Why I lost confidence on crowdfunding platforms
This is the story of how I lost $7 but learnt a valuable lesson.
Back in September, 2016, the Apple AirPods were presented to the public. They are on-ear headphones, brothers of the Apple EarPods, which I can’t really stand for daily use: they have average to poor sound-quality and, even worse, they are on-ear, which means they aren’t really an option for me.
So here’s the situation: I like the concept of wireless headphones, but not on-ear (and NOT with that price tag). So I begin my search for some good wireless, in-ear headphones. And I find nothing at a reasonable price.
And here comes November, and I focus my attention on a Indiegogo campaign: Air by crazybaby. In-ear: check. Wireless: check. Reasonable price: check. But, there’s a little problem: they’re just a concept. It’s a crowdfunding campaign, created to raise money to begin the production.
«Well, at least they have an estimate delivery of January 2017. Not bad. I’ll give them my $99.»
The campaign raises $2,788,975, pretty impressive. And after that, everything goes wrong. Delays, delays and more delays. Lack of information. Campaign updates that say nothing but empty words and embarrassing apologies. And more delays.
I start thinking “hey, why not ask for a refund?”. But I really want them, so I decide to wait a little bit more. More fuc***g delays. Less patience. The comments section reflects that a lot of people have lost their patience too. June 2017, 5 months after the promised delivery date, and some units begin shipping. Very few. And commenters say that there are parallel campaigns on a site called jd.com (a Chinese web), and backers on that website who are receiving their units. It smells so really wrong that I decide (eased by the added problem of import taxes, which I would have to pay for sure, since they would be shipping by DHL…) to withdraw and ask for a refund: my patience is gone. Two weeks later, my refund is granted, and I have my money back. I’ve lost $7 in the process (exchange rates), but learnt a valuable lesson: crowdfunding (or, at least, Indiegogo), without proper customer care from the platform, is a piece of crap.
The same day I had my money back, I studied my alternatives. Some minutes later, after comparing some candidates, I had the new perfect match: BeatsX.
Amazon, 111€ (free delivery, no import taxes) and 3 days for shipping later, my “first world” problems are gone.
TL;DR: F**k unsafe crowdfunding, and a really big