Reliance Jio may have garnered over 16 million subscribers in record time, but the harsh reality is that the operator is struggling to cater to the insane demand for free Jio SIM cards. In the meantime, some local mobile retailers are reportedly making the most of this chaos and are selling these SIM cards in black market. The price of a Jio SIM card is said to be anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs 500. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - Airtel launches new Rs 456 prepaid plan: Check data, validity, call and other benefits
Reports quote customers who were unable to get a free Jio SIM card from an authorized store, but then paid to get one from a local mobile retailer. One of them shelled out Rs 300 for a SIM card, while another was lucky enough to get one for Rs 200. The report adds that some vendors are operating as authorized agents in lanes and by-lanes and are equipped with a bunch of SIM cards and handheld devices for instant e-KYC. It doesn’t really come as a huge surprise that there is a black market for something that is seeing demand of this magnitude. Also Read - Jio Freedom Plans 2021: Jio launches 5 new prepaid plans with no daily data limit - check details
But an ET report has some damning evidence, where a NCR-based shop owner claims that Reliance stores themselves were selling SIM cards to local mobile retailers. This is quite a shocking (if not that surprising) revelation, and unsurprisingly Reliance Jio is no mood to take this lightly. There is zero tolerance for any unethical practices and strict action will be taken against any misdemeanors, a Reliance Jio spokesperson told DNA Money. He further said that the company was hard at work to meet the overwhelming demand across the country.
Even after a month of commercial launch, there’s no shortage of people vying for a free Jio SIM card. You can still see long queues outside Reliance Digital and Express Mini stores, and many have to leave disappointed after standing for hours. The entire experience is marred by server problems, which is also affecting SIM activation. Reports quote customers who have been waiting for more than 10 days to get their SIM activated, but are turned away by the stores citing server issues.
Apart from a free SIM card, the biggest draw for consumers is Reliance Jio’s Welcome Offer that is valid till December 31, 2016. The Welcome Offer is valid with most 4G smartphones available in the country. Once activated, users get unlimited HD voice and video calls, unlimited SMS (restricted to 100 per day).
In terms of high speed 4G data, there is a cap of 4GB per day, after which speeds will be cut down to 128Kbps, and will refresh post midnight. Even going by 4GB limit per day, you could still be able to download 120GB in a month, which is unheard of. RELATED: Reliance Jio targets 250 million subscribers based on response to Jio Welcome Offer: Report
After December 31, when the Welcome Offer ends, you can choose from plans starting at Rs 19 with one day validity, Rs 149 plan with 28 days validity along with voice and data benefits, going all the way up to Rs 4,999 for 28 days with voice and data benefits for heavy internet users.
Since its launch, Reliance Jio has had to face a multitude of problems, which is not restricted to the huge demand. Almost since day one, Jio has had to fight with incumbent operators on the interconnect issue. Every day users are complaining about multiple call drops and call failures, and even the company has acknowledged that there are around 16 million call drops on its network. While the operators are involved in the blame game, the truth is that for a common user it does not matter whether the problem is at Jio s end or with other carriers. If the call drops weren’t enough, users have recently reported a stark drop in internet speeds, which happened to be one of Jio’s USPs. ALSO READ: Congratulations Jio for reaching 16 million users, now fix their problems first