“Dear sponsor, as you know, the bank has blocked the funds received for the production of watches,” the [aspiring] makers of the NIXOID NEXT watch write. “The reason for blocking is absolutely absurd.” Who’d have guessed that a Kickstarter micro-brand could fail to deliver a watch to their backers? How many people got sucked in? According to NIXOID’s KS web page . . .
“922 backers pledged $364,207 to help bring this project to life.” I make that $395 per person. Then again, NIXOID offers various “purchasing” options, from a single $250 cathode ray Classic (our contribution) to a brace of Pro models for $899. So some people risked more money than others.
I say “offers” rather that “offered.” The company is still selling NIXOID NEXT watches – make that watch futures. As of October 1, they’ve raised another $3,879 USD from eight backers. Credit the fact that they’ve password protected the bad news and left the “updates” tab empty. In fact, NXOID’s webpage continues to promise . . .
We hasten to assure you that we are all ready to start the project. We have behind us the experience of successful campaigns, and most importantly, we really value our reputation. We guarantee you fast delivery and will try to answer all your questions within 24 hours.
Our ability to report this not-entirely-unexpected failure to communicate is down to the fact that we signed-up for a NOID NEXT. To their credit, the company didn’t wait for us – pushy Americans that we are – to hit the site wondering where’s my damn watch? They sent an email update on their financial woes. Of which I’ll share with you.
The project was registered to the project manager Gennady, and the bank account was used by Denis for financial transactions (!) (!). The bank considered this to be a scam and has currently blocked the remaining funds in the amount of $ 214,000.
We contacted kickstarter support with a request to return the money from the bank and send it to another bank account so that we can continue to manufacture the watch. But it did not help. We also talked many times with the bank and the managers of the bank branch.
I’m not sure what exclamation marks inside parenthesis means. Outrage? Desperation? Broken laptop key? More to the point, which of Denis’ financial transactions caught the bank’s attention? Three-martini lunches? Perish the thought! According to a comment NIXOID . . .
Since different names on the project and the bank account. it turns out that the beneficiary is the project manager Gennady, and the bank account is in my name, Denis. I talked to the bank manager and asked them to transfer money to Gennady’s account, but they say it’s impossible . . .
Contact the kickstarter support team to send a request to the bank for a refund of the remaining amount and transfer it to a new account that we will indicate to them. (!) (!) (!)
I don’t think Kickstarter’s going to get involved in a bank dispute – especially one involving potential fraud – no matter how many exclamation points NIXOID throws at the bank in question, or how many sternly-worded emails from frustrated sponsors Kickstarter receives.
In the interest of supporting new and daring watch designs, let’s be optimistic. Here’s hoping the unnamed bank releases the money, NIXOID builds the watches and the watches work. Not to coin a phrase, that would totally tubular! Even in that best case scenario, hundreds of “backers” are going to see the tumbleweeds blow for quite some time.
“At the moment, we have already spent over 10 thousand dollars of personal money,” the NIXOID email concludes. ” . . . the money was spent on consulting two (!!!) lawyers!” Three spears inside two parenthesis? Sh*t”s getting real Or not. As we’ve reported elsewhere, increasingly not. Kickstarter watches are less and less of a thing. I wonder why . . .
Bottom line: save your money for real companies selling real products, rather than pipe dreams.