Byju's responds to buying phone numbers of kids allegation: 'We don't need…'
Byju's statement comes a day after NCPCR claimed the company is allegedly purchasing the phone numbers of children and their parents, and threatening them that their future will be ruined if they do not buy courses from it.
Edtech company Byju's on Wednesday “strongly denied” the allegation that it purchases students' databases and claimed that it relies on app users, walk-ins and incoming requests for consultation. Byju's statement comes a day after National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo claimed that the company is allegedly purchasing the phone numbers of children and their parents, and threatening them that their future will be ruined if they do not buy courses from it.
“We categorically state that we have never bought any database and expect that the media will refrain from making such a baseless and unsubstantiated allegation,” the statement said.
The edtech firm also claimed that with more than 150 million registered students and with the top-of-the-mind recall that the Byju's brand has in India, “we do not need to buy or use external databases”.
“We emphasize that our lead pipeline comprises exclusively of our app users, walk-ins and incoming requests for consultation. BYJU’S is ranked No. 19 in the coveted Kantar list of India’s most trusted brands. We do not need to and we never make cold calls or unscheduled walk-in visits. We strongly refute any allegation that indicates otherwise,” Byju's stated.
The company is reportedly facing a range of complaints on social media platforms and consumer websites with customers alleging that they were exploited and deceived.
The NCPCR, taking cognisance of the matter, has summoned Byju's CEO Byju Raveendran to appear before it on December 23.
“We came to know how Byju's buying phone numbers of children and their parents, rigorously following them and threatening them that their future will be ruined. They are targeting first-generation learners. We will initiate action and if need be will make a report and write to the government,” news agency ANI quoted Kanoongo as saying.
The panel took action based on a news report that the sales team of the company was indulging in malpractices to lure parents to buy their courses for their children.
"As the Commission has come across a news article wherein it has been pointed out that the sales team of BYJU'S is indulging in malpractices to lure parents to buy their courses for their children. lt has also been mentioned in the news report that some customers have also claimed that they were exploited and deceived, and had put their savings and futures in jeopardy," the NCPCR had said in a statement.
The NCPCR added that the news report further alleged that the edtech company had been actively tricking customers to enter into loan-based agreements for courses which may not be refunded if customers wished to do so.
(With inputs from agencies)