In the latest war round between the telecom operators, Reliance Jio has sent a letter to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) asking it to put up the highest penalty on Airtel for misleading people through its advertisement.
The letter is in relation to Airtel’s advertisement claiming mobile data worth Rs 9,000 free for 12 months. The offer was introduced earlier this month through which one will get additional free 3GB internet data every month until December 31. Jio claims that this step makes Airtel accused of gross violation of extant telecommunication laws. The new entrant in the telecom industry also accused Airtel of not disclosing the FUP (Fair Usage Policy) terms to the customers and depicting the new plan offering free unlimited calls.
Briefing out, the Rs 345 pack for prepaid customers doesn’t really offer free unlimited calls as there is a limit of 300 minutes per day and 1200 minutes per week after which the customers will be charged normally. Moreover, Jio’s letter also revealed that the above-mentioned FUP information was only provided to users by customer executives on asking about the same. Another important aspect Jio mentioned in the letter was that fact that Airtel is claiming a plan to offer free service when in reality it is indeed charging Rs 345 for the services.
“Further, post expiry of the data benefits in the pack, the subscriber is charged at pay-as-you-go rates, therefore, the free data claims are grossly misleading,” – read the letter.
Reliance Jio also mentioned that Airtel is discriminating between subscribers offering the new 12 months data offer to only the new customers subscribing to 4G handsets and Airtel network. This discrimination charges Airtel of breaching Telecom Tariff order 1999 Section IV (Transparency and Consumer Protection).
Meanwhile, Idea Cellular has also been said to mock Reliance Jio through a couple of ads. The ads show how free services is not always the best with a tagline ‘No Free G, Idea 4G’.
Now, it will interesting to see how Jio reacts to this after the company accused Airtel of violating various telecommunication laws (as mentioned above). Nevertheless, the telecom war in India has somewhat gone to a wrong path and can turn even dirtier if things don’t improve. However, we just hope that in this doesn’t affect the customers in any way.