This is a long one.. ohh yes. Long and frustrating on-going incident. Not the usual happy me here. But a disgruntled me being played by one company from Kickstarter. IF you don’t like to hear other people’s problems, stop reading. If you want to possibly avoid being played by such a company and help echo the bad practise of this company, do share this post around to let them know such practise is NOT welcomed. Anyhow.. make your choice.
Its a new age for startups with the growth of Indiegogo and Kickstarter. It’s a great opportunity for fresh new company to get a shot of actually producing products which they’ve tinkered to produce, but not want to go to the bank to get loans for a product that is not yet done. So it’s a reach to the community public, a petition to gain their trust in a product that they’d hopefully want and in return for a fraction of the price before actual launch.
I have backed many Kickstarter and Indiegogo startups. But this month I came across the most unrespectful company who not only took my money and ignored my plea for help. But also made it clear that I GOT ROBBED in broad daylight.
Before I iterate even further. Let me just say this. I backed the company for a product I wanted. It is a binding agreement when you support their cause to have this item funded, that they should in return have your back at best possible right. You’re one of their micro-investors. But when the product you got is faulty. What is the proper way to handle this situation. You blame the customer? You blame your investor?
I even remember noting that it was a Singapore registered company. Thus I was even more keen to support them. If you follow my blog, you’d know I am a Singaporean myself. Thus hey, patriotic support right? And coming from Singapore, retail is da bomb. No problem to be expected. Things should go smooth, easy, and trust worthy. It should have.
The Kickstarter campaign I’m referring to here is the InkCase i7 Plus: Dual Screen For iPhone 7 Plus by OAXIS.
I was one of the Early Bird backers.
$137 + $14 shipping cost making it a total of $151
But when the day came, DHL asked me to pay shipping tax of €53,46.
That was my first mistake. No clear indication on the box that this was OAXIS’ InkCase. If I knew earlier, I would not have paid this extras and sent it back.
Shipping costs should have been calculated-for in the additional shipping amount that we pay on Kickstarter. That is the normal practise. The company we back would usually cover the shipping cost along with the fulfillment cost. Backer’s ‘shipping & fulfillment cost’ usually brought to a minimal. With OAXIS however, I got a feeling that the $14 we paid to is just for the labelling… and the rest is on us backers.
Seriously I had no idea what was in the package, so I just paid it anyway. I order stuffs quite regularly internationally. So can you imagine how frustrated I got when I realized I paid additional €53+ on tax for this?
So I wrote to them:
I had to pay import tax €53,46. If I knew that the package was from InkCase Kickstarter I would have asked them to ship it back.
Now will I get refunded for this amount???? I see that you have more and more people commenting about same problem with the DHL shipping. I hope you have something planned to make up for this extra costs. I have the payment receipt as proof. Let me know how we sort this out.
Hasan – Singaporean in Holland
This was their reply:
Sep 21 2017
Hi Hasan, Sorry to hear about your situation. But import taxes are something beyond our control. Startups like us on Kickstarters often face this problem with their backers as we are just following proper customs paper work.
We seek your understanding on this.
Thank you and have a nice day.
Amazing right? No I did not add or change anything.. It’s what they say. We seek your understanding.. REALLY
My situation? It’s your situation actually. You already charged the expected shipping costs. We agreed to this. There should be no more additional hidden costs upon receiving it. I’ve backed few Kickstarter projects. And also a few from Singapore and never got into such issue with the shipping. Maybe you should ask how they did their shipping without incurring extra costs for your supporters. And I supported your project as I’m a Singaporean. Your response however reflect the little care or support you give to people who backed you.
It is purely unacceptable that you seek us to understand your situation. We’re the ones paying.
They’ve stopped responding via Kickstarters Reward Message Page after that.. Thus I went on to eMail them. You see there is no wrong in pursuing to know why I have to pay this much. It is the first time that a Singaporean company have just left me to deal with it, seeking understanding from these extra incurred costs. Something was not right within OAXIS. It is not a Singapore company’s etiquette to leave your customers to deal with such problem. We’re afterall in a partnership here. Remember you are their micro investor. But if 1,174 backers are left to deal with such incidents. Will that be a good thing for the company which you invested in?? Of course the only difference here is OAXIS probably take us as a one-time opportunity. They’ve made their cut. The rest of shipping costs is what they have avoided.
It costed me this much. But after a week’s use it broke.
I am rarely angry. So rare that I don’t know how to be angry I think. I thought I just let it go with that extra cost. I will not back them again in future Kickstarter. But the very reason of extra costs incurred for a product that does not even last days triggered me off when it broke and failed badly as I was trying to remove it from my phone.
OAXIS have to understand. We have few cases for different purpose on our phone. It’s not meant to be dorned permanently. If you design a case for a smartphone, it should be easy to put them on and just as easy to remove to serve their daily purpose. I own few other cases. And they’ve all lasted through time and time of use and removals.
I have several cases for the iPhone 7 Plus. The Lifeproof NÜÜD when I go out paddling. For work meetings I have the phone in a ThinOptics cover which holds my reading glasses in its sleeve. The InkCase was supposed to be the ideal reading accompaniment when I’m commuting.. (But it didn’t even get to its paces). Each serving its purpose.
I chose to invest in InkCase because I read a lot. It was the additional features that you can just view your agenda schedule and ePubs easily on the back of the phone that sold me. Not so much of the case itself. It definitely serves no purpose on protecting the phone. We know now that the case cannot even protect its own electronics from daily use! What more the phone in it.
So what do you think about it? Am I wrong to be unhappy about this company for not holding up to its promises? Or maybe just the way it conducts its business after the fact. I am usually not easily ticked off. Fact that I can meticulously write this down to tell the CEO or owners of OAXIS that the way they treat their root supporters as they did is wrong, then I have done my job. I got the fumes out of me (I hope).
OAXIS have to deal with many more of similar problems that is coming to them. But I hope they would also deal with my problem as I will update on it in time to come… get their act together to deal with their original micro-investors from Kickstarter.
Right now all I have is a very expensive iphone7 plus case.. collecting dust and a lesson for my readers on a company to avoid. It’s also crazy to find this link about somewhat a similar item while digging into the product. Did they actually just made a copy of what the PopSlate was?? http://gazettereview.com/2016/12/popslate-update-happened-shark-tank/
Below is a collective of the complains that I picked out from comments page on Kickstarter which they have not replied or addressed.
In the light of things, after 4 or 5 emails with a few days of silence..
OAXIS sent me a mail saying that they have decided to give me a ONE TIME REPLACEMENT.. This was after the multiple rejections in efforts to get myself one replacement. They didn’t realize that we customers / micro investors are human. We get angry at rejection and frustrated when such requests costing ME and few others hundred or dollars are rebutted with obstinate response claiming that it is us at fault for their faulty design. And then there is this policy that if I want that case replaced. I have to mail back that broken screen.
I threw away the case in frustration. It was long gone in the bin the second time they say YOU GOT TO PAY. From $75 to $50 and now Free Replacement… and now they send me the company policy. Who they kiddin’
I sent them my last string of mail. If OAXIS consists of real people to understand the frustration I had in trying to get their help. And when I tossed that case away, it was with a bitter experience of a fellow Singapore company that no longer tells me how trustworthy a Singapore Company is. It’s a sham.. I hope they would make an exception of this policy. Hopefully someday I will regain trust of a Singapore Kickstarter company.