Coolest Cooler settles with DOJ; what that means for backers

PORTLAND, Ore. – Still waiting for your Coolest Cooler? You could finally get it this October – if you live in Oregon or complained to the Department of Justice.

That’s thanks to a settlement reached between Oregon-based company Coolest LLC and the DOJ.  

Coolest Cooler sold more than 60,000 of their souped-up coolers on Kickstarter in what was at the time the largest fundraiser on the crowdfunding site’s history. For about half the projected retail price, “backers” could buy a cooler and support the fundraising campaign.

Background: Coolest Cooler being investigated by Department of Justice

Those coolers were all supposed to be shipped in 2015 but thousands of people are still waiting for them.

Kristina Edmunson, spokeswoman for the DOJ, said Oregon backers and all backers who filed a complaint by April 15, 2017 will receive their coolers by October 13, 2017.

Everyone else will get their coolers “as Coolest LLC amasses sufficient funds from sales to afford the manufacture and shipping costs: A portion of all Coolest sales will be placed in a Backer Fund from which coolers and accessories will be sent to backers over the next three years,” she said.

Coolest Cooler creator Ryan Grepper sent a letter to backers, saying he felt “vindicated by the outcome” of the investigation.

“The backstory, in case you had not heard, some Backers felt we were promising a shipping window, and when that didn’t happen, complaints were filed against us with the Oregon DOJ. Others felt there must be financial shenanigans going on, which were just conspiracy theories, as we were clear through the entire process that the cost of the Coolest ended up more than what we asked or collected per Backers. Still, no one wants to feel taken advantaged so more complaints were filed and, unfortunately, this really hurt all remaining backers because it put us at a virtual standstill,” he said.

Grepper said the DOJ investigation delayed Coolest Cooler production, and he expressed frustration that people who complained to the DOJ will get their coolers faster than others.

He said now the investigation is over, “this loop-hole is now closed.”

Grepper said the company is hoping to speed up production by looking at cost-cutting measures, adding new products, bringing in outside investors and selling to international distributors. 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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