Controversy: BYJU’S files "comprehensive response" to NCPCR’s notice

BYJU filed a comprehensive response to NCPCR’s notice. Highlights its robust sales audit process, high student satisfaction rates, and large not-for-profit initiative. TICE Dispatch

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Edtech platform BYJU’S which is embroiled in a controversy over alleged malpractices in its selling practices has filed what it claimed was a “comprehensive response” to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

NCPCR had earlier issued a notice to the edtech company. Speaking to TICE news, NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo had also claimed that there were complaints that Byju's was resorting to unethical ways to sell its courses which were harming lower middle class households. 

Byju's response:

In a statement, Byju's said that it is the world’s leading EdTech company with over 150 million registered learners and had attended a meeting earlier today at National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in response to the summons issued last week.

BYJU’S submitted to NCPCR to consider that the summon was issued on the basis of a single media report that makes sweeping generalizations based on unnamed sources which comprise an infinitesimal fraction of its large user base. BYJU’S said it’s not possible for it to verify the authenticity of the article because the said media house has refused to share either the data points it referred to, or the sampling methods it used to select those data points.

Byju's denies “Mis-selling” 

BYJU’S categorically stated that the question of “mis-selling” does not arise because its sales professionals do not have the authority to close the sale of a product at the point of sale. By design, every sale is un-approved until it is verified by a triple-layered audit mechanism that reaches out to the interested customer through SMS, audio and video calls. The completion of a sale happens at the central level. BYJU’S does not encourage, order or incentivize its sales staff and/or managers to pursue customers who are uninterested in or unable to pay for its products. A reputed international consulting firm in an independently conducted rigorous survey unequivocally confirmed this recently.

Financing Questions 

On the question of financing, BYJU’S clarified that it does not directly offer loans to its users. In order to assist students that require financial support, where requested, BYJU’S connects the parents of such students to reputed third party banks/financial institutions. It is impossible for any sales executive to get a loan approved merely by making a potential customer sign some documents. The sale is concluded only after independent verification and approval by the institution providing the financing option, the company said.

 Regarding its refund policy, BYJU’S stated that it has robust written refund policy for all products and services. At every purchase touch point, the customer is informed about the terms of the refund policy. It also stated that 98.5% of the refund requests that are submitted to it through official channels are processed within 48 hours.

 It also highlighted that its Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 70, which is an independently measured metric of user satisfaction, is the highest in its industry.

Free courses

BYJU’S also informed NCPCR that it has already provided free courseware to more than 55 lakh children from underprivileged families through its Education For All, the social initiative arm. BYJU’S added that the sales personnel have been encouraged and enabled to recommend every parent, who wants to learn from BYJU’S but cannot afford it, to the EFA team, which works with 175+ NGOs to make learning equitable and accessible for everyone. Thousands of such students have been transferred to EFA under this initiative.

BYJU’S was represented before the commission by Pravin Prakash, one of its founding partners. He underscored that BYJU’S is a responsible corporate citizen that only has the best interest of its students at its core.

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