Who doesn’t want faster Internet on the go? Who would want to miss a chance when they are getting that super fast Internet, unlimited, for about three months? This exactly is what the Reliance Jio 4G demand is all about.
The SIM cards are not available out in the open. Obviously, what would Reliance gain by offering SIM cards and give you three months of unlimited data on 4G network? So, there is a clause for now – Buy one of the LYF branded phones from the company and you are going to get the SIM card along with it. Only from retailers.
Not even from the Reliance Digital stores, where the SIM cards are available in abundance but you need an invite from one of the Reliance employees to get it. No wonder there are Facebook posts, blog comments and Tweets from people asking if anyone knows a Reliance employee to help get the SIM card.
Earlier, it was all about invites, but now, at least the retailers are given something called the “Retailer Referral Program” so you can get a SIM card for a LYF phone purchased. But guess what, retailers are being retailers. They are making it hard as always, by putting up their own rules. This is not something Reliance is imposing but the brick-and-mortar stores are because I’ve been in touch with people from both the sides.
Being a Sunday, I thought let’s go to a few local stores here in LB Nagar, Hyderabad, where there is a good line of mobile stores. Here are some points said by the local retailers in Hyderabad.
“Even I am paying an amount to get the SIM cards for customers”
Ok, does that say something? It easily does. It means the retailer wants us to pay the extra amount even if he has the SIM cards with him. That’s directly an indirect way of saying that they are expecting something more than just a smartphone purchase. You anyway have to buy the phone, which is a rule from Reliance, and then pay the loyalty to the shopkeeper to help you get the SIM.
How much, you’d ask? “Abhi thodi der pehle ek sahab 1500 Rs. de ke gaye extra ek SIM ke liye.. hamare haath mein nahi hai, jaisa demand hai waise paise dene padenge” (Just some time back, a customer paid extra Rs. 1500 for the SIM. It isn’t in our hands because you have to pay based on the demand right now).
“Flame phone mein nahi, Wind series par SIM milega”
(You won’t be able to get the SIM on LYF Flame series phones, buy a Wind series one to get the SIM)
This guy wanted me to purchase a Wind series phone (I didn’t get much into details but it seemed like Wind 4 priced at Rs. 7000) in order to get the SIM along with it. If I’m getting a Flame series phone, which is priced at as low as Rs. 4000, I would have to wait for about 10 more days to get the SIM card.
At the same time, I contacted a person from Jio asking if there was any such restriction – I was told any LYF phone is good enough to get the Jio 4G SIM.
“Invite par hi mil raha hai, mere paas hai contact par paise lagenge”
So, this was an overenthusiastic person who went on to show the 4G speeds on the phone he was using. Lured me into buying the phone but had one point to say – “This is a small store so we still haven’t got SIM cards but I have contacts who charge me for an invite”. How much is it for the SIM cards? It ranges from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 2000 based on, again, the DEMAND.
I knew it was all about the phone model I’d purchase, so I stuck around and asked him the price of the Wind 4, which was the higher priced model he had.. he said Rs. 6999 and for the SIM card, I’d have to shell out another Rs. 1000. I didn’t want to test him out, but I’m sure if I had asked for the LYF Flame 4 or some lesser priced device, he’d have said Rs. 1500 – Rs. 2000 for the SIM!
Then, time to visit the Big C store – I was told it would take 10 more days for the SIM cards to arrive at their store. I asked if they could arrange through an invite or something, but no, I won’t get it there.
Lot Mobile Store – This was one store whom I called the previous day asking if I would get the SIM card if I buy the LYF phone. He happily said “yes”, and once I reach the store – “Who told you that? We don’t have the SIM cards but can guarantee you a SIM in a week if you purchase the phone from us now”.
Though cannot trust it until I go to the store and check whether he actually is giving it without invite. They manipulate words usually.
— Chetan Bhawani (@chetanbhawani) May 28, 2016
Oh retailers, you make it so hard for people already. No wonder why you are getting all the negative attention all the time when you try to gain as much as you can from that customer putting their foot into your store. “Make hay while the sun shines” is going to hit you badly once Reliance opens the Jio 4G SIM cards for the Reliance Digital Stores. It took almost two hours for us to get a 4G SIM card through an invite at the Reliance Digital store, but we at least knew that we will get the SIM.
People are paying you without asking much for the phone, then why make it hard for them to get the SIM card when they are sitting down there under the table, waiting to be gone along with the phone? How I wish Reliance stepped up and made it hard for retailers, now, by directly bundling the SIM card along with the phone.
Note: This is no way related to Reliance and their services because according to the team member at Reliance, they haven’t rolled this out to all the retailers and it is only a few authorized retailers and their friends and family members can get it – 10 invites per employee and retailer. So, blaming Reliance for these unfair practices would not be logical.
Image source: Broadbandforum.co / Google