Reliance Jio Phone is hitting the stores across the country and the company is claiming it will deliver six million units of the 4G VoLTE feature phone before Diwali. While pre-bookings for the second batch have not yet re-opened, reports claim JioPhone pre-bookings could be open for soon. Now Reliance Jio has put out the detailed terms and conditions about the JioPhone on their website and here’s a look at some of these.
Reliance JioPhone: Rs 1500 refundable deposit terms and conditions
So Reliance says the Jio phone is effectively ‘free of cost’ but as we all know, there is a price attached to this 4G feature phone. First up is the Rs 1500 refundable deposit, which will only be returned after three years. Those who are pre-booking the JioPhone will have to pay Rs 500 first, and the rest Rs 1000 has to be paid at the time of delivery or collecting the feature phone.
However, there are number of conditions regarding the return of the JioPhone security deposit and the device itself. For one, the terms and conditions also state that the phone should not be tampered with and this includes “rooting attempts, reverse engineering, unlocking or jail-breaking of the JioPhone or original firmware(s) or software(s) of the JioPhone.” So if one wants to return the JioPhone, they have to make sure it is in the same condition as when they bought it.
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So what happens if someone returns the JioPhone early? Well depending on the time period, you won’t be getting back the full Rs 1500 deposit. The only way to get this Rs 1500 back to return it exactly after three years or 36 months. Reliance Jio has “Early Return Charges” for the JioPhone and these are as follows.
If someone returns the Reliance Jio phone in under 12 months from the date of issue, the company will charge Rs 1,500 plus applicable GST or other taxes. So if you plan to get rid of Jio phone in under a year, you will end up losing your deposit.
For users, who decide to return JioPhone after 12 months and up to the 24 month period (from the date of issue), Jio will deduct Rs 1,000 from the deposit, including GST or other taxes. For those who decide to use the phone only for two years or so, be prepared to forfeit Rs 1000 plus from the “refundable” amount you paid. Finally for those who return the phone after 24 months (two years) and up to 36 months (three years) from the date when the phone was first issued will lose Rs 500 plus GST, other taxes.
Reliance JioPhone: Conditions for Return
Reliance Jio will return the full deposit if one returns the phone after three years. But there’s another catch to this three year period. The terms and conditions say, “The JioPhone shall be returned by the Recipient to the Company on or after the expiry of thirty six months but before the expiry of thirty nine months from the date of first issue of the JioPhone.” So yes, the phone has to be returned within three months after the completion of the three year period. For example, if one bought the JioPhone on October 1, 2017 then they have to return the phone before January 2020.
The terms and conditions for return of the JioPhone are that the feature phone should not be “damaged” but “normal wear and tear is excepted” and has to be in a “working condition.” The user has to delete all data information from the JioPhone before handing it over. The SIM card has to be removed from the JioPhone.
Reliance JioPhone: Mandatory recharge vouchers for Rs 4500 for the period of three years
Reliance Jio has also put in some other conditions for the use of the JioPhone. For one a user has to get a minimum of Rs 1500 worth of voucher recharges per annum, every year for the three year period. Else Reliance Jio can take the phone back from the user and if this is before the 36 months period, then it will levy the ‘Early Charges’ as well on the refundable deposit.
The terms and conditions read, “The JioPhone is available for continued use on the Recipient purchasing telecom recharge vouchers of an Authorized Carrier (presently Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited) from the Company or any of its authorized retailers for use in the JioPhone of a minimum value of Rs 1,500/- per annum for a period of 3 years from the date of the first issue of the JioPhone.”
So yes, if someone buys a JioPhone they will have to get the monthly Rs 153 recharge, which actually comes to Rs 1836 per year. Convert that into the three years worth of recharges and the amount paid is Rs 5508 in total. This does not include the Rs 1500 paid at the time of buying the phone for the refundable deposit.
Reliance JioPhone is SIM-locked
The terms and conditions also mention the “JioPhone is being offered with a SIM-locked feature.” We know that another network’s SIM can’t be used on the phone, but it goes on to add, “the Company may, solely at its discretion, allow the use of the JioPhone with any other compatible network from time to time.” Also the terms and conditions clearly state “the Company has no responsibility for the actual provision of telecommunication services and that the Recipient is solely responsible for availing these services from the Authorized Carrier(s).”
Also the user cannot “sell, lease, assign, and transfer or otherwise dispose-of the JioPhone in any manner whatsoever.”
Finally what happens if you don’t return the Reliance JioPhone three months after the end of the 3 year period?
As Reliance Jio’s terms and conditions clearly state, the user will lose the deposit if they don’t return the phone three months after the end of the 36 month deadline. The terms read, “The Refundable Deposit shall stand forfeited on the expiry of the Return Period” and the company is also entitled to “repossess the JioPhone.” How it will actually do this from customers is unclear, since recovery in India is a tedious process, but the terms state, “The Company may exercise any other recourse or remedies that it may have, whether in law or in equity.”
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