I’ve never had a reason to take off a post I made in support of a product before but seeing that post every so often on my blog or coming up in the analytics was like a constant reminder of how I fell in love with an Idea to a degree I missed out on all the warning signs, failed to see the wisdom of the crowd and was completely misguided.
At the end of this post you’ll find a link to the PDF of the original post I made, in support of this project… a post that was seen by over 600 people in the English version and another 300 in the Hebrew version, to these viewers I think I own an apology.
The Evolution of the Poor Concept (quick recap)
Version 1.o of the project (back then it was called LiLa) included a hub unit which was optional and a door / window sensors, Bluetooth based which basically only had magnetic sensors for open / close status. That project reached 63% of its funding goal sadly, and was discontinued when it was clear that’s not what people where after.
Version 2.o (Still LiLa) was a bit confusing for me if I am being honest, with the feedback gathered from the community, it was clear people wanted more and the guys at QL eager to please, added and audible alarm unit and smart plug unit with all sorts of bundle options. This project passed the 86% of the funding goal.
Version 3.o (changing into Kibbi) after 2 failed attempts to sell the concept to the Kickstarter community, these guys decided to move to the Indiegogo platform and unfortunately convince me to more along with them. With a new addition of a hub unit serving as a security camera (overpriced even than in my personal opinion) I made sure the original sensors would still operate independently and perform just as originally advertised.
An Idea that Should Have Died
What’s the big deal? I am sure you are asking…
Well, it’s not that they are already 6 months late on delivery (it’s hard to find a project that delivers anywhere near the time table they originally committed to these days).
It has a lot to do with the fact that the creators who were very minded of the need to keep close contact with their backer community BEFORE reaching their funding goal – who made every effort to stay in touch and pull the misguided backers of the original failed projects over and over again – only to disappear later. Not responding to forum messages and giving out sparse vague updates along the way since.
It has everything to do with being lied to, getting false promises, being blatantly disregarded and dismissed – feeling like a captive customer after realizing the chances of this product meeting the original promises are close to zero.
Following the few updates the Creator bothered to advertise recently, I started getting the distinct feeling that something was not right. All updates where focused on the big unit, the potential “money maker” I guess, and no information was offered on the sensors – the original Lila product that got my attention and for which I kept backing.
I tried to get more information about these sensors via the forum and after realizing that was a dead-end, I approached the creators directly – the same people who I’ve been in direct contact with prior to backing the project, and who specifically stated the sensors will be offered with the same original functionality at the very least, and would be working independently from the big Kibbi unit.
“As before the sensors can used independently directly with your phone.” Robert Barker Kibbi creator (October 1, 2014)
It took a few weeks and several attempts to get their attention only to receive the disappointing yet not surprising statement from Kibbi CEO Ronnie Nag “The sensors won’t work without the kibbi” (July 18, 2015).
“The sensors won’t work without the kibbi” Kibbi CEO Ronnie Nag (July 18, 2015)
For some reason, CEO Ronnie Nag failed to understand why I should find this revelation unacceptable and ask for a refund. It took another week or so of explanations of how myself and at least 18 other backers were lead to believe the sensors would work independently and not be tied to the Kibbi – would find them now useless as we did not order the Kibbi unit to begin with!
With persistence it seems like CEO Ronnie Nag finally realized this was not going away and promised that if after looking into it my claim would prove valid – that I would get that refund…
“Let me liaise with Rob and look through all threads (conversations) and if we gave you that impression that I will refund full amount.” Kibbi CEO Ronnie Nag (July 23, 2015)
Only to go back on this promise 3 weeks later (again after repeated reminders): CEO Ronnie Nag admitted the original commitment was to offer the sensors as a separate product, not dependent on the Kibbi unit (a commitment they seemed to have abandoned / forgotten about somewhere along the way according to his statement from July 18). BUT following the same pattern of broken promises and meaningless commitments, CEO Ronnie Nag said they would now redesign the sensors with that functionality and therefor would “prefer not to refund” as promised.
“… have decided that the sensors working on its own is very important and its is something that will happen… With that in I would prefer not to refund the amount but if you are still adamant I don’t want to force anyone to have any of our products.” Kibbi CEO Ronnie Nag (August 13, 2015)
the Disengaged CEO Ronnie Nag
After that email, I replied that I would still want to get the full refund but CEO Ronnie Nag disengaged and was not heard from since.
Attempts to call the office for a couple of days went unanswered and my twitter account was blocked as CEO Ronnie Nag decided he could not / did not want to address the situation any further… with this track record Kibbi is bound to have more unhappy customers in the future (and many of them) – the question is will the apathetic, uncaring style of their CEO serve its purpose or will it finally put this company down.
It’s always sad when a failed crowdfunding project collapses and does not meet the expectations, Yet finding out along the way that the Creators really don’t know what they are doing, have no respect for their own promises and commitments, have such poor communication skills and not the slightest shred of customer care sense in them – is simply frustrating beyond measure.
My misguided post in support of Kibbi I guess some people do #liveanlearn