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Please tell TrueBuds to return the $1m they stole from us on Kickstarter and Indiegogo!

This petition had 864 supporters


This petition is for the prompt return of crowdfunding proceeds to Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers of TrueBuds Bluetooth headphones.  Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to raise money and help bring their inventions to market.  Kickstarter explicitly states that projects involving physical products must demonstrate a working prototype and that products that are still under development cannot be offered as a reward.  Furthermore, they discourage the use of photorealistic renderings as a substitute for real product images.

The creators of the TrueBuds started their Kickstarter campaign in August 2015 with an estimated ship date of March 2016.  By the time the campaign ended on September 27, 2015, they had raised $411,061, which is more that eight times their original goal.  They then started a campaign on Indiegogo, raising an additional $515,264 by October 1, 2015.

This is stated on their Kickstarter campaign page ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pearbuds/pearbuds-the-worlds-smallest-stereo-cordless-earbu/description ):

"Truebuds are fully prototyped, and we need your help to scale up manufacturing so we can bring them to market

A full working prototype has been created. We are also experimenting with various fits, materials and more to give you the best quality when we deliver the product.

We come from technical product design and engineering backgrounds and have been creating electronic devices for over a decade. We're also working with experts who have manufactured headphones for the biggest consumer brands out there, so we know how to bring these types of devices to market."

Despite this statement, there is no evidence to suggest that an actual working prototype ever existed.  After the target date came and went, TrueBuds CEO, Eric Tsoi, stopped sending regular monthly updates.  Instead, backers began receiving notices of postponements and apologies for lack of communication.  The last updates were in July 2016 and October 2016 and in these were computer rendered images of a redesigned product and a promise to ship the item to backers by the end of the year.  Mr. Tsoi ended his last update by encouraging backers to contact him with questions, though most have found that he does not reply.

When TrueBuds' Kickstarter campaign began, Bluetooth headphones of this type did not exist.  Since the missed target date, several companies have released headphones similar to TrueBuds, most with more advanced features.  Eric Tsoi misled us to believe that Truebuds had a working product last year and simply needed our help to fund mass production.  In exchange, backers would receive the product at a discounted rate.  We did not agree to fund a product that was still in development, and for this reason we demand and deserve a full refund of our contributions.

 



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