tatadocomoTelecom operator Tata Docomo launched a handset protection service called ‘SimplySwap’ for its postpay customers in Hyderabad. The service lets existing customers swap their current handset with a “like for like” handset for no reason whatsoever, by paying a small fee.

A customer wanting to avail the service has to sign up within 7 days of buying a new handset at any TTRB store, by walking in with the original invoice, and having the handset examined. An eligible customer will then get a confirmation SMS, and can call 040-66066141 to request a swap for a new device of the same brand/model. The provided handsets will be either new or refurbished and will carry a warranty of six months, irrespective of how old the original device was. The company claims the handsets will be delivered within 48-72 hours. A customer will be eligible to swap phones twice a year and can also return a swapped phone within 7 days if he/she is not satisfied with it.

The company claims it currently has a portfolio of over 500 handset types from 30 different brands to cater to customers at all price points, although it will also offer customers a choice of equivalent or slightly better phones in case their exact model is unavailable. The service will charge a monthly fee and a swap fee when swapping the phone, the amount which will depend on which of the 5 tiers the phone belongs to. The most basic tier will cost Rs 89 per month and a swap fee of Rs 400. Both, GSM and CDMA customers will be able to avail this service.

The service will not act as insurance however, and if a device is lost or stolen it, obviously, cannot be swapped. Currently, the service is listed as “coming soon” on Docomo’s website.

Other developments: Tata Docomo had partnered with YouTube and Apalya Technologies to introduce a 3G streaming plan for YouTube in July and had started letting subscribers use Truecaller without data charges in April. The company had also announced selling its 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices through the equity method the same month, although the next month it started setting aside funds to buy it back. In April again, the company went through a major facepalm, when it forgot to renew its domain.