Kreyos Smartwatch Called Scam As Backers Demand Refunds or Resolution

Kreyos on WristHere is another crowdfunding campaign that is being labeled a “scampaign”.  Android Police published an article  last night on the odyssey of the Kreyos Smartwatch.  This was preceded by a post on Medium by Jonathan Barronville – another backer.

Kreyos ran an enormously successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in June of 2013.  Labeled the ONLY smartwatch with voice and gesture controls, the project set out to raise $100,000 but closed 15 times that amount as over 11,000 contributed over $1.5 million.  Most contributors expected to see a Kreyos “Meteor” Smartwatch shipped to their doors in a few months. The first batch was set to arrive in December of that year.  Crowdfund Insider covered the Kreyos Watch as it boasted some cool specs and the timing was perfect following the success of Pebble.  Kreyos today stands as the 8th most funded project on Indiegogo ever.

Kreyos Pebble Agent SmartwatchesAs the weeks passed, Kreyos began pushing their shipping dates back.  Several times in fact. Now this is nothing new in the rewards based crowdfunding space.  In fact I would call it typical.  Kreyos DID make an appearance at CES that was somewhat encouraging for supporters of the project but as time passed, and the delays continued, we started to receive emailed complaints about alleged fraud and unhappy backers.  Last month we even emailed customer service inquiring about ongoing delays.  We received a rather irritating response from Kreyos’ Customer Happiness Robot named Nigel (I am not making this up either) but outside of the creepy approach the inquiry was handled correctly.  It was also followed up by an email from an actual person who assured us the Meteors were with the logistics partner in Singapore and delivery would start at the end of the month.

Related:  Kreyos Founder Steve Tan Responds to Disgruntled Backers.

Kreyos Smartwatch Activity TrackerJump forward a few more weeks as August comes to a close and the concerned emails from backers have continued to show up.  Most recently a backer named Andrew Wright very reasonably expressed his disappointment in Kreyos and noted he was not alone.  In an email Andrew stated;

“As you have covered the Kreyos Meteor smartwatch previously, you may be interested in an update now that the long-awaited watches are finally starting to trickle out to Indiegogo backers and pre-order customers.

Unfortunately, the hardware, firmware, and supporting software fail on multiple fundamental fronts. Those (many) that cancelled orders earlier have been (eventually) refunded, but now Kreyos is sending out completely defective units and – in a retrospective change of policy made just before watches were sent out – denying refunds to those that have stuck with them since originally handing over their cash way back in June 2013.

Customers are very unhappy, but since Kreyos is ignoring or whitewashing complaints – and banning users from its site and Facebook page – over 200 of us have joined a separate group on Facebook dedicated to discussing the problems and trying to see if there is anything that can be done to get Kreyos to treat its customers more seriously.”

Steve Tan Ferrari and ShoppingSome of the allegedly missing features that were promised to those who believed in the product include; no waterproofing, only running a single app at a time,  no gesture controls, has problems keeping time … Ok.  So if these statements are factual it sounds a like a used Swatch would have been a better option.  Andrew, and another backer Kenneth Larsen, have catalogued the many issues with the product in a document entitled “Kreyos Backers Lose Faith”.  It is embedded below for your reading pleasure.

Now sure projects ship late.  And yes it is a truism for Buyers to Beware.  But to add insult to injury, Kreyos co-founder Steve Tan apparently has been found sporting a Ferrari and hitting designer stores on a shopping spree.  Not so good for corporate public relations.  Of course this is all conjecture but drawing a line from a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign to releasing a crappy product then showing up hopping into a Ferrari does not look good.  If these statements are true, Steve’s partners should be taking him on a trip to the woodshed about now.

Kreyos Feedback from Kreyos siteYes it is easy to call Kreyos another “scampaign” but they are shipping watches… even with the feedback page on the Kreyos website showing comments that are less than complimentary.

And where does Indiegogo stand in all of this?  Well if you recall not too long ago, when the term scampaign was coined, there was the debate about the validity of the HealBe – GoBe.  Some backers believed the claims of the creators.  Others stated vehemently it was pure folly.  In the end – the crowd decided whether or not to support the GoBe.  And who am I to decide what you should back – right? And that is Indiegogo’s position.

One area we did differ upon – was the possibility of a backer to claim a refund on a flexible funding campaign prior to the campaign ending. That should be fixed (perhaps it has been).

Kreyos Shipping WatchesWhere does this leave backers of the Kreyos Watch that ended up not being such a smart – watch?  Disappointed and out a few dollars and perhaps a bit more skeptical about the crowdfunding process.  As for Steve Tan and crew.. the internet doesn’t forget.

Update:  Mike Villar who has been identified elsewhere as the VP of Marketing & Product Development at Kreyos has posted on the aforementioned Facebook page that he has left Kreyos, as of today, and no longer connected to the company.  He states that he wants to “clear his name” as the recent events were the “proverbial final straw”.  Mike says he took the job this past December because of the huge potential but states;

“the wheels started to come off in the next couple of months but I’ve always thought of the setbacks as inherent to being a small startup attempting to release a relatively complex product. “Pebble was in the exact same situation, we’ll make it better and we’ll get through this” I said to myself numerous times.”

He continues by saying he is quite sorry he could not do any better.  He also opened it up to questions (although he is still reviewing his NDA).


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  • rebellionemesis

    Maybe we need to do a petition for this. I’m in the same boat as all of you.
    The watch is crap, doesn’t work etc…

    Kreyos refuse to refund me, Indiegogo don’t want to know.
    Basically its a scam… one of them should be accountable for this.


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  • Ana Barwick

    I’m also disappointed, sent an e-mail and never got an answer, follow: Dear Kreyos members,

    I’m sending this e-mail to tell that I’m really disappointed with the watch you sent me. It took me some time to write because I was testing to check if some of the problems would go away, but nothing improve.

    The problems are:

    The speaker works poorly, I barely understand what Siri says. I don’t know the correct word for it, but it seems that someone has put it very loud and damage it. And you sent plenty e-mails saying that the delay was because you were fixing problems with the speaker.

    The low left bottom also doesn’t work properly. I have to press really hard for the command to respond.

    The app is also defective. If I open any function, it closes and doesn’t work anymore. If I ask to synchronize again, it closes and in the watch appear “initializing Bluetooth” and it doesn’t connect. The only way to connect again is waiting for its battery to die and start all over again.

    For all these reasons I’m very disappointed, and I’d like to have my money back. I can send the watch back to you. Just send me an address.

    Yours sincerely.

  • Christian

    I have wrote to Indiegogo to tell them what I think about them (they say they are not responsible), but they are as guilty as Steve Tan.

    If everybody write to Indiegogo, may be they will do something…

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  • jerald

    I paid back in June for pre-order they sent a tracking email in August and it is October and still no watch and no tracking info updates. no one answers the emails. class action lawsuit needs to happen

  • turbosmasher

    What’s really cool about how this all went down is I was given an RMA number on September 11, my watch arrived at Kreyos on September 15th, the same exact day the blog post went out stating that they were closing their doors and not giving any more refunds. Now I have no watch, no money, and was basically stolen from. I’d feel a little better if I had just paid for an overpriced piece of garbage, but now I have nothing.

  • Matt

    I am very disappointed in the whole disaster. Now we the hard working/believers are left with a watch not even strong enough to be a paper weight. I ONLY got this POS because I have a windows phone and this was supposed to be fully compatible. Tan will get whats coming to him.

  • juan

    Kreyos is just not what they said you can’t track not even a small distance feeling disappointed
    Out of

  • Mat

    so very very disappointed.

  • Emiliano

    After the long long long wait, finally received my Meteor. Totally disappointing product. Sound quality is terrible. the mic does not work correctly.

  • David Lection

    Can’t stress enough that blame for the Kreyos Scampaign has to go both to KREYOS and to INDIEGOGO. INDIEGOGO has done NOTHING for the customers and patrons of the Kreyos Campaign, even though it has been documented that the Kreyos campaign did not deliver all of the stretch goals, which accoring to Kreyos’ T&C’s is supposed to enforce refunds. If you plan to fund an INDIEGOGO campaign .. BEWARE!

  • Gregg

    This watch is so bad it’s hilarious, and insulting. It doesn’t even present the notion of an effort to produce the features we paid to fund. Not waterproof, no gesture controls, Voice activated?! Lol. Try it… And the crappiest kids toys have better sound than this thing.Oh, and the App doesn’t work, at all. Literally. not at all.

    • Acuman Bearstorm

      Oh it does work. But it does so insultingly bad. Like, crash-while-trying-to-update-your-weight bad.

  • Steve

    Ending my crowd funding right here where it started with the Kreyos ripoff. All care and no responsibility accepted doesn’t cut it with me.

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  • Nic

    Steve Tan’s legal fees will exceed 1.5 million after the class-action lawsuit.