Freedom 251: Ringing Bells answers questions on booking, sales, delivery and more

Ringing Bells, the Noida company has woken up and come up with answers to the questions India is asking

By: Tech Desk | Updated: February 23, 2016 2:14 pm
Ringing Bells, maker of Freedom 251, has woken up and come up with answers to the questions India is asking Ringing Bells, maker of Freedom 251, has woken up and come up with answers to the questions India is asking

Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251, dubbed the world’s cheapest smartphone with Android Lollipop OS and 3G support, has generated interest but also raised some serious questions about the device and the company.

Since the launch thousands of people, 25 lakh to be precise if you go by Ringing Bells’ claim, have booked these phones at Rs 251 despite the website crashing through the two-day sale. Now the company has decided to stop taking orders.

Interestingly the Department of Telecom (DoT) has said a device cannot be manufactured for less than Rs 2,300, and BJP MP Kirit Somaiya even branded it as a scam.

Watch Video | Freedom 251: All You Need to Know About World’s Cheapest Smartphone

Now the Noida company has woken up and come up with some answers to the questions India is asking. Here are some of the answers, which we’ve edited for clarity.

1. There seems to be a problem with the payment gateway while ordering the phone from the freedom251.com website. Why and how soon will it be resolved? Have the sales stopped permanently?

Ringing Bells’ response: This problem occurred on the morning of February 18, consequent to the “pleasant” deluge of viewers where even the high performance servers of our payment gateway and our main server providers could not cope. [There were 20 lakh requests on 18/2 at peak load and total no of Registrations received on the day were 3,70,15,000]

We addressed the problem on a ‘war footing’ and with the help of our associates, were back on-line by 06.00 hrs by morning of 19/2. Registrations have continued smoothly thereafter.

2. How many handsets have been sold so far?

Ringing Bells’ response: 30,000 plus and these were on Day 1 reflecting the fact that our payment gateway could not support the transaction load. As per guidelines, the payments are deposited in the nodal account with the payment gateway, where the Company will claim payment only after submission of delivery proof.

We have 3.70 crore registrations on Day 1 + 2.47 crore on Day 2 as of 19:49 hrs.

3. Why has Freedom 251 got Adcom branding on the front panel? Is it being manufactured by Adcom? And why was the branding covered by a whitener? What was that for? Even if it was just for demo, and a sample phone, why did the company give out another company’s product? Why could not they just order fresh samples from where ever they were trading?

Ringing Bells’ response: We just wanted to show a sample/prototype of what the handsets will look like. This is not the final piece. Hence, we obviously wanted to provide “Made in India” handsets as that is the core of our vision.

We did a quick and intensive search and located the components but regarding the Touch Plate, we faced a problem in view of the fragile nature in addition to the scratch-proof requirements of the piece.

ADCOM is an India Company and we were able to source from them. In view of the shortage of time and given that these were to serve only as prototypes given to a limited List of persons, we went ahead.

We would clearly mention that the Final Freedom 251 manufactured/ assembled in India will have identical specs – i.e. no change. There maybe some changes in curvature/ buttons placements for aesthetics, if at all.

4. Deeper media investigation suggests Adcom is a local manufacturer of IT products, and their spokesperson had no clue that their product is being re-branded and sold like this. This can be a potential lawsuit.

Ringing Bells’ response: You may speak to Mr Sanjiv Bhatia – the Director of ADCOM – and he will confirm the true version to you.

5. The promised pre-loaded apps for Fisherman, Farmers and Women’s Safety are not present on the mobile handset media received

Ringing Bells’ response: These will be on the “Final Freedom 251” with our custom designed new UI.

6. The user interface icons are exactly like Apple iPhone including icons like web browsers etc which can be construed as copyright infringement

Ringing Bells’ response: As will be noted on a closer look, that the UI, even on the prototype, is not identical to Apple. In any case, we will have our custom designed new UI for our Final Freedom 251.

7. The phone is not listed on the BIS certifications page, why is this?

Ringing Bells’ response: Application is under filing, and we expect to have the Certification in hand well before delivery commences.

8. All 3G devices are supposed to be registered with Qualcomm as part of the licensing agreement but the Freedom 251 is not showing up, why is this?

Ringing Bells’ response: At present we are using Spreadtrum Chip set, then why do we need to register with Qualcomm?

9. The phone is running on Android, but is not showing in a list on Android partners either. Why is this?

Ringing Bells’ response:We are registered with Google Android Developers Platform.

Ringing Bells claims to have registered with Google Android Developers Platform (Source: Ringing Bells) Ringing Bells claims to have registered with Google Android Developers Platform (Source: Ringing Bells)

10. Can we provide a list of customer care centres promised? Media is getting queries from customers about customer care centres, only details they have found as customer support is email and phone number.

Attached.

11. If the actual phone is not ready, why  was a re-branded different phone given to the media. Is the much hyped Freedom 251 a concept in the air only?

Ringing Bells’ response: When we design a concept, we produce a prototype to demonstrate. Then we test the acceptability from the Target Audience.Once this is accepted, we take this Prototype to the Design House to design the Chipset; the mould and then we decide on the actual add-ons like the buttons – the colour – screen quality etc.

We did not distribute the Handsets, we handed-over the prototypes to assess the acceptability and validate our concept.

12. How is Indian government partnering with a company with no proven track record? BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has raised questions and written to both TRAI and Min. of Telecom to investigate the issue. This follows mobile industry body Indian Cellular Association (ICA) letter to Telecom Minister Ravi

Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday to get into depth of the issue, saying the rate could not be below Rs 3,500 even after a subsidised sale.

Ringing Bells’ response: The Indian Government is not partnering the Company. We will comply with all required regulations of TRAI & Telecom Authorities in India.

13. What about the other handsets? People have been complaining about no delivery or even an order confirmation? Is this just a con game?

Ringing Bells’ response: We have delivered Rs 1.7 crores worth of phones so far. In addition, PayU [Payment Gateway] has received Rs 1.75 crores against our Handset On-Line Bookings of Phase 1 and here, as we have committed, we will claim our money only after we complete delivery on Feb 25, 2016 and after we submit Proof of Delivery.

14. Some media persons reaching the Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd Noida office found it to be deserted. Is it even a genuine company with manufacturing plant?

Ringing Bells’ response: Our Corporate Office is at B44, Sector 63, Noida 201301. All are welcome to come to our Office and we will be privileged to greet you.

Must Read: How to waste your day trying buy the Freedom 251

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First Published on: February 20, 2016 1:46 pm
  1. S
    Satish hurakadli
    Jan 20, 2017 at 7:58 am
    I want to mobile
    Reply
    1. B
      barath
      Feb 24, 2016 at 10:12 am
      i have been waiting for 3 days after registering i haven't received any kind of payment link to my mail id what is the status of my registration i am unable to track or trace
      Reply
      1. C
        Chand babu
        Feb 22, 2016 at 11:29 am
        Kaushar alam sadic okhla phase1 new delhi 110020 mobaile no.8287683033
        Reply
        1. V
          vIJAY
          Feb 23, 2016 at 4:54 am
          I have book one freedom 251 mobile .no message received on my email for paymentform me for process for delivery of set. order no: FDM145585592474959
          Reply
          1. A
            Anwar ansari
            Feb 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm
            Reply
            1. A
              Ajay Gulve
              Feb 22, 2016 at 7:32 am
              Booking moblie
              Reply
              1. A
                Ajay Gulve
                Feb 22, 2016 at 7:33 am
                Mobile 5
                Reply
                1. B
                  Bt
                  Feb 22, 2016 at 9:55 am
                  When you people got no response over Lottery scheme over Email and Mobiles you started this technique to make India Fool. Freedom 251 is nothing but a fool of first Water
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Basavaraja k
                    Feb 21, 2016 at 3:55 am
                    I want phone Basavaraja k,r yaralakatte sokke (p jagalur (t davanagere (d pin 577528 phone 8497861461 Karnataka
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      Basavaraja k
                      Feb 21, 2016 at 3:50 am
                      I want phone Basavaraja k,r yaralakatte sokke (p jagalur (t davanagere (d) pin 577528 phone 8497861461
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Arup Bose
                        Feb 23, 2016 at 4:08 am
                        Company are not send payment option
                        Reply
                        1. C
                          Chopra TP
                          Feb 20, 2016 at 10:07 am
                          The website is gone. Soon the people involved will be gone too. They are from Shamli in Western UP, the Ponzi Scheme central. Western UP is the Scam Capital of India just like Nigeria is scam capital of the world. I once got a fake Rs 5 coin in western UP. It was made of lead or something. This time they just told too big a lie. If they had priced the phones at Rs 1001 more people would have believed them and "Booked" the phone. It would still be very cheap and a lot of people would have bought in to it. But the publicity would not have attracted so much skepticism at 1001. I mean, it is much more believable that the price can be reduced to Rs 1001, if someone uses proprietary apps on the phone to sell adds and other stuff on the phones. But 251 was too good to be true.
                          Reply
                          1. D
                            Dharmraj
                            Feb 20, 2016 at 11:19 am
                            Mujhe do phone chahiye
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              sanku ghosh
                              Feb 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm
                              I am very happy but jobi ph amaka dayto.tahola sir ami kitogo thakibo.my address vill po Kirtipur ps_ madhayamgram Dist north 24 pgs pin 700128 my ph number7063847621
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                Dinesh
                                Feb 22, 2016 at 8:30 am
                                My n.9971340493 ..2 phone
                                Reply
                                1. F
                                  farukh khan
                                  Feb 24, 2016 at 10:38 am
                                  Bay a freedom251
                                  Reply
                                  1. F
                                    farukh khan
                                    Feb 24, 2016 at 10:40 am
                                    Farukh khan bay a free dom 251
                                    Reply
                                    1. I
                                      Indhumathi
                                      Feb 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm
                                      What is your opinion?251
                                      Reply
                                      1. I
                                        Indreshtiwari
                                        Feb 22, 2016 at 7:31 am
                                        1hf
                                        Reply
                                        1. K
                                          Kalpesh
                                          Feb 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm
                                          I don’t know freedom251smart phone will deliver to customer successfully or not but as a digital marketing expert I must say that is huge success for digital media campaign in India. Anurag from v2Web
                                          Reply
                                          1. K
                                            Kalpesh
                                            Feb 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm
                                            Pushkar
                                            Reply
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