Reliance has already officially confirmed that they have started shipping the first 6 million units of the JioPhone in a phased manner. However, the effectively-free Jio Phone now might not seem such welcoming news for consumers due to the new terms and conditions introduced by the company.
Reliance Jio has put up the terms and conditions on its website for returning JioPhone units. It reveals that buyers may actually have to end up paying if they want to return the device before the stipulated date. Also, the company reserves the right to ask for the phone back if it is not being used. Moreover, to claim the Rs. 1,500 security deposit, recharges worth Rs. 4,500 are mandatory.
To recall, at the time of launch no terms and conditions were revealed by the company. Now, when the delivery date approaches, these terms and conditions may come as a surprise to many. There are many points that certainly deserve the attention from the newly updated terms and conditions on the Jio website:
First and most important thing to notice are the mandatory recharges. As we all know, the company had promised to refund the security deposit of Rs. 1,500 after three years when you return the device. But, now it comes with a catch. To be eligible for the refund, you need to recharge your number with minimum vouchers of Rs. 1,500 annually and Rs. 4,500 over the three-year period.
So basically, you would be spending more than Rs. 4,500 on the 4G feature phone over the next 3 years, in order to get your deposit of Rs. 1,500 back. If you do not follow this, the company has the right to take back your device.
The company has also disclosed the return policy of the JioPhone along with the charges applicable on returning before the due date. Reliance Jio says customers who return the device in the first year would be charged Rs. 1,500 as well as applicable GST or other taxes.
Customers who return the JioPhone after one year but before two years would be charged Rs. 1,000 in addition to applicable GST or other taxes. Similarly, customers who return the device after two years but before completing the 3 years would be charged Rs. 500 and applicable GST or other taxes.
The best way to make sure that you get your money back after the three year period is to recharge the device with Rs. 153 atleast 10 times every year. Further, the company says users have a 3-month window after 3 years to handover their Jio Phone unit in order to claim the refund. If you do not return the handset to the company in this 3-month window, the Rs. 1,500 refundable deposit will be forfeited and you will still have to return the device to the company.
Use of JioPhone
The Jio Phone will be SIM-locked, meaning it is locked to use the Reliance Jio network only and assigned the fixed number. However, the company says that it “may, solely at its discretion, allow the use of the JioPhone with any other compatible network from time to time.”
Jio says the user should remove the SIM card from the handset before handing it over. It also mentions that returning the device does not cancel the Recipient’s service contract with the carrier i.e. Reliance Jio.
The Jio Phone handset warranty is 1 year, and six months on the charger from the date of delivery. The warranty will be voided if the handset’s seal, serial number or date code has been removed, defaced or altered. Also, if it has been subjected to modifications like rooting, reverse engineering, unlocking, jail-breaking, the warranty gets voided.
Reliance Retail (RRL) which is selling the JioPhone has also described the privacy policies. Notably, the company may access the device’s “precise geolocation and other information related to your location on a regular basis through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals, calendar entries and other technologies and data.”
According to the company, the information can be used to “provide location-related notifications or information you request”. The location settings on the phone must be turned on for this data collection, and RRL or location service providers may request that you enable the location settings. Similarly, other companies also use and ask for the location, so this is the standard in that case.
Moreover, RRL, its licensees, and agents can also collect location data anonymously and in a form, that does identify the user. This information may be used by the company or its affiliates to “provide and improve location-based products and services.” The data collected via cookies will be treated as non-personal information, Jio says.
Simply by using location-based services on the handset, you give the “consent to transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services.” Likewise, using a content app on the phone is a signal to the company that the user has agreed to share consumption data via “cookies, beacons, and other technologies in certain areas.”
The company also “may collect and store recordings of your voice that RRL makes when you use voice commands to control a service.” These recordings can be shared with speech-to-text conversion services on Jio’s behalf to “receive and store certain voice commands.”
Users cannot sell, transfer or assign the JioPhone unit purchased in their name to someone else, says the company. This would prevent misuse and black-marketing of the device. It is important to note that you can only return the device after 36 months, or are asked by Jio to give back the device for some reason.
The delivery of JioPhone has been started. If you have pre-booked a device, you can check the status of your Reliance JioPhone delivery by calling Jio customer care number 18008908900 using your registered mobile number or tracking it online.