Thursday, May 8, 2014

Was this Kickstarter campaign a scam?

Jazz & Georgina's promised Houdini DVD has yet to materialize.

Last year when the Houdini stage play was touring the UK, a Kickstarter campaign was launched by "vibrant individuals" Jazz & Georgina to fund a "Magic in the Making" DVD about the behind-the-scenes of the production. The campaign also offered several nice premiums, including original artwork from WETA Workshop. It all looked great and appeared to be endorsed by Theater Giant. In August the campaign met its funding goal of £7,502 ($12,561). Estimated delivery was September 2013.

It's now been eight months and no one has received their DVDs or premiums. The excuses started in November when Jazz and Georgina reported that their computer "exploded in excitement" and needed to be repaired. In December, after repeated enquires from backers, they explained there had been "unforeseen problems with some of our footage" but "all rewards will be sent out at the earliest available date in January." In February they sent out a pack of playing cards and a letter (with no return address) saying the DVDs and premiums would be delivered soon.

Three months later and they have again gone quite. There has been no update nor any response to the many posts by unhappy backers on the original Kickstarter page. The project's Twitter has been deactivated, and it appears Jazz and Georgina abandoned their Facebook page as soon as they met their funding goal. I hate to think this was a scam from the start, but hard not to think that at this stage. Apparently, scammers are a growing problem on Kickstarter (check out this article).

But it's also possible the young Jazz and Georgina discovered that creating an "exciting" Kickstarer page was much easier than actually making a documentary film. They are good talkers. But even if they can't complete the DVD, why shouldn't the backers at least be sent out their premiums, some of which cost £1,250? At the very least, full refunds should be offered at this point.

Hopefully this post is premature and we'll see the DVDs and premiums delivered tomorrow. But if we never hear from Jazz and Georgina again, I'd say this is a blight on Theater Giant, Kickstarter, and the entire idea of crowd funding. I, for one, will be very wary about promoting any more Kickstarter projects here on WILD ABOUT HARRY.

UPDATE: Looks like this project has been noticed by VaporStarter which polices "murky" crowdfunding currents.

2 comments:

  1. I for one paid into this kickstarted and we have been rightly scammed. Nearly 2 years after the fact and the 2 who created the project are of enjoying the 3.5 thousand pounds they took from the people on kickstarter.

    If it wasn't going to cost me more than my original pledge, I'd be starting small claims proceedings

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    Replies
    1. I'm really sorry to hear that, Adele. I now firmly believe these two were scammers from the start. Feel free to share this link wherever you think it might help get the word out.This has also put me off Kickstarter. I'll no longer link to or promote any crowdfunding on this site.

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