The Indian firm that claims to sell the world’s cheapest smartphone says customers shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t receive their products after purchasing them.
The director of Ringing Bells was arrested on allegations of fraud but says the only reason why his company is able to sell its products so cheaply is because most of the orders will never be fulfilled.
Ringing Bells’ Head of Customer Service Mr. Seeyar Rem said, “Look, at the end of the day you get what you pay for in life. If you’re able to get hold of a smartphone for the price we sell them at it’s either (a) not a smartphone (b) stolen or (c) a Samsung Galaxy Note 7. We have a unique business model that allows customers to purchase a smartphone for less than the price of a pint of lager, but it’s for that very reason that we can’t guarantee you’ll ever actually receive it.”
The Freedom 251 phone is priced at 251 rupees (£3, $3.70) and went on sale in February of last year. Whilst a significant number of customers have received their phones, a large proportion of them still have to hail cabs from the street, take pictures with a camera and use a television to watch their favourite TV shows.
There have been numerous questions surrounding the firm’s business model, with many asking how the product could be offered so cheaply – it’s only when customers call the Ringing Bells Customer Helpdesk to give their order number and the operator replies, “what order?” that it truly becomes apparent how the firm actually makes any money.
Ringing Bells first started taking orders for the smartphones in February and promised they would be delivered by June – failure to do so of course being one of the company’s key performance indicators.
“It is important our customers understand the amount of work we put in to make our business model work. So far this year we’ve sold over half a million handsets and our team is working around the clock to ensure that at least half of them never get delivered to their rightful owners. With targets like that to meet we should be applauded for our commitment to affordable pricing not banged up in jail,” Mr. Rem added.