Courtesy Kickstarter

Years later, backers aren't seeing the coolers—or any refunds.

Sammy Nickalls
February 07, 2018
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Unless you’re an ultimate foodie, you may not really consider a cooler to be an investment, but the Coolest cooler isn’t just any old cooler. The cooler isn't just one you throw your beer into—it has a built-in blender, cupholders, holsters for knives and plates, and even bluetooth speakers. Really, it’s the perfect thing for any regular beachgoer who likes getting their margarita on in the sand. However, this cooler is getting Kickstarter in hot water, according to a report from Delish. The cooler was initially posted on Kickstarter, where it brought in 265 times its initial fundraising goal. About three years later, the cooler is now sold on Amazon and on, but despite the Portland-based company’s success, the initial backers still haven't received the coolers they paid for--nor a refund for their investment. 

Despite raising $13.2 million on Kickstarter, the company hasn't delivered on its 2014 promises of a cooler for $185 during the campaign--and meanwhile, others can order it online and have it shipped within a week. The Oregon Department of Justice has reportedly received over 500 complaints, which prompted an official investigation into Coolest that is still ongoing. There was even a petition insisting the company stop shipping out coolers until they’ve delivered on their promises. 

Coolest CEO Ryan Gripper told Delish in an email that Coolest still has about a third of the Kickstarter rewards to ship out, and that the rest are coming:

"In a perfect world, all our backers would have their Coolest Coolers by now, but unfortunately, to make such a high-quality product so quickly for so many people cost much more than we expected...This is our primary mission, and to accomplish this goal, we continue to fund production and ship more backer rewards through new product sales." 

After enough time had passed, some backers didn't even care about the cooler--they just wanted their money back. However, because over 62,000 backed the campaign, the only way to request a refund is to use an online form, and two weeks before your cooler's supposed to ship, they'll ask you again if you're sure you'd prefer to have that refund. Which would be great and all, except for the fact that no one knows when the coolers will come in.

Meanwhile, Kickstarter is holding up its hands and saying "not our problem." When Coolest initially launched its campaign, Kickstarter stated in its terms of use that it "does not offer refunds," adding in October of 2014 that a project's responsibility "lies entirely with the project creator." "Kickstarter doesn't hold funds on creators' behalf, cannot guarantee creators' work, and does not offer refunds,” the terms read. The moral of the story? No matter how cool a cooler seems, the good ol’ Internet always should be handled with caution.

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