POP, a neat little charging station which can charge four devices at once including iDevices, Android devices and various other devices has been forced refund all of the money it raised in a Kickstarter project.
The reason for this, Apple ruined it for them.
Edison Junior, the main person behind the project has now had to refund all of its $139,170 that it raised and has had to apologise to all the 1000 people who backed the project.
Since Apple created the Lightning connector, they’ve added strict rules to the use of it. To use the Lightning connector the third-party has to acquire permission directly from Apple. Edison tried doing so, but failed. Apple just simply wouldn’t give him the rights to use it.
Apple very cold heartedly just refused. They aren’t allowing any charger to be incorporated with any other connector alongside, not even its own 30-pin connector. Because of this the project has to be abandoned.
Edison has now amassed fees which have totaled $11,000. The fees come from credit card transactions and Kickstarter fees which are unavoidable when creating a project on the site.
It’s a huge shame this had to happen. This won’t just affect Edison, it’ll also affect the end consumer. People who want one charger which does everything will now not be able to purchase one. Apple don’t seem to realise this hurts their own products.
This is the letter that has been sent out to all the project 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.