Many speculations were made regarding the success of world’s cheapest smartphone ‘Freedom251’. The launch of the phone took the entire industry with a storm. More than 6lakh hits per second on the website with lakhs and lakhs of booking, the smartphone surely grabbed all attention. Many critics and industry experts raised concerns over the authenticity of the smartphone in terms of durability, business model, originality and many more. But keeping those apprehensions aside, customers welcomed the smartphone with open hands.
It has not even been a week of its launch and the holding company Ringing Bells has stepped itself into yet another controversy. A Noida-based BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing/ Call Centre), Cyfuture, that was hired by Ringing Bells to handle its customer services, has filed a police complaint against the smartphone company due to non-payment of dues and have asked for Rs 80 lakh from the smartphone makers.
As per the CEO of Cyfuture, they are also planning to separately file defamation case against the Ringing Bells claiming to have spoiling company’s reputation in the market. Whereas Mohit Goel, MD, Ringing Bells informed that the call centre has failed to stand on its commitment and is aggressively threatening them with police complaints and legal cases without listening to their consent.
However, the complaint has been registered against Ringing Bells at the Gautam Budh Nagar and the SP has assured that the FIR will be logged shortly.
Cyfuture was hired by Ringing Bells a day before the launch of the smartphone. The smartphone maker has initially made a payment of Rs 7.5 lakh for the first week but later it termited the contract accusing Cyfuture of failing to handle huge traffic of customer calls. The BPO declines to accept the acquisition and counters it by saying that “it’s a fraud company and hence not paying dues.”
The BPO currently handles companies like HPCL, IOCL, BPCL and claims to have been in the market for around 15 years with no such prior complaints.
Refuting the charges, Ringing Bells' Goel said that the BPO company is asking for payment for an entire month, for one week's service. There was a clause in the contract for negotiation but, they are not doing and are asking for money first.
Goel said that Ringing Bell terminated the contracts because Cyfuture has just allocated 20-odd people to handle customer calls, and routed some calls from Jaipur, which resulted in complaints from customers.
On the delivery front, Goel on Friday said that the company will open the option of cash on delivery to 25 lakh users who have signed on to buy the phone, but haven't paid for it as yet. This is to put at ease the concerns of many who fear non-delivery of the device despite paying for it. The 25 lakh excludes the 30,000 who have booked and paid upfront.