Jio ends its Summer Surprise scheme after Trai order

All customers who have already subscribed to the offer would continue to be eligible for it


Complying with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) advice, Reliance Jio on Thursday withdrew its Summer Surprise offer. Announced last week, the scheme promised to provide complimentary services to every Jio Prime member for three months starting April 1.

The company confirmed complying with Trai’s advice. Under the scheme, all Prime members making their first recharge payment of Rs 303 (or higher) would have got three months’ complimentary services in addition to the benefits of their purchased plan.

All customers who have already subscribed to the offer would continue to be eligible for it, the company said.

Jio started billing customers from April 1. The company claimed about 72 million users had subscribed to its Jio Prime service.

The complimentary offers by Jio in the past have been a bone of contention with rivals Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. The two companies appealed to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against Trai’s clean chit to Jio’s free offers

The TDSAT last month asked Trai to clarify whether Jio had informed it and its subscribers of the two free offers — “Jio Welcome Offer” and “Jio Happy New Year Offer” — being “distinct”.

Trai had approved Jio’s free voice calling and data plan on its mobile services, claiming it was not a violation of the regulatory guidelines on promotional offers. The issue of Jio’s promotional offers disrupting the telecom market and adversely impacting the government revenue from the mobile operators in the form of spectrum usage charge was flagged by the then telecom secretary J S Deepak.

He had asked the regulator to restrict the period of “promotional tariffs” offered by telecom companies.

At present, such offers could stretch to 90 days and had, according to Deepak, hit revenue to the tune of Rs 800 crore. (readmore…)