Expiry of lifetime validity
Telecom companies like Vodafone, Airtel & Idea have decided to not honour the commitment regarding lifetime validity of the sim cards.
Instead, they have sent sms messages to all customers that they should do a monthly recharge of a minimum Rs. 35.
All three telecom companies have threatened that if the recharge is not done, the outgoing calls will be barred.
A typical sms sent by Vodafone, Airtel and Idea reads as follows:
Pack validity for Airtel no 8826844784 will expire on 22-Nov-18 & outgoing services will stop. Recharge with RC35 or more for continued services.Dial*121*51#.
There are three recharge plans available at the lowest slab.
The first is the RC35 plan under which the customer can recharge his mobile phone with Rs. 35.
The validity of the plan is 28 days.
The plan gives customers talk time of Rs 26 and 100MB of 2G/3G/4G data.
All outgoing calls (local and STD) will be charged as per the base tariff.
As regards the base tariff, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular charge from 1 paisa per second to 60 paise per minute, depending on the circle.
Tata Docomo charges a flat 2.5 paise per second.
Under the Rs 65 recharge plan, customers can avail of talk time of Rs 55.
Outgoing calls are charged at 1 paisa per second.
The plan offers 200MB of 2G/3G/4G data.
Under The Rs 95, customers get talk time of Rs 95 with 500MB of data.
Outgoing calls are charged at 30 paise per minute.
Customers are upset, file complaints
As expected, the decision by Vodafone, Airtel & Idea to expire the lifetime validity of their plans and to insist on a monthly recharge plan have upset users.
A large number of complaints have been filed in the consumercomplaintscourt.com.
A customer named Mohanty voiced his frustration as follows:
“I am also getting same message “Pack validity for Airtel no …………… will expire on 28-Nov-18 & outgoing services will stop. Recharge with RC35 or more for continued services. Dial*121*51#
I have been using this airtel number since more than 10 years. As a privileged customer of Airtel, company should have some goodwill with customer. I didn’t imagine that company will go down to such a low level. This is cheating and TRAI should take necessary steps. I have to change to Jio some other providers since I need to keep this number.”
Customers also took to twitter to voice their grievances and file complaints.
@DoT_India Airtel is cheating customers in the name of TRAI rules.They are forcing lifetime validity customers to recharge again. Airtel charged me Rs 1200 for lifetime validity.Why should I pay again?Please register a complaint against AIRTEL @Airtel_Presence @airtelindia @TRAI
— Dr GR DHIR (@DhirGr) November 23, 2018
I am @airtelindia customer from almost a decade,I purchased Airtel sim with lifetime validity, suddenly company changed policy and stopped lifetime validity to plan based validity. This is highly unethical. @Airtel_Presence shall be punished for this cheating @TRAI @DoT_India
— hitesh manju (@HiteshManju) November 27, 2018
Airtel clarified as follows:
Hi! Please be informed that your lifetime validity exists for your main account balance i.e. talktime. However, to avail your services you need to do a validity based recharge. Glad to inform you that we have launched exciting validity (cont) https://t.co/NVKUUeERnA
— Bharti Airtel India (@Airtel_Presence) November 27, 2018
Vodafone users were also annoyed about the decision by Vodafone to terminate the lifetime validity plan.
“Yes! its true. I talked to Vodafone customer care regarding this message. Vodafone wants to earn Rs. 1 per day from billions of indian Vodafone subscribers. idea, airtel, Vodafone becomes billionare everyday! just switch with mnp to bsnl. on bsnl recharge rs. 36 and get 6 months validity,” a customer said.
“Same SMS to me. They don’t even give us time. They stop the service the same day. Imagine if I have to make emergency call – now I can’t make any calls?
Time to punish Vodafone by porting to some other company.
To hell with you Vodafone,” Anand said.
@VodafoneIN my mom is using a vodafone prepaid number since last5 yrs and recently her outgoing calls were barred stating validity has expired for the plan .the number was purchased stating unlimited/lifetime validity then how come validity had expired now ???
— Ravi P Kushwaha (@RaviPKushwaha) November 27, 2018
Vodafone clarified the situation as follows:
“Both new and existing Vodafone customers will have service validity instead of lifetime validity. Please recharge with a pack that has validity of 28 days and above. Please visit shop.vodafone.in for more information on recharge packs. – Faraz”
Hi! All prepaid customers will now have service validity instead of lifetime validity. Once the service validity expires, you will have to recharge your account with a pack that gives you validity of 28 days or more to enjoy uninterrupted services – Tim
— Vodafone (@VodafoneIN) November 27, 2018