Readers have contacted Fabbaloo to make us aware of their concerns with the Robox Kickstarter campaign. We tried to find out what’s really going on.
The controversy involves allegations of non-delivery. A very long discussion thread on the Kickstarter page details the complaints from backers. To reduce the need for you to read the long thread, it boils down to this: Original Kickstarter campaign backers who purchased units have not yet received them. The backers believe that some Robox resellers have been selling units while backers await their own. It seems at least some of the backers are getting frustrated.
The Robox 3D printer project was successfully funded at the end of 2013, so the company has had time to build machines. However, delays in launch campaigns are increasingly common. In some cases you may never receive the promised product.
We reached out to Robox and CEL Managing Director Chris Elsworthy, who said this in response to the allegations:
Since launching the Kickstarter campaign last year we have been overwhelmed by the level of support we have received from our backers, and so they remain our number one priority until all Kickstarter orders have been fulfilled.
All of our time and efforts are going into producing Robox units which are as perfect as possible, and we refuse to send anyone sub-standard products. During the past few months we have been taking on board feedback and advice from our BETA backers which means other Kickstarter backers and future customers will now benefit from a 3D printer for the home which is far superior to anything else currently out there on the market.
We totally appreciate that our Kickstarter backers have taken a great leap of faith by investing in a product which is not yet ready for market, but we’re extremely confident and happy with the Robox, and can’t wait to reward this patience.
There has been some speculation that the Robox is already on sale, and that some people will receive the product before our Kickstarter backers. This is absolutely not the case. We have been made aware of one website falsely advertising the availability of the Robox, and posting pictures of unsaleable trade samples, and we have asked for all information of this kind to be removed immediately.
We have promised our Kickstarter supporters that they will be the first to receive the Robox units from the production line, and we are excited to be able to fulfill this promise soon.
If anyone would like more information about the Robox please email firstname.lastname@example.org
So it seems this could be a misunderstanding. The bottom line for us is that such launch ventures are always risky and sometimes overwhelming for the startup company. It’s difficult for them and certainly such small startups do not have the same capabilities you might expect a larger, more established company.
Crowdfunding donations are not the same as a regular purchase.