I am so sorry.
I want to give you a quick update of the situation as it stands, and hopefully answer some of your questions:
I am waiting for a full report, but at the moment, we can ascertain a couple of clear faults.
The main failure appears to have been processing duplicate orders for customers who were ‘refreshing’ their page, and a breakdown of communication between our site and Clearpay. I am not laying any of this on Clearpay. This is the fault of our system. Because of this, it also transpires that in some cases, if I replied to your query on social media with something like ‘don’t worry, if you have your confirmation/we’ve taken your money’ etc ‘you will have a kit’, this may not be the case. It has always been the case in the past and I am mortified that I may have added to your understandable frustration. You have to know that I would never, ever knowingly promise on something I could not deliver.
For this launch we used a highly recommended third-party agency, and it is clear that despite numerous assurances and checks, and paying for ‘the best’, our system was simply not up to par. This is totally unacceptable and has been addressed.
While I cannot control what happened, I will most definitely control how we respond.
My in-house team (5 of us) have been working non-stop since Friday morning replying to your queries. We are prioritising those of you that (accidentally) placed duplicate orders and returning your payment to you as a matter of the utmost urgency. In theory, that would normally return a kit to stock, but I can tell just by looking at the numbers that the system has also allowed us to oversell.
Please note that my business has not personally received any of your funds. Online store payment systems such as Shopify/Stripe/Paypal etc are set up in this way to protect you, the customer, and ensure that you have received your goods before paying the vendor (me).
Every single one of you requiring a refund will be paid well before me.
We are processing the multiple queries about duplicated orders first, then the standard refund requests, then the usual wrong address/general queries that come with a launch of this nature.
You may have noticed that we have switched off comments/deleted some posts in the FB group/on social. Please know this is not to silence anyone or try and pretend that the situation hasn’t happened. I personally made the call to do so as some customers that have had their situation resolved were, in good faith, telling people that the same thing would happen for them, whether good or bad, and that is just not the case. Every person’s query is different in some way, and to leave up something that does not relate to everyone’s situation led to more confusion, and more emails coming in, thus delaying the process even more. I hope you understand. Similarly, I cannot answer any specific queries posted here/sent to me personally as the team are working through the system meticulously and I will just get in the way and delay things. The contact for your queries is still firstname.lastname@example.org but I would urge you to hold off writing to us again if you have already emailed. I promise you we have your email and you will get a response as quickly as we can move.
I will be delaying the ‘How-To’ Lives until this is resolved. I am also delaying the ship date, probably for another 48 hours, just to make absolutely sure that 4 unwanted kits don’t turn up on your doorstep. If, however, I am confident that we have responded to you all, I will press “go’ as planned on Wednesday.
We will undoubtedly have unhappy (potential) customers after this, and that is again, something that I am beyond apologetic for. We have a list of those of you that have missed out on a kit (so far) despite having a payment taken, and you will get priority to any remaining kits from this launch. If there are no kits available, we will give you early access to future kits. You have my word.
I am so sorry for the disappointment, hassle and inconvenience. I will fix it. And it will never, ever, happen again.
Thank you for your patience.