Update: Kickstarter / CustomSLR & The Power of Social Media

So I posted my last blog entry “Kickstarter: Great idea, bad experience” today at around 1pm.

I also send out a tweet to my followers highlighting this blog entry.

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By now, we all know the power of social media, and just some of the stories that were picked up by the media in which customer’s posted to media outlets in order to receive coverage and attention to what was going on. There was the AirBNB scandal where a customer trashed and robbed a home-owner in San Francisco. There’s also the Ocean Marketing blunder where the PR representative/”CEO” went off on not only the customer, but also Mike, the co-creator of Penny-Arcade and received tons of backlash from the gaming community.

No, my story was not covered like that, but it did gain a response from CustomSLR today. Around 3 hours ago, CustomSLR posted this to the comments section of the M-Plate project.

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This is a great move by CustomSLR as it helps for those of us who funded the higher tiered package for the extras. It’s great that CustomSLR is listening to their customers and want to make things right for those who need the equipment sooner than later. Being part of a marketing team for company that sells mainly online, I know it was a hard decision to offer early shipments (due to finances), but it is the right decision.

For Kickstarter and the case of other projects by other companies, what are they doing to help those with vapor-ware projects that get funded? According to their HELP section on their website, not much.

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No where else in their HELP section do they offer a way to receive a refund once the project is funded. Sure, they point out that you should trust companies that have a better track record, etc, but who’s to stop a renegade company from doing one last swansong of a project, offering something really cool, getting people to back their project, then run away with the money once the funds are released?

I hope that there doesn’t end up being a company like this to smear the Kickstarter name, as they do have some great companies with some neat products (Case in point, there’s the “Elevation Dock” for iPhone by Casey Hopkins that has raised an astounding $767, 803 as of today, with 9 days left to funding), but I feel it’s almost inevitable for some bad apple of a company to come along and break this system. Perhaps Kickstarter will take heart, read posts like these of the community and make some changes to the way accountability is held.