FAQsI forgot to include money for Shipping and/or Lightning Tips, and now the Indiegogo campaign has ended. What should I do?
Don’t worry. It’s easy to miss details like this, so you’re not alone!
Simply email us to adjust it to add extras if you need to. PLEASE for both your and our sanity, use the same email address as you did when you originally contributed.
The cart will add that for you. Shipping and handling costs are currently as follows:
Rest of the World $19.95
It takes a LONG time to finalize a product like this, as you’ll learn as we keep you in touch with the process. It looks so simple but the design you’ve fallen in love with is really the easy part. Detailed design-for-manufacturing takes weeks, making the tooling for the factory takes weeks, initial prototypes are fairly quick… but then need revisions. Then there is safety certification which can take many months to reach final approval. The certification body takes as long as it wishes - as they have no obligation to speed anything to market. When everything is ready the factory has to roll, shipping (on an actual ship) and only then can we ship the perks we’ve promised.
Originally we’d been given over-optimistic estimates of being able to begin delivery by the end of Q1 2014. Realistically, a project like this takes time and many of the elements involved are frustratingly slow. We’re working hard but while, like you, we can’t wait to ship, we’re prioritizing quality and longevity of thingCHARGER in the market. We want this to be a safe, high quality product that all of you, our supporters, can be proud to be a part of. Expected shipment, as outlined on the home page, is set for mid-late 2014.
Obviously we’re sorry if that’s what you thought – respectfully you never heard that from us.
Both here at thingCHARGER.com and at our campaign at Indiegogo
we have been diligent to always explain that this is a pre-launch phase raising funds to make the project go forward.
If you contributed to our Indiegogo campaign please understand that Indiegogo is not Amazon or Sears. It is a site where people like us (Amy & Seymour who invented thingCHARGER in our basement) bring ideas and ask for help bringing them to market. Its not an ecommerce site and you didn’t place an order. You contributed to a launch campaign with the promise from us that when the product is made we will send you one or more (depending on your contribution level) as a thank-you for your gracious support.
(If you don’t remember, just look at any current campaign on Indiegogo. To participate you have to click to ‘CONTRIBUTE’ and then specifically choose how much to contribute. Its not a purchase.)
The ‘contribution’ model is so core to Indiegogo that they do not even offer us a refund mechanism - we simply have no way of reversing the transaction.
Please consider this before contacting Indiegogo: The site is clearly about contributing towards causes and projects. Its not an e-commerce site where anyone can expect Amazon-style logistics and customer service. Its good people trying to make things happen. In our case on a shoe-string from our basement. Wouldn’t it feel better to just know you’re a part of something amazing and be thrilled when your thingCHARGERs arrive?
Theoretically any number, but that would be unwise. If you have a good sturdy wall outlet you should be fine with two or three.
thingCHARGER is, by definition always against a wall to provide perfect support for larger devices. Just make sure that if you stack several thingCHARGERs together you put your largest thing closest to the wall.
Almost certainly. thingCHARGER comes with Apple 30-pin, Micro-USB and Mini-USB with Apple Lightning as an option. That covers just about everything… and you can check our Compatibility Guide to be sure.
Cases are a big challenge for this kind of project, because they are all different thicknesses. If we make the tips the perfect length for mounting without a case they won’t reach in far enough with many cases. Make the tips long enough for most cases and the devices won’t be stable when mounted on top.
So we’re going to offer an adjustment system, so you can fine-tune the height to be exactly right for your situation, with or without a case.
thingCHARGER itself is very stable. Look carefully at the design, you can see it has two sets of prongs on the back. The second set isn’t needed for electricity, it is there purely to make sure thingCHARGER sits really firmly in the outlet. We tested with one set of prongs and it wobbles a lot. Two sets and its incredibly firm.
So the top surface is firm and stable and your devices will put their weight on that. They won’t be carried by the tip, which provide the very slight force needed to hold the vertical position.
We’re hoping users will apply common sense when using thingCHARGER.
First of all, if you are stacking 2 or 3 together and then charging a larger device like a tablet, always place it on the inside next to the wall - thingCHARGER is designed to use the wall to support bigger items.
Second, just be sensible where you use thingCHARGER. Not every outlet is ideal. Using that outlet surrounded by water splashes from the sink or claw-scratches from where the dog jumps up is silly. Three thingCHARGERs loaded with full-size tablets at knee-height in a busy corridor is idiotic.
You know your own house, your own devices and your own life. Just use thingCHARGERs where your things will be safe.
It’s a very fair question and we’ve put a lot of thought into this. Seymour, our Co-Founder & Co-inventor) studied Engineering at Oxford University so is very familiar with the issues of stress fractures in materials.
It’s all to do with the flexibility of the structure. In simple terms stiff materials put a lot more strain on things than flexible ones. (That’s why airplane wings flap like crazy during turbulence - to minimize the stresses on the airframe)
The connection itself is pretty ‘tight’ so our tips are designed to be both firm enough to fully support the mounted device - AND ‘give’ a little as devices are put on and taken off.
We’ve seen no damage to any device in many months with our prototypes, and we are also not the only folks to offer a ‘vertical’ charge in this way. A number of others do it, just a lot less elegantly we believe.
The forces acting on the connector are well within range for smaller devices and for larger ones like tablets we advise only that they be mounted on a thingCHARGER directly plugged into the wall (rather than another thingCHARGER) because the tips are very slightly angled both to allow better screen display, and to allow larger devices to rest against the wall.
thingCHARGER makes only a small difference to the load on any outlet. (Maximum 1/2 amp on an outlet rated at least 15 amps).
Hmmm. An ‘old and wobbly’ outlet isn’t going to be a great spot for your thingCHARGER (and sounds kind of dangerous anyway.)
Thank you, we’d LOVE you to do that!
We’re working on some great new promotions to help you do just that, and we’ll be getting in touch with every contributor as those announcements are made.