Ringing Bells Freedom 251 bookings have officially been stopped by the company, which claims to have gotten orders worth Rs 1.75 crores via the website freedom251.com. It has also claimed that it won’t actually be taking the payment from the payment gateway facilitator PayUBiz, until it gives proof of delivery.
However, PayUBiz has also issued a statement on the Ringing Bells Freedom 251, saying it has taken a cautious stance only due to the surge of queries being received over Freedom 251.
In a statement issued by a company spokesperson, PayUBiz said, “As a leading payment solution company, we are cognizant of both our merchants and buyers. With a surge in number of queries received for Freedom 251 during last few days, we are cautious towards the payments being made by buyers to buy Freedom 251. As a responsible payment solution company, we have ensured that the buyer’s money remains safe with us and gets released to the merchant once the product is dispatched. In case the merchant is not able to fulfil the huge demand they have received, we will work with merchant to return the money to buyers.”
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In short, PayUBiz’s statement makes it appear that it is holding on to the money, seeing the huge amount of orders placed for the statement, and will only release the money, once the products are dispatched. There’s no word about proof of delivery as Ringing Bells has claimed.
Ringing Bells had said in its own statement regarding the payments,”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.”
Ringing Bells made it appear that it was not claiming the money till the deliveries were done; but the PayUBiz statement indicates that they have gone for a more cautious approach to the whole scenario.
Payments issue aside, there are still several reasons to worry for customers waiting for the Freedom 251. If the phone does get delivered but doesn’t live up to expectations, it’s not clear what will happen to refunds or replacements. The shipping policy page says that if the product delivered is damaged, customers can apply for refunds or replacements, but doesn’t explain how.
Yes there’s a customer care help-line, but the only message playing on that is that bookings are closed for Freedom 251, and customers should go to the website to check for more details. There’s no in-call menu for now, where users can press a different number to say register a complaint.
Ringing Bells claims it will deliver the first batch of deliveries for Freedom 251 by February 25, if you go by the statement. How that’s going to happen, considering the company is still giving out prototypes of an Adcom device is another matter.