International Refund Program

Dear Community,

When we launched our Omni Kickstarter campaign in June 2013, our dream was to ship Omnis to our passionate VR community all over the world. At that time, the Omni was still in the form of a wooden prototype made in our garage. Over the last three years and with your support, we converted the Omni to a final product that can be produced and shipped in large quantities. The Omni has become a beautiful and robust device that has all the functionality we deemed essential: accommodating players safely and comfortably up to 285lbs (130kg) and with a variable height of up to 6’ 5” (195cm), easy assembly of the product with an updated one-piece base, and fully de-coupled locomotion tracking thanks to integrated sensors in the Omni shoes and ring.

As we focused on product quality and user-friendliness, the Omni transformed from a simple prototype to a complex machine with more than 200 custom parts, several printed circuit boards, an intricate height adjustment mechanism, and a durable form factor that increased the weight of the Omni to 175 pounds (80kg). The Omni’s production cost grew to more than three times our initial estimate. Logistics became equally complicated. The Omni ships in a large 48” x 43” box (123cm x 110cm) on a wooden pallet and comes with additional packages for Omni shoes and other accessories. The hardest part of fulfilment is not the initial delivery of the Omni and various accessories (albeit costly and complicated), but complying with international regulations and the global shipping and storing of replacement parts necessary to effectively support a range of geographically diverse customers.

In the last few months we have explored cost effective options to get the Omni distributed and serviced worldwide, which has become increasingly difficult and expensive given the Omni’s transformation to a high-end entertainment device. After much internal debate and soul-searching, we have concluded that as a small U.S. based startup, we unfortunately do not have the resources to deliver and service units in every country. Our dream of shipping the Omni to customers all over the world has proven naive and unfeasible. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to only deliver units to our U.S. home market and issue refunds to our customers outside of the U.S. Internationally, our goal is to work with distributors for commercial markets such as VR arcades and family entertainment centers where logistics and customer support channels are more established. To make up for having customers’ funds in our possession for such a long time, we will supplement each refund with an interest payment of 3% annually (compounded monthly) on the funds held by us. We realize this offers little consolation after you committed financially and emotionally to the Omni for several years. No words can adequately express our appreciation for your generous and long-standing support, without which we would not be here today.

We assure you that we have not given up on our dream. We will continue our efforts to expand our distribution markets, and we hope one day to be able to deliver an Omni to you. However, we do not deem it appropriate to hold on to international customers’ funds until that time. Along with our refund, please accept our sincere apologies. We will contact all international customers via email with further details and instructions.

For customers in the U.S., we will also issue refunds upon request plus the interest payment of 3% per year (compounded monthly). We understand that circumstances change, and our product has changed as well. The Omni is quite heavy, comes in a large box (230lbs / 105kg) on a wooden pallet, and delivering the unit to your home will cost around $200, which is much higher than we initially estimated. Therefore, feel free to contact us at info@virtuix.com if you’d like to request a refund of your pledge.

Our process from Kickstarter campaign to delivering a hardware product has been very humbling. At the start of any journey it’s not always exactly clear where you might end up. We’d like to thank each of you for embarking on this journey with us and for all your support along the way. We will continue to work hard to bring natural locomotion to VR and enable the kind of VR experience we’ve always dreamed of.

Best regards,

Jan and the Virtuix team
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Comments

  • Sponge101Sponge101 Posts: 426
    edited December 2016
    My deepest condolences to international members on this forum who have commented over the years. That being said, I'm sure there are alternative ways of getting the Omni... more expensive, though.
  • Hey Guys, i think this is pretty unfair towards all of us non us based backers and preorder customers. We have investested funds in your company in order to get you off the ground. You might have your reasons, and that is all good and well. I will provide you with my US Adress so you can deliver the Omni there and i will take care of the transfer when i visit the us next year.
  • Can't believe it ... after half year of waiting (exactly from April) ... Can't even imagine what can feel a person who waiting since 2013. Anyway, I'll try to contact my old mate living in US and provide the US address but it might take a while. So as a non-US customer after I being treated in that way I have to ask a question for wich most likely You won't give me an answer anyway, but I'll take my chances. When is estimated time to complete orders from the backlog? I just need an answer so I could organize some transport. So please, PLEASE, tell me what is the latest possible date when last orders from backlog will be dispatched. If You will tell me You need another 2 years. That's ok, at least I will know what's going on.

    Really guys... When I read what Cyberith has done to they customers I thought "I'm glad I choose omni." Now....what You doing is not a lot better. Refund? 3% per year... it's a joke. I beat most of us wouldn't be satisfied even with 100% per year refund. You gave me a dream and now you try to take it away...


  • MarkHMarkH Posts: 11
    I am serious seriously pissed right now to be honest and good luck offering me a refund because its not going to be accepted. All I need is a pickup location and name and I will arrange my own shipping because at least to Canada, its not really that hard. Infact I will have my friend with a flatbed rig pop on over and pick it up directly. Really guys..I can understand some of the really out of the way places to try and ship, but EU and North America are really not hard to ship to...
  • Also, Could I ask for dimensions and weight of the pallet with Omni? I would like to check the shipping costs to UK but without this details is impossible.
  • GreyAcumenGreyAcumen Posts: 304
    edited December 2016
    This is a huge blow to VR. The US may be a major entertainment hub, but I know that VR is going to be missing out on having some of the best and most creative developers able to work and design with the Omni in mind due to their geographical location.
    One of the things so many people lose track of is just how many legal and financial hurdles are involved in shipping products internationally on a professional basis. Even though it's not a dangerous or biological item, it still has wireless devices that require FCC regulations to be met, tariffs, taxes, testing and licensing fees, and a heavy weight and footprint that make it difficult to arrange shipping without using custom shipping services and even owning distribution centers within the country being shipped to. I had always assumed that Virtuix had already had shipping services in mind that they were already negotiating with for shipment and getting FCC approval, but it looks like this is more a case of Virtuix simply being too inexperienced to properly anticipate the problems with this type of endeavor.
    It doesn't mean much coming from someone who is in the US and already has an Omni unit through Pathfinder on top of that, but I sincerely believe Virtuix has always had full intentions to ship internationally, and that their inability to do so is as hard of a blow to them as it will doubtlessly be to their international kickstarters, especially coming right on the heels of the announcement that consumer units had finally started shipping.
    Hopefully there will still be options for members that are still hell bent on receiving an Omni unit, regardless of costs, but there is also a legal culpability that Virtuix would have to shoulder, depending on how consumer laws are written with any particular country. Otherwise it seems like the best chance the average international consumer has is to maybe call virtuix up and ask what companies for your particular region is Virtuix trying to negotiate with, and then call that company and ask about the Omni to demonstrate the interest for it in an area near you.
  • Szeliga said:

    Also, Could I ask for dimensions and weight of the pallet with Omni? I would like to check the shipping costs to UK but without this details is impossible.

    From a Kickstarter Comment at October 7th (2016-10-07)
    shipping dimensions for the Virtuix Omni package: 43″x48″x30″, 227lbs (123cm x 110cm x 77cm, 103kg)


    But todays post increased the weight:
    admin said:

    The Omni is quite heavy, comes in a large box (230lbs / 105kg) on a wooden pallet,


  • Hallo Hendrick,

    habe eine US Adresse, meine Schwiegereltern leben da, lasse mir die Omni dorthin senden. Wenn du willst kann ich dir da aushelfen. Warte schon seit 2014 auf das Ding sollte also bald soweit sein. Dann kann ich dir auch sagen, was das kostet und wie lange es dauert.

    Gruß

    Christian
  • adminadmin Posts: 121
    We would like re-iterate our sincere apologies to anyone on the forum who has been affected by this announcement. Understandably, some of you are considering forwarding the Omni to your location from a US address. Please be aware that unfortunately we can’t accommodate this request as we won’t be able to support Kickstarter / Pre-Order Omnis outside of the United States and don’t feel it’s right (and in some regions isn’t allowed by law) to not provide customer service for the Omni.

    This is a difficult decision for us. Again, we’re very sorry for the frustration we’ve caused you and hope our refund with interest makes up in some small part for this disappointment.

    - The Virtuix Team
  • Hallo Christian,

    super, danke dir für das Angebot! Wenn keine andere Lösung gefunden wird, komme ich gerne darauf zurück. Ich will die Hoffnung aber noch nicht aufgeben, das wir eine möglichkeit mich Virtuix finden...

    One Pathfinder live in Paris and receive his Omni this year. So European shipping and customs are possible!

    Greetings Hendrik
  • as we know the firm "holodeck" from stuttgart has one or more too ... so germany should even be possible

    @h3ndriks & @ChristianEhrich _ ich hab zwar erst im Januar bestellt (will gar nicht erahnen, wie lang das gedauert hätte), aber wenn ihr das irgendwie hin bekommt, wär das schön das hier zu lesen
    Beste Grüße,
    Michael
  • Dear Virtuix Team,

    as a foreign Kickstarter backer and a small investor through seedinvest, I ask you to reconsider your immediate refund program to foreign backers and allows us some time to explore US exports possibilities organized by ourselves.
    I will glady forgo official customer service and any warranties, if it allows me to get a Omni in 2017 instead in indefinite future.

    Best Regards
    Robert


  • Hope you enjoyed the cheap loan from all of us international backers that helped get your business off the ground ...

    And here is to hoping you go out of business as soon as possible. I sure will do my part to help with the PR for the omni from here on out!
  • I would also return from the warranty and take the omni as a prototype! There are ways and possibilities if you only want! Or is it just about the money from china?
  • adminadmin Posts: 121
    Hi everyone. It's true that a handful of Omnis were sent to some international addresses as part of our Pathfinder program. You can see that we genuinely intended to service these regions. Individually, these units were very expensive to send, and participants understood that extended support might not be possible for them. It was partly through this process that it became apparent that we would not be able to handle delivery and servicing of the remaining orders outside of the U.S. We hope that one day we will be in a position to bring the Omni to these territories, but for now this is not possible for us to do ourselves. Again, our sincere apologies for this disappointment.

    - The Virtuix Team
  • weemonger said:



    I will glady forgo official customer service and any warranties, if it allows me to get a Omni in 2017 instead in indefinite future.

    Same here.
    admin said:

    Understandably, some of you are considering forwarding the Omni to your location from a US address. Please be aware that unfortunately we can’t accommodate this request as we won’t be able to support Kickstarter / Pre-Order Omnis outside of the United States and don’t feel it’s right (and in some regions isn’t allowed by law) to not provide customer service for the Omni.

    So do You mean You will just refuse to change delivery address for US address if I will provide one?

  • I really don´t think you guys have thought that through. We have been very patient and endured a lot of delays over the last few years. i even implemented the possible use within the tool we are developing as well as shown customers videos of your product to get them even more hooked to what we offer. We had a valid contract for me to provide you with money and you will send me one of your systems once development is finished. I really dont want to go back to my customers and tell them that all the possibilities we have told them about wont happen because you guys decided it´s to expensive. That could actually loose me some business. I provided you with the address of my wifes parents, she is us citizen so by extend i could be considered an US Preorder customer. I will gladly wave any kind of warranty outside the us and will also take care of shipping and customs myself. Regards Christian
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    @ChristianEhrich if your using it within your business perhaps you could set up a commercial contract with them. They still said they would be doing international business sales.
  • Well, we are a software company, Hardware is not exactly our daily bread. We really just want to use it as an proof of concept for our Customer presentation. So far the feedback was always pretty exited, because it would fit the subject.
  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 989
    I understand how this news is deeply affecting some on the forum. As a long time backer and supporter of the Omni myself, I've always tried to help spread the word about the Omni, and convince people of its merits. For anyone who was a vocal advocate and had hoped to receive an Omni soon, this must come as an especially bitter blow. Since I became a community manager at Virtuix, I see how important the goodwill of the community is to everyone here. As stated in the update, Virtuix has not given up on the dream of making the Omni available around the world, and everyone's support and enthusiasm is still very much appreciated. One day I believe it will happen, and if it does it will be thanks to those who stuck by the team throughout the ups and downs, and upheld the ideals of natural VR locomotion - even despite their personal disappointment. I realise this is easy for me to say, but I do genuinely think there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, and I'll do whatever I can to help get us there as soon as possible.
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • Dear Virtuix Team,

    I'm really sad to read these news. I've been eagerly waiting for the last 3 years to get my hands on the product you have promised. I do understand that I wasn't purchasing an already final thing when making my pledge on Kickstarter, but basically funding its development, with the promise of getting a reward at the end in form of the final thing, once it is ready. That is what actually kept me to be patient during this long time.

    But reading this feels like a punch in the face. It really does. To keep myself calm, here some questions:

    @ Virtuix Team:
    1. As a native German speaker, I'm not that good in this english financial slang. What exactly does "3% per year, compounded monthly" mean? Let's just assume an initial pledge of 500$, what would be the outcome?
    2. One advantage about backing your project on Kickstarter was the promise to get an Omni cheaper than it would cost when we order the final product later regularily on your website. Is there a chance of you keeping this promise - of course with adjusted prices for shipping - once you figured out a way to make it shippable to Germany? Because if you would still plan to make it possible to ship the thing to outside the US, I might probably just wait another year until you figured it all out
    3. Did I read your last post correctly? You are not allowing us to change the shipping address from an outside US address to an US address?

    @ h3ndriks, ChristianEhrich and all the other backers from Germany:
    1. Ich hätte auch ein paar Kollegen in den Staaten, die ich fragen könnte, ob sie mein Gerät aufnehmen. Also wenn ihr irgendwelche Infos habt zum Thema Versandkosten etc, immer gerne her damit. Perfekte Überleitung zu Punkt 2 - gerne auch hier posten ...
    2. ... Ich habe mal eine Facebook Gruppe aufgemacht mit Namen "Virtuix Omni Germany". Ihr seid alle herzlich eingeladen da beizutreten. Vielleicht wäre ja jetzt z.B. auch der Virtualizer eine Alternative, nur hab ich mich etwa mit dem gar nicht weiter beschäftigt. In dieser Gruppe können wir mal unsere Erfahrung austauschen und uns organisieren.

    Dissapointed Greetings,
    Marius
  • Disappointment doesn't even come anywhere close to discribe what all us loyal backers are feeling right now. We put not only our money and faith into this project but we also put our trust.and now only to be told hey sorry guys but your not getting an omni after all.
    I honestly think this will send a signal out to any body that may be thinking of backing other projects on kick starter, and that is a real sham that others with all good ideas may not reach there goal as a result.
    Ii doubt very much I will ever be backing another kick starter project
    You have let us all down,big time
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    @mmoerders
    1. You should be getting about 547$ back, which is more than I get on my savings account in the bank, which is kind of sad.
    2. That's a very good question, keeping a list of international backers and allowing them to repurchase an Omni in the future at the original backing price would be a classy move.
    3. From a legal standpoint i cant fault them for this. Oculus did this as well.
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    it is pure bullshit. they probably have an agreement to distribute the omni to company that will implement it as game in arcade. But the guys probably ask for some sort of exclusivity.
    the omni come from china on a palet, the only thing they have to do is to put a sticker with your address on it and phone DHL or Fedex to pick it up.
    and probably that's what they will do to distribute in USA.
    They can even do this from china, have distribution center etc....
    I order lot of things from china, including huge led wall that wheights over 300Kg.
    DHL is delivering in one week by air for less than 500$.
    I ordered solar panels (about 200kg) that cames in palet bigger than usual from USA and it took 1 month from California (by boat) and it cost me also about 500$.
    So again they have an hidden agenda here, and won't tell us.
    some American should raise a legal case, because here there is nothing that prevent virtuix to deliver (product exist, works and produced in large amount).
    ...and they deliver to US (a continent across 5 timezone, so transport/support is an issue also here)
    That is probably the reason they deliver to US only, to avoid a lawyer grabing the stick.
    they event refuse for silly reason to send to an US address or send at customer cost.
    The excuse for support is pure bullshit also. Did a guy from texas or Oregon will send back his omni to fix it ?
    At best it could require to swap an electronic board or cable. the big bulky part of the omni is just plastic an metal, I doubt there would be any problem with it.
    That explain all.
    they just decided to ignore the people that make them a multimillion rich company. and it cost them peanuts (9% of 600$=50$ )
    Especially after boasting about all the money they got from investor (and that's probably were it hurts)
    Probably Kickstarter could also help here , since their reputation/rules is heavily impacted here.
    Kickstarters should start to learn to fight as consumer do...
    and pre-order are consumers, so they have even better chances.

    More problematic is the lay down of consumer because this also means the perspectives for software instantly vanished also.
    who wants to buy a product that will get probably no support.
    The only developpement we will see are from big game company into locked machines for locked games you will probably not be able to install on your pc.
    for this reason, I would consider a refund even if I would be an American. Not to be screwed twice...

    and after all, Chinese clones (Kat VR?) will be available soon.
    and I wouldn't be surprised that virtuix is coming back in few month , announcing pre-order but with an increased price (2000$ ?)




  • admin said:

    some of you are considering forwarding the Omni to your location from a US address. Please be aware that unfortunately we can’t accommodate this request as we won’t be able to support Kickstarter / Pre-Order Omnis outside of the United States and don’t feel it’s right (and in some regions isn’t allowed by law) to not provide customer service for the Omni.

    This is not okay. I have purchased plenty electronics from the US and exported them myself knowing that customer support is not available. The Gear VR was one such. There is simply no good reason why you should refuse to deliver to a US address.

    If I MOVE TO THE US will you still refuse me? What if some US citizen who gets his Omni now should one day decide to move to a foreign country and bring his Omni with him? Come on. I backed you on day one and I am not happy that you are leaving me out in the cold.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    @giroudf I didn't know you where an expert on international Import/Export law and supply chain management. Perhaps you could offer your expertise to the Virtuix team to help get them shipping to more countries instead of posting conspiracy theories on the forum.

    Just a thought.
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    there is no conspiracy here, simple fact.
    http://www.dhl-usa.com/en/express/small_business_solutions/easy_shipping.html

    " I didn't know you where an expert on international Import/Export law and supply chain management"
    so now you know.

    The only tricky part is to get the CE electronic conformity certificate (for Europe), but any Chinese plant will give you one in a few week.
    and anyway they need it to import electronic good from china into USA

    if their intent is not to sale the product, they would better close their website.
    it is an insult to thousands of kickstarters and pre-order customers.
  • xxann5xxann5 Posts: 593
    @Atreyu there is a difference between you fooling a company and shipping something yourself to a country that the company is now allowed to ship to. Its another thing entirely for that company to know full well what your doing. Ignoring import/export laws can get you in deep ****!

    Plausible deniability. If you post on the forum that your going to circumvent things they put in place and they then allow you do to so then there on the hook. If you get in trouble they get in trouble, again possibly big trouble. However If you somehow get someone in the US to buy it for you and then they ship it to a US address and then you ship it out of the country, if there is an issue then that's all on you and the person that bought it.

    I mean for ****'s sake that's like going to rob a bank and calling ahead first.
  • xxann5 said:

    @giroudf I didn't know you where an expert on international Import/Export law and supply chain management. Perhaps you could offer your expertise to the Virtuix team to help get them shipping to more countries instead of posting conspiracy theories on the forum.

    Just a thought.

    Well if they will refuse to send international preorders on US addresses, and for now its look like thay do. Then is hard to not believe in this conspiracy theory.
    admin said:

    some of you are considering forwarding the Omni to your location from a US address. Please be aware that unfortunately we can’t accommodate this request as we won’t be able to support Kickstarter / Pre-Order Omnis outside of the United States and don’t feel it’s right (and in some regions isn’t allowed by law) to not provide customer service for the Omni.

    Virtuix I will (And I think I speak for most of us) I think it will be far less unfair to give us an option of shipping it to US address and then what We gonna do with it is not Your problem. If I will decide to take it oversea is not your responsibility to fulfill all local requirements like customer service.

    What I don't want is found Omni in some local vr game center, or whatever in half year when I will need to pay £20 to use it for half hour....

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