Relax, Money Paid for Freedom 251 is Safe, Remains in Escrow!
If you haven’t yet heard of Freedom 251 yet, then you have lost out on something extremely exciting in India. Exactly a week back, Indian company, Ringing Bells, launched a feature-packed smartphone, named Freedom 251, at just Rs. 251. The smartphone launch created headlines on every media website, making everyone wonder how a smartphone can cost practically nothing, when a mid-range smartphone with similar features costs 20 times more.
Some think it is a scam, some ridiculed it for re-branding and selling an old smartphone from Adcom, while all claims have been refuted by the company.
Company’s officials claim Ringing Bells will make a profit of Rs. 31 on every smartphone sold, if economy of scale is accounted for. Telecom Ministry remained skeptic of the smartphone company and there were even Income Tax raids at their office in Noida. However, nothing specific surfaced and everything seemed too good to be true.
Over 7 Crore people have already registered for the smartphone and over 30,000 have already paid for the phone. That is a lot of money consumers have put at risk keeping in mind the orders will only be delivered in June 2016. However, PayU, an expert in online payment that provides payment solutions, has come to the rescue of these customers. PayU had partnered with Ringing Bells to collect and direct all payments to their account, however as of now all the collected money has been put in an escrow account which cannot be accessed by Ringing Bells.
A statement from PayU said, “We have kept the order amount in our escrow account that cannot be touched by the merchant until and unless they fulfill their orders and deliver the product. Also, the company is not liable to pay Ringing Bells any interest for the same.” This essentially means that the money is with PayU right now and hasn’t been delivered to Ringing Bells yet, and your money is safe, keeping in mind PayU is definitely legit.
Why is the money with PayU?
As an agreement, Ringing Bells will collaborate with PayU to accept huge amounts of payments, which PayU is an expert at. There was one important caveat in the agreement, the payment will be successful to the merchant only if the deliveries are made and proof of delivery is published for both the parties. PayU has been here for quite some time now and has been partnering with a lot of online websites like Snapdeal and Groupon.
An escrow account has been created in a bank which will ensure all the money is with PayU and not Ringing Bells, so that there is no breach of agreement and customers are not mislead by the cheapest smartphone campaign.
Government’s role in this
In a pile of existing scams, one that the Government feels can be disastrous for people of the country is the Freedom 251 phone, if and only if they fail to live up to their promise. A panel has been chosen to further delve into the creation of a smartphone, which costs less than a meal at a small restaurant.
If you have already paid for the phone online, do not worry, you money is relatively safe with PayU and the Government is already looking into the company’s claims. It is very much possible that the handset will be delivered, considering the prototypes received lived up to the expectation. It is interesting to note that although bookings have been closed, there are still consumers who want to get their hands on the cheapest smartphone in the world, a title which could not have reached a new low.