Reliance Jio on Thursday announced that it was withdrawing the Summer Surprise offer, which aimed to give Jio users three months of additional free service after Happy New Year offer ended a week ago. The company said that the announcement has been prompted by an “advise” from TRAI, the telecom industry regulator in India. The offer was announced on March 31.
According to a press statement by Reliance Jio, “Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised Jio to withdraw the 3 months complimentary benefits of the Jio Summer Surprise.” Other operators had claimed Jio’s offers were predatory, and would have a negative impact on their revenue. They have also argued that it was wrong of TRAI to let Jio continue with its free data service for more than three months.
The Summer Surprise offer was announced by Jio on March 31 in a letter that Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani wrote to Jio users. The offer was available to all those users who had subscribed to the Jio Prime membership, priced at Rs 99 per year, and had done a recharge of Rs 303 or more on their Jio number. The offer effectively gave Jio users another three months of free Jio service.
Importantly, Reliance Jio on Thursday noted that those who have already subscribed to the Summer Surprise offer will still get it. Nothing changes for them. It’s just that the offer will be no longer open to new users, possibly after a few days, and several days before the deadline for it ends on April 15. “All customers who have subscribed to JIO SUMMER SURPRISE offer prior to its discontinuation will remain eligible for the offer,” noted Jio.
As part of the Summer Surprise offer, which Ambani had called shagun offer, Jio had said that consumers would get the same service that they were getting as part of the Happy New Year, which in itself was a continuation of the Welcome Offer that Jio provided users when it went live with the service in September last year. This means Summer Surprise offer provided users with 1GB free data daily along with free calls and messages for another 3 months. The recharge Jio users had done to avail the offer was supposed to be used only after the completion of the three months.
The Jio Happy New Year offer expired on March 31. However, Ambani said the company had witnessed great rush for the Jio Prime membership and hence he extended the Prime membership deadline until April 15. The company also noted that Jio SIM will continue to offer free services to all existing Jio users until April 15.
Although Summer Surprise offer has ended, some questions remain. Jio says that users who have already subscribed to the Summer Surprise will continue to get it. It is not clear how that will not be a violation of TRAI rules in case the Summer Surprise offer is violation. Hopefully in the coming days there will be more clarity on the matter.