Refund questions

Credible Hulk

Active Member
There have been so many questions and concerns about the Storm/Sondors ebike campaign that I'm sure I'm not the only one who's considering a refund. I haven't decided yet, I'd like to ask a few questions first.

I understand the procedure is to email them directly to request a refund. On the campaign page they state that refund requests will be considered at the end of the campaign, on a case-by-case basis. Yet I've read a few posts in different places stating that some people already received a refund.

Has anyone here requested AND received a refund from the Sondors project? Do refunds include any shipping fees paid?

Is there any indication of what criteria they use to decide if they'll issue a refund? One of the reasons I'm hesitating is concern that they'll refuse my request AND take action against me like knocking my shipment to the back of the line.

Is there a time limit to submit refund requests? For example, will they still accept requests after the campaign ends?
 

wa5

Well-Known Member
And there in lies the problem, who do you email to? will anybody get back to you? Its a disaster in progress over there, they cant get a simple thing like payment confirmation and colour choice right, how do you think they'll go with something as complex as a refund?, if you paid by credit card or pay pal, just dispute the payment, you will probably still get the bike (if it appears at all, but that seems less and less likely) as I think they are bloody clueless...

Could try calling them, I believe theres a helpful fellow on the IGG site that puts up IGGs contact information every now and then :)
 

wa5

Well-Known Member
heres the relevant post.... this bloke seems like a real top fella, a real asset to the campaign, so helpful, I just bet he's a handsome devil :)

Since IGG and 2.0 don’t respond here, People having issues with their bike order in the US would be better served by phoning Indiegogo. Phone:+1 415-552-5650.. or Agency 2.0 on +1-323-248-0770 or Chris Oleniks Agency 2.0 facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/cmolenik?fref=ts hope this is helpful to those having problems :)
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
Thanks for the information and the insight. I don't think I'll be calling long distance to the US from Canada on my cell phone, I've thrown enough money at this pack of jackals already.

I don't trust them to actually give me my money back anyway. What I expect is to end up with no money and no ebike if I ask for a refund. Which is pretty much the same as what I'll probably get if I don't ask. I've read a couple of unsubstantiated rumours about where/to whom our money was funnelled, as well. And your point is well taken about the disaster in progress re the screwed up colour choices etc.

In my case I also backed the gear box from another project, and if I ask for the refund for the ebike I'd have to ask for one for the gear box as well, and that campaign ended a couple of weeks ago. So I've decided to just let things ride (nothing to lose anyway at this point). It remains to be seen when and if I'll receive one of the following:
- ebike as ordered, working and that doesn't fall apart or explode within the first few rides
- ebike in wrong colour(s), damaged or parts missing, with nothing working and no support or warranty
- a little box with a handle in the shape of the Golden Arches containing a tiny plastic ebike "after all, you didn't ask us to super size it!!"

I hope the second and third options will be followed eventually be an email from a law firm announcing an international class action lawsuit against those responsible for this fiasco. I'm certain they'll be in violation of numerous statutes in several countries.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@Credible Hulk you seem to be dealing with this well at this point and time, but there's just something very wrong when you've given someone money with the promise of something in return and then you fear retaliation for wanting answers to reasonable questions. Having backed this and other CF campaigns, they should be falling over themselves trying to please backers like you the most. I sure hope you get your bike!
 
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Credible Hulk

Active Member
@Credible Hulk you seem to be dealing with this well at this point and time, but there's just something very wrong when you've given someone money with the promise of something in return and then you fear retaliation for wanting answers to reasonable questions. Having backed this and other CF campaigns, they should be falling over themselves trying to please backers like you the most. I sure hope you get your bike!

Sadly, I had no fears and was enjoying the anticipation of receiving my first ebike - so much that I chose to overlook all the discrepancies about specs, colour choices, generic manufacturing photos. But I've worked in factories and my first thought about the photos was "most factories aren't very secure, anyone could walk on to the assembly line and take a selfie and claim it's their product being built." And by now, the Sondors ebike should already be in production if they plan to meet their stated targets. So where's the photo showing the parts for a Sondors on the line? All they show that directly relates to their ebike is drawings for the battery box?

The nonsense about the shipping was the final straw. The BS assurances throughout the campaign that we'd be paying "much less" than the cost they quoted based on sales numbers, and now we're supposed to blindly hand over the "maximum" upfront and take their promises of refunds at face value? Then when I posted about this on the "Owners Group" page (where I had been a regular for months) I was personally insulted by the page owner, and immediately banned (retaliation). That spoke volumes to me about the legitimacy of this campaign. But at least it was a wake-up call and I won't be unprepared when the Sondors campaign blows up in everyone's faces. I hope my concerns won't be justified in the end.
 
Never have seen so much bellyaching about a $500 purchase before.

If you have been reading the IGG page you would know that Sondors is just taking factory pictures that are not his order. Since he hadn't released his order for production yet, why would anyone think it was his Sondors' bikes he was being photographed with?

Based on other crowdfunding campaigns like Porteur and FlyKly, Sondors' project is flying right... He's taking the color choices and he's updating supporters on progress just a month after closing the initial campaign.

Have to question why anyone would fund a crowdfunding campaign without knowing the risks and variables involved, then complain about it. Everything is subject to change..That is the nature of a startup company; uncertainty. Some people are better off going to WalMart and buying whatever they have on the floor.
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
Never have seen so much bellyaching about a $500 purchase before.

If you have been reading the IGG page you would know that Sondors is just taking factory pictures that are not his order. Since he hadn't released his order for production yet, why would anyone think it was his Sondors' bikes he was being photographed with?

Based on other crowdfunding campaigns like Porteur and FlyKly, Sondors' project is flying right... He's taking the color choices and he's updating supporters on progress just a month after closing the initial campaign.

Have to question why anyone would fund a crowdfunding campaign without knowing the risks and variables involved, then complain about it. Everything is subject to change..That is the nature of a startup company; uncertainty. Some people are better off going to WalMart and buying whatever they have on the floor.

$500 may be chump change not worth "bellyaching" about, to you - it isn't to others. And you forgot to add the $250 that non-US buyers are being charged for shipping, despite the fact that ALL of these ebikes are coming from China, not the US. And before you slam me and others for paying the shipping upfront - if your "reputable" campaign hadn't chosen to extort the upfront payment from backers by threatening to delay their shipments for an unspecified length of time, very few of us would have paid. Then there are those who spent extra for batteries and still haven't even been told how much $$$ they're being charged for the shipping of those. The handling of colour choice, and customers who backed multiple ebikes, has been a total clusterfuck, and they're not responding to people's questions. Just what do you expect is going to happen with shipping? Assuming there will be anything to ship. I used to excuse all of these discrepancies as "growing pains" or uncertainties caused by this being a startup organization. But I can only excuse so much.

"Based on other crowdfunding campaigns..." I won't rehash the list I posted previously, listing the differences between the Sondors campaign and two other successful campaigns I've backed, from *legitimate* organizations. Listing other train wreck campaigns and comparing them to this one is a nice try but doesn't work with me anymore. It's like saying that eating s*it tastes fine compared to eating strychnine. And accusing concerned backers of not reading the IGG page or not knowing the terms is petty and insulting. If we hadn't read the page, we wouldn't know now that most of what was on that page was a crock.

You can try to minimize and/or dismiss people's valid concerns all you like. It won't change the ever-increasing discrepancies that already exist between what people were promised, and what's turning out to be reality. Blaming the victims doesn't excuse the actions of the perpetrators.

So I'll "bellyache" just as much as I please, thank you very much. Unless you personally plan on reimbursing me for the over $1000 CAD I've laid out so far. Apparently you can afford to.
 
"Extort" must have a different legal meaning in Canada.
"to wrest or wring (money, information, etc.) from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority; obtain by force, torture, threat, or the like."

Sondors wants shipping payment upfront, for the amount originally listed.. Geez I wonder who else expects the same before they schedule shipment? Maybe Amazon Ebay Alibaba? Is Sondors asking for more money than he originally requested for shipping? NO..

Sondors indicated shipping costs could be less, but there was no Quid Pro Quo. And shipping cost may actually be less.

And there is a multitude of information that would have told you and anyone who cares about their $500 that the claims were exaggerated, just like most other eBike claims.. If you believe them, then good luck to you for not doing even a little bit of research.

So you're having problems picking color? Seriously? Do you think it will prevent you from receiving your eBike?

Let's talk about other crowdfunding eBike campaigns:

1. Riide, an overpriced single speed bike that is how many months late? And how much is shipping?.
2. FlyKly is an abortation of a project.. Read what they promised on KS, and when the promised it, and for how much?.. Then read the reality of it.
3. Porteur, is an extremely overpriced steel eBike with a tiny battery. $3500 and it can't even go 15 miles on its own power. And how late was it? They keep changing the KS description to hide their faubles.


In 2009 when I bought my first eBike there weren't many forums on the subject, and all the articles wrote glowing accounts of every eBike.. Most of them total BS. I didn't believe it then, so when I bought my bike i made sure it had an excellent warranty.. And that decision paid off handsomely.

Sondors bike does not have a stated warranty on the IGG page, but there may be a minimum warranty required by state or locality.. maybe the 30 days Sondors said in the interviews.... So when something goes wrong, and they always go wrong, what are you going to do, complain that they aren't standing behind their $500 eBike? What in god's name do people think about when they buy something new from someone they never heard of, on the INTERNET?
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
At this point, if the funders are that upset, angry, and worried about what, if anything, they'll receive, it's time to engage the services of a lawyer or law firm. A lawyer might be able to get a refund easily for people who are having buyers remorse or don't like what the bike is turning into or don't believe they'll get what they paid for.

Action begets action. If the potential for losing $500 - $800+ is more than one can risk financially, if the risk has become too great and the trust is eroded, then get on the horn and get a lawyer to write a strongly worded letter on your behalf. It could be money well-spent to have peace of mind and be able to terminate your campaign agreement. Get out, don't look back, and don't get back on a crowd funding platform for any future big or important purchase (like an ebike). The nature of this kind of product development, which requires upfront investment from "funders," is full of risk on many levels. There's nothing wrong with waiting for a product to actually come out before deciding to purchase such a product.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I decided to participate in the KS campaign for the Noke U-lock, a lock that will (allegedly) have bluetooth connectivity and an integrated alarm. It's a risk I can afford to take and I know, going in, that it could ship late and being a 1.0 product it could have unexpected issues.
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
At this point, if the funders are that upset, angry, and worried about what, if anything, they'll receive, it's time to engage the services of a lawyer or law firm. A lawyer might be able to get a refund easily for people who are having buyers remorse or don't like what the bike is turning into or don't believe they'll get what they paid for.

Action begets action. If the potential for losing $500 - $800+ is more than one can risk financially, if the risk has become too great and the trust is eroded, then get on the horn and get a lawyer to write a strongly worded letter on your behalf. It could be money well-spent to have peace of mind and be able to terminate your campaign agreement. Get out, don't look back, and don't get back on a crowd funding platform for any future big or important purchase (like an ebike). The nature of this kind of product development, which requires upfront investment from "funders," is full of risk on many levels. There's nothing wrong with waiting for a product to actually come out before deciding to purchase such a product.

Thanks for the patronizing lectures "Crowdfunding campaigns 101", from both you and your colleague. Believe it or not, I am familiar with the concept, having backed other campaigns previously. Your suggestion that I should never invest in a crowd funding project again based on being ripped off by one IGG campaign is laughable. Rather like never fixing your car again because you were ripped off by one mechanic.

Re legal action: you can rest assured that this will take place if the Sondors campaign tanks out and thousands of backers are ripped off. I'm not saying this will definitely happen; in fact as I've stated before, I hope it doesn't. This is why I haven't contacted the campaign to request a full refund. But I have already discussed this matter with legal counsel, and all I will say at this point is that Sondors would be wise to deliver something that could reasonably be expected based on their own, and IGG's, promises so far. Action begets action, as you say. That goes for inaction, as well, like ignoring backer messages and concerns as they are currently doing. There's a lot of controversy surrounding this campaign and its team members already, so they'd be really foolish to screw their backers around at this point.

A lawyer wouldn't touch this case unless the backer had first contacted Sondors and requested a refund, and had either been refused without good reason, or their request ignored. The same goes for the backer not receiving anything, or not receiving the advertised product. In the case of the shipping fee, it's a question of whether or not Sondors lied/broke their own promise about the fee. The backer would have to approach Sondors about their concerns first. If they don't get a satisfactory response, that would be the time to engage a lawyer.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I see government regulation on the horizon, I'm not a fan of much of it. UK-EU/Canada, 1 & 2 and US, 3. It won't be because of one campaign, it will be because of several campaigns and thousands of "backers" losing money they can't afford to lose, all because they thought they were shopping. Some politician's kid will loose money and it will snowball from there. For good or bad, I think we all know that's coming.
 

wa5

Well-Known Member
I think the "its a new product, you should expect changed specifications" argument falls down a little when the only "new" part of this item is a plastic battery cover.. the rest of the bike is just a cheap Chinese e bike... no suprises expected....
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Credible Hulk seems to be a prolific poster with multiple paragraphs in every post, bullet points and repeating what specifically is wrong with Sondors campaign. I wonder who else on this site writes in similar fashion? :)
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Notice how I posted that big purchases on crowdfunding might not be a worthwhile risk and might be best avoided in the future since outcomes can be quite uncertain (and note I especially did not say all purchases), yet that's the point hulk claimed I made and then argued against. Love dem useless straw men arguments, ya know?

And note again that I went on record immediately after my post and disclosed I'm now a campaign funder of a ULock campaign, because I determined I could take a risk for $100.

Haven't quite figured out yet how whining on an eBike forum is going to affect or change anything on a completely unrelated web site, where the actual campaign is run.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
interesting they are letting the campaign ride. on the facebook page the last post was on april 2nd saying it would be over in an hour!
 

Credible Hulk

Active Member
Love dem useless straw men arguments, ya know?

Yes, you and your Agency 2.0 colleagues have amply demonstrated your love for the Straw Man in your posts here. It's been quite amusing to be accused of logical fallacies, faking my identity here, and using writing styles [multiple paragraphs? bullet points? Oh, the humanity!] which you and your cohorts have previously used in your own posts.

Haven't quite figured out yet how whining on an eBike forum is going to affect or change anything on a completely unrelated web site, where the actual campaign is run.

Because "whining" aka expressing legitimate concerns is useless on the campaign website, where every concern is being ignored. If my "whining" is so pointless, then what are you and your colleagues doing here trying to shut it, and me, down? What I've "quite figured out" is that the Sondors campaign must be running scared right now. Hence the Agency 2.0 operatives all over the internet, desperately trying (and failing) to suppress any concerns about this campaign, in an attempt at damage control. Now they're even resorting to gang attacks using several trolls at once. If Agency/Sondors wants to shoot itself in the foot by alienating current and future customers this way, who am I to stop them?