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The Orba Kickstarter: Anyone Else Feeling Hustled?

So I just got my Orba, and it is pretty neat as a MIDI controller, and a looper, so I will give them points for that. However, I pledged $125 for the project and my bundle (was supposed to) included the Orba, a case, and a bonus T-shirt, which was reported to be 20% savings of the retail price. 

Flash forward to nearly 6 months late on delivering the backer rewards, and I paid $8 extra for expedited shipping because I was so anxious to get it, I couldn't stand the thought of it being another month out on the ocean. $8 is a small price to pay for saving 3 weeks of shipping time....except it didn't, because EVERYONE's Orba's got brought on the expedited air transport method from China that those of us who shelled out were dumb enough to pay for. I feel like I got shaken down. 

While trying to get over the the cost of the expedited shipping charge I was dumb enough to pay, I took a look at the site today to see about registering my Orba, and I stumbled into the Artiphon site store by mistake. It seems the non-supporter/backer retail cost (remember, this is for those that risked nothing to show support for Artiphon in their planning phase) is $115 for the Orba and the case.

They chopped my post (continued):

I KNOW the T-shirt (which I still have not received) is not an item truly worth ~$35, so I would like to have someone help me understand where exactly my 20% savings is coming from if the retail price of the items costs $10 less than a backer pledge that was supposed to cover the Orba, the case and bonus at just 80% of the retail cost (also add the $8 some of us paid)? 

When you support a Kickstarter, traditionally, you get a reward for supporting a project that was/is not yet a tangible item that you can count on getting. That is how the manufacturer shows their appreciation for you and everyone else that supported the project, and I am just not feeling that love from them. I wrote an email last week to ask about the cost of the expedited air cost being wasted money and nobody has replied to my email. I would sure like it if someone from the company would explain the math to me, or tell us how they plan to make this right...? 

I thought all the Orbas received so far have been to backers who chose expedited shipping. Is that not the case?
This is from their email update about a week ago: “– Standard U.S. shipments are in transit (but now they’ll be going by airplanes rather than boat, which is much faster).“ The whole point of paying for expedited was so we would get the airplane shipment instead of waiting for a freighter ship, but like I said, everyone got air shipping from Asia now. Then seeing that the actual cost in the Orba store is much less than they had reported it would be; less than the pledges that were supposed to incur 20% savings for backers, I just feel misled and disappointed with the way this is turning out.

Nope.  My Orba is way cool, worth the 11% discounted backer price, and if our $8 extra helped Artiphon offset the jacked up COVID shipping costs and get around the Chinese blockade so that EVERYONE gets theirs quicker... then that makes me happy too.  I originally paid $6 for shipping, then chipped in another $8 to have mine today.  $14 total, I can deal with that.

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Greg French are you from Roswell NM and attended ENMU?
Greg, I appreciate the reply and I respect the advocation for the other side of the coin. I guess this could be due to some unforeseen circumstances, but I would just really appreciate if they would communicate that. When I asked about the reason why my tracking was showing no movement, I got a reply the next day. When I asked about the extra money I threw down on the shipping, they said nothing for a week (until today, when I got an automated reply). It turns out that they have a 2 person team for support, so I will wait and see what they say. I just don’t like feeling like I got baited into spending money on unnecessary extras (especially in a time of such economic uncertainty), which is kinda how this felt when I saw that the cost for non-supporters is significantly discounted off of what I risked up front.

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@H. Wesley Poteet: Naww, I attended the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

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My first roommate in college - 45 years ago - was named Greg French. I haven't been in touch since then. Thank you for the reply and thank you for your Service to America.

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@Greg French - That is a pretty prestigious honor! I bet that was super intense, but probably one of the most rewarding accomplishments of your life. I think I read somewhere that the Naval Academy is more difficult to get into and more selective than any university in the world. Congrats on your achievement and, as @H. Wesley Poteet mentioned in his post, thank you for your service!

Cheers guys!  Hope you are either enjoying your Orbas or will be doing so very soon!

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