Kurt Swanson – Kickstarter Scam with Kapsul Air

Kurt Swanson had launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 which turned out to be a scam. 

His campaign was for the Noria air conditioner which he now calls the Kapsul air conditioner. 

At the time, Kurt Swanson claimed that Noria will revolutionize the air conditioner industry. 

The Kickstarter pitch of Noria said window ACs have been around for over 6 decades, providing much needed relief during the summer. 

However, the pitch highlighted that air conditioners failed to offer a good user experience. 

Kurt Swanson’s pitch claimed that window ACs have always been big, ugly and loud. Also, he pointed out that they were difficult to install until Noria entered the market. 

In 2016, the Noria used to have a slim, sleek and a relatively light weight. Kurt Swanson had promised that it would be a quiet AC you can install easily. Also, he claimed that users will be able to control their Noria AC through their smartphone. 

Certainly, the pitch was attractive. 

The New York Magazine praised the project saying it can improve a technology that stayed the same since 1947.

kurt swanson

An Attractive Pitch and Unfulfilled Promises

Kurt’s pitch was attractive and effective. Within 45 days, he crowdfunded over $1.5 million from over 3000 backers. 

It has been one of the biggest Kickstarter campaigns in Philadelphia. 

Furthermore, Kurt Swanson raised over $800,000 on Indiegogo. 

The earliest backers of this project had paid as little as $249 per unit. 

In 2016, Kurt had told the backers that they can expect their units in March 2017.

However, the date came and went but nobody received an air conditioner. In 2018, Kurt Swanson had to change the name of Norio to Kapsul as he faced a lawsuit over it.

Kurt had told the media that he understood people’s disappointment in 2017 when he didn’t deliver any air conditioners before the deadline. 

He blamed some manufacturing problems in China for the delay. 

Since then, Kurt has given many excuses to the backers. At times, Kapsul doesn’t communicate with the backers. 

Later, Kurt and his team restricted the Kickstarter page of their page. Now, only the backers can post any comments there. 

Furthermore, he has banned the usage of words like “fraud” and “scam”. 

Several of the backers have even filed formal complaints against him. The attorney general of Pennsylvania has confirmed that people have filed complaints. 

Certainly, people feel victimized as they are at risk of losing all of their investment. There have been several scams which use this tactic. For example, Bryan Legend has raised funding for several projects which end up shutting down. 

The Various Excuses of Kurt Swanson:

Kurt has stopped talking about Kapsul now. Instead, his Chief Operating Office does all the talking. 

Chris Myers, the Kapsul COO says things have begun changing for the better. 

He says the company has shipped over 200 Kapsul ACs to its original backers. 

However, that’s not 200 backers but 200 units. Some backers have received multiple ACs.

Myers claimed that Kapsul will ship at least 500 more air conditioners. He blamed the pandemic and the increased tariffs on goods imported from China for the delay. 

Some media outlets questioned if original backers are incapable of receiving their products, why does Kapsul’s website allow consumers to buy new units from their website? 

kurt swanson

In response, Myers claimed that every unit they send to their original backers costs them $110 over the average per-unit pledged amount of $300.

Hence, Kapsul Air relies on selling the $800 units to manage those orders. 

Myers also added that the company can’t refund the $2 million crowdfunding it had received. They have already spent that money. 

Kapsul Air Conditioner Review: How Kurt Swanson’s Product? 

It has been 6 years since Kurt Swanson launched his kickstarter. 

Moreover, his company claims it has shipped several hundred units to its original backers. 

Surely, some Kapsul Air Conditioner reviews should be present on the internet, right? 

Well, there aren’t many. 

I only found one customer review on Kapsul Air Conditioner. 

kapsul air conditioner reviews reddit

According to the reviewer, he had bought a KapsulAir in July and received it in September. 

He had installed the air conditioner a few weeks before his post. The reviewer noticed that its compressor doesn’t work, it only blows warm air. 

So, he contacted the company because Kurt Swanson’s firm offers a 3-year warranty. 

They didn’t respond. 

He called them a few days later, Again, no response. 

The reviewer wanted to know if the company is still operating or has it shut down. Also, he wanted to know if the company operates, how can he get help from them? 

In response, people told him he should be grateful that he at least received a Kapsul Air. No matter what promises Kurt Swanson made, many people are yet to receive an air conditioner from his firm. 

kapsul air conditioner review

One user highlighted that he had bought one Kapsul Air too. However, the AC died within 6 months. 

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Although it took the company a very long time, they finally responded to the user and sent him a replacement. He points out that in the FAQ section of Kapsul’s website, they claim their AC lasts for 10 years or 8000 hours. 

Note that 8000 hours is only 333 days. This is not much for warm places at all. 

Kapsul Air Reviews: Is Kurt Swanson Posting Fake Reviews On His Website?

The reviews I found on reddit don’t paint a good picture. However, when I visited the website of Kapsul Air, I noticed a “Reviews” section. 

kurt swanson

It has over 100 reviews. However, all of them are unverifiable. 

All of these reviews present on Kurt Swanson’s website are only available there. They are not present anywhere else on the internet. 

This raises suspicion on their legitimacy. That’s because many shady businesses rely on posting fake reviews to boost their credibility. 

For example, HULT Private Capital is an investment firm which has received a lot of criticism for posting fake reviews on its profiles. Another example is Dr Dean Toriumi, a doctor who allegedly uses fake reviews to bury the complaints of his patients.

Hence, there’s a good chance that Kurt Swanson added fake reviews on Kapsul’s website to entice buyers. 

Conclusion

From being one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to turning into a scam, Kapsul Air has come a long way. 

Maybe Kurt Swanson’s initial intention was good but it’s clear that he doesn’t care about his backers anymore. 

It has been 6 years since the campaign and many backers are still waiting to get their air conditioner. 

Many of them have moved on and have given up. 

Moreover, the current reviews indicate that Kurt Swanson’s product isn’t what he claims to be. It has an extremely short life and the company offers poor customer service.

Beware.

1.9 Total Score
Lacks Ethics

Kurt Swanson had launched the Kickstarter campaign for Kapsul Air in 2016 and crowdfunded over $2 million from it. Almost all of his original backers haven’t received the product since then. Moreover, it seems like he is using unethical marketing tactics to promote his company.

2.6Expert Score
Trust
2.6
Experience
3
Professionalism
2.7
Ethics
2.2
1.2User's score
Trust
1.3
Experience
1.2
Professionalism
1.4
Ethics
1.2
PROS
  • None
CONS
  • Hasn’t delivered products to most of the original backers
  • Makes excuses for a 5-year delay
  • Using unethical marketing tactics
  • Questionable product quality
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13 Comments
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  1. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
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    Ethics
    10

    I bought the unit in March 2022 and installed it around June. It only lasted until September 2022 at which point it simply wouldn’t turn on anymore. I’ve been trying to reach the company for 2 months. They never contacted me at all, even just to say sorry we don’t have any replacement units right now. Now, their Shopify site is down and none of their phone numbers work so I suppose I was also scammed. Total disappointment and I am generally forgiving of the challenges of start ups, especially manufacturing, but this is ridiculous.

    + PROS: - the AC was a nice design
    - CONS: - only worked for a few months and now is a big piece of expensive garbage - non-existent customer service - fraudulent warranty
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. 0.75
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    20
    Experience
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    Professionalism
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    Ethics
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    Take a look at the terms and conditions of the company because chances are, there would be something missing freeing them of any kind of accountability. Beware as there are many more companies making trashy products like Kapsul Air.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. 0.6
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    Ethics
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    These Kickstarter scams are always going to make a fool out of gullible people. Because they will provide no warranty and no claims as the product is not produced with great quality. Kurt Swanson isn’t the only Kickstarter scammer out there just so you know.

    + PROS: none
    - CONS: fraudster stole from investors
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
    10
    Ethics
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    If I had known earlier that Kurt Swanson was a fraudster I would never have invested my $1200 into this product, it is just an attractive product without any output.

    The company claims that the product has a long life of 10 years but on the pack, it was written 8000 hours which is nowhere close to their original claim.

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  5. Reply
    Kurt belongs behind bars
    September 2, 2022 at 10:33 am
    0.6
    Trust
    20
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
    10
    Ethics
    10

    One of my friends pre-ordered the product but he got nothing after waiting for 4 months and they didn’t even respond to his refund request. Thats the reason I don’t pre-order stuff online as there are chances that the company may not be able to deliver the item as is the case with Kapsul Air.

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  6. 0.75
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    10
    Experience
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    Professionalism
    20
    Ethics
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    Why get attracted to such products after learning that these kickstarters are a scam? Never trust these products because most of the time they are not up to mark, thanks to their poor build quality.

    After reading the article it will be difficult for me to trust such Kickstarter products, these products prove to be a scam.

    Never buy or pre-order products which are very new to the market because there are chances of the product being poor-quality and no testimonials to know the authenticity of their claims.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  7. 0.6
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
    20
    Ethics
    10

    I regret investing my $1200 into this mess. If I had any idea Kurt would be another scammer, I would have never gave him a penny. Since I have realized the truth about this scam, I have been avoiding Kickstarter like my life depends on it.

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Never get fooled by these products as their success rate isn’t good and also they offer no value for money, following the services of the company aren’t available. My experience wasn’t good as my compressor wasn’t working properly, I registered a complaint but they never responded, my Kapsul Air is still kept as no other company makes a compressor of that size.

    • The mindset for launching the product was good but the build quality was poor. We should be aware of the product’s claims and the processes because if there are any problems faced will the company be able to solve the problems?

  8. Reply
    Don't trust Kurt Swanson
    August 21, 2022 at 4:28 pm
    1
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    Experience
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    Professionalism
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    Ethics
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    The claims of the company are fake as the product’s life wasn’t as good as it has to be. My kapsul air also stopped working after a few months only whereas the company claimed it’s been working for 10 years without any problems. In the end, I tried to register a complaint but there were no replies from the company.

    + PROS: no
    - CONS: fraudulent
    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  9. 0.5
    Trust
    10
    Experience
    10
    Professionalism
    10
    Ethics
    10

    Kurt Swanson doesn’t even respond to the backers. We all feel cheated. Kapsul Air is nowhere near what it claimed to become.

    + PROS: None
    - CONS: Liar Cheat Swindler
    Helpful(2) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • My experience with Kapsul Air was horrible. as its compressor was not compressing air properly after just 3 weeks in use, which makes the company questionable. Then they were not responding after I told them about the problem which just makes me angry because the company wasn’t taking any responsibility to return or repair the material. Worst product and way worse service.

    • I don’t trust Kickstarter or any kind of crowdfunding campaigns. My daughter was forcing me to buy one such product online, it was something along the lines of an unbreakable set of plates , but I never trusted the product because my gut feeling was that once I bought the product there would be no warranty provided. Turns out I was right.

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