Some of my friends will know that as of late 2017 early 2018, our Gidget camper dream was blown apart! The company went into receivership.
Along with a couple of hundred other customers in Australia and the US we paid a deposit (for most 40% and for some, full price) with an expectation of delivery within 6 months (promised in a conversation on Facebook). We paid our deposit on 29 August 2016 and by August 2017 we’d requested refund of deposit, due to unreasonable time taken to provide product and still no completion date. In September 2017, we received an email effectively saying ‘your refund is approved, just waiting on timeline. Then in October, after conversations where they asked me to keep the order with them, we received an email promising return of refund over 4 monthly payments.
Then in early November, when no refund payments had been received, we got to speak with one of the Directors, Glenn, who carried on about how hard done by he was, ‘give us 6 weeks’ (December) and we’ll have all refunds sorted out’.
Nothing by December and eventually by the 18th December we had an email from Glenn apologising for delays, a rehash of all their dramas so far and a promise of all refunds by January 2018.
Next email advice was 11th January advising temporary closure of factory due to inability to pay wages, and on the same day an email from the administrator advising that Gidget was going into voluntary administration.
So as we’d all begun to suspect, Glenn on behalf of Gidget was full of shit. All our suspicions came to be true.
At some point in the above, Glenn began to ask new and existing customer orders if they wanted to pay in full and be moved to the top of the queue, because things were taking too long and at least they’d get their Gidget sooner than everyone else.
Well, that really rang alarm bells with us and anybody who decided to pay in full were even more gullible than us.
I have to say, I followed the Gidget story from the beginning. I found a YouTube video showing the delights of the camper and the ease of use, the compactfulness. The accessories. The beautiful installed kitchen. The finishings. It was retro, compact and amazing. I didn’t want to drag a caravan around Australia on our long weekend treats. We didn’t want to buy a much larger car in order to be able to drag our holiday home behind us.
I understood that the video enabled an extremely intense and rapid interest to be expressed in the product, with unprecedented orders coming in. They had made perhaps 3 campers to that point and needed to set up the factory process to manufacture mass (but still custom and handmade) product.
I believed when they said that the person they brought in to transform their manufacturing process had let them down, at great cost for no resolution.
It seemed feasible that the money they had received was being spent on upgrading their processes.
But they weren’t taking care with the deposits, which (just as in real estate) should have been put away into a safe, untouchable account that was contribution toward an end product. A promise from the client that allowed them to build with confidence in a buying market.
They abused this and ran up debts of millions. With no resources behind them, they were unable to pay back any creditors.
It was very disappointing for us. But you know, not the end of the world. I still believe that they had the best of intentions and a dream at the beginning. It got out of control, they dug a bigger hole for themselves, and began to do things the wrong way in the hope that things would turn around.
If they weren’t that innocent, then I’m sure they’ve ended up not very happy in their life.
Well, I haven’t been on to my blog site for quite a while and thought maybe I’d update this.
Cheers, Trish (August 2019)