Jio discovers the price of switching free users to paid plans

In which Reliance Jio learns the hard way that when you start charging for a free service, customers expect more

One of the things about free services is that users tend not to complain because hey, free service. But as Reliance Jio is finding out fast, once you ask customers to pay for what was a free service, they tend to have higher expectations of service quality.

India Today is reporting that Jio users who are now expected to pay for the voice/data services they’ve been using for free are less willing to tolerate the quirks and faults that still persist in the Jio network. Even though competitors like Airtel, Vodafone and other cellcos have their own network issues, that doesn’t mean Jio’s customers will put up with it:

Users, who have not taken the Jio data plans, and even Jio Prime membership now get vocal whenever the Jio network fails to perform to their standards. Korak Roy is one such user, based in Mumbai area. He is not only a Prime member but has also subscribed to the Rs 303 plan. But now he wants Jio to improve fast.

“Towards the end of the last promotional plan – Jio Happy New Year offer — the Jio network dropped drastically on my number. After that I decided to switch to Prime membership but so far the performance of the network has been disappointing,” he says.

Another interesting consequence of switching users from free to paid plans, the report says, is that paid users become a lot more resentful of “freeloaders” who haven’t yet made that switch – especially when their service quality is just as good or even better than the paid service:

Akansha Ghosh (name changed), who is still using a the Jio SIM without subscribing to any data plan, says that service is still good. “I can still download 2 to 3 three episodes of a TV series within minutes,” she says.

This is especially grating considering that Jio advised its customers that if they didn’t switch to paid plans by April 15, they could expect either serious degradation of service quality or be cut off completely. But at least anecdotally, that degradation seems to be random, and impacting paid users as well as freeloaders:

One user based in Noida says, “After recharging for Rs 99 to become a Prime member, I expected better services than what a non-paying consumer will get from Jio. Instead, my roommate who hasn’t paid a dime to Jio is still getting free internet while I get zero calls, ridiculously slow data speed, and a crazy number of messages from Jio about my service disruption even after availing the Prime membership with Rs 99.”

More Here [indiatoday]

This article was originally published on PricingDataPlans

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