Yes, PayU is holding the money from registrations, but it's not like Ringing Bells would have you believe.
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The story of the world's cheapest smartphone is growing stranger by the day. PayU Biz, the company providing the gateway for payments made to Ringing Bells, has said that it is holding the money received from consumers till deliveries are complete. “As a leading payment solution company, we are cognizant of both our merchants and buyers. With a surge in no. of queries received for Freedom 251 during last few days, we are cautious towards the payments being made by buyers to buy Freedom 251. As a responsible payment solution company, we have ensured that the buyer's money remains safe with us and gets released to the merchant once the product is dispatched. In case the merchant is not able to fulfil the huge demand they have received, we will work with merchant to return the money to buyers,” said PayUbiz in a statement to Digit.
While this is in line with what Ringing Bells announced in its statement, PayU Biz is holding the money has been held following consumer complaints. In addition, Ringing Bells has to show proof of delivery before it can touch the money.
PayU is a payment gateway provider, but it has two products — PayU Biz and PayU Money. The company provides buyer protection/escrow services in PayU money, but doesn’t do so under PayU Biz. In fact, under PayU Biz, the merchant gets the money in a matter of days, which means that Ringing Bells’ statement is misleading customers.
In an official statement to the media last week, Ashok Chadha, CEO, Ringing Bells, said, "We have delivered Rs 1.7 Crs worth of phones so far. In addition, PayU [Payment Gateway] has recd Rs 1.75 Crs against our Handset On-Line Bookings of Phase 1 and here, as we have committed, we will claim our money only after we complete Delivery on Feb 25, 2016 and after we submit Proof of Delivery."
This statement makes it sound like Ringing Bells’ official policy is to hold the money in escrow. However, PayU’s statement makes it clear that the company had no such policy. We have reached out to Ringing Bells for confirmation on the same and will be updating this article with their response when we receive it.
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