Heather Vigil says she had never seen anything like it before. Planet Traveler’s Space Case 1 – billed as the world’s most advanced smart suitcase – has a built-in GPS, fingerprint recognition and even a built-in scale.
"I thought this is wonderful," Vigil said.
The creative director says when she discovered it on a crowdfunding site, the product campaign had already received more than a million dollars in funding.
That’s why she went to directly to the Miami-based company’s website and placed an order, paying $1,489 for a 4-piece luggage set in in April 2016.
"The website said it would be delivered in May," Vigil said. "May came and went. I sent them emails. Next thing you know, it’s seven months later and there’s still no suitcase."
Vigil wasn’t able to get her money back on her own, so she contacted NBC 6 Responds.
"All of my emails over the months, nothing was changing," Vigil said. "It wasn’t until you guys stepped in that all of a sudden everything changed."
According to Vigil, she received a call from Planet Traveler within days, saying they were going to issue a full refund. The company sent us a statement saying:
"Planet Traveler is about building Smart Technology into a suitcase and our claim is we have developed the Space Case 1 'World’s Smartest Suitcase' which is by far more high tech and advanced than any product in the market. To achieve this goal it took an extended amount of time to get the technology perfect. We don’t believe in delivering a rushed imperfect product but instead we will deliver a user experience that will change travel forever. We have 30-plus year of luggage designs and that is always our goal. We are excited to share we have just finished production and will launch our product March 1st week."
Vigil, meanwhile, is glad she got her money back. She used it to buy herself a new, "old-fashioned" luggage set. She also plans to continue supporting crowdfunding campaigns.
"There’s a lot of innovation there so I do believe in those sites and the kinds of products that they’re putting out," she said. "But I’m just very careful and conscientious about how I go about funding those campaigns."
Indiegogo told us they could not help with Vigil’s case because she had gone directly to the company’s website to make the purchase. But it’s worth noting that Indiegogo does have a refund policy that could help "backers" recover their money under certain circumstances.