickly recharge to avail the benefits of a non-compliant offer and also asking its retailers to communicate the same.

BloombergQuint has obtained a copy of the letter.

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Jio, which started charging for its services from 1 April, had extended the deadline for customers to join its Prime membership by 15 days. Under the Summer Surprise scheme, existing subscribers or new customers could become Prime members by paying Rs 99 and avail the new offer by buying a Rs 303 recharge till 15 April.

Reliance Jio on 7 April said it will withdraw its Summer Surprise offer after the TRAI advised against it. Jio said it is “in process of fully complying with the regulator’s advice” but did not give a final date when the offer will be completely withdrawn.

Vodafone said,

In our view, 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 makes the regulatory advisory meaningless. Further, it paints a wrong picture to customers, of non-robust regulatory framework where non-complaint offers are allowed to be sold in market.

Also Read: Reliance Jio’s Entry Didn’t Prompt Merger: Vodafone & Idea CEOs

Pained To See Competitors Creating Confusion: Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio had made clear that the Summer Surprise Offer will be withdrawn as soon as “operationally feasible”, in compliance with TRAI’s advisory, it clarified in an emailed statement in response to Vodafone’s letter.

Reliance Jio Statement We are pained to note such continued and deliberate attempts by competitors to create unnecessary confusion in the market.

The operator reiterated that customers who have signed up for the offer before its withdrawal will receive the complimentary benefits, in accordance with the regulator’s advisory.

(The article was originally published in Bloomberg Quint.)

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