Part 4: Postmortem of a Kickstarter campaign; Camsformer
By: Date: May 19, 2016 Categories: Other

Part Four…The purchase of my silence (spoiler alert)

We left the story at part three on September 6th 2015, at which point I’d lost my shit for the first time, pointed out a whole lot of oddities and concerns and pretty much decided I didn’t want to be a part of the project any longer.

On September 8th, Clive posted a whole lot of reassurances; that everything was fine, that all hardware and software was complete except Android (90% complete though), that the design alteration at the last minute was one single wire and absolutely not anything to worry about. These updates were all “text only”; no video or screen shots or whatever. He did promise to post some screen shots “shortly”, though.

Once again these were not done as Updates in the proper section, but as comments, as several members noticed :

stillnoupdatesTo which Clive replied,

stillnoupdatescliveOnly to be laid into again (rightly) :

stillnoupdatesresponse1stillnoupdateslastI still cannot work out if there is some reason for Clive repeatedly failing to do updates as proper updates; whether it somehow kept things “below the radar” as far as Kickstarter was concerned? If anyone wishes to comment with suggestions I’d be very pleased to hear them.

It is worth, for fairness, pointing out that some commenters were still posting in support of Clive, commenting that they believed in the project and looked forward to its completion. I would say the majority of those commenting were suspicious though :

vreuls1Finally, it seems that Clive had actually promised other backers by private message that he would use the UPDATES section rather than the comments section and had then, having made that promise, failed to do so. This really does make me suspect there is “technique” going on here; I really cannot work out what it achieves though.

noupdatesI myself had by then been messaging Clive asking for a refund :

repeatrepeatOne member (presumably) thought I might have been rude to Clive, provoking being ignored, which is fair enough :

toneandqualityBut I was happy to post the trail :

clivenorepliesAt this point many members started to express doubts in public. Some posted complaints they’d made to Kickstarter and Kickstarter’s replies (which were rather hollow and vacuous – and certainly achieved nothing nor committed to do anything). I trotted out (again) some comments about its similarity to XtremeTether, and also posted some new things I’d spotted that were contrary to claims :

moreworries– essentially that his photos that had apparently been taking using Camsformer had not been, that he’d used stock images, and that “his” App was in reality another app.

On September 19th, Clive finally said that “THIS WEEK (Monday or Tuesday September 21 or 22) we will start mass producing circuit boards, then ship them out to everyone.”

On the same day, Clive private messaged me back to say the refund had been issued. I didn’t immediately get it but just a few days later (with more pushy chasing, and quoting reference numbers) my money did come back. What I hadn’t immediately realised was that as soon as it got refunded I’d lose my ability to comment as a backer. So my current theory is I’d posted enough dirt to get my silence bought for a refund. I kind of wish I’d realised this, and perhaps even posted a URL for my blog before being banned from posting.

So that is kind of the end of the story for me, or ought to have been. But my curiosity about what the project really was lingered on even afterwards, and I was curious to see if anyone would ever receive anything. I think that’s a good place to end part four. Check out part five now!


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