by The Department of Design
Jul 20, 2013
Because he's a student... anyone get the feeling this started as a school project and he turned it into a Kickstarter to get money from people without intention of ever shipping? It's so well-done and with the evidence mounting I get the feeling that that might be the case here.
@Eric and @Jason: I got an email as well and submitted my mailing info. I'm not worried about giving that info because it's publicly available info and (in my case) is a mailbox. But anyone can find out your address so why not submit it, you know?
This is starting to seem like some odd social experiment.
Anybody else want a little more info before handing over an address?
I just got an e-mail to confirm my shipping address. So after all this drama, is the product shipping? Anyone else get the e-mail?
This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.
I must say that you have had a run of bad luck backing some playing card KS's. I have backed several and MOST delivered on time or before they were expected. I see that you backed Core, and they are currently looking for Timothy in my neck of the woods; and Persian Empire, which was rather fraudulent. I think the key here is that John hasn't even started working on producing the cards, as USPCC claims to have never heard of the guy. I think that calls for concern -- he should have been working with them long ago getting pricing and other information together. We have been having these discussions since the pledge drive and no matter what we say about the guy, he is never around to defend himself. As a matter of fact, people like you are quicker to defend him than he is himself.
Holy crap...have you guys never backed a KS project before?! First, the promised delivery date for this project is July. It's still July. Second, I have yet to back a playing card project on KS (and I've backed a half dozen or so) that has delivered on time. Yes, more and less cryptic updates would be nice but there's certainly no reason to start going ballistic at this point.
I emailed Kickstarter's customer service about the project to see if there's anything they can do about it. At this point, though, I suspect there isn't. We'll see what happens.
I asked the following as a follow up question:
Thanks. Anything by the 'Department of Design' or anything called the Founders Cards? Appreciate it.
We do not have anything under those names.
Unfortunately I believe that the Kickstarter project from John Slabyk was a scam.
@Robert I provided the name to give as much info as I thought I knew so that they didn't have to go hunting. My message was:
I backed a kickstarter project to produce cards printed by your company. I am starting to this that is was a fraud and they have no plans to produce a deck of cards to deliver to the folks who backed their project. I was wondering if you could help. Can you tell me if you are currently producing a deck of playing cards that matches the following kickstarter campaign? http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dodsr/founders-playing-cards. Their claimed name is "The Department of Design" out of Washington D.C. I believe the person's name is John Slabyk.
Any thing you can tell me would be appreciated.
I hope he don't have anybody's Ccard number.
For someone like John, I think he is incapable of feeling shame or other emotions that make normal people think twice about what they have done or how they have treated others. I see people like him on the 5pm news and they are usually tearful that they got caught at something, but not remorseful for what they actually did. This guy decided to take the talent he has and use it unscrupulously. Can you imagine how much more he would have gained monetarily had he ran a legitimate campaign and had people hurry back in droves for those other decks he said he was going to print? Now, he cannot run a campaign here ever again. It's sad, really. And, I'm keeping my eye open on other crowd-funding sites just in case he tries this again.
You should have asked them if they printed any decks of cards they called the Founders Playing Cards. Or for the, The department of Design. I don't think John Slabyk is the name of this guy anyway. If he is well known like that.
At this point, I neither want cards or a refund... I would like to see this man shamed. This update is a big FU to everyone. He's obviously an immature fool who has no idea how to complete a project. Don't post jokes, don't post "more to come"... Simply apologize, explain why you are completely incompetent, return our money, and close down this project. And make sure you never, never, never associate your name, the DoD brand, or your internet handle on a project that's on the web, because I will make sure whoever signs on with you in the future are aware that you are a fraud who's incapable of delivering... or even communicating.
So I emailed the U.S. Playing Card Company over the weekend inquiring about this Kick Starter. Their response was:
John Slabyk has never printed anything with our Custom Division.
@Debbie, that's because Google Streetview doesn't have data for the actual location.
Actually Google street view shows a garage door with heavy graffiti.
That address is probably a telephone booth.
No shame in waiting another week, at least until August 1st (after the estimated delivery date), for an explanation. I doubt anyone would put as much work as they did into creating these cards from the illustrations to the symbolism and thought put into each suit, etc... only to have the project fall through the cracks. I'm really curious to know what "more to come..." means.
I think the most important portion of the FAQ is the following...
"Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
My advice, Mr. Slabyk, would be to release a formal update as soon as possible to appease the masses, since it appears that the torches and pitchforks are quickly approaching on here. As the FAQs here on Kickstarter explicitly state:
"If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update (which is emailed to all backers) explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they'd like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.
It's not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator."
I just shot an email over the the US Playing Cards Company asking if they are actually producing these cards. I'm sure they won't give me any info, but it's worth a shot.
Everyone, I think we got taken and the suckers are us. We're not suckers for backing a KS project, but for backing someone who writes this dribble for the company's bio:
"The Department of Design & Semiotic Research is devoted to the cultivation of efficient communication through analysis & understanding of the systemic, cyclical and mercurial movement of information through complex systems and the emergent forces of function & form."
I should've listened to the hairs on the back of my neck when I first read that, but figured, "Twenty three bucks? What the hell?" Now I suspect we're all part of a wierd social science experiment and our names are going to end up on someone's "SUCKA" list.
Alright, this has really gone too far. First, you give us spotty updates, then you apologize for the spotty updates and start an "update week" that lasts two days, and now, you're almost at the deadline for delivering our rewards and you post one highly cryptic update. What gives, guys?
Yes, it's true, we did land on the moon on July 20th, 1969. But since I am supporting you on playing cards how about an update on that?
I actually have no issue with the delay if you would contribute it to a real reason. I sure most wouldn't mind the delay if again you would keep us informed. You have a ton of moving parts, coins, posters, frames for prints, and the cards themselves. I know for a fact how hard it can be to get one company to get you timely prints, revisions, clarifications, and a final copy. With that said you have never once said any issue has delayed what you thought was the final product timing. Add to that the packaging of all of this by someone who may or may not be used to filling odd orders (cards, prints, coins, etc..) on a moderate scale.
To summarize we all are a part of an age where tag lines, hash tags, and quips are a part of our daily lives. When it comes to business though we want clear and concise communication. Please give us a realistic update with details and I'm sure most would be much happier with that.
Maybe he's hiding out on the moon now with all our fucking money
Are there any lawyers here with information on how we might sue this guy if ever he doesn't deliver our products?
Cryptic remarks are not an update. Unless it was literal. In that case you obviously still have Internet and should give some sort of info
I see you have taken the "government theme" to heart and adopted their vague, empty statements as well.
Dept of Design: I certainly appreciate concise, brief updates, but would you please elaborate on the latest update?
Also keep in mind we all get tons of email, and one like this serves no purpose and is unappreciated.
I cannot even begin to describe how blatantly insulting this is to every single backer of this project.
Are you on drugs? We don't hear Anything from you for a Full Month & this is what we get for an update? Do you realize how much you're screwing up? If you bail on this project & leave us empty handed, All We lose is a little $$ & irritation but YOU LOSE Big Time.
You lose your honor & integrity which might not seem like much to you now because I'm guessing you're pretty young to act this imature & foolish. But, giving up your honor & integrity & dignity leaves you without Any Respect From Anyone. If You can't have self-respect, you have Nothing. It can change you whole future in a very negative way.
You are obviously intelligent to have brought the project this far. Now step up & show Real Intelligence by being honest with us about what the hell is going on. Don't think for a minute that legal action is something that won't haunt your future. If more than a thousand people file a complaint with the right department, it could be devastating in your future because with all the technology today it's impossible to hide past indiscretions.
I sure hope you give some Serious Thought to what you decide to do next. The Choice AND the ramifications are now Up To YOU. Make Good Choices ... Peace and Love ...
Yep...I know of an easy way to get the FBI involve here as this is clearly internet fraud which is a felony. The department of design is about to visit the department of correction
Dear Dept of Design,
Please listen to your backers by providing lucid communication that will be clearly understood and meaningful. Oh yeah... it should be clearly understood and meaningful to 95% of your backers, no matter their background or education. If you continue to communicate via cryptic phrases and wording which may be cute and clever to you, you will alienate most of your backers. No one wnats that to happen.
Any bets on this being a repeat of the failed update week?
WTF does this mean? Get real.
Yes more to come.... 1 Felony Grand Larceny and about 1137 counts of misdemeanor larceny. The law is about to get involved.
As near as I can tell, you aren't even taking this seriously anymore. People gave you money, the least you could do is conduct yourself as a professional. I try to talk up kick starter as a great place to find cool projects and tell people it isn't risky and people like you make that really difficult.
I just hope were at least going to get our product after all this...
Yeah! What Shawn said...
I regards to your comment......I hope it's big news.
No offense, but what the hell does that mean?
More to come ...