PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland company that raised $13 million online but then struggled to deliver its promised product to thousands of supporters says it’s done nothing wrong.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports (https://goo.gl/kzCluh ) that the Oregon Department of Justice has confirmed it’s investigating the company after receiving 315 consumer complaints against Coolest Cooler in the past year.
The company raised money in a 2014 Kickstarter campaign to produce coolers that include blenders, speakers and USB chargers. Creator Ryan Grepper says the company has delivered coolers to nearly 40,000 of its more than 62,000 backers, and it’s working to deliver coolers to the rest of those who pledged enough.
In a lengthy email to backers this weekend, Grepper assured them the state investigation would find no wrongdoing. He attributed delivery delays in part to Amazon.com’s decision to sell the coolers for $225 instead of $399, and said the company doesn’t plan to issue immediate refunds.
Grepper described the price cut as disastrous. The newspaper said Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
He also said the consumer complaints filed with the department have cost the company legal fees and employee hours that could have been spent shipping coolers.
“We’ve cooperated fully with the DOJ and they will see we’ve done nothing wrong,” he wrote.
He and his fellow Coolest employees have been clear about their efforts to get coolers to remaining backers and are following Kickstarter’s terms of service, he said.
In each of his dozens of updates to backers over the last two years, Grepper has repeatedly said he’s committed to delivering coolers to each backer who pledged money — most often $185 — for one.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com