Reliance Jio vs Airtel: Mukesh Ambani firm writes to TRAI questioning the credibility of Airtel offers

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance has alleged that two of the new offers recently announced by the country's largest telecom services provider were not in terms of TRAI's order on transparency in tariffs

Reliance Jio vs Airtel: Mukesh Ambani firm writes to TRAI questioning the credibility of Airtel offers

Reliance Jio has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asking to initiate "strongest action" and highest penalty" against rival Bharti Airtel, alleging "gross violation of extant telecom laws."

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance has alleged that two of the new offers recently announced by the country's largest telecom services provider were not in terms of TRAI's order on transparency in tariffs.


According to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel had not only grossly manipulated the value of data in the promotional offer, but had also misrepresented the benefits under the offers, randomly discriminated between subscribers and placed misleading tariff advertisements.

The Hindu quoted Bharti spokesperson as saying, “We are not aware of any such complaint,”. “All our tariff plans are fully compliant with the prevailing regulations.”

Reliance wrote to TRAI two weeks before and said the free calls under Airtel’s Special Tariff Voucher 345 were not unlimited as Airtel had implemented a FUP (fair usage policy) of 300 minutes per day or 1,200 minutes per week, post which all calls were chargeable.

“Therefore, these prepaid packs do not provide unlimited free calling to customers. This fact is not discernible from the advertisements of Airtel and neither does Airtel specify in the advertisements that such limitations apply or are conceived as part of the terms and conditions,” Jio claimed.
The letter further said that the call centre executives of Airtel were reluctant first to provide FUP-related information and only when specifically asked they were ready to answer.


Jio alleged that the Airtel's so-called advertisement of ‘Free data for 12 months, worth ₹9,000’ could not be termed free because it would be activated only after deducting Rs 345.

“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,” the letter said.

Saying that the value of 3GB data (at the rate of ₹450 a month) would work out to only ₹5,400 over 12 months, Jio argued that those benefits are therefore “much lower” than Airtel’s claim of ₹9,000.