There is a possibility ‘world’s cheapest phone’ prospect, Freedom 251, might never see the light of the day. Further adding to the whole controversy, Adcom distanced itself from the
The prototype that Ringing Bells showcased at the event adorned Adcom branding concealed behind whitener, and this callousness has come to bite it in the back.
The company wasn’t upfront about the whole thing, and later clarified that the Adcom IKon 4 was showcased as a prototype, and the final variant will retain the same specs in a different casing. As dubious as that may sound, Ringing Bells has been trying hard to make amends. Last week, the company issued refunds to first 30K buyers and made Cash On Delivery the sole payment mode.
In an email statement to Gadgets360, Adcom’s chairman and Founder Sanjeev Bhatia has trashed Ringing Bell for their plan to rebrand and resell its IKon 4 smartphone without permission.
As per Mr. Bhatia, Adcom sold Ringing Bells IKon 4 at a price of Rs.Kon 4 at a price of Rs. 3,600 per device and was in the dark about buyers unethical plans.
Here’s Sanjeev Bhatia’s statement which he sent to Gadget360:
“Touted to be the biggest scam of the millennium, Freedom 251, had recently announced that it would give out 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June this year. Ensured by such unrealistic price rates and naive pronouncements, the parent company ‘Ringing Bells’ was not only accused of running a disgraceful ploy, but has also relabelled our brand Adcom. To clear the air around, I would like to underline few facts pertaining to case, as this scam exhibits the potential of maligning our brand name Adcom which is our trademark since 2001. Yes , it is true that, although we sold the handsets to ‘Ringing Bells’ earlier, like we sell Adcom mobiles to lakhs of users; we were absolutely unaware of the reselling plans of the company in question. Furthermore, we still haven’t been able to evaluate their pricing policy, as we sold the handsets at Rs. 3,600 per unit. We are deeply grieved by this incident where our mobile phone has been presented to masses for Rs. 251, and therefore, would not hesitate from taking any legal actions against the company, in case the entire fiasco impacts Adcom’s brand name or subsequently we face any other kind of losses. We would also like to assert that Adcom is in no way connected or linked with Ringing Bells or Freedom 251 and bears no responsibility what so ever, in the whole swindle and regret the inconvenience caused to our valued customers from all over the country.”
Update 07-03-2016: Ringing Bells responded to allegations leveled by Adcom in a statement. Read Ringing Bells President Ashok Chadda’s reply on never ending controversies related to Freedom 251. Statement as follows:
While speculation is rife regarding the legitimacy of our occupying the premises we operate from, i.e. our Corporate Office at B-44, Sector 63, Noida 201301 in Uttar Pradesh, we wish to make it clear that the current dispute regarding the nature of business conducted at the property is between Noida authority and our landlord. It is our humble request not to drag us in any controversy.
On Adcom’s role, We would like to clarify that they provided some prototypes for the sample Freedom- 251 handed to some special guests including media for initial impression about the way phone would look and behave in future. We have other partners for assembly of our phones. We are happy to share their names on special requests!
The launch of the world’s most affordable and the cheapest smartphone Freedom 251 for a price of Rs. 251 by Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd. has set the world by fire, with the common man rejoicing even in the midst of some unfavourable controversy. Citing heavy demand, we have now announced that we are no longer taking bookings on Freedom 251.
It also requested that our sudden rise be not misconstrued as a fly-by-night operation. The company has already instructed the Payment Gateway to refund the few online payments that came in on the first pre-booking 18/2 date. The mode of payment now will be only Cash on Delivery. The orders placed by the customers are not cancelled but the payment will be taken only on delivery. Ringing Bells hopes to begin deliveries of Freedom 251 by around end of April.
Just as we have been taking due diligence to issues and matter brought forth to the management of Ringing Bells Pvt. Ltd.; we would continue to investigate and respond with due diligence. Rest assured the matter would be taken up with utmost sincerity and necessary action will be initiated according to the requirement. The negative impact some reports carried, has activated a comprehensive emergency response. Battling mistrust and facing severe criticism, the company would never scuttle its idea.