Freedom 251 mobile controversy: Ringing Bells starts refunding money for world’s cheapest smartphone
Ringing Bells, which has promised to sell its Freedom 251 mobile phone at a record low price of Rs 251 apiece, has started refunding money to customers due to negative speculation and perception around the claim about the smartphone. “There was a lot of negativity around us so we have decided to take money from customers only after delivering phones to them. We are refunding money to those who have paid for booking the phones and giving them an option of cash on delivery,” Ringing Bells Director Mohit Goel said.
The launch of the Freedom 251 smartphone priced at just Rs 251, touted as world's cheapest, has ensnared Ringing Bells promoters in another controversy with the Directorate of Enforcement reportedly investigating the entire case. Ringing Bells now stands accused of alleged contravention of FEMA.
Ringing Bells Freedom 251 mobile row: About 30,000 people paid for booking the phones and over 7 crore people registered for it. The payment was facilitated by CCAvenue and PayU Biz. "We don't want customers' money initially. We have investors to back our project. There is a business model to justify the price. We have a foolproof plan and to whomsoever we have disclosed it has agreed to it. I don't want to disclose full details as of now," Goel said. (AP)
Ringing Bells Freedom 251 mobile row: He said the delivery of Freedom251 smartphones is expected to start in April after which the company will start the second round of bookings. "Our payment gateway companies CCAvenue and PayU Biz have sought time till Wednesday to credit back the amount in accounts of all those who have paid. After which we will send an email seeking confirmation for cash on delivery," Goel said. (AP)
Ringing Bells Freedom 251 mobile row: Ringing Bells President Ashok Chaddha had explained earlier that the manufacturing cost of the phone is about Rs 2,500, which will be recovered through a series of measures like economies of scale, innovative marketing, reduction in duties and creating an e-commerce marketplace. "By going for Made in India components, we can save on the 13.8 per cent duty. Also, we will be selling online first and thus save the costs incurred on large distribution network," he said. Chaddha also rejected speculations of the handset being subsidised by the government. (AP)
Besides, the Corporate Affairs Ministry has ordered scrutiny of the company's books, while the Department of Electronics and IT (Deity) is reviewing issues related to 'Freedom 251' smartphone. (AP)