After fraud allegations issued to Ringing Bells for claims of the Rs 251 priced Freedom 251 across India, the company has announced to refund amount to 30,000 people. According to reports, Ringing Bells marketed the Android device as the cheapest smartphone of the world and collected Rs 84 lakh which it said will be refunded latest by Wednesday.
The refund news was confirmed by the payment gateway CCAvenue, and the company said that cash was being returned to 14,800 clients who paid in advance to get the smartphone.
Meanwhile, Ringing Bells has decided to provide the option of cash on delivery (COD) for the over 25 lakh bookings received so far for the smartphone that is slated to be made available after April 2016.
Ringing Bells parent company Avenues India’s CEO Vishwas Patel said that the refund was processed due to the extensive criticism and government vigil.
Investor support for Ringing Bells
Ringing Bells Director, Mohit Goel said that they were not dependent on customer money for funding as they have investors backing and the smartphone pricing is a revolution. He said that the company had an effective business plan, and all fraud allegations were untrue.
He said that once the refund had been made, all the customers would receive a confirmation mail for seeking cash on delivery for the product.
Economies of scale
As per the company President Ashok Chaddha, the smartphone would cost them Rs 2,500 and low duties, creative marketing, economies of scale and other factors would make it feasible to be sold at Rs 251. He said that around 13.8 % duty was saved by using Indian-made components.
He confirmed that the company would be manufacturing 5 lakh smartphones each at two plants in Noida and Uttaranchal. Touted as a government scheme initially, Chaddha refuted all such claims.
The company has also drawn the attention of the Income Tax Department and currently their documents are being analyzed to validate whether the company can deliver its promise or not.
The bookings for the smartphone opened on February 17, 2016, but due to crashing of the website because of huge traffic, the bookings kept reopening and finally ended on February 21, 2016.