Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has rolled out a new refund policy for Reliance Industries’ 4G featurephone which will allow a subscriber to return the handset before the stipulated period of three years and get a part of his deposit back.
The customer who returns his Jiophone in the first year gets back no refund, rather will be charged Rs 1500 and GST; if he returns between 12–24 months, he gets Rs 500 back and on returning between 24–36 months, gets a refund of Rs 1000. Only on completion of stipulated 3 years will the customer get the complete refund of Rs 1500.
ET in its August 16th edition had written that Jio was expected to launch an early refund policy.
The firm has also come up with a minimum recharge of Rs 1500 a year using any combination of plans.
“This was done to encourage customers to use the phone and prevent any misuse,” said a person close to the Mukesh Ambani owned telecom operator. Jio did not respond to the query sent by ET late evening.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned company’s 4G feature phone is expected to be the next big disruptor in the telecom industry, which, for the past four quarters, has been engulfed in a brutal tariff war that has eroded revenues and profits of older players.
Jio had earlier said that it aims to deliver 100–150 million phones in the next six months (five million a week), but sources close to the firm had then said it was bracing for competition from other feature phone makers as well.
The booking window for the phone was opened on August 24 evening and was closed by August 26 morning after the demand far exceeded the target of making available five million phones a week. Besides those who managed to book the phone, more than 10 million consumers are waiting to place an order. Customers can book JioPhone by paying an advance of Rs 500.
The second booking period is expected to start in the next few weeks.
The mass-market phone that is being offered for free effectively — the company takes a three-year interest-free refundable deposit of Rs 1,500 — is key to Jio’s bid to quickly scale up it’s nearly 130 million user base by targeting the 500-million feature phone customers. The phone will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis through Jio retailers, multi-brand device retailers, and the network of Reliance Digital stores.
With voice free for life, a JioPhone user will get the benefit of unlimited SMS service and half a GB of data a day for Rs 153 a month, which is about one-thirtieth the price of data in the market, and access to various Jio apps.