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Not a chance at this point...
I want my money back. Can we get our money back?
Sorry for being pretty silent for awhile. Other life stuff is getting in the way of pursuing this with the Florida AG. However, I do intend to follow-up with them in the next few days, but remember that I can't promise anything.
In the meantime, Larry Davis of DestroyAllChildren published a LENGTHY article about this whole debacle. It can be accessed here:
I'll let everyone know what the AG has to say.
Heard back from Rightstuf what an interesting email:
So I got word back about this. Apparently the creator did reach out to us about this project, but when we replied with a estimate he never responded. So as it stands, we have zero involvement with this Kickstarter.
I'm sorry to hear you guys are going through this unfortunate situation. I wish you the best of luck in getting it resolved.
~Anime-Zing Customer Happiness Guru
Digital Manga Press, who are behind a campaign to publish the sum of Tezuka's remaining works in English via Kickstarter, have posted a survey asking about backers of The Crater: https://twitter.com/digitalmanga/status/667160804513353728
I have no idea what will come of this but please respond as this would be a good way to show that we are still interested in the title!
Andrew did write in one of the updates:
We ended up being about three weeks behind schedule and will be sending our finalized digital copy of The Crater to Tezuka Productions for approval on Monday, September 2nd. The digital copy is currently complete and in the very capable hands of our experienced Copy Editor.
As mentioned previously, we are not quite sure how long it will take Tezuka Productions to approve our copy of The Crater. As soon as we get the okay, we will need about 5 weeks for all copies of the book to be printed, shipped to our distributor (Rightstuf), and sent out to everyone.
So was Rightstuf actually involved? They are a massive Manga, Anime sales site. If he did really set things up with Tezuka Productions then maybe one of us needs to contact them to see what's up. I found an email but it's only site related. To get any real information you have to call them but I can't find the number anywhere. If we called them I bet we could get more concrete information.
@Dani well the thing with that is ANN did confirm it with TezukaProductions that's probably the only real action that as taken along with have 2 tezuka experts writing an artice or what not .. we never saw any physical evidence of something being made or that weird story about all those animation cels ... What i do find weird is that TezukaPro didn't seek him out certainly they wouldn't take this ...
This little video pretty much describes Kickstarter in a nutshell
I doubt that would ever come out toe be anything. There's too many people from different countries it wouldn't really work. But I'd love to see someone give Andrew what he deserves.
Fortunately I did not lose much money at all, but this was most definitely a scam. Either that or the person in charge had drama in his/her life... but it almost certainly was a scam. If anyone has any info on the person responsible, please share. Maybe all 1105 backers can file a class action lawsuit against these scammers!
And really @Fred at this point the only expectation is to find out the truth. What went wrong? Why he would do this? What was his true intentions?
The true way anyone will get money is if the AG gets on on this or someone force's legal action in small claims court in Florida. Thank you for doing all this Fred. Glad to see there are people who won't give up.
Hey, tsundere1ftw, where's the lurve! ;)
I have a suspicion that this might actually put some pressure on the Florida AG to do something other than chucking the case into a unused broom closet. I intend to follow-up with them and WILL mention the WFTV segment.
Understand that the TV piece was probably not going to uncover anything new given KCP's black hole-like disappearance. It's the media attention that I was after. I also hope against hope that this raises the hackles of Kickstarter itself so that they'll better respond to backer complaints and institute some protectionist-oriented reforms.
Another thing about which I was happy was the exposure that Kickscammed got. I think that, beyond anything else, Kickscammed along with further legal action from various law enforcement entities will spur Kickstarter to some manner of reform so that they'll finally acknowledge that pledge theft is a real and festering plague that needs obliteration.
Anyway, while I still have serious doubts anyone will see a refund from all this, I see a glimmer of hope that, at the very least, we'll discover just what happened and to where Andrew Nevo fled.
Better than nothing tho, right??
Unfortunately that wasn't the conclusion we all hoped for :-( Very short segment and nothing new really
You'll never guess who I talked to today. It seems the local TV station who interviewed me on this campaign and Kickstarter in general is going to run! The story will air during the Action 9 segment sometime during the 5:30 EST news tomorrow. See www.wftv.com for details on how to access the segment.
I really, REALLY hope this brings us closer to getting some concrete answers as to what happened to this project and KCP. Fingers (and toes) crossed!
And that's the problem @Fred AccountAbility Kickstarter is so hands off it's sad.
The only projects I will even remotely considering backing anymore are from "known" entities, like Flesk Publications or the guys behind the Tome books. Unfortunately, these one hit losers have completely turned me off from supporting the very people for which KIckstarter was originally intended - the moms & pops that couldn't otherwise get traditional funding. In essence, they've ruined it for future, honest project creators.
I STILL don't understand Kickstarter's hands-off approach to everything. You'd think they'd want to do everything in their power to ensure that backers aren't taken advantage of, but they seem to revel in the casino-like environment their business model encourages. To me, it seems like insanity.
@James D White there is official company's like DMP i sure woudn't hope you would give up on them when they are actually do fulfill there promises unlike this lower then insect piece of garbage of an Andrew Nevo that isn't even telling us that he coudn't pull it of.
I would have glady taken an softcover for this even if it was overpriced (which could have been easilly pulled off) then we at least would have gotten it and leaving the extra swag out would have been okay as well at this point.
I gotta admit after this official company's it's where it's at for me only i will never gamble on something like this ever again !!! honestly with the kind of money that would have been no problem if i where Andrew i would have gathered the money and go to publising house and let them print 1100 dammn softcovers send them and apologize we would have respected him then and he woudn't have to creep in the shadows on the internet like the Bitch he is now !!! and still kind of being afraid of a lawsuit everyday.
Having spend hour money on party's and Alcohol like i saw him do when i was still a friend of him on Facebook perhaps he also bought a car from it ... I do think he never actually attempted at printing the book in the first place cause when we asked for pictures he could never show us anything that wasn't digital.
And that's why I've decided to stop backing any new projects. It's just delays, blah blah blah then it does not come out or something like this campaign.
What an effin' joke. Strickler knows damn well that, while admittedly in the minority, deadbeat project creators are a bane on this site. Notice that she doesn't mention ANYTHING about Kickstarter itself helping shafted backers, with the implication that it's simply "let's bury our collective heads in the sand" business as usual whenever a Crater or Totally Messed Up or Mystery Box occurs.
Many people, including myself, have put forward real and concrete ideas as to how to greatly enhance accountability and responsibility into the system, but they continue to fall on deaf ears. Kickstarter hasn't cared about backers since its inception and certainly won't give a damn well into the future. Their one and only goal is to collect commissions. Everything else is NIMBY.
This is why sites like www.kickscammed.com are sorely needed - to expose deadbeat project creators for the thieves they are. They also serve the double-purpose of highlighting the dangers of participating in Kickstarter itself.
I really wonder if/when someone is going to bring a massive lawsuit against Kickstarter for effectively collecting stolen money. I've always thought there should be a somewhat strict approval process, the funds raised held in escrow for a reasonable period, and the total money (minus Kickstarter's cut) not doled out all at once.
Kickstarter makes me angrier and angrier the more they try to justify their lackadaisical attitudes.
Here's an excerpt from a recent interview with the CEO of Kickstarter Yancey Strickler from Polygon about Fraudulent or unsuccessfully rewarded campaign's such as this one.
Just because a Kickstarter is successfully funded doesn't mean it will accomplish its goals. The tales of creators falling short, of failing to deliver for their backers, are not uncommon. It's an issue that has caused the company to clarify its language about the relationship between creators and backers as recently as last year.
More troubling comes the news that in July the state of Washington ordered restitution and civil penalties be paid by one creator who failed to deliver rewards to their backers. It marks the first successful case brought against a delinquent Kickstarter campaign.
Strickler sees this as an anomaly.
"When we look at the 90-some-thousand projects that have been successfully been funded," Strickland said, "and we see here the case in Washington is clearly an extraordinarily rare outlier. But in the instance of a creator acting in bad faith, or acting fraudulently, absolutely the legal provisions that are available when people do that in general, regardless of the platform where it occurs, I think those sorts of actions are absolutely appropriate.
"In this instance, certainly what we want to see is a resolution for backers. I have no idea whether backers are satisfied by this outcome or how people would feel in the end as a part of this. But if someone acts in bad faith and takes advantage and ultimately is using a Kickstarter community, and our brand and our name, to perform a fraudulent act yeah absolutely there should be real accountability for that, especially if it's criminal.
"This isn't the sort of thing that an average creator should be worried about." sees this as an anomaly.
"This isn't the sort of thing that an average creator should be worried about."
If I don't hear anything else in a week or two, I'll phone the person who (I believe) has been assigned this case. If no one hears anything from me for an extended period, don't worry, I'm still pursuing this.
Mark, I'll be referencing the Washington State case when I talk to the AG's office.
I never did hear back from Lauren and it sounds like James never heard from that "Friends of Andrew" person. C'est la vie. I wouldn't get deterred.
@Mark I was about to pay that article. Now is not the time to give up contact the AG of your state about this campaign. Unfortunately in Canada there's not much we can do...
Looks like there is some precedence for this!
@Fred awesome news man. Obviously I have not heard anything from this Friend of Andrew's email I had sent a lengthy email to. Probably just another party of the Andrew scheme wagon we've come to expect. Fingers crossed Fred!
@Fred Leggett That's awesome man !!! Andrew be shiting in his pants right now if he knew we are actually onto something for the first time !!! this is the first time someone has actually taken this problem seriously hope we can get a real result out of this, i had already given up on it anyway so things can only go better from here if only i could do something ... thank you so much Fred just tell me if i could do anything not even being in NA basically limits you to doing nothing ...
Interesting news. I've received acknowledgement of my Florida AG complaint and said complaint has been forwarded to the AG's Consumer Protection Division for review. I've also been given the name and contact number of a person within the AG's office who, I presume, has been assigned the case. My filing was also forwarded to the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services for possible mediation.
The ball is rolling. Slowly, probably, but definitely rolling.
Honestly I'm not giving up. If there's a will there's a way. I want answers not just for us for everyone who backed this.
James, it'll be interesting to see if you receive a response from that individual. I still haven't heard anything from Lauren, not even a noncommittal "Lemme research further", which is disappointing (assuming it reached her).
We need to keep pressing, though. Someone out there is going to run with this, whether it be a state agency or local media outlet.
I sent an email let's see where it goes
@Fred this was posted in the comments here back on June 14th 2014 by a so called friend of Andrew. However that person's only thing they've backed on KS is this project.
"The bottom line is this: THE BOOK IS REAL. IT IS AUTHORIZED BY TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS. IT IS BEING PRINTED NOW AND YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR COPY. My email address is email@example.com. Although I am not involved with the actual production of the book, I have observed Andrew working through each step of this very long process and would be happy to provide you with any additional information I can provide."
Still nothing from Lauren. I dunno if she got the email or if it went into her spam folder. I had to do some digging to get her address, so it's possible I used the wrong one. However, the one I did use didn't bounce, so...
I don't know what sort of timetable my AG complaint will follow. I may not hear anything for weeks or even months (or perhaps not at all). If I don't receive something from the office in another two weeks, I'll try calling them about my filing.
I don't know who that "Friend of Andrews" person is. I suppose it couldn't hurt for someone to write to that address.
My question is has anyone else emailed this "Friend of Andrews" at firstname.lastname@example.org
He said he backed this and that the book was real back in 2014. Him as well as Andrew radio silence.
Way to go Fred. I really hope something comes from this end of things...
BTW, I haven't heard from Lauren. I figure if she doesn't respond in another week or so that that's a dead-end, too.
Screw it, I just filed a complaint with the Florida AG. I stressed that, while I was only personally out for $57, in reality Andrew made off with over $50,000 of backer funds. Hopefully, that'll turn some heads.
It looks like Andrew last logged into Kickstarter on February 18 of this year, so he should definitely know we're onto him.
J L Rico Thanks for the link. Now only if we could get the book we where promised over two years ago.....
As usual Fred the perseverance you show is amazing. Thanks man. Hopefully someone out there with some pull can help us get some answers.
I just emailed Lauren. Hopefully, she'll pick this up and run with it.
In a way, I wish I had pledged a lot more, as I would then have more leverage and justification for opening a case with the Florida AG. I'm still thinking about doing so, but all I could claim would be $57, which I'm sure would get thrown into the "petty complaints" folder and subsequently forgotten.
Vincent, I'll be more than happy to discuss any aspect of this campaign with anyone, along with detailing my trials and tribulations with Kickstarter, so I'll see if Lauren is interested. I'm fairly certain Scott Green writes (or used to write) anime news pieces for AICN, so he might be reachable there.
@Vincent I sent an email to the editorial staff at AnimeNewsNetwork who had originally published an article on this campaign. They never contacted me back or did an article about this mess of a campaign.
@Fred that's it man. I posted on another Kickstarter that hasn't been fulfilled from 2013 and not even an hr later they sent a campaign update. That's how it should be handled. Not radio slice while Andrew scrooge McDucks in a pool of our money.
I feel like most people have forgotten about this project. Do you think trying to get some sort of media attention would help? I first found out about the campaign initially through io9.com (http://io9.com/crowdfund-a-collection-of-osamu-tezukas-short-manga-and-508392044…) who was referencing a story on the Crunchyroll news site (http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/05/17-1/kickstarter-for-osamu-tezukas-the-crater-launches). It might help to contact them since they helped promote this campaign and the writers may have a personal stake in this. Maybe reminding them would help sway them to write about it. Especially you Fred, since you actually had your account suspended trying to bring this issue to light. It might be an interesting enough story for them.
The author at io9 that promoted this campaign is Luaren Davis (https://twitter.com/LaurenDavis)
The author at Crunchyroll is Scott Green (can't find a personal contact).
Accountability is the key to crowdfunding's long-term survival. Without accountability, this entire site is nothing more than a gambling den. Unfortunately, I think it'll be a long time before Kickstarter implements anything that could be regarded as "backer support", as they seem hellbent on being as hands-off as possible.
Another key element that needs to change is the seriousness that project creators exhibit with respect to their promises to their supporters. I'm convinced that many have a "who cares?" sort of lackadaisical attitude regarding fulfilling their obligations and shipping campaign rewards. Too many fall back on the tiresome and error-ridden "your pledge doesn't constitute a preorder" mantra as a method to escape both their ethical and legal responsibilities. And, incredibly, a sizable amount of backers don't seem to care if project creators follow-through with their deliverables, perhaps surreptitiously thinking of the day when they, too, can start a project and amass a bunch of pledge funds without offering anything in return.
We all know and accept that Kickstarter is not a store, but it shouldn't be a casino.
I just saw the same court decision and came straight here to post about it, I am glad someone else did too. We need to figure out how to now take this to court against Andrew since there is now a precediance for this type of situation. I hope he has seen this and will be shitting in his pants because from all the unhappy backers on this project I know we will not stand down.
Did you guys see this?
James, this is what happens when corporate, profit-driven culture complete subsumes itself into the minds of the higher-ups. It then becomes all about image and less about ethics, much less simple morality. Kickstarter has had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to make this site less risky for backers, but just continues to turn a blind eye in their rabid chase for pledge money.
I wrote an actual, angry hardcopy letter to Kickstarter where I included a printout of this campaign and circled the total money with which Andrew/KCP absconded. I know they received it, as I paid for registered mail with signature. I've heard nothing since then and my account is, apparently, now unfrozen, otherwise I couldn't post this.
BTW, since Kickstarter doesn't have a phone line in which to voice complaints, I called Amazon. Turns out Kickstarter is no longer a subsidiary or affiliate of Amazon. Interesting, eh?
Damn @Fred... I can't believe that Kickstarter would be so rash and disrespectful. They should know Andrew RAN OFF with our money. They got their cut of the pot. So where's our jusitce? That's a terrible way to treat us, the loyal backers who got screwed by someone so you tried to ensure that Andrew wouldn't try this again. Ridiculous!
I wanted to warn everyone about just how scummy Kickstarter has become in regards to backer support against deadbeat project creators.
A few days after I left my comment about the Kickscammed entry, I received a pretty nasty email from Kickstarter itself saying that I had violated "community guidelines". As a result, my account was effectively frozen for a week. No evidence was offered that I had run afoul of these nebulous CGs, nor were they enumerated to prove that I had done anything of the sort. My activity in other parts of Kickstarter could not've possibly gone against ANY of Kickstarter's policies, so it had to be the Kickscammed announcement, as the timing and context was just too coincidental.
Because of this and because of Kickstarter's absolute and total disregard for backers who've been screwed over by projects like this one, I am done with this site. Kickstarter is one of the most customer hostile companies with which I've ever had the displeasure of engaging. I've backed over 80 projects over the years, many of which I've been proud to contribute towards, but no more.
The current diseased crop of Kickstarter directors and managers are digging their own graves. I can only hope karma is a real and potent thing.
Goodbye and good riddance.
@aziesel did you not read any of the comments below? He took our money and ran. That's it no book, no refund... Nothing. He spent our money and partied or bought a car or whatever. Andrew is a scammer and a fraud.
You last announcement was from June 2014. Any more recent update?