I’ve been building a smart home (at my home) for years. Buying home automation, energy monitors, etc. One of the big things I had no good way to monitor was water usage. So when I found out about FLUID Water Meter (years ago), I was stoked. I missed the Kickstarter (somehow) so I put my name on the waiting list and waited.
Then, come January of this year, I got an email from Fluid saying they were accepting pre-orders for a run of meters they’d do and have delivered by end of April (2019). Cool. Also, that the price would be $300 vs their expected MSRP of $600. I sent an email to them confirming the meter would work on my home piping, and then placed the order. Something I should have never done (in hindsight).
As time ticked I kept checking Fluid’s website. No updates. The only email I got was a confirmation of my preorder. No status updates on the process of their April run. April came around and I started trying to contact them asking for an update. Nothing. Finally, something I should have done, I looked at the comments on their Kickstarter page and saw a lot of asking for refunds, and a lot of non-responses. =/ Also the fact that no one on Kickstarter had had their order fulfilled in the years since.
Then I looked at the reviews for the preorder site (Celery, or trycelery.com). Not great. Their FAQs pages were all seller focused with very little targeted toward buyers. So, I’d had enough. I contacted Fluid through Celery asking for a refund. Nothing. I tried contacting Celery asking for options if the seller doesn’t respond. Nothing. Tried contacting Fluid via twitter, facebook, other email… nothing. Finally, I did the last resort and filed a chargeback with my VISA processor (in hind sight, I should have used Paypal). I have more than a sneaking suspicion that VISA won’t be able to help me, but I’m hopeful.
At this point, I’m hoping I get my money back and then I’ll save up extra and buy the Flo from Moen. Sure, it requires actual plumbing, but it looks like a better product, and I don’t worry that Moen is going to randomly up and close shop.