Recover from Kickstarter reward miscommunication gracefully
February 6, 2014 8:15 PM   Subscribe

I donated a lot of money to a small retail store for a Kickstarter campaign they ran. There were a lot of rewards offered, and I said I didn't want "all of them". But so far I've gotten none. I want to followup, because I'd like to continue to patronize this business.

I made two mistakes. The first was the size of my contribution, which has made this a little hard to just let go. It was about 10% of her goal. That error is on me. The second is a note I included where I said I didn't want "all of the rewards". My intent was that I wanted some things, but not the more involved/complicated rewards. But my language was, I think, unclear. That's also on me.

I know that rewards are being sent out, and I haven't gotten anything. I'm pretty sure this means that the owner interpreted my message more broadly than I intended. I'd like to correct that impression without appearing greedy, anxious or any other thing that will make future interactions with her awkward, since I plan on continuing to shop at this store.

I'm not looking for a lot in terms of the rewards she offered, just some of the more basic things that are being sent to contributors who funded the project at lower levels.

I'm having trouble coming up with a message that keeps things friendly, corrects the error in my original communication, doesn't make her feel bad, etc. I have the option of delivering it electronically, by phone or face-to-face. I'm looking for suggestions about phrasing that will accomplish my original goal of getting some of the things that she offered, and keeping it pleasant.
posted by Gorgik to Human Relations (6 answers total)
Why not just call or stop by and ask about it?

Anyone doing a kickstarter assumes that the people who bid at a certain level want their rewards. If you were not clear on which rewards you wanted or did not want, it would be helpful for you to make that clear sooner rather than later.

One thing worth noting is that a lot of people who bid at high levels but who don't want "all" the rewards typically don't want the rewards at the lower tiers, not the tier at which they bid. So if you bid $500, at the "invitation to a private party at the store" level, the owner may assume you want to attend the private party, but that "I don't want everything" means that you don't want the keychain, totebag, etc. at the lower levels.
posted by Sara C. at 8:24 PM on February 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

"Hi, I wanted to check in on the Kickstarter project! I haven't received any rewards yet and I am really looking forward to showing off my new tote bag. Reading my last note, I realize I may have phrased it poorly - I didn't want you to go to the trouble for the more complicated rewards, but I am definitely interested in displaying your bumper sticker on my car! Sorry for the confusion!"
posted by coupdefoudre at 8:29 PM on February 6, 2014 [39 favorites]

Asking for what you paid for isn't greedy or anxious or awkward or anything of the sort. It's business.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:42 PM on February 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Pick the specific things you want. Tell her what they are.
posted by kavasa at 5:35 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think it's pretty safe to say that there are relatively few things someone who just gave her a giant whack of money can do that will completely offend her. I wouldn't even base this communication on it being a misunderstanding. Instead, I would send a message that says:

"Now that you're sending out rewards, I wanted to circle back with you on which ones I wanted. Please send X, Y, and Z. Don't worry about A and B, though, I don't want you to go to all that trouble."

Phone or email would be fine. I probably wouldn't do it face-to-face, because then it would seem like you wanted her to give you X, Y and Z right then and there, and that might not work with whatever system she has set up for distributing them.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:50 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thanks all, this is helpful.
posted by Gorgik at 6:11 AM on February 10, 2014

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