Edison Junior, the technology product design laboratory behind the Kickstarter-crowdfunded POrtable Power station POP, has announced that it will offer the largest refund from a Kickstarter project to date, returning the full $139,170 raised to its backers. Apple has denied the project citing that they are no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charger (including their own 30-pin.). WTF Apple!
The CEO of Edison Jr., explained that POP can no longer fulfill its true promise.
Providing full refunds means the company will have to absorb a hit for both credit card (3%) and Kickstarter fees (5%) totaling over $11,000. Today, in an unprecedented move, Edison Junior has asked Kickstarter for the 5% fee they collected back, based on the circumstances; however regardless of their decision, all backers will receive 100% of their money back.
Here is the letter the CEO sent to backers:
Letter to backers of POP from Jamie Siminoff, CEO of Edison Junior
To all of our loyal backers-
I’ll never forget the moment when our campaign passed the $50,000 goal and our dream of powering dying batteries became tangible. Our promise was simple: provide a portable charger that was capable of charging ALL of your devices including the anticipated iPhone 5, which at the time, had yet to be released.
When Apple officially announced the move to Lightning we determined the best course of action was to incorporate two Lightning chargers, and two 30-pins (along with the four micro-USB’s). After applying to Apple (which is now required for Lightning), we learned that they are no longer willing to approve a product that uses the Lightning charger alongside any other charger (including their own 30-pin – seriously). Just like that, POP could no longer fulfill its true promise.
As we struggled with Apple we realized that Kickstarter did not have a mechanism for refunding everyone their money. Since we are not willing to compromise and build a crappy product, refunding the money is the only acceptable thing to do.
This sparked the idea that crowdfunding of physical products needed a place that was built around the intricacies they present, so a few weeks ago we launched our own crowdfunding site, Christie Street. Built from the ground up around product, Christie Street is designed to handle needs that can arise from products – such as refunds – in order to prevent compromised products from being delivered.
In order to process your refunds efficiently we are going to set you all up with Christie Street accounts, and there, you will be able to process your refunds. Since payment processing has little to no room for error, we still have some final testing to do before we can send out the instructions, so the plan is set for mid-January. Conversely, had we manually sent out the refunds to all 1,000 backers the process would probably have gone longer.
Providing full refunds means we will have to absorb a hit for both credit card (3%) and Kickstarter fees (5%) totaling over $11,000. Today we asked Kickstarter for the 5% fee they collected based on the circumstances, however regardless of their decision YOU WILL RECEIVE 100% OF YOUR MONEY BACK.
We don’t believe in selling a substandard, compromised product that only satisfies the needs of a few backers, as that was not our promise. So we can’t thank you enough for your incredible support and awesome feedback – we hope to collaborate again with you soon. If you have any issues please email me directly.
All the best,
P.S. If you know anyone at Apple please send them coal for their stockings, on behalf of us 🙂
The fact that Apple picks on the little guys disgusts me. This Kickstarter campaign was one I was much looking forward to.
Jonathan is the founder and editor-in-chief of TrustedNerd.com. Covering major tech shows such as CES, Jonathan is always there for the latest tech news. Want your gadget to be reviewed or have a release you'd like to be considered for publishing? Send Jonathan an email, jonathan [at] trustednerd.com