Behold the great huntress.
As you all know, this is Tuna. In addition to Tuna we have Oliver and Salem, who are both senior cats. We are a multiple litter box household. So when I saw Catson on Kickstarter, I decided to back it.
I considered pledging money for 2 Catsons, but I am naturally cautious, so I pledged for 1 Catson instead to the tune of $219 plus $60 shipping for a grand total of $279. The original shipping date was early February. Things got busy and I forgot about this until I received a nudge from Pledgebox.
Why do I need to pay $177 in shipping? I already paid $60.
This is “Catson.” On Alibaba, a Chinese distribution site. Here is a link to one of them. There are several available.
From Kickstarter TOS:
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that they’re not buying something when they back a project—they’re helping to create something new, not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use#section4
This is a clear case of fraud.
Update: someone pointed out that this could be the Chinese supplier selling a knock-off of the original design. That can be true. However, nowhere in that listing on Kickstarter it says that patent is pending, nor is there a patent for this litterbox registered in US. I looked. And another update, Kickstarter companies don’t always file patents.
We can debate this all day. Why don’t we go back to the point of this post instead, the part where all of the backers haven’t received the product or any communication explaining when it might arrive?
- Nobody received a Catson.
- Nobody has heard from Catson team since they sent demands for more money. Attempts to reach them on Facebook, Kickstarter, and other venues have failed.
- Numerous complaints have been made to Kickstarter by the backers of this project.
- No refunds have been issued by Catson.
- No refunds have been issued by Kickstarter.
- No refunds have been issued by banks, because the terms of Kickstarter make it difficult to obtain the refund.
How much trust do I have in the Kickstarter right now? Zero.
To be clear, this is not a cry for help. I don’t want you to go and bomb Kickstarter with this post, because that would be weaponizing our audience and we never want to do that. I mean it. But I do want you to be aware that Kickstarter will hold on to your money even if you are defrauded. And right now as of this morning, Catson has a new campaign on Indiegogo. They are truly shameless.
Here is a video of Tuna, because I don’t want to end the post on a sour note.