Behold the great huntress.
As you all know, this is Tuna. In addition to Tuna we have Oliver and Salem, who are both senior cats. We are a multiple litter box household. So when I saw Catson on Kickstarter, I decided to back it.
I considered pledging money for 2 Catsons, but I am naturally cautious, so I pledged for 1 Catson instead to the tune of $219 plus $60 shipping for a grand total of $279. The original shipping date was early February. Things got busy and I forgot about this until I received a nudge from Pledgebox.
Why do I need to pay $177 in shipping? I already paid $60.
So I go to the site and see this shipping update asking for extra money. And then I read the comments. And then I see this.
This is “Catson.” On Alibaba, a Chinese distribution site. Here is a link to one of them. There are several available.
From Kickstarter TOS:
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that they’re not buying something when they back a project—they’re helping to create something new, not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use#section4
This is a clear case of fraud.
Update: someone pointed out that this could be the Chinese supplier selling a knock-off of the original design. That can be true. However, nowhere in that listing on Kickstarter it says that patent is pending, nor is there a patent for this litterbox registered in US. I looked. And another update, Kickstarter companies don’t always file patents.
We can debate this all day. Why don’t we go back to the point of this post instead, the part where all of the backers haven’t received the product or any communication explaining when it might arrive?
- Nobody received a Catson.
- Nobody has heard from Catson team since they sent demands for more money. Attempts to reach them on Facebook, Kickstarter, and other venues have failed.
- Numerous complaints have been made to Kickstarter by the backers of this project.
- No refunds have been issued by Catson.
- No refunds have been issued by Kickstarter.
- No refunds have been issued by banks, because the terms of Kickstarter make it difficult to obtain the refund.
How much trust do I have in the Kickstarter right now? Zero.
To be clear, this is not a cry for help. I don’t want you to go and bomb Kickstarter with this post, because that would be weaponizing our audience and we never want to do that. I mean it. But I do want you to be aware that Kickstarter will hold on to your money even if you are defrauded. And right now as of this morning, Catson has a new campaign on Indiegogo. They are truly shameless.
Here is a video of Tuna, because I don’t want to end the post on a sour note.
Still less than I got scammed out for that damn door. I am still the champion of pissing away our hard earned dough. Yay me?
Honey, the guy had excellent reviews and you had no way of knowing that he would self-destruct amid numerous lawsuits. How long are you planning on beating yourself up about it?
I think it’s because I believe myself to be an excellent judge of character who is rarely surprised by people. It’s the feeling stupid that really stings. Well, that and the dough.
You two are so cute! Love how supportive you are of each other!
Now everyone is going to want the door story LOL
LOL… Yes, I want to hear the door story now!
Jean Morgan says
Our very savvy financial guy was scammed by a contractor for 7000.00. It happens to the best of us—unfortunately ????. I’m sorry to hear that it happened to you.
The feeling stupid
Money is money but stupid stays with you.
It is honest people who usually get scammed. When your a good person you don’t see these people coming. That is why they succeed.
Meri Duncanson says
Aww Tuna in a tree is so cute.
So sorry you were scammed.
We have a multi cat home and use the Petsafe ScoopFree system, a lot cheaper than the PetRobot.
That almost happened to us once: we ordered a classic expendable dining room table on a website only to get no replies from enquiries.
Ended up learning the owner had passed away and his son managed the orders already received. Took a while and the table was not perfect, but we were just happy to get something close enough, pfew.
I do love Tuna. Hate being ripped off.
Audry PARKER says
My husband was scammed. Ordered 2 beach chairs. 2 bags for the chairs (at least I think that’s what they were.) No paperwork included. Claimed chairs were delivered, about 6 after ordered. Went round and round. Finally agreed to accept a $10 refund just because was sick of trying to straighten the details out. Never even got that! Now will not order anything being shipped from China.
You don’t often see a Tuna in a tree…
Sorry you got scammed. I’ve never done a Kickstarter. Good to know.
Yes, we have certainly learned over the past year that some people are shameless.
A Tuna in a tree is a good antidote for that.
Nicole Gustas says
I’m so sorry. Thanks for giving all of us the warning!
Evil Jenny says
I have backed many Kickstarters, and while several have been late (horrifically so in a few cases), I have been blessed to have eventually gotten everything.
That said, when the campaigns go wrong, the REALLY go wrong. Backers beware….????
I got burned by IndieGoGo for wireless earbuds. I did, eventually, get them. But they didn’t work, and out of the box, were physically falling apart. I just got an email with gluing instructions…for the supposedly waterproof earbuds. Yeah, I didn’t even try.
I have used Kickstart successfully as well. Though in my case it was for known artists/writers who I follow, and who provided links to their Kickstarters.
Sharon Sayegh says
Same here! ????
Melissa CHAPMAN says
That’s awful. I remember seeing this kickstarter after I got my Litter Robot (love it btw, wish it wasn’t so frikkin expensive though), and wishing I had seen it sooner. But because of how flimsy it looked, and bc I just spent $$ on my litter robot, I passed on backing.
They sure made it look great though. So props to their promotion team for sure. Scammers really know how to work ya over.
++ for the Litter Robot – but make sure to get the large one if you get.
Just recently got the litter robot, and loving it. Now my cat that *must have clean litter always or I will pee on your clothes” is happy.
For those of you that have the Litter Robot, how difficult is it to clean? How often do you have to replace the carbon filters? Can you use other liners for the drawer than what they supply? Because having looked at that, it is super tempting, but I have questions. ????
I adore my litter robot!!
I usually deep clean it once a year with the hose outside. I have to admit, I’ve never changed my carbon filter and haven’t noticed any smells. I also use standard sized kitchen trash bags for the collection unit and it’s been great!
Their customer service is excellent and I would buy another one in a heartbeat.
I use regular trash bags and wipe down the insides about once a month with a clorox wipe.
totally worth the money in my mind
I had 1 litter robot and just added 2 more. I have a lot of cats. The units rock. Minimal care and upkeep. I use regular trash bags. They have reduced dust and odor. Love em, very much worth the price IMO.
I’ve had the Litter-Robot, upgraded once, for 5+ years. It is pricey but reliable and works so well, especially with the full sensor now, it won’t cycle if there isn’t room in the drawer. For my single cat I really only NEED to change the drawer once a week. Once a year I take it apart and hose down the dome and wipe down the more sensitive components. Also, regular 13 gal flex/stretchy trash bags work great in the drawer, just takes a little practice and be sure to pat down the bag to keep it from triggering the “full” sensor.
This is icy cold/frozen comfort, but buy a litter robot. It is not that much more than you paid here if you find a refurbished one. I have had one for over a year. Worth every penny according to me and two of three cats (the third plays pitiful and dumb and kept her traditional litter box- I could have forced the issue but I didn’t have the heart).
That’s the plan.
Beth Johnson says
I love our Litter Robot! We had 4 using it with no issue and NO odor!
Melissa Chapman says
I have 2 with 6 cats. Life saver for sure!
Leissa Nelson says
I like the litter robot, but learned the hard way that it isn’t as hands-off as I assumed. Mine needs to be checked at least daily to make sure it hasn’t gone into some strange mode and stopped cycling. Also, the litter pan fills up pretty quickly and even before it fills up, it will stop cycling because the litter piles up in one place. Cleaning it is also a big job. I still like it, but would give it 3 stars, not 5.
Hope you love the Litter Robot as much as we do. We use a lot less litter so I think it paid for itself.
I hope you paid by credit card? You can dispute it with the cc company. I am so sorry this happened. Thank you for the heads up. Appreciate the warning. Thanks for the Tuna in a tree video!
This is not proving to be successful because Kickstarter’s TOS make it an investment rather than a purchase. You can’t get money back on a failed investment.
M.S. Linsenmayer says
Amuse your accountant, and write it off as a capital loss.
I’m trying to think of a good music pun for this, but I’m out of Tuna.
Debbie B says
Do you know his scales?
Hmm, I wonder if my elderly kitties would use a litter robot. I had to buy low profile litter boxes because it is hard for one to climb into one with high side, she would poop outside the box. Are the expensive?
Danielle Garrett says
The one I bought was a refurbished model and it was $350 I think, so definitely pricey, but worth it in my opinion. We have three cats and they all now use that as their sole litter box. I do have to empty the drawer every third day, but I’d much rather do that than scoop all the time. I bought the little ramp to make it easy for our two senior kitties to get in and out. I also think they offer a 30-day guarantee if your kitty can’t/won’t use it. Worth looking into. Hope that helps! 🙂
You can get the stair add on for elderly cats. Please note they have a 5# min on cat weight. Cats must be 5# or more. I have 2 cats under that so I kept a traditional box for them.
My son purchased an item on Kickstarter for himself and as a gift for his sister. Items never showed (that was two years ago). He was asked to “invest” more as well. ????
Robin Layton says
We all get scammed some time. You do your best research and think it through but still there are people out there doing their best to get your money.
That is utterly frustrating. I once backed something for a GPS collar for cats. I thought it seemed awesome, and it indeed was. It however, only worked in Europe (as the creator was in Germany). I believe it was a kickstarter campaign. It launched and it was great…but I couldn’t use it. They were nice enough to refund me. I’m sorry your experience sucked. Sidenote – I too have a litter robot, and have for years. Despite how expensive they have become, they are utterly worth it. We have a 4 cat household and I can’t do without it. (You can also get them refurbished and they are slightly less expensive that way). Tuna looks supremely happy in that perch!
That is one awesome tree! And Tuna looks so happy! And nice weather!
Sara T says
Its an awful feeling to get ripped off. Kind of eats at you.
Never backed anything on Kickstarter and after reading this have no plans on doing so. Ever!
Wow Tuna is huge and gorgeous. I think she is definitely bigger than my puppy 🙂
She is about 20 lbs.
Susie Q. says
We had a small Sheltie dog and a rather large cat at the same time. Both were black and white with similar markings and the same size. Tuna reminds me of Snoopy, named after her curiosity. Long hair, huge. She was just a mutt type cat, not a special purebred, but was very similar to Maine coon cats. She was 3 feet from head to tail and about 25 pounds. Squirt, named due to habits early into house breaking (we were in grade school, so went with descriptive names) and Snoopy were friendly, and liked to play. At a distance unable to know who was chasing who, until Snoopy would become airborne and end up in a tree or on a fence.
Squirt was sweet dog, would herd the neighborhood kids with gentle nips, but harmless. She chased a rabbit and got it cornered. She did the play bow and was so disappointed when the rabbit refused to play. Snoopy on t h e other hand would bring home dead animals for my dad, rabbits, squirrel, etc., who dealt with the “gifts”.
Squirt was the only dog Snoopy tolerated. There was a black lab that used to wander through the neighborhood. The last time we saw him, Snoopy was riding his back. They went up and down the street, the dog yelping in pain until they came back to our yard where Snoopy dismounted. By that time, we had quite an audience. All the neighborhood kids and many adults who came to see what the fuss was about. I picked her up, bloody claws and all and she had the same look on her face that Tuna had, a queen looking at the stolid peasants.
I hadn’t thought about her in years. Thanks for bringing back the memories of a beloved cat.
I’ve backed some stuff on kickstarter, but it’s definitely easier to justify when the people running the kickstarter actually have a track record. Like, a new book/game/etc by people who have a history of releasing good games? Sure. XYZ random product by people you’ve never heard of? A bit more of a risk.
In the end, the blame on fraud goes on the one pulling the con…. sometimes, no matter how much research you do, or how credible the company presents, you can still get taken. There is a responsibility on Kickstarter’s part, to not allow a company who has repeatedly failed, and under questionable circumstances (asking for more money), to use their site anymore, to protect their clients/customers/investors. I’m sorry this happened to you.
The problem is that Kickstarter disavows any responsibility. They pretty much go out and tell you that you’re the idiot for backing a project and that they’re only the platform and have no responsibility to make sure you get your product.
Which is why Kickstarter has become a no-go for me…
Same. Been burned enough to say never again! It’s just not worth it!
*gets boots on, grabs sword, prepares to storm the Kickstarter headquarters
“ I don’t want you to go and bomb Kickstarter with this post”
“ I mean it”
*deflates and puts sword away
Obviously a KD fan.
What gave me away? Was it the sword? Yeah, it was the sword….
Love Tuna. 🙂 For me it was Indiegogo and Nohbo and Ben Stern. A kid who was on the Shark Tank and got backing for his idea of shampoo in disposable packets while you shower. I backed him, never got the product, saw complaints of about the quality for those who did receive theirs. Many numerous emails over the course of several years, yep, I’m tenacious when hoodwinked. Anyhoo, had to go to the local BBB in Florida and finally received full refund. But the stories that guy try to use to justify not following through and ignoring my request, oy vey! Yep, he is still peddling it and keeps posting about product delays. I honestly don’t know how he is still in business.
Just an FYI, a lot of things on kickstarter are manufactured in China. I’ve seen more than a few kickstarters for dice where Chinese companies start pumping out ads for the exact same kind of dice as soon as the kickstarter is over. Often times the kickstarter is fulfilled, but knock offs are already out before the kickstarter is actually fulfilled. However, in this case it does sound very scammy since there is no communication. I am very very leery of kickstarters for any kind of tech. I’d rather just order things after they are on the market. I’d rather pay $500 for a Litter Robot then end up losing 200-300 on a kickstarter that may never go anywhere.
re lot of things on kickstarter being manufactured in China. It makes sense as they can often produce something at reduced costs. If you’re starting out production facilities can be hard to find. Obviously there is risk involved in producing something far away from your base but… I can see how legitimate companies will get their stuff made in China. The issue to me is more the company I think. Scams abound, super hard to avoid. bummer you got hit with it this time.
Erin S. Burns says
I finally got my SuperCalla charging cords last night, and that happened with them. Knock-offs abound. A friend actually ordered some of the knock-offs and when the “real” Super-Calla took so long, and now that she has both there are definitely quality differences-so at least we ended up with the better devices.
Jeff Wang says
I’ve backed 4 things on kickstarter, 2 board games and 2 video games. Got one of each. The other of each died. To be honest, they weren’t scams, they were just investments that didn’t work out. I was bummed, but I didn’t go for (and would never go for) the higher/crazier tiers.
This sounds like an out and out scam, that KS should be refunding.
Kathryn Smith says
This may not be entirely relevant to this Kickstarter, as it does sound like these particular creators are not being responsible. That said, there are two other reasons, both entirely above-board on the part of the Kickstarter owner, why you may find, or seem to find, products for which a Kickstarter ran/is running appearing to be for sale elsewhere.
Reason #1 is outright fraud. There are dozens of reports of fraudulent vendors scraping photos off Kickstarter or Instagram and offering those products at a cut rate, using the creator’s own photos, often before the campaign has shipped its product. A lot of these ads are showing up on Facebook. If you order, and get anything, it will be cheap junk which doesn’t work/looks only kind of vaguely like the product advertised. At worst, your credit card number gets stolen.
Reason #2 is borderline legal (and may be closer to your situation.) A lot of products are on Kickstarter to raise funds to hire a factory, usually in China, to produce the items. In at least one case I know of recently, the creator had an agreement with a factory to produce her dice. Something went wrong, and she terminated the agreement with factory #1 – I think the dice were not up to her standards in some way – and the product was delayed while she came to an agreement with another factory, effectively starting the production timeline over. Meanwhile factory #1 chose not to destroy the molds they’d made for her, and went on happily producing dice using them and selling to other vendors. I could have bought those knock-offs on Alieexpress or Wish, months before the first items for the Kickstarter shipped.
Are they legal? Maybe. It depends on the fine print in their contract, and the copyright status of the font. I haven’t bought a set to compare to the ones I received eventually from the creator. But I can see how it would look, to someone who hasn’t been watching the whole saga, like she might just be marketing something that was already out there. I suspect this is not a unique situation – it just happens to be one I’ve watched play out over the past year or so.
I recommend the Cat Genie, It self empties and washes itself and the litter
Maria Z says
Then look at all the fraud that goes on “Go Fund Me”.
Pam Roth says
Hooboy….On a funny, laughing at myself note, I bought a ‘Donny and Bourke’ Disney bag on FB For 50.00….without reading the reviews. After a month I just took it as lesson learned, and goodbye to the money. 2 months later, the bag arrived! It’s pretty, and fell apart after 4 months…lol…sorry you had that experience.
I hope your fur baby isn’t like my neighbors. What goes up doesn’t always come down without the assistance of the fire department. 4 days in our oak tree
I’ve been in bankruptcy law for about ten years. Seven (ish?) years ago we filed for a guy who had a Kickstarter for a modification for clips on AR-15s. I’m fairly gun ignorant, so sorry if that doesn’t make much sense?
We had to list as creditors on his bankruptcy every single person who backed it in Kickstarter, his creditor list filled a three inch three ring binder, and overflowed into a second one. It was a NIGHTMARE. All of these people called our office madder than hell for months. Which, I get. But. Try not to scream at the paralegal and threaten to drive to my office with your guns??
All that to say you are not the first, and I hope you don’t beat yourself up too badly… And thank you for not storming Kickstarter, because it’s always us lowly peons that catch the brunt, not the guy on the top!
A scam targeted (Ilona, see what I did there) at AR-15 owners, especially those who feel the standard magazines need fixin, seems short-sighted. As you were involved in his defense, did it seem to you that he intended to defraud them or was he simply unable to provide what he promised?
A little bit of both. He had a business partner, and blamed it all on him. But they always do….
I think he had good intentions initially but quickly got in over his head. But. He did keep collecting people’s money after he knew he couldn’t deliver. The “scope” of the operation was beyond his “range”.
…. i see what you did there….
I’ve had good luck so far with Kickstarter, but I also made myself a rule that if I wasn’t willing to wave goodbye to that money forever, I’d better not be putting it on a Kickstarter pledge. Which isn’t to say that I wouldn’t try to get my money back if I were to truly be defrauded, as is the case in your situation; but it’s always a gamble. Even if I get what I paid for… will it be as cool as it seemed like it would be? (thus far my most disappointing Kickstarter I’ve backed and received was a board game. It’s beautiful, it looks fun to me, it’s science geeky… and nobody will play with me)
Moderator R says
Mine was this flavoured cup. You drink plain water but you smell coca cola or orange etc, so your brain is tricked that you’re having an exciting drink- but no calories! Yeah, no. Disappointing, in the rubbish it went.
lmao. This made me think of scratch ‘n sniff stickers. Hope that wasn’t the extent of their efforts!
There are several items I’ve backed on Kickstarter, a few games, and a book. And to date I’ve only received two items of the lot. For the book, I’ve gone back and forth with the creator for years and still nothing. He quit responding to me. So, I have a strict no more Kickstarters rule. It’s too bad some people are just shameless.
My credit card refunded my money when I got caught up in a kickstarter scam ????
Christina Hanley says
I’m sure you’ll read this a bazillion times (sorry) but just want to make sure its said.
Your money is typically protected if you used a credit card or even PayPal to process the transaction. You made the donation to Kickstarter with the understanding you would be getting a specific product and you did not receive it.
Dispute it with your card or your bank and you should be entitled to the funds back.
Ps I work at a bank and have several years of experience in the fraud division- not to mention my own personal shopaholic experiences with sketchy sites. If there’s anything I can do to help let me know.
I was scammed $60 on a phone charger bank. So I have decided not to order anything in the future unless it’s from a retailer I am familiar with and ordered from before
I’m sorry to hear that you lost at the Kickstarter casino. I gambled with my brother’s money and we also lost.
However, we did manage to pay for bi-monthly serial fiction that chronicles unlikely adventures / delays in creating and/or shipping the product.
Unfortunately, the original writing team appears to have quit. The updates for the last year have been pretty lackluster and unimaginative. I was hoping they might enjoy their work enough to continue even though no one is paying them anymore.
Inga Abel says
I love Tunas little tail flick and her head turning away! It‘s like: „Speak To The Tail!“ ????????????!
Greets from Switzerland
When my cats sits high in a tree and cries I think she is encouraging me to try climbing it as well. Then she cries at me which really translates into ridicule at my sloppy climbing skills.
Beware, Tuna might have the same plan.
I’ve only backed the one Kickstarter that I think was not completed yet after quite a few years, not because it was a scam but because the artist running it got completely bowled over by the success of the campaign and physically can’t draw any faster than he does ????♀️ I occasionally still get an update so I know he’s still working away at it because he is so conscientious, but I’m pretty sure that by now it’s cost him about three times the money he collected with it… So it’s almost more about me feeling guilty for causing him all this stress ????????
I think I backed the same guy. LOL
That sucks. I’ve gotten to the point I never back anything that involves electronics or moving parts. Either fraud or simply underestimating costs has done in too many. I’m also leery of any KS that has shipping included in the price. It’s a red flag that they don’t know how often that’ll gobble up their funds when there’s (surprise!) a shipping rate hike or their thing weighs more than expected.
I’ve become quite the internet cynic as a result. Oh well.
Tuna looks like they’re having a grand time up there.
Tuna in a Tree needs to be the name of an album or band. Lol. He is so fluffy!!! Sorry about the cat box scam. Hopefully you can get your money back soon.
yeah! they can have a hit single on the Cat Channel – “Tuna’s Revenge: Up You, Kickstarter!” 😀
As I recall, Tuna is a girl cat. At 20 pounds, she is a little bit larger than most female Maine Coons. (Which is what she obviously is.)
If she were male, she’d be at least 10 pounds heavier, possibly as much as 40 pounds of muscular tom cat.
Maine Coons are the Saint Bernards of cats. They are a bit larger to start with, but mostly they just keep growing. Often males keep growing until they are 3 years old.
Well if this is a clear case of fraud. FCC should be notified and your credit card company. The fraudsters might be using personal info as part of ID theft or selling info. I get tons of junk mail about male enhancements and Beautiful women when I fill out stuff on Facebook that I have email address specific for free info or Buy Now sites asking for an email address or newsletter sign ups.
Tuna is gorgeous. Sometimes you just take the chance in life. Sorry you got burned but glad everyone is okay. Thanks for sharing. Have fun watching all the twitteries in the tree, Tuna-cat!
Oh Tuna, you are so adorably you.
I am sorry about Kickstarter. this happened to me once a long time ago and since then, no more me investing like that. Lesson learned.
I do think this is pretty poor business practice of Kickstarter though
Damn! I’m sorry to hear that you, too, have become a victim of a fraudulent Kickstarter campaign.
In 2018, I and around 3600 other backers backed an automatic litter box called Petato (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/petato/footloose-next-gen-automatic-and-health-tracking-c/description).
To date, despite numerous attempts to contact the company, no one has received the litter box.
Instead, the company has gone MIA. They were selling the litter box on a Chinese sales site, Taobao, but it seems that they’ve gone bankrupt there, too.
Attempts to get Kickstarter to reimburse the backers always end in automatic replies with more or less the same tenor: “f…k off…”
Kickstarter disavows any responsibility. This is their reply to each and any attempt to get them to reimburse us:
Feb 25, 6:39 PM EST
Thank you for following up with us about the status of this project. I’m sorry you’ve been experiencing these issues with communication.
We’ve reached out to the creator to remind them of their obligation to communicate with you and your fellow backers, and passed along your concerns. I’m as frustrated as you that you haven’t heard from the creator yet — it’s their responsibility to communicate and complete the project as promised.
Trust is integral part of that relationship between creators and backers. Although we are unable to offer refunds on projects, we are constantly working to improve the vetting process for creators and make sure Kickstarter is a beneficial place for both the creator and backer.
I really appreciate you sharing your experience — it will help grow and shape our community moving forward, a community I hope you’ll continue to be a member of in the future.
Thank you again and I hope this issue is resolved soon.
Best bet: get your charge reversed, immediately, if you still can. Talk to your bank about it. You will *not* get any help or reimbursement from Kickstarter, no matter how often you point out their own policies to them and how they and the creator are failing to live up to them.
I’ve reported Kickstarter to the Better Business Bureau. It won’t change anything, but maybe someone somewhere will finally wake up and get on Kickstarter’s case for their fraudulent business practices.
As for me, I will *never* back another project on Kickstarter unless I know the creator more or less personally. Except for that, Kickstarter has become a no-go for me.
I hope you get your money back! I’m sorry you had to go through that… ;__;
Thank you for the PSA! Makes me even more cognizant that platforms like GoFundMe and Kickstarter all need more research before any money parts with me. Scams are so real looking nowadays.
My sympathies about the scammers. Every now and again, even the wariest person slips. On the whole, my Kickstarter experience has been okay, though I don’t back a lot of projects.
I saw the “other product” on Amazon and was hopeful, but decided my Maine Coon was too big to use it comfortably. It’s too much money to buy on the off chance that one of the cats might like it.
Question – is “litter robot” similar to a “Cat Genie”? If so, I recommend it, though Tuna may be too large to use it easily. My two were okay, until Brandark grew too big and decided to start going elsewhere. Of course, his younger “cousin” Bahzell followed suit. If a regular box was available, forget the Cat Genie.
I still have it. Maybe I’ll find someone who needs it.
Love the names of your cats! ????
Patti in Ohio says
Nice to know someone else likes Weber’s Oath of Swords series. I applaud your eclectic taste in books!
My son-in-law screamed “You didn’t!” when he heard. My reply was “Look at those ears. What else could I do?”
Red harlequin is Brandark, all white is Bahzell. I got the personalities right, too. Brandark was too charming to believe…
Litter Robot spins perpendicularly and sifts the poop into a receptacle for emptying.
Cat Genie spins horizontally to sift out the poop, but it’s also connected to the toilet so it washes the “litter” and liquifys the poop to flush it in the toilet automatically.
Hannah Lipsky says
Hi! I am a huge fan and my day job is drafting patents!
While this is probably a scam, information or lack of information about a patent is not at all useful in determining that. There’s several reasons why:
1. Filing patents is VERY expensive. It’s not affordable for most Kickstarter creators. The actual filing fees are several hundred dollars, plus fees each time an Examiner touches it, and that’s if you DIY, which is not recommended – a patent is only as good as its drafter. If you want a professional to draft it, the cost easily eclipses most Kickstarter funding goals.
2. Filing patents is not useful for most Kickstarter creators. Unless they have the money to pay a lawyer to sue someone who violates their patent or they have a solid plan to sell their invention to a big company, having a patent will not help them.
3. China barely even pretends to care about their own patents, let alone US patents. Even if this were patented, it would not prevent someone on Alibaba from copying it.
I understand that what you are saying might be true, but this doesn’t help me in any way. I want either the product or a refund, and it’s frustrating that the focus seems to have shifted from “Hey, these guys are demanding more money and not delivering” to “They might be a little Kickstarter company who is being taken advantage of by a Chinese supplier.”
Hannah Lipsky says
My money is on it being a scam. It’s very unlikely that multiple sellers on Alibaba all somehow managed to get ahold of the specifications to make this thing before it’s even publicly available and then created their own versions and took their own photos. Especially since creating a Kickstarter to sell a thing that exists on Alibaba is a well-known and unfortunately common scam. I should probably add “search the product on Alibaba” to my own list of Kickstarter due diligence steps.
It is very frustrating. Unfortunately that just seems to be how it works with Kickstarter. You’re always taking a gamble, both that the person you’re backing is operating in good faith and that they are actually competent to deliver the thing they’re promising.
I’m not aware of any cases where even proven scammers on Kickstarter had to return the money – the best you can hope for is your credit card company reverses the charge, but if you’ve already tried that, you might be out of luck.
Hannah, on a completely unrelated note – you work drafting patents. That must be an amazingly interesting job. I am so curious now.
Hannah Lipsky says
It is fascinating in some ways and very dry in others. I’d be happy to geek out about it with you! You’re welcome to email me if you’d like.
I usually tell people my job is translating technical gibberish into legal gibberish. Most of the patents I draft are for hardware or software. People tend to think of inventions as the lightbulb or the cotton gin, but in a lot of cases, they’re incremental improvements on existing technology. So think less, “I have invented anti-virus software” and more, “anti-virus software, but for your toaster.” (This was the first patent I ever drafted.)
Were they trying to protect the toaster from being an entry point into the smart home network? If so, I am so stealing this, because “they hacked his home through his toaster” is an awesome line.
Hannah Lipsky says
Yup! I’ve worked on a slew of patents aimed at solving the problem of having wildly insecure smart home devices that can get infected and then infect all the devices you actually care about. I can talk about them now since they were long enough ago that they’ve seen been allowed and now anyone can find them on Google patent search. I try to work the phrase “malicious toaster” into as many of my patents as I can, in honor of that very first patent.
I bet IP law in the Hidden Legacy setting is just wild. I’m sure there’s an entire art unit at the Patent Office for each branch of magic. “No no, you see, ours is about animating trees for home defense. The cited art is clearly about animating shrubbery to finish landscaping projects more efficiently. That’s entirely different.”
I love the idea of animated defence trees!
Hannah this is such a hoot, I can’t wait to see it show up in HL! Thanks for the smiles.
Oh! If you can animate trees you can animate the toaster too and give a whole new meaning to “malicious toaster”! Thanks for cheering my day! This is why I love the BDH. Everyone is so interesting and nice.
Just imagine the toasters in Linus Duncan’s kitchen.
This is so cool!
Love learning about this – thanks for sharing Hannah!
I can totally see IP law in Hidden Legacy. Hehehe.
As one of those techie people who likes the idea of smart devices but not the lack of security, Thank You! I’m really not sure I need a smart washer, oven, or dishwasher. So I wait for gadget creators to care about malicious toasters which could be set to toast for 10h and burn down my kitchen.
It’s like the entry point the ferrets took through the vents with no pressure sensors… maybe Bug or hacks through someone’s toaster.
First thing I thought of. Pressure sensors in dryer vents!
There was a casino recently that got hacked through their smart aquarium.
Annapolis Jen says
Hi Hannah I am an examiner and a huge IA fan too!
You are exactly right about so much and a great writer! You made our tedious world seem so much more exciting and relatable. Hmm how about a book about an examiner and drafter who team up to save the world from malicious toasters?? ????
Hannah Lipsky says
Always nice to know there’s humans on the other side of the process! With how formal we all have to be on calls, you can forget sometimes, you know? Hopefully the examiners who read my patents enjoy the small jokes I manage to sneak in from time to time.
I’m down to save the world from malicious toasters!
Annapolis jen says
Not my art (no conflicts) so would love to chat about IP & or IA ????
evil [underscore] toasters[at]yahoo
I’m so sorry you guys got scammed. Its hard to tell these days.
But Tuna looks absolutely regal and happy in the tree. Hope she got down ok.
I have backed two campaigns- one on indiegogo and one on kickstarter. The indiegogo was late, but eventually came and the company even replaced it when part of the stitching came apart. Kickstarter: I backed a bluetooth mic called hooke lav. The owner went and sold the company after getting the $$$ from kickstarter. We all got our money back after he promised refunds but the backer comments pointed out EVERY way he violated policies. After that experience, I cancelled something else I already backed. Kickstarter had too many loopholes to take the money and run.
Long story short. They may ask you for more money ONLY for shipping. That is not a violation of kickstarters policies. (They can also charge new backers more- if they are still taking pledges, check to see if they updated the shipping costs for the new pledge, if they didn’t that is reportable.) They cannot tack on an extra charge if they cannot be reached or do not provide updates. This link below outlines what to do if they are unresponsive and ghost the backer community and ask for more money.
I would think that if they want more for shipping and it is unreasonable, you should be able to cancel your pledge rather than pay the additional money. Until a platform has that policy, I won’t be pledging again. I hope Tuna gets her litter box or you get your $$$ back. ❤️https://help.kickstarter.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005126914-What-if-something-goes-wrong-after-a-project-is-successfully-funded-
Missed the update about them being contacted already. ????????♀️
Because you can’t get in touch with them and that is a violation of policy, use that as a reason to charge back with your bank. If Kickstarter can’t hold creators accountable for violating their own policies, then the banks can try to hold kickstarter accountable for allowing the fraud to continue.
Have a Kickstarter electric spinning wheel currently on a cargo ship arriving in Boston any day now. The designer/inventor has a FB page, Ravelry group and lots of videos describing the design process and asking for feedback. This project has been a pleasure to back. Would hate to lose the ability to back creative people like him in the future because of scammers. I hope Kickstarter gets it’s act together but in the meantime we all need to do our research. My son has the litter robot for his 3 indoor cats.
Maurice is awesome, I have one of his previous gen spinners and can’t wait for this one to arrive!
So very sorry about the ripoff
My very first kickstarter was backing a dude making an animated short film of Neil Gaiman’s Cat shortstory. I forget the name. Gaiman backed this. He made over 150k, maybe 200K?. That was….9 years ago? The guy still makes comments once a year that he is still working on it.
That cat kills me he’s so huge.
Athena Knight says
I had a similar issue with Indiegogo where I didn’t get the item I’d back at all! After 18 months of emails, phone calls, tweets and Facebook complaints I finally received a product that looked similar but not the same as what I’d backed.
Never trust the sites again!
Thank you for sharing. I pride myself on being the sort of person who doesn’t fall for scams, and I get the feeling you both do too. We all fall for one eventually, we do. For me it was one of those email things where I thought it was my boss’s boss and it wouldn’t be completely out of character for him to ask me to buy gift cards… luckily I caught on before money was spent. Embarrassing to be caught up in something at work. Made me look really dumb to the top brass. Ah well… as long as there are people there will be scammers. I don’t work there anymore but will always remember being the one who almost fell for that one.
Call me crazy, but the most exciting thing about this post for me was that I got to hear a lovely Russian accent! I have wondered about accents… My dad came to the US for college from Ghana, and his Ghanian accent remains strong at 80+ years of age. I did the same thing my dad did at same age, and unless I’m mad you won’t know I grew up in Ghana from my accent.
Sorry you got scammed though. Happens to the best of us.
We live and learn. I can’t say I enjoy cleaning the litter box either. My two aren’t very fussy and are happy with a once a week cleaning. I put the litter box into a large clear tote and fill the box up with lots of litter. They can sling litter all over and it’s still inside the tote. I just take the box out and tip the tote over and dump the litter back into the litter box. I use Dr. Elsey litter and it’s the best I’ve found, no dust and liquids set up which makes for easy sifting.
Has anyone tried Kumihimo? I just picked up a starter set and looking forward to using it. I thought it might be something I can take to work and do something useful when I’m not busy. Once they start calling bingo I don’t have much to do.
Margaret K says
I’ve done kumihimo – mainly to teach my grandkids. Would rather knit, myself. Here’s a tip site with many, many tips, including how to figure out where you stopped when you have forgotten. Scroll down for that one. The author seems to work mainly with beads on cords, so the first tips are all about how to do kumihimo with beads
Rachel Rawlings says
I picked it up about 2 years ago 2 looms and a few kits for making necklaces. Made two necklaces which were well received as Christmas gifts. Once you learn, it’s pretty easy and doesn’t require much attention…lots of searchable patterns. I’m doing one using embroidery floss and beads now. Local craft store has decent supply of cord, but I find i prefer cotton embroidery floss (ie DMC). I’m going to try some pearl crochet thread left over from another project and see how that turns out.
The only two things I backed on kick-starter I never received nor did I receive a refund. I am never participating in a kickstarter ever again. (one was even a local thing!!).
I have actually had really good luck but have only purchased art books. I love dragons of Wales and a couple of other artists I found there. This is such an awful scam 🙁
This is really upsetting :(. Mostly that Kickstarter and indiegogo aren’t doing anything 🙁
Yikes about the Catson, but did Tuna finally come down?
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews, for the information. Hmm. Time to involve your family lawyer it sounds like. Or if one of kids is taking a legal class where they investigate consumer complaints… although that may just be law school. Sometimes there is Nothing they can do but other times they can. But at least you let BDH know that this is a scam. Thank you for that.
Jupiter likes the house roof because she can not climb back down trees due to de clawing accident before Titan rescued her. After she watches sun rise she comes thumping down ladder from roof every morning. Cats are amazing.
Jenn D. says
This was my Kickstarter scam: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1585372093/globe-chesstm-spherical-chess-set-fully-playable.
Estimated delivery date of January 2018. Last update from the creator in October 2019. No product, no word, no money back. And Kickstarter absolutely does not give one single f***. Their help center gives lots of excuses as to why a creator might drop off the face of the planet, and says their support team “may be able to send a message to the creator, as an extra way of reminding them to follow up.” That’s it. That’s what they’re willing to do (and not even that, in this particular case with the chess set).
It was less than $100 but it was a gift for my son who waited patiently for more than a year beyond the estimated delivery date before giving up and asking if he could get a different gift. Scammers are such assholes. I hate hate freaking hate people who take advantage of others.
I’m sorry you had a similar experience. It sucks. I haven’t given up on Kickstarter, but I am a lot more cautious about what I will back these days.
My daughter brought something similar for her cat Luna for Christmas…
A very fancy litter box that spins and cleans itself ….
Luna refuses to go in and do her business…
You can lead a cat to the litter box but can’t make it …
Thanks for the heads up about Kickstarter.
Kickstarter always seemed fishy to me. There are NO guarantees, what even is that? I’ve ordered (excuse me ‘backed’) two things (both for pets). One was a pet ‘activity tracker’, didn’t really do much at all but wasn’t too expensive so okay. The other was our Swift Paws which is a home lure course. I ordered Swift Paws late so it was more expensive (but cheaper than full production) but it was already almost fully developed. My dog LOVES her swift paws, it is amazing. Do I trust kickstarter, still not really.
Patricia Sparrazza says
I helped fund a clear mask w/ a HEPA filter on Indiegogo at the start of all this pandemic craziness b/c I have a cousin who’s deaf & you can’t read lips thru these cloth & paper masks & I work in a hospital. It took 10 months but it finally arrived. Like you, I had forgotten about it for 6 months but the good news was they didn’t forget about me since it was about $180 for 2 masks (for me & my husb). They look like the oxygen masks you see people wear. Would I do something like this again? Probably not, but I’m glad I have it & people at work think it’s really cool. The weird thing is I’ve had 2 patients since I ordered it who were hearing impaired that really needed to be able to read lips but it hadn’t come in yet….
Have been scammed on Kickstarter once, too – last time I used it…
Tuna: “silly hooman. I must be closer to the sun to bask in the glorious rays.”
Welcome to the ‘Yeah, I fell for that’ Club. Between Kickstarter and Indiegogo I’m out $600+ and, with the exception of two Kickstarter creators who I will continue to support, will never buy into any other ‘support my crap’ campaign again.
Oh dang, that sucks. I saw this one and was thinking about backing it myself, because my cat, Emperor Tiberius, is spoiled rotten. Kinda glad I didn’t. Sorry you got scammed.
Moderator R says
Emperor Tiberius hehe :D. Is he a gloomy cat?
“my cat, Emperor Tiberius, is spoiled rotten”
With a name like that? You don’t say. 😉
Judy Schultheis says
I’ve done a Kickstarter thing twice. Once because I knew one of the people involved. Both times I – eventually – got what I paid for.
Worth the money, maybe. Worth the money and aggravation, no way in hell!
Jamie More says
If you’re looking for a great auto cat box, get a Cat Genie. We’ve had ours for 5 years with 3-4 cats. Nearly maintenance free. Best money I’ve spent in years.
I’ve supported (oof) >200 kickstarters basically since they started up. But a lot are book related. EBook anthologies are my Kickstarter kryponite, and are generally successful at providing me a book for 10-20. There’s a few editors whose books I will back every time. Big ticket items? I’m less likely to jump in. Genuinely unique products sometimes the designer just gets way past reality. I need to see prototypes and mfg plan. Someone above mentioned an espinner and I think I backed the same one, the designer has previous successful campaigns AND happy customers (I’ve seena previous iteration of this in person).
Sorry you got scammed though, it really sucks.
I really hate the “We’re just the intermediary” BS that all these sites seem to rely on. You’re just the intermediary? Why does the stock market think your company is worth billions if you’re not actually DOING anything? (See: Instacart/Uber/Lyft/etc.). The fact that they won’t help you just makes the whole thing worse. I get that Kickstarter might not be able to make the product arrive, but they can take the money back – which, of course, they won’t, because then they’d have to give up their share.
I will admit that I’m that person who’s actually gotten everything they ordered off Kickstarter – but that’s probably because I’ve only ‘backed’ either what were basically sure bets (Levar Burton’s Reading website), products by producers I know and trust to produce (Webcomics turned into books, and then original works by the same artists), or products where the team has already produced and therefore is more likely to produce again (some fidgets for my nephew, art, things like that).
The whole thing is incredibly frustrating, and I’m sorry you got taken advantage of – and I’m doubly sorry Kickstarter won’t help. I understand not wanting to weaponize the BDH, and I really respect that position…even if we’d probably enjoy it!
Laura C says
I was scammed too; for Lily, the device to help learning Chinese easier. There are lawsuits over the scam. I have one more campaign to get through for my e-bike from Denmark which should have arrived last August but COVID happened. The US bikes are now in a warehouse in Long Beach, CA and *should* be delivered by early April; about 12 months after ordered/backed. I will never back a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project again.
I am sorry you were scammed as well.
Tuna is too cute!! Scares the bejeebus out of me when they go that high ????
I had a positive experience. I donated to some producers for the Greg Louganis documentary to be completed and they kept in constant contact on the progress. I received the link to the finished product before it was released to the public. Also on a tracking device for my keys but it ended up sucking. ????
The best powered litter box is the Litter Robot. I have one and love it.
FWIW I’ve had several great experiences on Kickstarter, and a few not so great. Its definitely a risk, but sometimes it worth it.
I really, really wanted the Bird Buddy I saw on Kickstarter. It’s a bird feeder with like a Ring doorbell camera that takes pictures of the birds that visit and supposedly identifies them and sends an alert to your phone, but after a couple hours of day dreaming, I decided sending $250 to some guys in Serbia wasn’t the smartest move and that if they ever made it for real I could buy it on Amazon someday.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
My friend set a little trailcam up in his bird feeder. He also set up a wifi web cam in his bird houses… it’s pretty cool… I should tell him he could market them 🙂
Tuna is so awesome!!! Sorry about the Kickstarter — so frustrating. We have wild turkeys in our yard and our cat (one of three) got to play mini lion at the window lol
That’s terrible. I’ve never backed a Kickstart, though it always seemed to me difficult to tell real from scams like on gofundme. Though I ran into an ad for a “tentacle kitty” stuffed plush on kickstarter yesterday that made me laugh. Sometimes the algorithms amaze me. So if you feel adventurous again, you can get a stuffed octopus looking cat entry level at $7.
Tatiana Giberson says
I have nothing to say about Kickstarter, but as a multi cat household we splurged on a Litter Robot, and it’s been amazing. Like, life changing amazing. And the litter savings really add up very fast. I’d say it pays for itself in about a year or so.
I commiserate with you! My husband lost $400+ backing a kickstarter for the “Coolest” cooler. I told him not to back it, but he thought it was the best idea ever. The manufacturer of this product ended up selling product on Amazon before he sent anything to any of the backers. Almost none of the backers have received anything, and it’s just a loss.
My takeaway from this is – if it is a large amount of money, check to see if they did any other campaigns and were they successful, the history of the “company” and if there are already products like this. I have backed some successful campaigns with great products, but a couple have busted. Lesson learned. Most of the time I’ll wait to see if they complete it and make it a real product for people to purchase later.
Kickstarter’s ToS makes it seem like prime real estate for fraudulent behaviour.
I don’t know if they already have this, but the crowdfunding platforms should let people review the outcomes of the projects they back since nobody wants to back a project that can’t be delivered/where people just take the money and run.
Preferably it’d be cross-platform, so certain groups of individuals can’t pull the same stunt in multple channels.
Side note: currently re-listening to Magic Strikes for the nth time and it hasn’t failed to delight me yet.
Mary Cruickshank-Peed says
Yeah, got scammed by Kickstarter twice. Fool me once, etc. Now when I feel like looking on Kickstarter, I go put the money on Kiva. I’ve yet to have a loan default there. I don’t get cool stuff, but at least I feel like I’m helping someone. (I have friends who do lots of Kickstarters and they nearly always get what they invested in, in the end. I dunno if I’m unlucky or just not very observant… )
Mary Beth says
I learned my lesson with fancy cat boxes when we bought two automated boxes. The kitty would do business and as soon as they leave the box, it scooped all into a little plastic bin.
Well, my four kitties grew mesmerized by the mechanism.
Within a day, both were burnt out, and we had little bins full of squeaky toys, pom poms, milk rings, and one demented goof threw in a sock.
It was an expensive mess. After that, we stuck to the old fashioned way.
I had a cat get pissed at an electronic kitty litter box dare touching its litter. It attacked it and chewed through the scooper power cabling – twice.
At least Brandark only played in the rinse water in the Cat Genie…
Wow. Consider me warned. My Dad got amazingness w 3 Misen kickstarters for knives, carbon steel pans and non stick pans but it’s good to know that this is not always the case. Fun times. I am so, so sorry.
Barbara Kerecz says
Wait, he actually got his pans? And he’s satisfied? I’m still waiting for the pans, no sign of delivery anytime soon.
I backed a number of projects on KS and received everything I backed. I stopped KS a while back though – I had trouble logging in and when I clicked the reset your password nothing happened. KS support was useless. I eventually remembered my password, got back in, deleted my account and nothing since.
It is a buyer beware scenario though. Sorry to hear of you got scammed.
Tuna is so cute – and that would be an easy tree for a cat to get down 🙂
Oh, I think I saw something similar (same concept, different design) on a Facebook advertising sometimes ago.
I was tempted, but ignored it in the end.
It wasn’t on kickstarter.
At first I was very worried, but ended up backing the making of a coloring book by an artist I really, really liked. It went well if not perfect: I got a friend to back the project too, so we could share shipping (overseas is quite high) but to do that the artist said I should pledge for 1 copy, then use the add-ons after the campaign ended to add a second copy.
I purposely asked if the extras (postcards and bookmarks and so on) were included in both copies and they answered positively.
Guess who didn’t receive 2 copies of everything?
I backed another couple of artbook projects, one of which from an established publishing house, another from a self-publishing comic author I met at a convention, and luckily all went well.
The last one ended on March 4th and is expected to ship in June: fingers crossed!
Tuna in the tree looks like Queen of the Jungle! ????????
Ouch. That hurts, I have heard of issues. Personally I haven’t had a problem, but I normally only back people/businesses I already know due to these type of stories. Sending sympathy and wishing you luck on getting the product or the refund.
Man this reminds me so much of Etsy.
I was searching for a cool birdfeeder, and some of these designs looked familiar. Often seeing the same design from all these different vendors. So I go on Michael’s Crafts website and realize that Michaels sells the same items, but for half the price.
So it seems that just like Kickstarter, people are buying in bulk from Alibaba or Michaels or whatever and passing these off as their very own “crafts” on Etsy, even shamelessly adding a little fake blurb about how they created their ‘design’ with a bit o’ hard work and creativity. I’ve reported them but don’t know what ended up happening.
Now I make sure to look through the whole range of products offered by individual Etsy vendors, to see if they actually have a certain style and theme to their products, and not just a hodgepodge of items they’re trying to re-sell.
We’ve all been scammed. The trick is not to be scammed twice, so thanks for the heads up.
We had a rotating kitty litter box that kinda looked like what you wanted. I think it was called litterbot or litterrobot. I can’t remember. Anyways, it was round, it rotated to empty kitty litter. It had to be plugged in or used batteries if not plugged in. And it cost around $200-300 if I remember correctly. And our cats refused to use it. Well, one cat used it. The other two cats refused. Big waste of money. I think I tossed it in trash year before last. That’s the thing about stuff like that, unless your cats are super helpful, you can’t count on them to oblige you. And I have never met a cat that is super helpful. In my opinion, those automatic kitty litter things are just a fantasy, something to day dream about, but not realistic. The automatic robotic vacuum things tho, those are helpful. Still need to vacuum on your own, but it cuts down on the need.
Ms. Kim says
I personally like Krystal liter, even though its $13 for 1 bag, 1 cat, 1 month.
It works and there is no smell.
If you used a credit card you can get a refund through your credit company.
Moderator R says
Unfortunately, as Ilona updated above, because the Kickstarter’s TOS make it an investment rather than a purchase, that course is not proving to be successful 🙁 . You can’t get money back on a failed investment.
Jane Mayhugh says
So sorry that happened to you. Had similar things happen. Mostly feel bad abouttrusting someone and they let you down. Also feeling stupid that I fell for it. Thanks for the warning and sharing Tuna.Tuna is mischievous and cute.
JoAnne K says
I helped print a book on Kickstarter on fairies and loved the experience. Sorry that you got scammed. I have also noticed on Facebook that there are lots of clothing and cosmetics that are being sold under more than one company name. I learned to check as I purchased a dress and top that looked nothing like the photos and came from China when they arrived. NOT where the co said they were from. It was then that I noticed several companies selling the same thing.
My lesson learned is to do more background checks and see where “contact us” leads before purchasing.
I always try to help the small business but I feel I shouldn’t have to do background checks. I guess it’s the result of easy internet and people wanting something without waiting.
Plus, the bad guy figuring out how to get money easy.
Barbara Kerecz says
I’m having the same issues with Misen on Indiegogo. Shipping should have started in August, I still don’t have my items, the whole thing seems like a scam and no chance to get my money back. *sigh* Lesson learned.
Donna A says
On a somewhat tangential line we have AliExpress in the UK which is basically the same as Alibaba and I MISS IT SO MUCH!!! Damn you Brexit, where is all my cheap Chinese stuff, WHERE IS IT?!!!! Bloody customs and vat and grrrr….
The Good e-Reader scam was particularly harsh, started life as e-book pirates then upped their game to a indiegogo scam.
Had so much success they did it again on kickstarter.
Now they just get by selling review units and standard e-readers way, way above MSRP.
I got burned twice on kickstarter. I’m done with it.
If you still want to try out the magic ball, Chewy has an actual return policy.
I feel bad for you Ilona, unfortunately you are not alone in being abused by a Kickstarter. Kickstarter is really inconsistent as to whether or not you will get what you pay for and the management of Kickstarter passes the buck to the Product Developer and takes no responsibility for the projects they push.
My first Kickstarter did great – a little girl made something to help people with Parkinsons Disease and with her father’s help got it produced in China. They gave updates and the process was fairly smooth. I got the item for my friend in a timely fashion. And it is all that cute little girl’s fault that I got sucked into the dysfunctional world that is Kickstarter.
Another kickstarter I was involved with treated the backers as badly as you were treated. The product was on Amazon before they sent anything to their backers. They even gave out internet coupons so it cost less than what the backers paid to develop the product so not only did they get them before we did, they got it cheaper.
My last and final Kickstarter was a 3 year nightmare. A teenager could have done a better editing job. Shipping was way overpriced. It was a book, it qualified for media mail – and yet they told us shipping prices had gone way up since they’d priced it. Some people who bought packages that included things other than just the book were held up for shipping costs that were 3x the cost of the book itself. None of us actually expected we’d ever see a book after the long drawn out drama, but it did come and I swore I’d never do a Kickstarter again.
Patricia Schlorke says
????♀️ to the Kickstarter crap.
Tuna looks like she’s the empress of all she serveys sitting on that tree branch. I loved the tail swishing. ????
I had a similar failed Kickstarter fraud over a backpack.
I lodged a claim with my bank/credit card and they did issue me with a refund (Australian bank). No back and forth with the bank to justify it, they just credited me back.
My argument being it wasn’t a failed project it was a fraudulent one. Like yours the item existed and was found on a silimar Chinese website.
Worth a try anyway.
ouch. My son has one of these for his 2 cats: https://smile.amazon.com/PetSafe-ScoopFree-Covered-Cleaning-Litter/dp/B087C7K4CP/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=cat+hands+free+system&qid=1616629990&sr=8-14
He loves it…and if you’re a prime member hey…free shipping! I’ve veered away from sites like kickstarter because there just isn’t enough protection for the consumer. If a product is THAT good, wouldn’t it attract venture capital?
(love to hear the door story….) haha
I bought a toilet riser for my mother and only realized afterward that it was coming from China. After waiting months “because of COVID”, I contacted Paypal and asked for a refund. Provided them emails showing I tried to work it out with seller. After a couple of months waiting on Paypal, they sent me a message saying the seller had provided sufficient information indicating that I had received the item I ordered. Never let me respond that I still had not received the item, they didn’t respond to my requests to be able to dispute their findings. Nothing. I closed out the Paypal account. I have no desire to support businesses that can’t even allow you to respond. I didn’t lose as much as you, just $50+, but my dollars are hard come by, as we know yours are too. So sorry this happened to you. Hope it can be resolved and you can recoup your loss. BTW, Tuna is so stinking cute!!!! Thanks for sharing the pic!
I once supported a Kickstarter and it was going well. Then I saw an update that said they had sent the plans for the product to be built in China. Six months before they ever received and shipped their product, as promised, Alibaba and Aliexpress were selling it through dozens of sellers at cut rate prices. The big difference is they always kept in touch with updates, not just vanish without a trace.
On the opposite side, my wife has found beautiful “hand made” items on Etsy, only for me to show her the identical items for sale in China for a tenth of the price.
I’m leaning toward a scam in your case.
I feel your pain, I backed an embroidery company on Kickstarter years ago, pledging money to help them buy more machines so they could take their business to the next level. Rewards for the level I pledge was to get an embroidered zip up sweatshirt. Once they had the money, they never fulfilled the rewards, repeated comments, contacts, etc. through and to Kickstarter and the embroidery company’s Facebook received zero responses. Needless to say however many years later I never did receive the reward and I now do any giving of that sort to specific creators on patreon. At least there I’m giving to creators that I know and have consumed their output (podcasts and art) through other methods first.
Thank you for the warning about Catson!
I’m sorry you got burned. 🙁
Yeah, I won’t back kickstarter anymore after buying a CD and never receiving it. First experience trying it was negative, so…
Jeffrey F. Smith says
I’m so sorry that you and the people down the comments had such bad experiences with Kickstarter. Not everyone on it is a scammer and not every failure is deliberate. I’ve looked at five of them considering backing them. Two were successful, one I declined to back and was glad I didn’t, and two I backed that didn’t earn out that returned my money. The one I declined to back was for a set of fandom statues for a fantasy series I read and as I researched it realized it was not backed by the author, his people, or his publisher. They would have been a complete scam since the backers never got their money back. The two successful ones were challenge coin sets for two military science fiction series I have read and reread. Both sets are lovely and I carry one out of one set or the other everyday. The two that failed were both for illustrated editions of self published books I’ve enjoyed reading. Unfortunately the writers both underestimated their fandoms and they didn’t earn out. But they were honest enough to return our money.
Oh Tuna! You are so gorgeous up there in your glorious tree.
I have backed something on Kickstarter for my dog…a tracking device. its the first time I have backed anything. I hope it is not the dog version of Catson!
Tuna reminds me of Olasard Ripper of Kickstarter Souls
Bummer! I’m seriously sorry to hear this! I have not backed anything very recently, but I have backed a couple products in the past and received beautiful and useful products in return. And boy, howdy, both those companies sent out what can only be called a multitude of updates between the payment date and the shipping date. Given your experience, I will very carefully research any future projects! I hadn’t even thought about fraud, to be honest. Thank you for the wake up call.
You left off the most critical item—what happened with Tuna???
We invested some money into a startup my husband was working at about 20 years ago $600.00. About a year later the company went out of business. I went and bought a frame for the certificate they had given us because it became our most expensive piece of art that we owned for a long time.
However, our son donated to a Kickstarter for a game in high school, it took about four years or so to develop and he got a box in the mail with the promised goodies.
Cerity K says
So very sorry you got scammed. I hate that some people can be so dishonest and don’t even care that the people they scam work so hard for their money. Thanks for the warning about Kickstarter….and now…I NEED to know… Did Tuna get down? Did you have to rescue her?
I funded on Indiegogo for a bluetti power bank. I only did it because 2 YouTubers I follow reviewed and finally said it was ok (Will Prowse & Hobotech). I was looking for a powerful power bank but have found that with the best will in the world I couldn’t make sense of the electronics, but I did want the cutting edge.
I got constant updates and am very happy. BUT I did wait until the experts finally gave the ok.
The reason Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other websites of the like are structured the way they are is that essentially they are specifically trying not to run afoul (or be subject to) securities laws. For the most part, this is a way for new companies with new product ideas to try to get funding to be able to make those products and doing so by selling those products at a price they “think” will be a good price for early purchasers (i.e. less than at retail once they are available to the public but enough to get the company off its feet with an early cash flow which may or may not prove to come out as profitable on the early units). However, selling FUTURE products means that, even honorable companies may run into issues before ever fulfilling their order. Maybe the product is untenable or impossible, maybe they don’t get enough money to ever get past initial stages, maybe the product costs much more to make than previously agreed, or some other unforeseen scenario comes up. As such, neither the business hoping to make and sell the product, nor Kickstarter can ever actually sell you the product itself, just a potential to buy one IF things work out, maybe for an additional outlay or not. But this causes a problem, because if you aren’t buying something of value but rather an option or speculative interest in something of value, this means you’re buying a security or other type of equity interest. Essentially, you’re buying an investment in the company! But wait, if this is an investment then the number of laws, disclosures, and available avenues to sell the options on future products from new companies would be severely curtailed and regulated by US (or other applicable) securities law. You can’t just sell stock or securities on indiegogo from an as unheard of business which has disclosed no financial information to either the potential investors nor the US government. Therefore, in order to make it possible to even HAVE sites where future buyers can pre-buy products that, without their support, would never otherwise make it to market, both indiegogo and kickstarter have to essentially disclaim any money you hand from giving you anything of value. It means that these platforms, while wonderful, are ripe for abuse. While I believe that since both these sites entire business models require trust from people who back the products on their sites and thus SHOULD be extra diligent in purging their sites of disreputable and deceitful business, there is no duty for them to do so legally.
My large cat refused to go into anything that is filled with litter but is not big enough for her to pick a spot. She never used the Litter Robot. My small/normal cat used it for fun a few times and then went back to using large cat’s huge litter box. I made our own giant litter box out of a plastic underbed storage bin. For people with elderly or mobility impaired cats you can cut a low entry with a dremel.
Jessica A says
I was on the kickstarter for the original Fidget Cube, and although there were delays, did end up getting it.
There were a couple other things that I liked but couldn’t afford, and ended up being grateful for that, because they got super messy and went up in flames.
No more kickstarter for me after that. It’s not fun losing money to assholes.
Was Tuna stuck in the tree? Or did she get out herself?
Me: complains about lack of Tuna pics
Authorlords: here is a video of Tuna. In a tree!
P/s: I lol’ed at the autocorrect from small t tuna to big t Tuna
Mrs Jacqui Murphy says
If I like the look of something on those pop up ads. I check see if Amazon has it. Sooner or later they do ????
Thank you for the post.. I used Kickstarter 2x, one a low cost item to test the whole thing out. And 2 a high cost item from an author I really liked. No problem with the first and the second was more than expected by a long shot…but reading your post I’ll be more cautious and certainly won’t spend/gamble more than I can afford to comfortably lose…
Thank you very, very much.I don’t like being scammed either, and consider myself “smart”, (little self- sarcasm). But, I love cats and I too would have said “Ohh”, and felt like getting this to make my life easier. So, again, Thank you very much for sharing this with us, and I will be more aware because of your kindness.
Thank you for the warning :(. My brain just doesn’t work that way, so I never see this stuff coming. Just be nice dammit. No kickstarter for me. And thank you for Tuna. Tuna makes all the days better.
I am just amazed to see how many people have posted about having litter boxes that cost so much. I did a lot of rescue stuff and ended up having had over 30 cats over the years. I scoop litter. More cats, more scooping. By the time I would pay for an automated cat litter box that cleans itself, I could buy food for months. And cats are fussy. Some would never use a covered box, some would never use an open box. The covered boxes were the most expensive I bought. Taking in feral cats and getting them used to being near humans was enough work and worry without worrying about litter boxes that may or may not clean themselves.
You live, you learn. If scooping litter is the worst thing about having cats, bear in mind that it beats the tar out of the doggie bags you have to fill when your dogs go out.
I’ve been burned on Kickstarter once, because the creator was incompetent, not a fraudster, IMO. I just let it go, but if my case had been like yours, I’d have been outraged.
My sister’s first indigogo campaign was very late shipping for a Feb deadline – when she picked the date, she didn’t realize that all manufacturing in China shuts down for a solid month, minimum, for Lunar New Year.
BUT…she kept her backers updated frequently, never asked for more $$, and included a lot of user testimonials from the beginning to show that she had working prototypes.
Those other models aren’t ripoffs of Catson, bc it’s not a big enough brand to be worth targeting like that yet. It’s the other way around.
Also, I find it sketchy that their “comparison with other brands” infographic doesn’t name the competitors, bc it makes it harder to check their math.
I use a litter robot and have for about 10 years. They’re very good and the system is simple and they make all the parts available for purchase at a decent price so a reasonably handy person can keep one running for years.
Agreed – check out the cat litter robot if you want an automated litter box. The down side is they are a PAIN to clean, and you do need to clean it a couple times a year or so. Their customer service is also stellar. https://www.litter-robot.com/
I’m here to also agree with Litter-Robot. I have three cats currently (one very large/tall) and all use it without issues. The three cats I had previously also used them without issues and loved them. They have great customer service and are willing to sell you parts to fix your old machines instead of forcing you to buy a brand new one.
Cannot recommend them enough. https://www.litter-robot.com/
Regarding Kick Starter, its always a gamble with them. So Sorry you got scammed this time, I can commiserate as it’s happened here to. Hope next time it goes better and that you find a great robotic cat litter box.
Pollyanna Hopson says
I love the video of Tuna in a tree. My first cat (Spike) once climbed a tree that high. He had been teasing a dog in another apartment at the complex where I lived then. The dog’s owner was very apologetic, but it was clearly my cat’s fault for spending his days teasing the dog. I’m afraid, I’m not very sympathetic to cats stuck in trees because I told my cat, I was going to put his food down and then walked back to my apartment. Spike greeted me at my door when I got there.
Try litter-robot.com instead. They have a higher price tag, but they are legit, and they work!
Wow, that really sucks–for both of you.
I have sponsored one thing on Indiegogo (“Simon’s Cat”–got lots of great stuff for it), but not Kickstarter. That they have moved over to Indiegogo tells me that their income stream has fallen off on Kickstarter because people have caught on and are letting others know about it.
If you still want it, I hope you get your Catson, and I hope it is better than you expect–crosses fingers behind her back.
I am currently fighting with StubHub over tickets I had for sale. The concert was postponed due to COVID, so I got a refund from the venue because I didn’t want to go on that date. HOWEVER, I forgot to take the tickets off StubHub. Last week, someone bought those tickets. When I couldn’t deliver said tickets, StubHub told me that I would be responsible for giving StubHub $219 for the cost of the tickets–tickets that I OWN. I never received funds for the tickets–if I had, I would happily refund the money.But I never received any money for the tickets, so I shouldn’t owe anyone anything. Yet StubHub says I will have to reimburse them the cost of the tickets PLUS any extra fees they might incur to get different tickets for the girl who “bought” mine. How exactly is that legal I ask you?
OOPS! Sorry to have vented…you guys just bring that out in me.
Sara B. says
Did Tuna get out of the tree on her own?
Judith C Stanton says
What a beautiful Cat! And so content, just sitting in his tree. Thanks so much for this video, Ilona. You just made my week!
We’ve backed about 100 projects on Kickstarter. We’ve had a few that turned out…. not so great, one that was cancelled because it was a scam that we would have totally fell for if someone ELSE hasn’t noticed and alerted kickstarter, and at least one that was the victim of its own success and we never received it. We mostly back in the board game/video game section, but we’ve done documentaries, tech stuff, and so on as well. In general, we’ve been happy with most things we’ve gotten. I’m thrilled when we get to help bring a new board game to market this way.
It’s definitely not for everyone. And we have to make conscious effort to say “this money is gone, we have invested it in the hope that the person will make a thing with it, but if they fail, it is what it is.” We have even had someone that we knew personally fail at getting their kickstarter out and even sent them extra money for shipping, but they also weren’t asking for $177!!! And when kickstarter won’t help at all, it just feels worse.
It can be hard to tell which is truth and which is fiction but there are Kickstarters that do work.
My daughter’s father-in-law invested in Spotify on Kickstarter years ago. He received a lifetime subscription for his investment.
barbie doll says
I am sorry. I fell for a computer scam but stopped short of sending any money. Cost a mint to get the computer cleaned and safe again and all the password changes. Now I just shut the computer down and move on. On a funnier note. I got one of those Grandchild in trouble calls. A young male voice said Grandma and I asked who are you and he said your grandson. I laughed and said no you are not. My oldest grandson is 6 and although he does call this person wasn’t him. Kind of made my day. It is so sad that there is no one person or place that we can trust. It is hard to not be bitter.
Tuna is indeed a brave and mighty huntress all the way up there!
I’m sorry you got scammed, thanks for the warning so we know to be careful too. I actually remember seeing that catson video before and being very tempted. I’m grateful now that it was out of my budget range. That company should be ashamed of themselves but sadly scammers have zero sense of shame. I hope karma kicks their butts on your behalf though!
That is a great climbing tree for cats!
The only kickstarter I’ve ever done (although I believe it was actually Fig?) was for Pillars of Eternity 2. I was happy to back an actual independent game developer. Two years later, I still haven’t played the game (my fault not theirs), and Obsidian has been bought by one of the big guys :/
I remember quite a few years ago, a favorite author of mine did one when online crowdfunding was new, never delivered (that I know of), and that put me off doing any before.
Johanna J says
I learn so much from your blog. Kickstarter itself sounds like a scam (there has to be a better way to support innovation. I wonder what it is). Tuna is a tree cat. David Weber has a series I haven’t read yet (Oath of Swords). If I had a cat I’d know what kind of litter box to get. You two and the book devouring horde all have a sly sense of humor – even when the experience discussed isn’t a good one – and a broad span of expertise.
I’m always hesitant to back anyone on kickstarter. I think there is just one person that I always back when he does something because he was a librarian and I loved his comics. Otherwise I’ve heard horror stories about companies not following through and I just don’t want to lose my hard earned cash. You would think kickstarter would want to help with this so they don’t get a bad name. Here’s hoping you get your money back!
Angela Knight says
Thanks for the warning!
Angela Anderson says
If you are looking for a non-scam product that is similar check out the litter-robot. We got one last year and couldn’t be happier. It is a little pricey but well worth it because of the convenience. I would spend the extra for their litter bags too since they fit just right.
The great huntress living in the moment and enjoying the Spring air
Collette Smith says
The dark side of Kickstart , my partner had backed one time went by heard nothing for 3 months , the an email the gent who had started it got in over his head with this and his failures in it and depression led to him taking his life. He brother took over filling the orders but most of the people said take care of the family . Kickstarter can be great but yeah there is a dark side as well.
Erin S. Burns says
I am sitting in a similar boat with the Mellow Sous Vide. There isn’t an option on Alibaba, but they have gone radio silence.
I have a friend who has been on the polygon spoons for YEARS and it is frankly hilarious.
Whoa! It sure looked like a good thing to me! I have gotten hood-wink from a Chinese site………….
Starting a completely new product, hey? Well that was a total lie. Nonetheless, Tuna looked good. A very photogenic kitty. Does he hunt in the tree branches?We had a black cat, Spook, who nailed anything that walked, crawled or flew. His specialty for awhile was flying squirrels. He (apparently) watched them and noticed their routes through the trees. He would sit up in a tree along a squirrel runway and nail an unsuspecting glider. I saw him get one at dusk as it came in for a vertical landing. I felt badly as I think the flying squirrels are rather cute. I don’t know if he cleaned out the colony or they moved on, but after a few months he had to make do with run of the mill rodents.
Sorry, I meant she.
I got scammed from Kickstarter, too. About 7 years I’ve been waiting for a custom doll made by the creator of a graphic novel. At first it was delays because the form wasn’t right, then the hair wasn’t the right texture. Now it’s radio silence and Kickstarter hasn’t given me my $100 back. So, I feel your pain.
I also want to state that I’ve backed Kickstarters for video games, and so far that has NOT been a sad failure. So, there is a bonus to Kickstarter as well as the dark side.
Carmela Stotts says
Thank you for letting us know about this.
I have heard quite a few things to think about with Kickstarters or similar sites.
Probably the most important thing was don’t spend money you will miss if it doesn’t work out.
You are basically an investor, that is why they often use “backer/backing” or “pledge” to describe what you are doing. Not all investors get their investment back. That doesn’t even mean that fraud occurred, just poor management, planning, ect.
It isn’t a preorder. You don’t have the same protections as with a preorder.
Fraud does occur, but that might not be why you do not get what was promised, or even why they are asking for more money. Though it is a red flag that you probably should walk away.
I love my litter robot. Maybe you can consider that instead?
Moderator R says
Ilona commented higher up and said the Litter Robot is indeed the plan now ☺️. So many glowing recommendations!
Ms. Kim says
Best litter box is the top entrance design.
For a great product that is sold in stores. Try a brand ot Togu kitty litter. Called that because it is made from leftover soybean dregs. No dust and better no smell. Also biodegradable and toilet flushable, no clogging. Several brands on the market.
Laura Donnaway says
So many recommendations for the Litter Robot! I need to look into it. I have 3 cats and so tired of scooping. I have an automatic litter box and only one will use it and at that only when desperate. They all prefer traditional. Can anyone comment on transitioning to the Litter Robot? Or wrong thread since this is about Kickstarter?
I love Tuna 🙂
My recommendation to your readers is unless you know the person or the company don’t do Kickstarter or for that matter Gofundme for charitable causes. For example I love Home Free so I did their Kickstarter. They have been around for years and it was linked from their site (also) around for years to the Kickstarter . I also did this with a Game company and a exclusive from a TV show. Even if you think you know the company or person- buyer beware. Too many people lie shamelessly about who they are. I got 5 calls from grifters already today claiming to be every thing from Social Security, Amazon, my bank, a distant relative and a charity
So sorry to hear that you had a bad Kickstarter experience. I’ve backed several dozen board games or card games at this point. I’ve only not received a product from one Kickstarter campaign. The game was Carrotia by Mage Company. Backers are still incensed by the scam. Mage was evidently selling the game on their website for a while, but didn’t send the game to the backers. They also seemed to use the money from this campaign to finish earlier campaigns, in a Ponzi scheme manner. At least I only lost about $35, but that still irked.
On another note, there’s an interesting story about a Kickstarter campaign that ultimately bankrupted the campaign creator–he underestimated the costs of the campaign and paid for it out of his own pocket. It’s an interesting rabbit hole of a read.
I’ve played this game–it’s got interesting mechanics and the Kickstarter version was a lovely upgrade compared to the original. But there were other problems with the company that the Kickstarter campaign was only part of:
Maybe someday I can find a copy of this game that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg…
Betty M says
Ive had several Kickstarters that never delivered or delivered so late you could buy a similar product at a big box store. KS is always a crapshoot unfortunately
Just a note on Counterfeits because it is a major issue. It is a current trend where inventors are approached by a third party that offers to help with the production end. They the get the specs and even if they make item for the original owner of the patent they sell them to the counterfeiters. Often these items are shipping before the owner ever sees a sample of the product. 60 minutes did a segment on it
Ouch! That is awful 🙁 I have backed 15 different Kickstarter puzzles (including my recent most favorite, Magic Puzzles) and always received the product but I’ve also never spent quite so much in one go. Very disappointing that Kickstarter didn’t refund you or help you seek any kind of recourse.
Wendy Osborne says
You probably have had other replies about this, but, this product reminds me of the litter robot. Only cheaper.
It would be super-awesome if being smart kept you from being conned (by companies and, even worse, by people), but it has been my sad experience that this is not the case.
If it makes you feel any better, honest people are supposed to be some of the easiest to con because someone who doesn’t lie or cheat doesn’t move through the world expecting everyone they meet to be a liar or a cheat.
I’m very sorry this happened to you!
I’ve only backed a Kickstarter twice, both under $150 each, and have had moderate success both times. One took about 2.5 years to reach their goal and send me the product, but the product is great so no real complaints beyond my general impatience. The other came much faster, within a few months, but I found the product much less satisfactory. My biggest fear each time was that it was going to be a scam and I am so sorry it happened to ya’ll. 🙁
Good news is that Tuna is adorable in her tree surveying her land. She looks so proud and content being up in that tree 😀
Amy Schriever says
Hey we bought 2 of these after looking at the over priced ones. They have worked great! Omega Paw VM-RA15-1-PR Premium Roll N Clean Plastic Self Cleaning Enclosed Cat Kitten Self Separating Litter Box, Forest Green https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08LW5RN5C/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_1C0Q14V8YXFY4BSZG04Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Leslie Berndt says
That’s why I go with CatGenie. I’ve owned one for 7 years and it’s worth it’s weight in gold. All I do is change the cartridge and occasionally add granules. It’s also about the same as what the price is for what you bought.
I can’t say enough good things about it.
Lauren Allen says
Has my own issue with a product on kickstarter. Mine got delayed over and over again for two damn years. A bunch of us filed a class action lawsuit against the guy in California where he was based. Finally after three years some of us got what we paid for. My sympathies.
Traci B says
I also had a bad experience with Kickstarter with the Reviv weighted blanket. Apparently the people behind the team have had multiple different fundraisers on Kickstarter for all sorts of products that all failed. They of course blamed their failure on covid, despite the fact that it was over a year before the quarantine happened that we should have received our blankets. Kickstarter was useless. Their total lack of response really soured me from funding any other projects for a long time. I recently backed another project, this time for a video game project under a new studio founded by several of the employees that work on the Suikoden games. So far this new project has been wonderful, lots of communication and updates even knowing the actual product will be at least a year in the making. So it sucks how many fraudulent projects are out there, I hope people don’t give up backing completely, even if I wish Kickstarter did anything at all to prevent fraud and hold those “companies” accountable.
Amanda in Austin says
Big mood, Ilona & Gordon.
I saw this thing and I was like, “Nope, not again.”
I’m still “waiting” for my Footloose automatic and health tracking litterbox that I backed in 2018.
$379, last update from the creators apologizing for their slow updates…. in Sept. 2020.
Glad I didn’t buy two of these products that also have appeared on 3rd party Chinese sales sites.
Unfortunately for every positive Kickstarter experience there are a dozen bad ones.
Much love to Tuna the Glorious!
My niece has four cats and two dogs and a partner. She paid for a net from the gutters to the fence. Artificial lawn. They have the run of the back and sides of back yard. Net was to stop the cats leaving and the artificial lawn to stop one of her dogs from digging a big hole under the fence. Her Ragdoll cat use to sit in the hole. My niece is a cat person and her partner a dog person. They both love all their pets. Love, love their part German Shepherd. Most beautiful natured dog. Every one who meets him just loves him. I would steal him if I could. I have mad Jack Russel.
Thanks for the heads up. I have supported Kickstarter several times with no problems, but I will be much more hesitant and careful now.
I love Tuna, what a glorious kitty.
Tuna in a tree. Out of context that sounds really funny ????
Too bad about the catson, it actually looks like a nice idea overall. I hate fraudsters.
Ove T says
Oh, that sucks !
I’ve been on a bunch of successful Kickstarters (e.g. Peak Design/Crua Modus/photography gear), but also a few unsuccessful (e.g. Lily) and some between yay-and-nay (e.g. Apricoat). It’s a toss up.
If there’s some company (like PD) that has had several successful Kickstarters I have very little qualms about it. If it’s something new I’ll definitely be checking if I can “throw away” the money and just write it off as soon as it’s withdrawn. If I can’t loose the money I won’t, if it sounds plausible….I will.
So far I’ve luckily been supporting a lot more successes than failures !
Still sucks when it falls through though ! But as the great philosofer Forrest Gump said “It happens” 🙂
Jamie Hukill says
Try a Litter Robot, I’ve had one for 6+ years and love it. Theynhave great costumer service as well!!
I feel your pain, I lost 300$ on super dungeon explorer legends kick starter, and that one was from an established company. Going on year 4 and they are still saying it is in the works.
James Scott says
The best litter is horse shaving pellets! We use a square litterbox with the entrance in the top. I was able to find plastic bags the exactly fit the box. I put down 4 inches of litter and throw away the whole thing in 3 days. No scooping! Just throw the whole bag away, put in a new bag, and fill with litter again. The horse shaving pellets are cheap, less than $4 per 25lb bag. I have been doing this for 5 years and would never go back to regular litter.
So the most important question out of this : did Tuna needed help ? Was she stuck in the tree ? Is she fine now ?
I don’t know where to post this: a liger exists: fb.watch/4u4LJOwyxQ/ – Curran was likely bigger but just wanted you to see this (in the case you haven’t already)
Let me introduce you my husband and the kickass drone that was never delivered…
Kickstarter, where everything sounds too good to be true, TRUTH!
Jean Reads says
I have backed a few projects on kickstarters, mostly board and card games that were inexpensive, and one indie move that was produced.
The good news is that I received all the games I backed. The bad news is I have never found anyone to play them with me. I also haven’t managed to see the movie yet, but I did get a free ebook.
Sorry you had a bad experience.
C Dunn says
Cats, in eyeballs.
I’ve been trying really hard to not order anything made in China lately. It’s frighteningly hard. My favorite paddock boots by Ariat? China. All reasonably priced dog beds? China. AND it turns out that China doesn’t bother to use nontoxic foam to stuff their dog beds— not good when you own a breed horrifically prone to cancer (ie dobies) and are paranoid about it. You’ve got to search hard and pay way more for made in USA. Sigh.
Jéssica Freitas says
I’m so sorry you were scamed, thanks for showing us the names and people involved though. And Tuna is an absolute queen amongst cats, so majestic, reigning over that tree. Always love seeing the pets <3
That is one humongous Tuna! ;-0
We have three maine coons, they create much poop ????.
After years of clearing out trays we bought a Litter Robot and its fantastic. All three use it so we don’t have to have multiple trays. Its pricey but the customer service is good and its been going strong for 5 years now.
Also got a Petkit last year as its a bit more modern looking, and we thought it might be easier for older cat to get in and out of its also been really good (and older cat could care less it turns out)
Maybe one of these could work for you ?
Many years lurker, first time posting – the joy of not scooping cat poop has forced me to comment!! ????
Tuna looks very happy and peaceful up there!
I ordered two outdoor chairs seven months ago. I have tried countless times to track them and the company. First there was shipped and delivered response. Nope! Then there was leave a message response. Now there is nothing. They have evaporated. It totally turns me off of ordering from the internet unless the site is very established. And I do feel stupid for the lose of the money. There isn’t a lot of it to begin with. So no more purchases for me unless it’s a site that I know.
And I too love how supportive you are to each other.
Its absurd how might thought and money cat owners put into another creature’s poop. I try at least 1 new thing a year figuring out the best process for dealing with it….It sucks that automatic boxes are so expensive and seem to only last a a year IF THAT. Even if I was willing to pay $600-$1000.00 for a flushing cat toilet I have 1 cat who hates being enclosed while he does his business.
first comment ever (!) A moment of fan girldom.
Thank you. I might have over the years reread the entire Kate Daniels and Innkeeper series at least five times.
I know the jokes are coming and I laugh. Every time. I love the love story between Kate and Curran; Jim and Dali; Dina and Sean etc., etc. You get the drift.
Only one of thousands of fans, but still. Your stories have helped me through some pretty rocky times and I am so grateful!
Take the very best care.
In the last few years I had used wood pellets made for pellet stoves as kitty litter. Cheaper and healthier for the cats and humans and smelled way better as it started deteriorating into saw dust by use of cats. Also very easy to scoop poop and flush. Easier to dispose of the used saw dust too. Just put into green recycling bin.
I’ve also thought that if I was an engineer or builder I would install/design a flat flushable porcelain square on the floor either in a downstairs bathroom or a separate room to be used as a cat and or pet bathroom.
People like that is why we can’t have cool things… Sorry.
Carie Murphy says
I am sorry you get scammed. That really stinks! (Ha) On another note, we have a cat named Tuna too. Well, her real name is Luna but we all call her Tuna. She’s a black cat and is a little crazy. We also have a Maine coon called Norman after Norman Bates since he is pretty crazy too.
Elizabeth Girardi says
Thank you for the video. I read your blog, but this is the first time I have ever watched a video and listened to your voice!! I love that now I will “hear” you as I read, not the imagined voice I had before
I, too, got scammed with this Kickstarter Catsom ‘project’. FOUR Catsoms – so I am feeling especially foolish! I’d bought two for myself and two for my elderly dad. Kickstarter will not refund the money and while my credit card did initially refund it, they reversed the charge once Kickstarter fought it. I’ll never support another project on Kickstarter again – once bitten, twice shy.
Absolutely LOVE your books and buy every single one! 🙂
Thank you for adding joy to the world!
I bought 3 litter robots and while wincing at the initial financial hit, I very much enjoy not scooping poop – mostly. I have a grumpy grandma 10-year old Bengal that refuses to use it and so I keep two regular litter boxes for her. The young whippersnappers (2-year old Bengal females) are completely fine with using the litter robots. Win-win! 🙂
Yeah, I like Kickstarter, and I’ve backed a ton of stuff (mostly boardgames and books,) but it’s definitely a “buyer beware” situation. Out of over 100 projects (single no-kids) I think 8 have turned up snake-eyes? Mostly due to the creators mismanagement and failure to plan, but one of those was a straight-up scam.
I’ve found the best way to go about it is to research the project creators. Have they successfully put out other projects in the past? Has the team making it got a CV in the same field? If they haven’t got a proven track record, have they got a well-laid out plan, beyond money=?=profit!!! Are they modest enough with the proposal that it sounds like something they can get done? In the end, it’s always at least a little bit of a gamble, and you have to remember that going in.
Hmmm, I can’t help but wonder now if the “Amicat” Best automated cat litter box Ad on Facebook is a related scam. It’s through the Indiegogo. So far, it’s raised $1,423,799 on the FB platform & $670,793 on 11 Jun 2020 on another platform. Same concept as the Catson.. I’ve been inundated by the ad over the past week. Kind of repulsed since, WHO would ever put a litter box in the living room next to a sofa? Ick!
Move a litter box to designated toilet and let them get used to it there then move onto the toilet
Kristan Paige Hall says
I love that you talk to your cat. You know there are people who don’t talk to pets? It’s so weird. Like… what is even the point to having a pet then??
Karen Gabriel says
I had the same thing happen to me on kickstarter with a different product. I advise everyone who will listen that website is full of fraud! There is nothing, NOTHING to hold anyone accountable.
I am a backer of this project as well. All attempts to contact KickStarter or the creator have met with zero feedback.
The backing cost and shipping were not small beans to begin with. What the creator is pulling now is pure fraud/extortion. The risk of buying into a kickstarted is clear, but I figure I am betting that the contributor can pull it off.
I did not consider the a project is fraudulent before it even starts. I trusted KickStarter to do basic due diligence. – as in check if the product isn’t just a glorified sell of an Asian knockoff with no US patent and lots of images to steal to develop the campaign story which they never intend to deliver.
Really feel disenchanted from crowdfunding project and I will do my own due diligence before a contribute to any future campaign.