A West Chester-based sports apparel company is being sued by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office's Bureau of Consumer Protection after allegedly failing to deliver color-changing shirts to customers who pre-ordered merchandise online, prosecutors announced Friday.
Radiate Athletics, which won widespread attention in 2013 for developing a shirt that changes colors during workouts, raised more than $579,000 from about 8,500 people via the online fund-raising site Kickstarter.com, prosecutors said.
Many of those customers were promised items that they never received, prosecutors said, while others were sent incomplete orders or were never provided refunds. The lawsuit does not provide specific numbers, since prosecutors believe additional customers may come forward as the suit progresses, according to the civil complaint. The civil suit is seeking restitution for those customers as well as penalties ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law.
Radiate Athletics could not be reached for immediate comment, nor could its founder, Kenneth Crockett Jr., who is also named in the suit. The company was named the Wall Street Journal's 2013 Startup of the Year but has acknowledged in various forums that it has struggled to keep up with demand. Its Kickstarter.com page, for example, provides numerous updates about shipping delays, and the answering message on its company phone line, seemingly recorded in August, apologizes for certain orders shipping later than anticipated.