Hey Kickstarter backers,
It has been a while since we have posted an official update. It just seemed pointless to post an official update simply to say that we were still waiting on the customs issues to be worked out. However, since it has now taken over 3 months and there still is no resolution we decided we should definitely get an update out. So here it goes.
On December 14th we were supposed to receive a shipment of 1,849 Black ELWN Fit earbuds. However, we made the fatal mistake of mailing them to me personally and not addressing them to ELWN LLC. This raised red flags with US Customs and they decided to investigate the shipment. This process took over a month and they decided to officially Seize our Goods on January 19th. During which time they never once reached out to our company or me personally. They simply just kept telling us that they were investigating. They did not send us an official seizure notice until February 7th (as you can see in the letter attached) and gave us a list of options on how to proceed. We then had to file an official petition to prove that we do have the Bluetooth certification needed to be able to sell these earbuds throughout the US. We did so on February 9th. They did not 'receive' this petition until March 1st. They have now informed us that they can take up to 60 days to make a decision and that we will be notified by mail with their decision. I have attached a screenshot of their seizure notice for you look at if you would like. I have also attached a copy of our Bluetooth Certification just so you know that we do have the right to sell Bluetooth branded earbuds.
The problem with the shipment was not that ELWN does not have the right to sell Bluetooth branded earbuds, it was that I, Shaun Alexander, do not have the right and the shipment was addressed to me. We did not see this as an issue as most of our previous shipments were addressed to me since I am the one who manages the warehouse here in Phoenix.
So, the biggest problem we have is that they are currently withholding over $200,000 worth of product. As a startup company we do not have the funds to simply place another six figure order. So we fulfilled every order we could. However, there are still over 800 people who have backed us on Kickstarter and have not received their earbuds. Unfortunately we cannot fulfill those order until we receive the shipment that is stuck in customs. We sincerely apologize for the delays. It obviously was never our intention.
We have been trying to reply to comments and emails, but as you can imagine it has gotten a bit overwhelming with all the delays. I have personally responded to over 2,100 emails in the last 6 months alone in regards to this campaign. We have done our best to keep the customer service part of the business in house. And as many of you who have spoken to me personally on the phone can attest, I am genuinely a caring guy who is trying to do right by all of you. I have personally taken over 200 phone calls and have spoken to many of you for well over an hour at a time. I have no problems whatsoever with being open an honest with each of you. If you ever want to talk to me, just send an email to me on here and I will be happy to call you and you can ask anything you want or even just yell at me like many have done. Either way, I am always happy to listen and to try and help.
I do want to say thank you for the support. I am sorry this campaign has not been going smoothly to say the least. My partners and I are actively working our butts off to get everything squared away. Just hang in there with us and we'll get you the earbuds you pledged for.
By the way, replacement infinity bands and extra infinity bands are scheduled to arrive here the end of this month or beginning of next month assuming we do not have any shipping delays. We will get those sent out soon after arrival.