After Reliance Jio, Idea offers 100% cashback on Rs 357 plan

Idea Cellular, reportedly India’s third largest 4G operator by volume, has started offering a 100% cash-back scheme even as the Cellular Operators Association has complained against such schemes.

Similar cash back schemes have been announced by Reliance Jio in an effort to maintain its subscriber base.

Like Jio, Idea too offers cash back coupons of 50 rupees value that can be used at the time of future recharges, one by one.

The offer seems to be valid only on one particular scheme — Rs 357 for 1.5 GB per day for four weeks — and not on the others.

Besides, the recharge has to be done on the ‘My Idea’ app or on the company’s website.

The move comes even as the Cellular Operators’ Association of India has complained to the telecom regulator about such cashback schemes.

“If the offer is in the nature of cash back, the question arises as to what conditions attach to receiving the cash back. Is this another way of discounting the service cost,” Director General Rajan Mathews said earlier this week.

The Aditya Birla Group company said this week that it was abandoning its earlier stance of ‘limited aggression’ and going full throttle to compete with new entrant and India’s biggest mobile data provider Reliance Jio.

The company announced its first regular plans to counter Reliance Jio late last month — nearly six months after the Mukesh Ambani-led firm unveiled a set of super cheap tariffs for wireless voice and data.

Idea has tried to counter Jio with three plans: The first is the Rs 179 for an unlimited voice pack with a validity of four week.

The second is the Rs 350 pack with unlimited calls and 1.5 GB of data per day for four weeks, and the third is the Rs 450 pack that offers same benefits as Jio’s 450 pack, but with a limited validity of 10 weeks instead of 12 weeks.

In high-income states, Idea has cut the validity of the Rs 179 plan three weeks from four, while the 449 pack is priced at Rs 498.

The cash-back scheme is the latest effort to match Jio’s offerings.

However, the company has also announced that it will always price its offering higher than Jio‘s so as to leave space for the new entrant to keep raising tariffs.