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Airtel, Vodafone will not extend validity of prepaid plans for low-income users

Earlier, in a bid to provide relief to low-income users, the companies had announced that they would extend the validity of prepaid plans used by migrant laborers or other low-income workers.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | May 7, 2020 | Updated 10:31 IST

Highlights

  • Airtel and Vodafone have said that they will not extend the validity of prepaid plans for low-income users
  • Airtel and Vodafone had also enabled recharge facilities in Kirana shops and medical stores across cities.
  • Vodafone and Airtel had redited Rs 10 in the accounts of some of the users.

In the latest turn of events, the telecom giants Airtel and Vodafone have said that they will not extend the validity of prepaid plans. Earlier, in a bid to provide relief to low-income users, the companies had announced that they would extend the validity of prepaid plans used by migrant laborers or other low-income workers. However, now Airtel and Vodafone will not do that anymore as recharge shops are resuming services in non-containment zones.

With lockdown 3.0, a new wave of relaxations came for many people residing in the orange and green zones, that have minimum coronavirus positive cases. Owing to this, a lot of small scale businesses and shops have opened in various parts of the cities marked under safe zones. This would allow the people to step out and recharge their phones without any hassles and hence the telcos have decided to not go ahead with the extension of plans anymore, reports ET telecom.

"With the opening up of the mobile retail recharge locations in each state and with the activation of the Common Service Centres in the rural areas, we believe the needs of both rural and urban customers are addressed," said Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) told ET.

Airtel and Vodafone had also enabled recharge facilities in Kirana shops and medical stores across cities.

"This is in addition to staffing at kiranas, medical stores, ATMs, and other locations that are also available for recharging. Operators believe this presently addresses the needs of customers," he added.

The telecom giants including Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Airtel came up with a host of benefits for low-income users when the lockdown was imposed. Vodafone and Airtel had announced that the prepaid plans will be extended till April 17 and had also credited Rs 10 in the accounts of some of the users. While Reliance Jio provided free 100 minutes and 100 SMS to users. Even when the lockdown was extended till May 3, the telcos further extended the validity of prepaid plans for some of the users.

The telcos have been coming up with new plans frequently along with some free benefits for users. Earlier this week, a few Vodafone and Reliance Jio users claimed about getting free 2GB data per day for a brief period of time along with calling benefits. Vodafone also came up with a double data offer for its customers.

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