The fact of the matter is that, for Rs 251, a cigarette smoker gets a pack of cigarette, a food lover can get a basic pizza and a movie lover can watch a movie without eating popcorn (because it will mean another payment of Rs 251)
Last year, when a company called Ringing Bells claimed to offer a smartphone for Rs 251, then alarm bells were already ringing in our ears. There was no way any manufacturer could have sold a 1.5 GHz quad-core smartphone with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal memory. We had raised severe doubts, and even presented 4 reasons why it was a scam.
The doubts have cleared now, and it has been proved that the promise of Rs 251 worth of smartphone was indeed a mirage.
Ringing Bells Owners Detained For Fraud
Mohit Goel, the founder of Ringing Bells, was detained by Ghaziabad police after a case of ‘fraud’ was lodged against his company. The complaint was filed by Ayam Enterprises, a company that was based in Ghaziabad, and the allegation was that Ringing Bells defrauded them of Rs 16 lakh.
As per the FIR facts, Ayam Enterprises was approached by Ringing Bells for buying distributorship of the wonder mobile phone, and for that, Ayam Enterprises paid a sum of Rs 30 lakh to Ringing Bells.
However, they received products worth Rs 14 lakh only, and on requesting refund of money, Ringing Bells promoters threatened them with dire consequences. Left with no other option, an FIR was lodged, and Ringing Bells founder Mohit Goel was detained by the police.
Ghaziabad Deputy SP Manish Mishra has confirmed this news, and a statement from the FIR read: “We paid Rs 30 lakh to Ringing Bells through RTGS on different occasions. But it delivered us product worth Rs 13 lakh only. Upon follow-up, we could get products plus money totalling Rs 14 lakh..”
The Curious Case of Freedom 251
After making audacious claims of providing world’s cheapest smartphone, and after receiving money from over-enthusiast customers, the company went silent for a while, triggering panic among their paid users.
The company, no doubt, issued statements and press releases, claiming that the money was safe, the shipment was to start soon and so on and so forth. Only few initial paid customers received their mobile phones, and the rest had no other option, but to wait.
In fact, the truth had started to emerge when Telecom Ministry found that there is no way a company can sell a smartphone for Rs 251, and even raided their premises for understanding their ‘business model’.
The mystery deepened when the company started refunding the money to some users, and when a newspaper claimed that their office is now closed.
The matter became hilarious when Ringing Bells announced that they will launch LED TVs in June last year, and in December, we reported that the company has indeed shut down and being relaunched with another new name.
The same month, the founders of the company were summoned over a bounced cheque worth Rs 2 crore, and now, the owner has been detained for fraud, finally.
Note here, that senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had launched their Freedom 251 phone, and this encouraged several consumers to trust the brand, and subsequently, they paid the money upfront.
It is indeed surprising how such companies continue to make fool of us, and in the end the paying customer is left with no other option, but to forget the money paid.
We will keep you updated as more information comes in regarding the curious case of Freedom 251."The Final Nail In The Coffin For Freedom 251: Ringing Bells Owner Detained By Police For ‘Fraud’",