Kickstarter Backers in the EU: An Update
As you will have seen from our many updates, emails, website notices and posts on social media, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to unravel the problem of the extra fees being seen by our EU Kickstarter backers. We’ve consulted many of our players publicly and privately and we’ve shared everyone’s frustration at the current state of affairs.
In case you’ve not yet been a part of the conversation yet, here’s a round up of what’s happened so far and what we’ve learnt:
- Since Brexit on the 1st January 2021, customers in the EU are being charged “import VAT” and “handling fees” to receive our games. In some cases, these fees are excessive in comparison to the price of our games.
- The fees vary from EU country to country.
- In January, we wrote to all EU Kickstarter Backers and gave everyone the chance to “delay” the shipment of their games, until we could find a way to reduce or eliminate these extra fees.
Was this foreseen?
We clearly state on Kickstarter and in our website terms that we do all we can to avoid extra customs fees for our customers, but that, ultimately, our customers are responsible for paying these fees should they arise. This has been the case for customers outside of the EU since we started our company.
We followed all the government guidelines in the lead up to Brexit, however as the deal with the EU wasn’t completed until four days before our exit, these guidelines were insufficient for companies like ours that sell directly to consumers in the EU, so we’ve decided to take action to remove the burden from our backers…
What is the plan?
Our customers – especially those that take a chance on backing us early – are part of the lifeblood of our business. We are, like you, passionate gamers. We started our business because we simply wanted to try and make cool games and share them with as many of you as possible. In this instance, we don’t want any of our players to have to shoulder an extra financial burden through no fault of their own, even if it means we have to make a loss.
So here’s the plan:
If you have NOT chosen to delay your games:
You will continue to receive your games each month, and the burden of customs & import fees will continue to be your responsibility as per our terms.
If you wish to change this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you HAVE chosen to delay your games:
We’ll aim to send ALL your undelivered games in/around July 2021, in a single parcel.
We will work with a UK fulfillment provider to pay in advance, all delivery/customs duties, on your behalf. This means there should be no extra fees for you to receive our games. No action is required on your part.
We are doing this at a significant loss, and may have to change the way we run any future Kickstarters, but we want to make sure, in the first instance, that players get the games they pledged for without extra fees.
We hope this is good news to you all. We’re very excited for you to play Season Two, it’s a whirlwind adventure, full of many exciting twists and turns – we can’t wait to see what you think!
Dan, Joe, Tristan
The Detective Society Team