Reliance Jio is now offering free data bundled along with its JioFi hotspot device. The company’s website claims to provide free 4G data in form of redeemable vouchers worth Rs 2010 with every purchase of a hotspot device, thereby providing a “cashback” in form of data usage. However, the offer is valid for Jio Prime customers only. Additionally, to attract non-Jio customers, the telco is providing an option for “exchanging” their existing hotspot device (from an operator/model/make), for a JioFi device, thereby making the offer applicable to a non-Jio user.

However, it is not clear whether this is considered as a tariff pack (since non-Jio users need to pay to activate Prime account) or as a promo pack. MediaNama has emailed Jio asking whether it has submitted the offer for approval to TRAI, as per its latest direction which came out last month. We will update once they respond.

Discrepancies in how the offers is advertised

Here is what Jio’s says on its website regarding how users can redeem the data:

For existing Jio Prime users: Customers already holding a Jio SIM card, can purchase the WiFi hotspot worth Rs 1,999 from the online/offline store. These users will be provided with 5 redeemable vouchers of Rs 201 each.
For new Jio Prime users: After exchanging their hotspot device, new users with have to first make a recharge of at least Rs 408 and above to activate the Prime account. Once this is done, they are provided with 10 redeemable vouchers of Rs 201 each.

Here is what Jio doesn’t say on its website about the offer, but elaborates on Terms & Conditions (pdf):
Recharge condition and data benefits: All 5 or 10  vouchers codes are not provided at the time of purchase. After the first voucher is redeemed, “customer will receive 1 voucher with each such recharge, which will entitle Customer to 5GB of 4G data.”  This is probably meant to stop multiple redeems from another Jio account.
Validity: The validity of the 5GB 4G data will be co-terminus with that of the base plan. This means if your active Rs 408 base plan is to expire in the next 15 days, then your 5GB free data is valid for next 15 days. All vouchers are valid until March 2018.
Other Terms: This offer can’t be clubbed with any other offer. Customers are expected to clear all dues with their service provider in case they are exchanging a device with a prepay/postpay contract.

And this is why TRAI is consulting on how promo/tariffs are advertised to customers

It took us almost an hour to understand/decipher how the offer is applicable to users, and more importantly, the validity and data benefit offered was not explicitly mentioned on the site, but on an external pdf document.  This is bound to create confusion among customers, and influence them to make recharges that they might not even end up using.

TRAI wants to change this, and it recently issued a consultation asking whether telcos/ISPs need to disclose more info regarding tariff packs, including data points like latency, pre and post FUP speeds, validity, down times, etc. To make this info more user-friendly, TRAI suggested a nutrition label approach for tariff advertisements. More on this here.

Download: Terms and Conditions