A Complete Waste of (a Pebble) Time

My Pair of Pebble Times

What a mess.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely loving my new Pebble Time—it’s the black one on the left. I maintain that Pebble has the most useful smartwatch OS available today, and the addition of their new Timeline UI only makes it better.

No, my problem is with Kickstarter, and the fact that I live in Canada. And also me leaving any shred of common sense behind in the quest to be an early adopter. It’s a long and sordid tale, so grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable before reading on…

My relationship with Pebble actually started with the Pebble Time Kickstarter campaign. I added my pledge almost on a whim, and only after that tried an original Pebble and got smitten with the platform. With the PT KickStarter set to close there weren’t many available options left for pledges—I decided on a pair of watches, figuring that my girlfriend would be only too happy to take possession of the other one.

Nope.

She wore it to work for exactly one day. She didn’t understand how the notifications worked and was convinced that the watch was draining the battery on her phone, so now she won’t go anywhere near it. I can either keep it as a spare or return it to Pebble at my expense. There’s no point in selling it, because the watches are available at Best Buy now.

In fact, the very day I took delivery of my PTs was the day Best Buy started selling them.

My pair of Pebble Times were originally supposed to ship in May. Then June came and went. By July I still hadn’t received them, while everyone on r/Pebble was proudly posting photos of theirs. I emailed Pebble’s support staff and didn’t hear back until I was already on my summer holiday. There was apparently some logistical mix-up, and a new shipment was dispatched post-haste. Whatever.

Then there’s the matter of price. Currently in Canada the PT retails for $249.99 CAD—that’s $282.49 with taxes. My Kickstarter pledge for a pair of watches seemed like a bargain at $353 USD, which my credit card company promptly converted to $456.79 CAD. Then I made the mistake of adding expedited shipping for an additional $59.52 CAD, which obviously didn’t expedite anything. So all in I ended up paying $516.31 CAD, or $258.16 per watch. At least I saved a bit on the tax…

Again, I’m really happy with the watch itself. But I’m never, ever going to participate in a Kickstarter campaign again; as soon as my return is processed I’ll be deleting my account. Hopefully someone reading this will learn from my mistakes.

And if you’re interested, here’s more about the Pebble Time and forthcoming PT Steel:

6 comments:

  1. Yikes, your experience sounds dreadful. I forget that being in America makes a lot of things (like Kickstarters) easier. I don’t blame you for how you feel, that’s frustrating.

    What watchface are you using on your Time? I like it.

  2. Yep. I had the same experience. Got mine after my 4th angry email and threatened a charge back if it didn’t show up at week end. Officially received mine July 14th. So glad I paid 30 bucks for that shipping.

  3. Same here, bro. Ordered PT and PTS with expedited shipping. By the time of dollar conversion and none of this expedited shipping – i’m regretting my pledge. I started my relationship with Pebble with their Original Pebble. I had high hopes for the Time and Time Steel and that the company had enough time to get their corporate shit together but they are still doing similar mistakes as with the first Kickstarter. This is the last time I’m backing them or purchasing their product.

  4. I’m glad I didn’t spring for expedited shipping. The “4-6 week” shipping took 1 week and I didn’t have to pay taxes either – I’m in NZ, so that’s normal.
    I think they should at least offer you a refund for the shipping.

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