Thank you for your support of MAGFAST!
Backing a crowdfunding project is exciting because you get to support a startup or creative endeavor that simply couldn’t get off the ground without you. Really. You provide the means for the project to exist.
When you place a pre-order, you’re betting on the future - the funds from your pre-order are used to engineer, manufacture and ship a product that doesn’t yet exist.
Most crowdfunded projects miss their original shipping deadlines. There are now some clear reasons why this is so often the case:
- Entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic. Entrepreneurs are human, after all, and they are subject to the planning fallacy, just like all other humans. Although perhaps even more so.
- Engineering, manufacturing and shipping an advanced new product in any volume takes millions of dollars. Engineering for manufacturing is difficult and expensive. Crowdfunding a product that costs tens or hundreds of dollars means collecting tens of thousands of orders before you have sufficient funds.
- Big companies with millions of dollars already in the bank plan product releases for years in advance, and they do so in secret. Crowdfunding startups have tiny resources, by comparison, very little bargaining power with manufacturers, and the process is all public.
- Credit card companies hold onto a very large portion of the funds provided by supporters until the product ships.
That means that a crowdfunding project has to find a way to keep its supporters happy while working on a very constrained budget to engineer and deliver something that’s never been made before. Even large companies with massive budgets and large internal engineering teams take a long time to do this.
A small percentage of supporters (less than 5% in our case) find the process frustrating. We understand this - unless you’ve actually run a project like this, it’s easy to assume it’s easy.
Some get angry with our remarkably dedicated and thoughtful customer service team. Others post angry notices online asking “Why is this taking so long?” or “Why don’t you stop changing the product, and just ship?”
There are good answers to these questions:
We are working flat out to ship. And we’re not changing the product.
So why have things changed occasionally? Our engineering team at our manufacturing partner throws us questions when they find some complicated aspect of the technology that needs changing, won’t quite fit into the space available, or doesn’t meet our specifications. We drop everything for the next few days, and work long hours into the night to come up with solutions. Those are crucial moments: we always work hard and we always work fast. Sometimes the only good way to solve an engineering challenge is to change the design a little (almost always for the better) or to spend more on a higher-specification component that will cost us more -- and deliver you more for the same price.
We do issue refunds, unlike other crowdfunding campaigns
We understand that some users may click ‘yes’ while they’re still making a choice, or sometimes they pledge and then reconsider, so there is a 72 hour grace period immediately following your pledge where it can be refunded. Simply email your refund request to hello@MAGFAST.com. Refunds will be processed in 7-10 days.
After the 72 hour grace period, we really can’t issue refunds. Crowdfunding is a commitment to a project. The costs of finding you, engaging you and building products is just too high for us to bring in funds without certainty that they will be available to cover the huge effort of making this happen. This is how we protect all MAGFAST supporters by ensuring that committed cash remains with the company during the critical development period.
And you are safe: please remember that the card companies are in any case holding onto a large slice of all the funds committed.
All this having been said, our absolute commitment is your delight with the products when they arrive.
When you receive your MAGFAST products, if you’re not delighted, we don’t expect you to keep them. In this case, please return them in resale-able condition for a prompt and courteous refund.
Why are refunds damaging for a crowdfunded startup?
Crowdfunding depends on your contribution to make production possible. Refunds can tank a project like this. The project makes commitments based on your pledge - commitments to staff and other resources that can speed progress.
There are significant marketing costs involved in bringing in your support, and significant customer service and finance costs involved in handling and processing refunds: a single backer demanding a refund or creating a credit card charge-back wipes out the benefit to the project of 4 or 5 other supporters. If you’re not truly a supporter – a real backer who’s there to see us succeed and enjoy the journey and spread the word, you should not support this project.
The vast majority of our supporters understand this MAGFAST is a long-term project that everyone should support who is in it for the right reasons.
We take the trust of our supporters seriously!
We have followed up near every week since March 2017 with an update emailed to all supporters, and posted at MAGFAST.com/updates.
You may reach out to us via social media, chat, phone, email….we’ll answer in less than 48 hours.
Thank you for actively participating, helping, commenting on our challenges and milestones and supporting MAGFAST!