International Refund Program

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Comments

  • admin said:

    Hi Admino, the Omni is a complex device that will need servicing at some point in the first year if used frequently. Our QA process prevents faulty devices to ship, but does not guarantee that all Omnis will keep functioning for 12 months. Maybe they may, but we just don't know. I appreciate your advice to hire more people, but our resources are limited. With all the money in the world, we would not even have this discussion. Money solves all problems. Unfortunately we are a resource-constraint startup. I wish it were different.

    1. What kind of service is needed? before you said that frequent use would actually improve the omni, not hinder it...
    2. i have friends in the us who are intrsted in vr, can transfer my order to them? at least then when i visit i could try the damn thing and this waiting was not in vein....
    3. if the answer to 2 is no, i accept the refund, but as GreyAcumen said, the amount should be the current listed value of the Omni, anything less in an insult.
  • sutekiBsutekiB Posts: 1,069
    Perhaps those international kickstarters/preorders could nominate established US based VR development teams to shift/gift their order to? (I doubt anyone is actually feeling that altruistic though)

    @GreyAcumen - I like this suggestion and will run it by the team.
    Community Manager at Virtuix
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    This answer will be cut and paste from the previous, again and again.
    "and our production capacity is large enough to produce our backlog and any additional units we need. The main challenge is that, for a small startup like us with a US staff of 15 people, we do not have the resources to ship and support units in countries all over the world. The Omni has become a large, complex, and expensive device. It'd be a suicide mission, and we've come to accept this reality in the last few weeks"

    they don't even see how insulting it is by telling us that their "capacity is large enough to produce the backlog and any additional units we need " and not delivering the product.
    my concern is they admitted the product has some flaw. "the Omni is a complex device that will need servicing at some point in the first year if used frequently"

    so again they use subliminal communication to pass a message . wich one ?

    " We believe VR will take off faster and become bigger in China than anywhere else. China has some 140,000 internet cafes, many of which will be retrofitted as VR cafes. The Omni is a great fit for these sites. Leyard will introduce us to large potential customers engaged in VR developments such as entertainment centers and VR cafes, and provide us with access to their distribution channels and overall network in China. We’ll announce a few more exciting developments and partnerships from China in the next few weeks, so stay tuned"

    You can see how tiny, you 3000 kickstarters, are.
    in the next months, google for Hero entertainment and Leyard entertainment.
    Own word of Dr. Victor Li, Chairman of Leyard.
    “We are thrilled to invest in Virtuix and look forward to working with the Virtuix team and their joint venture partner to build a strong VR leadership position in China AND BEYOND.”
    the excuse for support is silly, since if they cannot support an omni in Europe, how can they support an omni in China ?
    That's even more silly when the CEO of virtuix is a Belgian guy !

    I really think you should hurry to get your refund. virtuix will not exist anymore in a few months.
    and the new company built over the ashes will probably not keep the debt of the previous one.
    usual business.
    http://casa.herogame.com/

  • AdminoAdmino Posts: 38
    Hi Admin, by servicing you mean repair due to "wear and tear", i.e. impact damage and stress on, I would imagine, the stand and support legs. I don't recall seeing any parts that require regular adjustments or otherwise "fine tuning". Regardless, no matter how durable a device is, it will wear out over time with regular use. That is expected so either the materials used are too weak and degrade too quickly or they are sufficient and there is some other reason for Virtuix's unilateral decision. Of course, all of this discussion is unfortunately moot because the only party with knowledge of the actual problem is not being forthcoming. All of the "reasons" mentioned so far (servicing, standard conformity, legal requirement, money, etc.) should have been anticipated and accounted and planned for during the initial design and planning stage four years ago, and then adapted and adjusted as development commenced. From what I've seen, Virtuix had been doing just that which implies that something unexpected prompted the decision.

    I'm not usually one for conspiracy theories, but president-elect Trump's election and threat to impose a 35% import tariff on US companies that manufacture overseas could understandably prompt such a decision, even though such a decision would be premature (again, a moot discussion in this case).

    I'm not sure of what proportion of backers and pre-order sales were international, but in terms of potential sales, international sales will easily be many multiples of domestic sales, and Virtuix will have to work really really hard to overcome the trust they've lost their international backers.

    tldr: I'm done. Let the future decide.
  • For Kickstarter alone, there were 986 international backers. I am truly sorry for all of you...
    --------------------------------------
    Cheez\/\/iz
    Omni Backer #40!
    Rift Backer #2,770 (That was a good one!)
    Middle Tennessee
    --------------------------------------
  • sutekiB said:

    Perhaps those international kickstarters/preorders could nominate established US based VR development teams to shift/gift their order to? (I doubt anyone is actually feeling that altruistic though)

    @GreyAcumen - I like this suggestion and will run it by the team.
    Hi there. I've been lurking for a while, but I'll use this chance to say that I really appreciate the mindset that the you and the team are adopting in terms of damage control. I understand that Virtuix cannot over-commit to providing any sort of solutions at the moment as resources are tight. Hear me (or us, on behalf of other hopefuls that will find any means and ways to still get it in their home countries) out here though:

    1. Paying a premium for that international shipping: Some of us wouldn't mind paying more cash just to get it as we've waited far too long. As suggested, could the team nominate another company to ship it out for us? Quote us a price and we'll discuss more.
    2. Allowing sets to be delivered to a U.S. address, then backers will take over from there: Get our promised sets sent to U.S. addresses that us backers will provide details for. We can then arrange for our own means to get the sets delivered to our countries.
  • 47tou47tou Posts: 3
    Hi Virtuix Omni Admin, we are sorry to hear it,
    I made an order since 2015 Jan and it is a mind strike to me and my friends when i see this announcement.
    It's hard to believe that your team decided to ship the product to US and not other country like Asia or Europe?
    Have you ever asked your backer, or purchaser to increase the shipping fees before the announcement?
    From my point of view, as well as the other supporters, since we purchased your product years ago or may be longer, what they aim for is to get the product ASAP.
    I wouldn't mind to increase the shipment fees to be honest.
    Also i live in Hong Kong, and the actual product may just be hundreds miles away from it, and now you saying No to us..

    I DON'T WANT THE FREAKING REFUND PROGRAM, I WANT THE VIRTUIX OMN THAT I ORDERED.

  • AdminoAdmino Posts: 38
    edited December 2016
    sutekiB said:

    I like this suggestion and will run it by the team.

    @sutekiB It's a nice suggestion, but I can't see it happening. If they can do that, then there's no reason they can't do the same for other backers wanting to send their order to a US address. That will mean some devices will make their way overseas which would probably run afoul of any exclusivity license rights signed with their Chinese partner. If Virtuix were to shift orders to "established US-based VR development teams" then the decision to do would be completely arbitrary and Virtuix has been lying to all international backers by saying it's not possible to change their delivery address.

  • liohauliohau Posts: 1
    edited December 2016
    @admin Instead of offering us an interest amount of 3%, would it be to get a refund for what we exactly paid and keep a kind of discount code that allow us to buy the omni at the same price when you will start selling them outside of the US ?

    Because I would be really angry if you were able to sell omni outside of the US in 1 or 2 year (which is nothing compared to the actual wait time) and that we had to pay it 699$ instead of our original price.
  • Quick PSA:

    Took a little under three hours from me providing them with my paypal account email until I got the funds on my paypal account.

    Now on to the next **** company to get my money back - I'm looking at you Sixense ...
  • AdminoAdmino Posts: 38
    Fakedawg said:

    Quick PSA:

    Took a little under three hours from me providing them with my paypal account email until I got the funds on my paypal account.

    Now on to the next **** company to get my money back - I'm looking at you Sixense ...

    Here's another one. I provided them with mine around 12 hours ago and still nothing. Still, their email did say it could take a few weeks...
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    another subliminal communication.
    "Because we have a long list to work through, the refund process will take several weeks to complete."
    Common guys, if i provide you my paypal address by answering the email , it take 30 secondes to refund the money.
    I doubt you are currently flooded with refund request.
    I think you are just testing the water.
    if i provide you with my paypal address for refund, i want the money in the next 3 days...not weeks.

    @Fakedawg, did you get the 3%/year ?


    the mail contained also another subliminal communication:
    "We are working hard to bring the Omni to your country, and we hope to see you again in the future."

    meaning in few month you will be able to purchase it for full price, after you loos your right to get at promised pre-order or kickstarter price.
  • frunkfrunk Posts: 1
    edited December 2016
    As a very disappointed backer #607 from the UK this whole episode is a kick in the teeth and you are not handling it well.

    How about some genuine honesty here!?!

    I don't like the shifting narrative we are getting... which tends to mean you are not willing to share the truth

    First claim: shipping and support were a surprise to you
    But you were never on the hook for shipping - right back at the beginning you said it was "our problem" - we accepted that.
    So then the narrative in these forums (and on the KS forum) has changed to "SUPPORT". And this is where things get a bit fishy and worrying... where you suggest you need to have a "support engineer" on site each year or so to calibrate it... is the underlying technology broken? Should your bigger investors be worried?

    I am sure this is bullshit too.

    The reality is probably more along the lines of: "The Omni is now more expensive to produce now that we anticipated. Every Omni we we well at KS prices is sold at a massive loss. We would like to cancel ALL the orders but we know we would be sued within the US. But by cancelling all international orders we avoid being sued and in a single pen stroke make our bottom line look better by getting rid of over 1000 "too cheap" pre-orders."

    It always comes down to money - at the moment you seem to be hiding behind "support", but it is far simpler than that isn't it?

    OTHERWISE you would be willing to refund us and offer us early backers and believers in your vision and technology a "special voucher" to "jump the queue and get a decent discount when it is released in your territory"

    We bought into Omni not because it was cheap... it wasn't at the time... it was a big investment for a product we did not know would work right; it was all plywood and sticky tape! And credit to you for pushing and pushing the design until it WAS right, but that has come with new investment, a new business model in the Chinese cafes and a new arrogance that really has no time for those "pissy little loss-making Kickstarter folk at the beginning"

    Except the only reason you have got this far is because of us!

    Hey, but hubris and your lawyers say 3% interest will keep those pesky Kickstarters off our backs... it may be legally acceptable but it is pretty morally corrupt.

    Even if we don't get an "early backer voucher" we deserve some honesty.

    Thanks!

    [edit:typos]
  • @frunk You're pretty much right on the money(pun intended) were it not all about money they would either A: Give us the option to wait or B: give us the current value of the Omni back. As it stand we were simply used and then when our usefulness ran it course we were discarded. They used the Kickstarter money for the prototype then went to the investors with over-inflated numbers of sales, impressed they invested in the Omni who in turn had no use for us anymore.
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    "then went to the investors with over-inflated numbers of sales"
    Yes, if i would be an investor, i would be very worry about my money used to refund kickstarters and preorders.

    anyway there was that interesting post in another thread
    Top Countries
    United States 1,669 backers
    United Kingdom 229 backers
    Australia 187 backers
    Canada 174 backers
    Germany 155 backers
    Norway 58 backers
    Japan 56 backers
    Netherlands 51 backers
    France 40 backers
    Sweden 38 backers

    So we can see that most countries can fit in one or two container (54 omni per container), and knowing that some countries
    without harbor would use the same as others countries anyway.
    It dos not seems too complicated to have one container delivered in the country and then dispatched with local transport
    these numbers do not count for pre-orders.


    What about cities? Behold!

    Top Cities
    London United Kingdom 69 backers
    Los Angeles United States 54 backers
    San Francisco United States 50 backers
    Seattle United States 47 backers
    Sydney Australia 41 backers
    Melbourne Australia 40 backers
    New York United States 39 backers
    Houston United States 34 backers
    Brisbane Australia 30 backers
    Perth Australia 27 backers
  • Masahiro said:

    Hello! Jan and The Virtuix Team,

    I'm a one of the investors via seedinvest and I'm also one of the "FOREIGN" pre-order customers.

    I hope that you would answer my question.

    I'm worried about there are some other factors in your decision except your announcement above.
    Like, Some persons force you to restrict destinations of your products because of commercial interests for some specific persons.

    I'm not sure the true, But if it might be possible,
    I think these kind of strategies are not profitable for "potential" customers/developers, and the field of VR might fall down in the future, even if you have a clue technology for success in this field.
    In my opinion, there is a room to consider to supply your products as a investigate or purpose of research to "developers/early adopters" (LIKE ME!) .

    Thanks,

    Masahiro

    Sorry, what I said is lack of precision and understanding of language but my concerns and what I'd like to say these are similar to @giroudf and @Admino saying (sorry possibly...).
    And now I'm in dual sides (investors via seedinvest "without voting rights and any information of direction of Virtuix" and "foreign" pre-ordered customers).

    I believed that this VR might be successful by this attractive technology and I want to touch and get the experience. That's why I did bet on it.
    But, hmm... I'm wondering where some more "light and unscented" physical VR platform are there.

    Should we change our direction?

    In addition, I'm not sure why The Virtuix left us the options reacting this refund program or not?
  • frunk said:

    The reality is probably more along the lines of: "The Omni is now more expensive to produce now that we anticipated. Every Omni we we well at KS prices is sold at a massive loss. We would like to cancel ALL the orders but we know we would be sued within the US. But by cancelling all international orders we avoid being sued and in a single pen stroke make our bottom line look better by getting rid of over 1000 "too cheap" pre-orders."

    I think so, too. Otherwise they wouldn't say that they FRICKIN FORBID US to ship our Omni to our US based friends and families. Even as a gift. I really don't feel that we are being treated with honesty here.
  • Just like many early backers here I was quite shocked by this sudden announcement, it’s like meeting your fiancée for a 3 year anniversary dinner at which (s)he suddenly announces a break up without any explanation. Less than chic, to say the least. The almost ‘robot-like copy-paste’ responses from Virtuix start to lose value rapidly: apologizing and that it’s a ‘difficult decision’ just doesn’t cut the cake and reflex a certain arrogance. Not knowing if this was intended, or just not so smartly handled (maybe some rushed decisions?), let’s look at some alternatives. Now that this is of my back…..

    Solutions
    So looking at the previous responses we can assume that the logistics (transport, customs declaration etc) is not the biggest problem, the real issue is the aftersales service for this first generation product.
    Working in the cargo industry I’m very familiar with the logistics chain and I’m sure that there are smart people at Virtuix who have explored all possibilities. Depending on the production setup goods could even be transported directly from China to Europe by train/boat and customs handled in any EU member state, after which they can be freely distributed. Many variations are possible in this.
    If Virtuix is worried about liability issues then just offer initially US warranty only. People can then decide themselves if they are comfortable with that or not. Once the product gets momentum and the company is ready to conquer the world, it could expand warranty service to other parts of the world.
    I travel around and often buy things in the US or Asia and it’s up to me to take it back to those regions in case I need to rely on warranty. I’m currently looking at my nest thermostat: When I bought it in LA in 2012 it was only available for the US market. I happily accepted that and took it home to Europe. I provided feedback and knew that if there was any problem, I would have to send it back.(and yes, the same goes for a 100 kg omni unit) Point is: If I want to buy a product outside my country, it would be very odd for the salesperson to refuse me that product because of ‘warranty issues’.

    If virtuix still refuses to let people choose to have it delivered to a US address or wave their warranty rights, then at least provide the early backers with a voucher that gives them the right to purchase a future unit in their home country(or region) once available at the original backer price. Yes, this will reduce Virtuix’profit for this group, but commitment has to come from 2 sides and I do think that early backers should have some grandfather rights: especially after waiting such a long time and then being put aside on the 11th hour.
    This is a safe alternative to my opinion since Virtuix will be well established then and the early errors have been resolved in the gen. 1 omni, by the time they are ready to go international. Giving the group of early international backers grandfather right should not cause any risk for the company then. A cut off date for determining who falls under this could be the date of the pressrelease( 5 december 2016).

    Your thoughts?
  • MrmatMrmat Posts: 3
    There's something really iffy about this.

    The omni will, presumably, be commercially available in the US at some point. Nothing will be able to stop a) customers buying one and taking it to wherever they want or b) a third party buying them and shipping them internationally.

    Your inability to deliver customer service globally will ultimately be irrelevant, and as has been said, international customers could easily just agree to those terms and conditions when buying from you directly. You say things like 'It wouldn't feel right' - but you won't have any control over where omnis end up being used, and like a lot of people have said, we'd be ok with it. I'm surprised that feels more 'right' than selling short your initial backers, to which you owe your entire business.
    admin said:

    Hi MarkH, I understand your frustration. We regret that we need to take this difficult step, but this is necessary for us to survive as a company. This has nothing to do with us having a partner in China, but with the unfortunate fact that shipping and supporting a product like the Omni all over the world has proven to be unrealistic for a small startup like us. We are very sorry about this.

    admin said:

    Hi all, Jan here. Today was not a good day for any of us. I understand everyone's frustration and share the disappointment. In the last few months we have worked hard to find cost effective options to get the Omni distributed and supported worldwide. The challenge is not the initial delivery of the units and accessories (albeit costly and complicated, but manageable), but handling and servicing customers and units all over the world. Our intent to do so worldwide has proven to be naive and unrealistic given how the Omni evolved to a complex and costly product. It'd be a suicide mission for a small startup like ours with a US team of 15 people. I wish it were different. This is a big setback for all of us.

    Despite protesting about customer service ethics, seems more like cost is somehow the issue, which is unsurprising as you're a small business. So why not pass on the cost to consumers? Several people have already said they would accept a premium on cost of delivery Why not hire more people? We all know how successful you have been at raising money from investors, why throw away international business?

    How exactly has the omni 'evolved' in a way that makes it harder to distribute internationally? It is and has always been a large item with several unwieldy appendages, what has changed?

    Honestly, I don't buy this at all. I think it must be one of the below:

    1) Someone overlooked something major in the international side of the business (i.e. a customs charge or patent or something), that means honouring these orders is going to cost you a LOT of money, so you are trying to bury them
    2) Some commercial arrangement you've made with another party e.g. a distributor, or maybe even deciding to sell the business, has come up and a condition of that is that you give them the international business
    3) The omni is seriously flawed and you're anticipating a lot of returns/replacements/parts failing etc and managing your reputation is easier to do at home than abroad.

    Whatever it is, you're clearly on a mission to bullshit your way out of it, and as were all kickstarter saps theres nothing we can do. So i'll take my refund and learn my lesson about crowdfunding.



  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    Exactly what i said, this company sucks and probably the product too.. take back your money asap and run away.
    better to get back your money than to pay for a 103kg paper weight.
    that;'s probably why we never got any feedback about the pathfinder samples.

  • Thank god for KAT Walk! I was a KAT Walk and Omni Kickstarter backer from outside the US but most of my friends had backed the Omni and I was excited to see the comparison. I wouldn't have made this account but just this week the KAT Walk KS page was updated with another specific assurance that the KAT Walk will be shipped GLOBALLY to backers so this is pretty disappointing and it's a shame that Virtuix even now aren't being honest with us.

    Don't try to sugarcoat it with "we care about support and delivery abroad and don't want to let you down" - it's pretty obvious from here that there are plenty of people willing to do whatever it takes, with whatever terms and conditions to get the Omni. The fact is that you'd be shipping every Omni at a massive loss, and you can't afford/don't want to lose money on your product. I get that. What's a real kick in the teeth is how long you would have known about this without telling us. That's why your apologies don't quite sit well with me. For months if not YEARS now you knew about the cost of production, not least when you started ordering to the US months ago. Instead of being honest with us you've strung us along like useful idiots - letting us do all your hype building, publicity and software support while knowing we'd get nothing in return.

    So that's it! 3 and a half years, blood sweat and tears and now you can brush aside and get on with the big contracts that you always cared about. Way to treat the little guy! I'll be claiming my refund and looking forward to getting my KAT Walk, from a company that sticks to its word.
  • edmgedmg Posts: 57
    Mrmat said:

    How exactly has the omni 'evolved' in a way that makes it harder to distribute internationally? It is and has always been a large item with several unwieldy appendages, what has changed?

    1. It's bigger, heavier, and more complex than the original design. The more complex part is probably the biggie, as it means it's much more likely to break and need repairs.
    2. If I remember correctly, it originally used a Kinect camera, which would presumably have eliminated any need for special electronics approvals.
  • adminadmin Posts: 169
    HI Edmg, that is correct. Anyone who has seen the Omni and Omni packaging in person will understand that shipping this product all over the world, and providing support in each country (which also means making extra accessories available in each country) is absolute madness for a small company like ours. We did not raise a $15MM-$20MM financing round, as we had intended, that would give us enough resources to try to tackle this challenge. Money can solve all problems, but the reality is that our resources are limited. We have come to realize and accept this in the past few weeks. There's nothing more to it. We are a small company and don't have the staff or money to ship and support a large and complex product in foreign markets all over the world. Instead of keeping your money, we find it only appropriate that we refund everyone's money plus interest. We regret this development, as it's clearly not what we had in mind.
  • 3% for 3 years is cheaper that band loans.

    I'm waiting for 3 years FOR WHAT ??????????????

    That all... Currently, money can't solve this problem.

    If you said, you're a small company why you don't use a shipping company from china and ship your product in world wide like the other company do??
  • giroudfgiroudf Posts: 127
    edited December 2016
    it is not a shipment problem. it is 400$ x 1000 = half million dollar problem.
    they just said it : "We did not raise a $15MM-$20MM financing round, as we had intended, that would give us enough resources to try to tackle this challenge."
    So they prefer to refund 2000 x 600$ =1.2 million $ (1000 kickstarters + probably as much pre-orders)
    go figure....
  • @giroudf

    Yeah I got the 3% interest as part of the reimbursement.
  • h3ndriksh3ndriks Posts: 10
    edited December 2016
    That's why i ask Kickstarter if this is possible! You take our Money to build up the Omni an sell them in the U.S. and China and kick us out!

    You say you can't handle the shipping and support? OK! But when we will organize the shipping by ourself and forgo the warranty what else is the problem? You have nothing to do with this stuff.

    And another point.

    It's not good business for any company to have units proliferate in a foreign location and then not provide any customer service in that area.


    So you mean it is better for a "good business" to break all contracts and promises with all the supporter und believer in the omni? Really?

    edit:typo
  • AscensiAscensi Posts: 119
    It's also unfortunate for developers at this time because there will be less customers.. Omni exclusive games could only be sold to Arcades. I think though people.. once success is seen with the arcades, big outlets such as Walmart, Best Buy etc may caryy omnis in the future, then the native games will be ready.
  • MrmatMrmat Posts: 3
    edmg said:

    Mrmat said:

    How exactly has the omni 'evolved' in a way that makes it harder to distribute internationally? It is and has always been a large item with several unwieldy appendages, what has changed?

    1. It's bigger, heavier, and more complex than the original design. The more complex part is probably the biggie, as it means it's much more likely to break and need repairs.
    2. If I remember correctly, it originally used a Kinect camera, which would presumably have eliminated any need for special electronics approvals.
    It's gained a few kilos. The likelihood to break and need repairs does indeed to be the thing, if the below post is to be believed:
    admin said:

    HI Edmg, that is correct. Anyone who has seen the Omni and Omni packaging in person will understand that shipping this product all over the world, and providing support in each country (which also means making extra accessories available in each country) is absolute madness for a small company like ours. We did not raise a $15MM-$20MM financing round, as we had intended, that would give us enough resources to try to tackle this challenge. Money can solve all problems, but the reality is that our resources are limited. We have come to realize and accept this in the past few weeks. There's nothing more to it. We are a small company and don't have the staff or money to ship and support a large and complex product in foreign markets all over the world. Instead of keeping your money, we find it only appropriate that we refund everyone's money plus interest. We regret this development, as it's clearly not what we had in mind.

    So what you're really saying is; when you agreed to take our money and ship us all our units, you hadn't checked what you needed to do to fulfill this, and you've since found out you are legally required to have replacement parts in stock in the countries you sell? And doing so will financially cripple your business, so you can't fulfill the orders?

    If so: I have 2 questions

    1) Can you please direct me to this legal requirement? I assume it is online somewhere?
    2) Are you really only find out about this now? In no point in the 3 years of development have you looked into how you might distribute your GLOBALLY funded product?
  • adminadmin Posts: 169
    Hi Mrmat, you'll learn more about legal requirements for delivering products in the EU here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/sell-abroad/client-guarantee-redress/index_en.htm
    We were well aware of these requirements and believed we could meet these. Only in the last few weeks have we started to admit the reality that we would not have enough resources to deliver and support the Omni all over the world. It's a vast undertaking for any company, let alone for a small startup like ours.
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