More reports on: Telecom, Reliance Jio Infocomm

Jio has not ended Summer Surprise, Vodafone tells Trai

11 April 2017

Vodafone India has sought ''immediate intervention'' of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on alleged ''luring'' of customers by Reliance Jio to its 'Summer Surprise' offer, which the telecom regulator had suggested be withdrawn.

''In our view, such promotion on an offer held as non-compliant is a blatant violation and disregard of Trai's advisory,''  Vodafone said in a letter to the regulator. ''Such promotions to customers make the regulatory advisory meaningless.''

Reliance Jio had, on 6 April, announced its decision to withdraw the offer after Trai ''advised'' it to do so.

The Mukesh Ambani-led firm, which has been offering free services to users since unveiling the brand in September last year under two separate offers, was supposed to start charging users 1 April onwards.

It, however, extended the deadline for buying the Jio plan by 15 days. It further announced the 'Jio Summer Surprise' offer wherein subscribers who bought the Rs99 Prime membership till 15 April, with a plan of Rs303 or higher, were eligible for free data and voice services for three months. (See: Reliance Jio ends Summer Surprise on Trai orders)

''Reliance Jio is continuing with this offer, held as not meeting regulatory norms, in the garb of configuration changes. For the past three days it 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,'' a statement from Vodafone said.

The telco said this painted a wrong picture to customers, ''of non-robust regulatory framework where non-complaint offers are allowed to be sold in market''.

Jio has garnered more than 100 million subscribers, of which 72 million have subscribed to its Prime membership as of 31 March.

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