On September 1, a buoyant Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries announced the digital arm of the company – the Reliance Jio. Promising world class services, Ambani literally showed us the moon. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph and associating itself with Indian government’s Digital India ambition, the telco for a moment created a ‘saviour of Indians’ like image.
But all it has so far offered is messy services and a thriving black market. Why do we say so? Because when a lot of our readers bought to out notice that stores which are selling SIM are charging money for it, we thought of verifying it and went out to the market to procure Jio SIMs
During our investigation, we found out that vendors are charging money for the same.
We first visited couple of Reliance Digital stores for almost 7 days regularly, there we got the standard responses, “Come at 1 PM on Monday”, or “come after seven days”, or just “don’t have SIM, come some other time” -such rude and arbitrary sentences become the routine till we postponed our plans for a Jio SIM until this week.
And seeing no hope of getting a Jio SIM from Reliace Jio’s “stores” we approached a third party vendor who promised to offer us a SIM in an instance. But we were shocked when the shopkeeper demanded Rs 200 for the supposedly “free SIM”. But we went with the flow as we saw people around us dolling out the asked money without any hesitation.
But that did not stop there. I , in particular, waited for two days for the SIM to get activated and when I had no more patience , I approached the vendor to get it activated. He asked me to show the code but upon showing the same, he told that it is no longer valid, though, in the screenshot, it was clearly mentioned that the code is valid till December 31. The vendor was a nice guy he offered to help but demanded Rs 100 for the service.
So I had only two option – dole out another Rs 100 or forget it.
When we enquired from the vendors why he is charging us Rs 200 to Rs 300, He said “sir yeh service charge hai”
Clearly, Jio has indirectly started a thriving black market in the country which needs to be stopped and they also need to have a proper complaint redressal system in place.