In what looks like another battle of swords in the telecom industry, Reliance Jio has now accused Airtel of misleading its latest Rs 293 and Rs 449 plans discriminating its subscribers based on certain criteria. To avail these offers, one needs to have a 4G SIM along with a 4G handset. As a result, Jio has asked TRAI to impose the highest penalty on the current telecom leader.
As per Jio, this is Airtel’s attempt to add more customers to the basket and making all its customers believe that the benefit will include 1GB mobile data per day along with free calls for 70 days. Note, in Rs 293 plan, you get free calls only to an Airtel network. However, if you don’t satisfy the dual criteria of 4G SIM and 4G handset, the data benefit will be reduced to 50MB and the validity is narrowed down to 35 days. This is where Reliance Jio has pinpointed Bharti Airtel and has now gone full throttle to battle out with the Sunil Mittal led telecom operator.
Reliance Jio said that Airtel is marketing these plans “in a grossly discriminating basis by providing the headline data benefits of 1GB data per day for 70 days only to the new subscribers holding a 4G handset in conjunction with a 4G compatible SIM card. All other subscribers are provided substantially lower data benefits of 50MB for 35 days.”
“Airtel has chosen to create an arbitrary distinction on the basis of subscribers possessing 4G handset and 4G SIM. It has arbitrarily reduced the validity of voice benefits under the same recharge for the same class of subscribers without a 4G handset or 4G SIM” – the statement added.
Airtel, on the other hand, has denied all of this and have quoted this as just another attempt to blame others for Jio’s own problems.
“These allegations are nothing but a continuation of Reliance Jio’s standard ploy of blaming others for all its problems, including network deficiencies,” – an Airtel Spokesperson told PTI.
Interestingly, Reliance Jio was the one who offered free services to 4G only users for over 6 months and as ironic as it gets, the telecom operator is now blaming other players for actions which were first initiated by itself.
Just recently, Reliance Jio was accused of offering free services post-March 31st under its Summer Surprise offer which was eventually withdrawn. The offer was clearly against TRAI guidelines and Reliance Jio knew it and there is a possibility that it might have done that on purpose.
Meanwhile, Jio also accused Airtel of its ad campaign with Ookla which crowned it as India’s Fastest Network which was then taken to ASCI who eventually favoured Jio and the ad campaign was soon taken down.
Whatever the case maybe, the telecom industry has never been so heated up and with continuous sweet offers for consumers, we don’t mind this at all.