Oregon Department Of Justice Announces Investigation Of Coolest

Back in 2014, the Coolest was a Kickstarter hit that drew even more backers as it appeared on national TV. It crushed records as well as crushing ice in its built-in blender. Yet over two years later, all of the original backers still don’t have their coolers, even as the Coolest is available in brick-and-mortar retail stores and on Amazon. Now the Oregon Department of Justice is investigating the company behind the Coolest, which is based in Portland.

While crowdfunding veterans know that Kickstarter isn’t a store, many of the people who backed the Coolest were new to the idea and may have thought they were pre-ordering. In any case, their consumer rage is understandable: the coolers were supposed to be delivered all over the world in the spring of 2015.

Instead, the company has been steadily shipping out coolers to original backers while also selling them online and to retailers. The Oregon Department of Justice wouldn’t tell the Oregonian much about the investigation, but did confirm that there is one, and that hundreds of Coolest backers have filed complaints with the company’s home state.

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms say that enforcing project creators’ promises to backers isn’t their job. The Federal Trade Commission and Washington state Attorney General have stepped in and taken action against companies that raised money through crowdfunding platforms and didn’t deliver.

The Coolest may be a little bit different because some products are being delivered…. much later than promised, and in some cases only after backers kicked in some extra money.

State launches Coolest Cooler investigation [Oregonian]