The suspicion around India’s $4 Android smartphone started immediately after launch. It has since been revealed that only 30,000 units of the Freedom 251 have been sold since launch. Furthermore, Ringing Bells is embroiled in a dispute with their customer service provider.
The actual shipment numbers were revealed in an interview with Gadgets 360. The company claims to have received 70 million registrations for the device. Despite an earlier saying that registrants would receive an email with payment options within 48 hours, Ringing Bells has yet to do so. The company says it will send out emails after it can “sort out” who the first 2,500,000 people to register were.
“We were working out details of cash on delivery, which we are announcing now, so we will be sending emails to the first 2.5 million people who registered with the site — less 30,000 — to give them the option to pay online or when they get the phone,” a spokesperson told Gadgets 360.
Ringing Bells is not going to make their first batch of devices in India, despite an earlier claim. Initially, they will be importing parts and only assembling in India. They hope that in 6-8 months they will have the infrastructure in place to completely manufacture all the components.
In a separate issue, customer service provider Cyfuture BPO is accusing Ringing Bells of not paying up. The phone manufacturer has instead terminated the contract, citing poor customer service. This is despite that in their signed contract Ringing Bells has to give 30 days notice and make all pending payments. Cyfuture BPO is now perusing legal action and has since contacted the police.
Ringing Bells is under intense pressure to deliver on a device that should cost at least 10x more. The Indian government has now said the company will face action if they fail to deliver.
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