Ringing Bells, the maker of the controversial Freedom 251 smartphone that’s priced at Rs. 251, reportedly claims to have paid back the money it generated from the first 30,000 customers who booked the phone on the first day of online booking this month.
Mohit Goel, managing director of the Noida-based company, has claimed that the money of all 30,000 customers has been refunded and the company will now accept cash on delivery only.
Ringing Bells had received 30,000 orders on the first day and the rest of the customers will be selected on first-come-first-serve basis as the company received a mammoth over 70 million registrations.
Earlier on Friday, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha had announced that the Rs. 251 (less than $4) Freedom 251 smartphone customers will be required to make payment only when the smartphone is delivered to them.
Ringing Bells has been facing an FIR and defamation suit amid serious questions being raised over the world’s cheapest smartphone.
The Noida-based startup claims to have tied up with the payment gateway provider PayUbiz so that it receives payment only on the submission of proof of delivery (POD) to the payment gateway.
“Our humble beginning to provide a high-tech gadget that will benefit all in the hinterlands and bridge the huge gap that clearly exists between the metros and semi-urban/rural areas is in keeping with the government’s initiatives,” Chadha said.
However, Noida-based data centre and BPO Cyfuture, said on Friday they were set to file an FIR against Ringing Bells and deliberating on filing a defamation suit too.
According to Anuj Bairathi, Cyfuture founder and CEO, they met Vishwajeet Srivastava, Gautam Budh Nagar Superintendent of Police (crime branch), who looked into the matter and assured them of a suitable course of action.
Cyfuture also thinking “After deciding to file an FIR for fraud and non-payment of dues, we are now thinking to file a defamation suit against Ringing Bells as their allegation of non-performance has tarnished company’s image,” .
As the makers of the smartphone went gaga over being part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India and Digital India initiatives in the last few days, a top government official clarified on Thursday that the government has nothing to do with the Freedom 251 smartphone.
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