We know that backing a project, and the anticipation of receiving your reward, can be exciting. It’s important to remember, however, that when you decide to pledge towards a project on Kickstarter you are not purchasing, or pre-ordering, an existing item—you are helping to create something new.
The estimated delivery date has passed
When a creator is building their project on Kickstarter, they are required to set an estimated delivery date. This date is intended as a goal for when the creator hopes to start shipping rewards, and should not be treated as a guarantee of when backers can expect to start receiving rewards. Remember, this date is an estimate.
Project delays can happen for a number of reasons and are to be expected when something new is being created.
Many projects on Kickstarter are in the early stages of development, which means as a backer you get to be a part of the creative process. It also means that a project can shift along the way, and unanticipated challenges may arise that delay the initial timeline laid out by the creator. This may be just a few weeks, but it is not uncommon for delays to go over six months. A delayed project does not mean it’s a failed project.
Typically, a creator is running a project from beginning to end all by themselves, or with just a small team. It’s also possible that they underestimated how long it would take to actually produce the rewards and get everything finished within a certain timeframe. They may have encountered an unavoidable bump in the road that means more time is needed.
Remember: backing is not buying, and delays do not mean a project is over.
Our article “I haven't received my reward yet” shares some next steps we recommend when the estimated delivery date has passed.
The creator isn’t responding to messages
Our biggest expectation of creators, especially when a project is delayed, is that they communicate with backers through regular updates or messages, however each creator will approach how they handle this communication differently.
Oftentimes a project will have 100s, possibly even 1000s of backers, and a creator’s inbox can quickly become overwhelmed, resulting in it taking more time for them to get back to everyone. We recommend waiting a week or two before sending a follow up.
For many creators on Kickstarter, they ran a project to bring a passion project to life. As such they may also be working on their project alongside a full-time job or other commitments, so make sure to allow some time for the creator to get back to you, or address your concerns in a project update. If a creator hasn’t posted a new update in over 4 weeks, you can request an update via the project page.
In instances where a creator has become overwhelmed we ask that you are supportive and understanding, and avoid sending anything unkind. And most of all, be patient. Remember that there is a human being behind every project.
You can check this blog post for more information on communicating with project creators.
I no longer want the reward, can I have a refund?
It is up to each creator to decide whether they are in a position to offer refunds. If the funds have already been used to pay for production, materials, postage, or a person’s time, then a refund may not be possible.
Kickstarter is not a store and creators are responsible for the final delivery of their rewards, including deciding what their refund policy will be.
It’s important to keep in mind that requesting a refund while the project is still progressing could seriously impact a creator's effort to bring their project to life.