Jio Phone is the talk of the town once again now that deliveries have supposedly started, but the terms and conditions announced by the company earlier this week have emerged as dampeners for fans. The Jio Phone comes with a lot of strings attached, such as the mandatory recharges of Rs. 1,500 or more per year, and charges on returning the handset before the three-year period is over. In fact, you will have to pay from your pocket over and above the Rs. 1,500 refundable sum already paid at the time of delivery in case you want to return the handset within a year of buying it in the form of taxes on the Rs. 1,500 early return charge. But there is a lot of Jio Phone fine print that hasn't received as much attention, information that reveals warranty details and data tracking, among others. Here's a look at 10 things we learnt from the Jio Phone terms and conditions:
1. The charges applicable on returning the Jio Phone have already been discussed in detail, with the best way to get your money refunded being using the handset actively for 36 months. However, the company says users only have a 3-month window to handover their Jio Phone unit in order to claim the return. In the site’s T&C section, the company says the phone has to be returned by the recipient “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 Jio Phone.
2. Jio Phone will be SIM-locked, meaning it is locked to the Jio network and assigned to a fixed number. This would not be a surprise to many, considering the company would want the buyers of its phone to remain on its network. However, the company mentions that it “may, solely at its discretion, allow the use of the JioPhone with any other compatible network from time to time.”
3. If you do not return the handset to the company in this 3-month window after the 3-year period is over, the Rs. 1,500 refundable sum will be forfeited.
4. Jio says the user should remove the SIM card from the handset before handing it over. However, it also says returning the device “does not cancel the Recipient’s service contract with the Authorised Carrier(s),” the carrier here being Jio.
5. The Jio Phone warranty is 1 year from the date of delivery for the handset, and six months on the charger. The warranty will be voided if the handset’s seal, serial number code or date code has been removed, defaced or altered, or if it has been subjected to modifications like rooting, reverse engineering, unlocking, jail-breaking.
6. Reliance Retail (RRL), which will sell Jio Phone, will have access to the device’s “precise geo-location and other information related to your location on a regular basis through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals, calendar entries and other technologies and data.” This information can be used to “provide location-related notifications or information you request,” the company says. The location settings on the phone must be turned on for this data collection, and “RRL or location service providers may request that you enable the location settings.” Other OEMs and software companies like Google also use similar terms, so this is pretty standard in that sense.
7. The company and its affiliates “may collect and store recordings of your voice that RRL makes when you use voice commands to control a service.” These recordings can be shared with speech-to-text conversion services on Jio’s behalf to “receive and store certain voice commands.”
8. RRL, its licensees and agents can also collect location data anonymously and in a form that does identify the user. This information may be used by the company or its affiliates to “provide and improve location-based products and services.” User data collected via cookies will be treated as non-personal information, Jio says.
9. Simply by using location-based services on the handset, the user gives the “consent to transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services.” Likewise, using a content app on the phone is a signal to the company that the user has agreed to share consumption data via “cookies, beacons, and other technologies in certain areas.”
10. Users cannot sell, lease, transfer or assign the Jio Phone unit purchased in their name to someone else, says the company. This would prevent grey market sales of the device. It is important to note this in case you plan to return the device after 36 months and claim the refund, or are asked by Jio to give back the device for some reason, since the company requires the recipient to hand over the phone, not anyone else.