It’s a Router. It’s a Android Tablet. It’s Home Automation. Its Soap! And its Vapor!
Serial crowdfunding project SOAP may have another issue on its hands. Backers of the ill-fated project have created a petition on Change.org to enlist the Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman to file a consumer protection fraud lawsuit against the creators of SOAP. The petition is seeking 200 signatures and it is over half way there.
The demand is as follows:
Soap Inc. ran several campaigns on KickStarter.com and Indiegogo.com to build a “Touch Router & Tablet”. Over 2000 people funded these projects raising approximately $400k. They failed to deliver the router, eventually changing the scope of the project to software only, with promises they would provide off the shelf routers to the funders. To this date they have failed to deliver anything. There have been claims that one of the project founder may have used some of these funds to buy a car. A message needs to be sent out that KickStarter and Indiegogo are not platforms for fraud.
Probably the most incredible part of the story is the fact that creators did three successful crowdfunding campaigns. The first one on Kickstarter raised over $140,000. Even with many questions being raised about the concept and design of the project, 830 backers funded this project.
Recognizing an easy way to raise money, creators hit Indiegogo next raising over $260,000. I guess you can never have too much of a good thing. The astounding thing is that after 2 questionable crowdfunding campaigns they came back once again on Indiegogo and raised another $2000 in February. Can the backers of the last campaign please explain what they were thinking?
The last substantive communication from the SOAP creators was back in January in a limp attempt to resurrect any remaining hope that SOAP will ever ship the promised product.
At least one backer, who apparently drove 5 hours to demand a refund, came away satisfied, but frustrated, with the result:
After driving 5+ hours out of my way on my work trip from New Mexico to Indiana I went into the Soap office. They are there. Seems there is a difference of opinion amongst the Soap personnel on how to handle refunds and updates. They supposedly quit giving us updates because of the “negativity and death threats” in response to the crap they were feeding us. Needless to say I was not nice. Sorry I can’t help everyone. I got my refund right then. Good luck! Hopefully my showing up there helps. (posted February 27th)
Highly questionable crowdfunding projects should not be allowed to become repeat offenders. Eventually an enterprising Attorney General will take up the cause and decide that crowdfunding fraud is the path to bigger political positions. That will be an ugly day for all crowdfunding platforms.
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