Jio Phone booking process has started once again, but with a twist this time. Unlike the first Jio Phone sale, which was open to all and where buyers had to book their handsets en masse, this time the sale is restricted to people who registered their interest in the handset in July. This means only about 10 million people will get the invite to buy the handset. The invite is being sent via SMS to the the potential buyers, with a hyperlink where they need to confirm their interest in buying the Jio Phone. A payment of Rs. 500 is to be made at this stage, while the remaining Rs. 1,000 needs to be paid while picking the phone up.
"A link will be sent to people who are again showing interest to make [a] payment of Rs. 500 on the authorised channel. Once they make [the] payment, they will be informed about the date when Jio Phone will be delivered to them," a Reliance Jio channel partner said.
No immediate comments were received from Jio and Reliance Retail on the development.
About six million Jio Phone units were booked in just three days when the company opened booking for the 4G feature phone from August 24 in the first phase. Reliance Retail started delivery of Jio Phone units in small towns from the Navratri festival.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani had announced that the 4G phone will be "effectively free" for users, but to prevent misuse of the scheme, JioPhone buyers will need to pay one-time fully refundable deposit of Rs. 1,500. The entire money will be refunded to customers after usage of the phone for 36 months.
The company has further relaxed the refund scheme. Under the new condition set by Jio for the users, handset buyers can get a refund of Rs. 500 if they return the device in the first year and have made recharges worth Rs. 1,500 during the year. Customers have the flexibility to reach the Rs. 1,500 per year usage figure according to their convenience by choosing various tariff plans announced by the company. Similarly, on return of the phone in the second year, the customer will get refund of Rs 1,000 and in the third year, the entire amount of Rs 1,500 will be refunded.
Since the Jio Phone was announced, telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL have partnered with mobile phone makers to offer smartphones and feature phones at less than Rs. 2,500 to beat the Reliance handset.