In 2014, startup Plastc announced its plans to launch its all-in-one credit card. Thousands of people placed a pre-order to get access once the card launched.
But on April 20, 2017, Plastc announced that the company was shutting down operations and would not fulfill the orders that customers placed, leaving them in a bind.
Find out why the business is shutting down and what consumers can do to recoup their losses.
What is Plastc?
Plastc was a startup that set out to create an all-in-one smart card. The card would combine all of your debit and credit cards in one place. Instead of carrying around a wallet full of different credit cards, you would just need the Plastc card.
The idea was hugely appealing to consumers. Companies like Plastc billed a smart card as a more secure option than traditional cards because there would be no visible account number on the physical card. The card would also be password-protected, preventing thieves from stealing your information or making fraudulent purchases.
Because of those benefits, many people were willing to part with their hard-earned money to bring Plastc to life. Over 80,000 people pre-ordered a Plastc card, raising over $9 million for the company.
Plastc now shutting down operations
Despite its popularity, Plastc announced a sudden decision to close the company and let go all of its staff.
In a message on its site, Plastc said the closure was due to a lack of investor funding.
After making enormous leaps in development, product innovation and progress towards our goal, Plastc has exhausted all of its options to raise the money it needs to continue. Plastc, Inc. is exploring options to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and will cease operations on April 20, 2017.
Thousands of people who spent their money to pre-order the Plastc card now face a financial loss. Since the company is filing for bankruptcy, customers will not get any refund.
What Plastc customers can do
Many customers have taken to social media to vent their frustration and get some answers about their money. But because Plastc’s staff is gone and their social media accounts are shut down, consumers are unlike to get answers.
A class action lawsuit is possible, which would help customers get their money back. But such lawsuits can sometimes take months or even years — and you still might not get a refund.
However, there may be other options. If you paid for your pre-order with either a credit card or PayPal, you might be able to dispute the charges and get the money back that way. Because you placed the order with the idea that you would get the card someday, the fact that you didn’t get it could entitle you to a refund through your payment method.
Plastc smart card alternatives
Plastc was not the only company trying to come up with an all-in-one card. While there are several that are adding customers to a waitlist, few have the technology perfected enough to launch.
One of the few options out there is Wocket. For $179, you can get a card that syncs all of your credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and loyalty or membership cards.
The dangers of early pre-orders
While some people may be able to recoup at least some of their money, many others will not. That’s a big danger with startups accepting pre-orders for a product they haven’t successfully created yet and for crowdfunding an idea.
Before placing an order or investing your money in a great idea, make sure the amount is money you can comfortably lose. If you need that money to pay bills or pay down debt, investing in a startup is probably too dangerous a gamble for you to take.
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