If the name Ringing Bells hasn’t already rung a bell to you you might as well be living under a rock as they say. It’s the controversial company behind the Freedom 251 smartphone which comes with a price tag of ₹251 and hence known outside the Indian borders as the $4 smartphone.
Ringing Bells’ Freedom 251 continues to remind us of the mythical Loch Ness monster, despite what the company claims, many are still to see the smartphone in real-life. While over seven crore registered for the Rs 251 smartphone, the Noida-based company has so far only managed to ship 70,000 units. And keep in mind this is a number they claim, not a number that has been verified. Seven crore, has 7 zeroes behind 7, 70 million if you will. Doing a little primary school math will tell you that this means the company “claims” to have delivered only 0.1% of the orders.
It shouldn’t surprise you now, when we say that, it was a massive surprise when Ringing Bells today announced that it is giving away Freedom 251 units for free with its new loyalty program.
On the occasion of Ringing Bells first anniversary, the company announced its “Loyalty Card” programme where cards in denominations of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 can be purchased on its website.These Royalty cards will be valid for one year and will fetch you 5%, 10% and 15% discount on buying Ringing Bells products with cards in denominations of Rs 500 [Silver], Rs 1,000 [Gold] and Rs 2,000 [Platinum] respectively. and also receive ‘Freedom 251’ smartphone as a free gift and TWO said smartphones if you purchase the Platinum card.
In essence, buying into this whole loyalty program is a surefire way to get your hands on a Freedom 251, albeit an expensive one.For a free Freedom 251, you end up having to pay Rs 500, which is double of what the smartphone costs. The booking for the loyalty cards will start from Thursday (September 1, 2016) 12 noon onwards.
But all that said, it is really shocking that they would give away free smartphones when they are lagging behind on promises and not by a small margin, in fact, the margin is almost as big as the promises. 99.9 percentof the orders have not been delivered.
The company claims that it will soon start delivering Freedom 251 units, and hopes to complete the backlog by the end of this year, which to be honest could not BE more far fetched.