But a lot of people didn’t, because after three years they still haven’t received the computers they paid. For after i wrote a story about the second generation ev late last year, a number of readers reached out who had received faulty computers and never got their requested refunds and others who paid for evs and never received anything at all. Judging by invoices and testimonials from more than a dozen eve fans or former e fans, perhaps from around the world, the company still owes at least 25 dollars to dissatisfied customers and that’s. Just the people we heard from according to tuka coronin managing director of eve distribution, which is sort of a successor to the original eve tech business. Around 300 people in total have requested refunds. The most conservative estimate, which assumes all of those people paid for the most basic model, would put the total balance of money owed at one point or another, at a minimum of 240 000. To understand how eve could leave so many of its once devoted fans in the lurch, we first need to dig into some of the startups earliest issues and how that left a new batch of people struggling to clean up the mess. Before i go to that question, i just want to give a shout out to an amazing helsinki based entrepreneur group, the eve, the ev folks they actually just launched on indiegogo. Last week they broke a record being the fastest to 100 000 ever across any platform, and they just broke a million dollars.

What’S, so cool about them is that they’ve created the first ever crowd at the heart of it. Evetech was a company that wanted to revamp the way people developed products instead of it happening in a back room. They would tap the brain trust of a community to help define exactly what a product should be. In early 2016, eevee started asking its growing community about what the next pc they make should be like, and in a matter of months, everyone decided on the idea of a two in one convertible. Much like microsoft surface. They asked for stylus support an integrated kickstand, a three by two aspect: ratio for its display and an intel core and chipset for prolonged battery life, and they got them after a few delays. The first batch of units was produced and shipped to people who had originally found and backed the project on indiegogo, but the company found itself in a tough position when it started doing flash sales in late 2017.. Before long evetech was reporting production delays related to chinese new year, which prevented more of those already sold units from being shipped. Then it was discovered that the spike in sales volume from those flash sales prompted the company’s payment processor to freeze funds which put even a tough position. It kept them from being able to pay off vendors and fulfill orders and that’s when the complaints really started to pile up eve, tech, co, founder and ceo constantinos carazovidas kept the community updated on the many delays, but by then people were getting pretty desperate.

Nearly all of the customers who provided their stories and invoices to a gadget purchased their evs in late 2017 or very early 2018, and when evetech eventually responded offering full refunds they jumped at the chance. But for many those refunds never materialized and as far as eve tech was concerned, that wasn’t their responsibility see evetech inked a deal with a hong kong company called fortress tech distribution, limited which was meant to operate the company’s online store and manage orders, but eve’s logic. Here is kind of puzzling. Basically, the argument is that, because fortress was the entity that accepted people’s money and handled order, distribution, the responsibility of returning that money fell to fortress, not evetech and to make things worse, it’s unclear to what extent that company still operates according to records. We pulled from the hong kong, integrated company register. Fortress tech distribution was incorporated on december, 2nd 2016 and its main office is a single room in an office building in the city’s wanchai district. We called the building, but the staff wouldn’t confirm whether that room was still in use or was being used by those people, and we also have been unable to contact chi wai lu, the person listed currently as the company’s director. There is kind of an interesting twist to this part of the story, while lou may be fortress’s current director, someone else was actually responsible for incorporating the company according to documents, first spotted by r e v, subreddit moderator, kirk miller.

The paperwork was originally filed with hong kong’s companies register by myanzhe zhang in november 2016., and that very same name is listed as a minority shareholder in evetech and as a shareholder in a new company called eve holdings which we’ll get into in a second. That has sparked some speculation that evetech actually owned fortress the entire time, which would invalidate their argument about liability for refunds. But we cannot confirm that’s the case. Interestingly, the forum post, in which karatzabita spells out all of these problems, with fortress kind of ended with two bits of good news. First, he announced that a new corporate structure would allow the team to launch its own online web store and handle international sales internally, with the help of a top tier supply chain partner. What he didn’t mention was the fact that, to make this happen, control of the brand was sold to evetech cfo tuka coronin, who spun up a new hong kong company, called eve holdings limited in early 2017 and became managing director of another called eve distribution limited. That was meant to and from what we can tell does handle the manufacture and sale of eve products. Currently that was the first bit of good news. The second was that at long last, people who purchased their evs from fortress could directly appeal to the newly organized brand for a refund and what of evetech the company that set all of this into motion we’re, not entirely sure.

What we do know is that constantinos correspondence is no longer ceo. According to minutes from an eve tech shareholder meeting from october 2019, be first order of business. Of that meeting was to officially install an eve tech, employee named velimir elizovic, as the chief executive, and i can’t say i envy the guy so far. His stint as ceo really seems to just have been taken up by an attempt to restructure the company, formerly known as evetech into another firm called velaventures. The problem is that process was at least temporarily put on hold, because an outside audit found, among other things, a string of late and less than accurate financial filings and little evidence to suggest that this new entity would be able to generate enough revenue to sustain itself Through a restructuring, so i know to sum up eve: tech is under someone. Else’S control has tried to change its name a few times and doesn’t really appear to have any money. Fortress tech, distribution shouldered all of the blame and kind of barely seems to exist anymore. The only entity that’s still actively engaging with people is eave distribution and the problem is while it has made overtures to the community about some kind of repayment, it’s still not entirely clear when or if it’s capable of giving people their money back. Eve distribution estimates that some 12 000 first generation ev computers were produced and sold, and most of them did make it to their destinations without incident.

It was the 300 or so outstanding requests for refunds. That concerned managing director tuka coronin. He told us in a series of emails that the company still aims to compensate those jilted customers all while maintaining that eve distribution was and tell me if this sounds familiar, never officially liable for their problems. This is a direct quote from one of those emails, and this is in the words of tuka coronin. I feel it is important to clarify that these are not refunds. We owe it is a goodwill gesture from us to repair the negative brand experience. A group of people has had, with one of the previous vendors to really just drive that point home. He later said that all previous vendors bear their responsibilities as they still do eve. Distribution limited bears no legal responsibility. There are two problems here. First, while that argument might hold water illegally, it’s still really kind of shitty, that a legal loophole has prevented thousands of dollars in well deserved compensation from being paid out, and second evtech, just hasn’t been great at communicating a lot of this to its users. After reaching out to the support desk, some people have heard back that the company is planning to follow up with a compensation offer. This may and according to conversations that we’ve had with eve distribution that could include some form of direct payout or offers of second generation. Evpcs still, the fact that the company isn’t proactively keeping its customers up to date on these developments, continues to be a source of tension, especially on the ev subreddit, and it appears that tension seems to have escalated beyond just flames on forums in an email.

Coronin told us that there have been personal attacks directed to people employed by the company and, in addition to that, emails to their suppliers have allegedly been forged with the goal of spreading incorrect information. The exact nature of those personal attacks remain unclear. According to corona, company representatives have been advised against commenting further so as not to hinder an ongoing investigation being conducted by law enforcement at the end of it all. It seems like the only way for eve distribution to clear the air and salvage the brand is to. Finally, compensate all the people who have waited years for answers and it seems like that’s what everyone involved wants. There is just one more catch corona said that the company plans to fund those compensation offers out of its profits and to generate some of those e distribution. Has to shepherd two of its newest products to market, one of which is the second generation ev we talked about a little earlier and the other is a line of competitively spec’d monitors called the spectrums, which already have been delayed a few times for now. This whole story kind of ends the same way. It started with an ambitious product designed by a community beset by frustrating delays, leaving people wondering if they should try to get their money back, and that is the story of eve, tech, eve holdings, eve, distribution, fortress tech, there’s, there’s, a lot going on here and the Story does continue to develop if you have any kind of experience, good or bad with eve, we’d love to hear about it.

Please leave a message in our comment section below or email me at videngadget.com. I do want to spend a quick moment thanking kirk miller, the moderator of the ev subreddit, who has really just done a great job, making sure the customers continue to have a voice in this entire process.