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Pebble Kickstarter Backers Complain Over Best Buy Deal

By - Source: The Consumerist | B 14 comments

If there's enough stock to power a deal with Best Buy, where are the supposed shipped units to many Kickstarter backers?

After Pebble confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Best Buy would exclusively carry its new Kickstarter-funded smartwatch starting July 7, many customers who pre-purchased the device as either a Kickstarter backer or during the general pre-sale wanted to know where their investment had disappeared. If Pebble has enough units to supply Best Buy, then why have they been waiting for months and still see no sign of a shipped product?

The Pebble Forum currently reports that Kickstarter orders for Black, Red, Orange, and Grey "should all have shipping notices now". Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky also claims that all Kickstarter backers who ordered Black Pebbles had their orders shipped over a month ago. Meanwhile, consumers who pre-ordered the smartwatch outside the Kickstarter project "should all be in Step 3 or later" for the Black, Red, Orange, and Grey units.

"We’ve fulfilled 93 percent of our Kickstarter backers already (leaving around 6,000 white watches that are shipping right now)," Migicovsky told The Consumerist. "We’ve also shipped out 13,000 pre-order Pebbles to people who have placed paid pre-orders for Pebble. At Best Buy, only Black Pebbles will be available."

But as The Consumerist points out, the statement doesn't explain why "hordes" of consumers are flooding the Pebble Forum and elsewhere with complaints that they backed the project and still haven't received a product.

"I preordered my black Pebble back during the backing and had paid upfront and never heard a word about when I would get my watch," said one Kickstarter backer. "I sent messages and was told May… No word after May… then told late June… Then no word… Then on into July and now they are going to sell at Best Buy before I even get any type of notification. Horrid experience and has pushed me to cancel my order… Just crazy."

One customer claims to be one of the first Kickstarter funders who still hasn't received a Black Pebble, while another claims some people report getting their watch delivered before the site says it shipped. For the Kicksterter backers and pre-paid customers, it sounds like the shipping department is having major issues. It is, after all, a brand new product.

“After experiencing the trials and tribulations of shipping out over a hundred thousand Pebbles, [they] made a tough decision [to work with Best Buy] to help get Pebbles out into the wild in the US," Migicovsky said in an email. He also said certain colors were harder to injection mold, thus the reason why the company offered Kickstarter backers a chance to switch to the Black model and have it shipped immediately.

The Black model will be available at Best Buy starting July 7, followed by the red model in August. Customers who haven't paid for the pre-order can simply purchase the smartwatch in-store and then refuse to pay when their position in the pre-order queue comes up. Or just keep waiting… maybe it will arrive by the time Google and Apple begin selling their own solutions.

Display 14 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    Stimpack , July 3, 2013 5:16 PM
    Starting to see a trend. I'm more pissed off that I was sent one of the Ouyas with a faulty faceplate on the controller and now after the issue has been fixed I'm left up a creek.
  • 4 Hide
    anything4this , July 3, 2013 5:50 PM
    Quote:
    Starting to see a trend. I'm more pissed off that I was sent one of the Ouyas with a faulty faceplate on the controller and now after the issue has been fixed I'm left up a creek.


    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/09/ouya-launch-delayed-to-june-25-controller-defect-being-fixed/ That really sucks. Contact support see if they help (from what ive read, they are terrible :(  )!

    Also ya, this is getting bad... kickstarted will start getting a bad rep. They should have some sort of enforcement to satisfy their pledgers (is that even a word?). Kickstarter should maybe even intervene as they are getting paid 5% after all ($400000 on ouya?).
  • 1 Hide
    teh_chem , July 3, 2013 5:53 PM
    Same with OUYA. Product developers already have backers money--there's no need to rush and appease them when they could manufacture units to sell in stores.

    It just speaks to the professionalism of the product developer; donate your money wisely, and don't make Kickstarter out to be some storefront. It's merely a way to get funding for ideas, not sell products for money.
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , July 3, 2013 5:54 PM
    Two devices I was interested in, pebble and ouya, both seem to be having issues >< maybe wait out a little longer
  • 0 Hide
    Stimpack , July 3, 2013 6:15 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Starting to see a trend. I'm more pissed off that I was sent one of the Ouyas with a faulty faceplate on the controller and now after the issue has been fixed I'm left up a creek.


    http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/09/ouya-launch-delayed-to-june-25-controller-defect-being-fixed/ That really sucks. Contact support see if they help (from what ive read, they are terrible :(  )!

    Also ya, this is getting bad... kickstarted will start getting a bad rep. They should have some sort of enforcement to satisfy their pledgers (is that even a word?). Kickstarter should maybe even intervene as they are getting paid 5% after all ($400000 on ouya?).


    lol, I did. I told them that I read that article and wanted to sort it out because I owned one of the defective controllers. This is the official response I got.

    "Hi,

    There are people who have reported this issue. Not everyone will experience this issue. Please advise.

    Thank you,

    Jim H.
    OUYA"
  • -2 Hide
    audiophillia , July 3, 2013 7:14 PM
    Kickstarter is not a storefront. You are there to help fund a product that might never come out. The product may never come out and you may not ever see that money again. its the risk of crowd funding.
  • 2 Hide
    Jerom , July 3, 2013 8:49 PM
    Quote:
    Kickstarter is not a storefront. You are there to help fund a product that might never come out. The product may never come out and you may not ever see that money again. its the risk of crowd funding.


    I think that you are slightly mistaken. If you were to read Kickstarter terms of use it actually states and I quote

    "Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward."

    So yes. You pledge certain amount and the Project created is obliged to provide what they promised or a refund. Kickstarter is not a donation fund but a business proposal looking for financial backers.

    EDIT: Added a link to Kickstarter terms of use
    http://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use?ref=footer
    Look at the Projects: Fundraising and Commerce
    "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."

    Hence all of the complains and demands by the backers of the projects are justified and supported by the Kickstarter and are entitled to a full refund should they desire for it.
  • 0 Hide
    ttcboy , July 4, 2013 12:28 AM
    1) Start the kickstarter project to attract backers
    2) Take their money as initial investment to come out with the product
    3) Sell it on the normal market to market at higher price and make tons of profit
    4) Ignore these pesky backer's request as much as u can and if cannot, provide refund coz they already starting to make money
    5) The company win because they get the capital to start their project FREE OF INTEREST RATES from u (compare to loaning from the bank, which is very hard to get and high interest rates).
    6) The consumer loose because u let ur money sit in their pocket without getting anything, except anger and disappointment for not getting what was promised or defective products.

    Way to go.......

    I don't even want to go further into the inflation effects about how ur money depreciate over time even if u get back the refund.

    Kickstarter should monitor and take proper action on these companies strictly coz after all, they get 5% of the total sum in the pocket and the last thing they want to get is the bad rep because of these kind of jerk companies.
  • -1 Hide
    G1laras , July 4, 2013 4:21 AM
    With 69k orders and no experience there's bound to be some issues. No excuse for lack of info though. Bad news are better than no news.
  • 0 Hide
    Cy-Kill , July 4, 2013 7:25 AM
    I really think that anyone who backs something on Kickstarter should be considered an investor and get shares or money back on their investment(s) when a product takes off!
  • 0 Hide
    noware , July 4, 2013 8:02 AM
    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I had my Pebble when I they said I would. Sure there were delays up front but when they got on track everything from my end seemed fine. I have my black pebble and I like it so much I'm thinking of buying a white one. It is a good product for what it does. Sure it is not then end all be all of smart watches but for me it is perfect.
  • 0 Hide
    noware , July 4, 2013 9:17 AM
    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I had my Pebble when I they said I would. Sure there were delays up front but when they got on track everything from my end seemed fine. I have my black pebble and I like it so much I'm thinking of buying a white one. It is a good product for what it does. Sure it is not then end all be all of smart watches but for me it is perfect.
  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , July 4, 2013 1:52 PM
    Kicksterter? Looks like a typo...
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , July 5, 2013 5:45 AM
    Still waiting for mine, but I did order white - the last color to be made. I noticed that white isn't set for stores yet.

    I got it for the fairly ridiculous reason that I can change the watch face all I want. I don't have a smartphone.