Ringing Bells, the manufacturer of Freedom 251 dubbed as the world’s cheapest smartphone, now seems to be facing more trouble. Cyfuture, a provider of data center and business process outsourcing (BPO) services, today announced that it is planning to file a case of cheating and fraud against the company.
Cyfuture claims that it is a vendor of Ringing Bells, and was contracted by the company to provide call-center support for its smartphone brand in India. Cyfuture alleges that Ringing Bells has not fulfilled payments due to them.
In a press statement, Cyfuture’s founder and CEO Anuj Bairathi claims they hired more than 100 professionals and made a helpline live in 3 days for Ringing Bells.
“The first few days after the phone was launched, the call-center number received lakhs of calls which were attended and promptly responded to and even Ringing Bells was happy with our services. However, when we started asking for our payments, which were to be made to us on a weekly basis, they started making false allegations and abruptly decided to terminate our services citing unsatisfactory services without adhering to any of the clauses mentioned in the agreement signed between us,” alleges Bairathi.
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Bairathi’s statement says that they had been skeptical of Ringing Bells and their business model, but decided to go ahead with the deal in good faith.
Cyfuture claims that allegations of unsatisfactory services being provided to terminate the contract are false and unsubstantiated. The company lists players like IBM, Wipro, ICICI, Aviva, Axis Bank as its clients on its official website.
Cyfuture alleges that they have a lock-in period of 1 year in the contract with Ringing Bells with no termination before a year.
“Also, in the event of termination due to unsatisfactory services, Ringing Bells was to provide us a 30 day notice-period and make all pending payments. In the current scenario, they did not provide any notice period, refused to make our payments and abruptly terminated our services. They are also not taking our calls. We plan to take all necessary legal recourse including filing a police complaint to fight our case, ”Bairathi added in a press statement.
Ringing Bells has also come under scanner of the excise department and Income Tax department. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also asked DeITY secretary to investigate how the company has priced its smartphone so low.
Ringing Bells responds:
“We completely disagree with the facts shared by Cyfuture BPO. Ringing Bells were receiving 1000s of complaints directly from the consumers that lot of people were not able to get through the helpline number.We had outsourced this job to Cyfuture BPO. Telecom companies confirmed that the helpline was receiving a volume of approx 12 lakh calls per hour. It came to our knowledge that the BPO company were not able to handle the traffic. We are looking into the situation to serve our customers better.”