Nobody is a bigger Jake “The Snake” Roberts or Scott Hall fan than yours truly. Growing up, along with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Roberts was one of my childhood heroes. I loved the guy. As I grew into my teenage years, Razor Ramon — to me — was the bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. He was literally the coolest wrestling character I had ever seen. He continued to be my favorite as I grew older and watched him evolve from a self-admitted Tony Montana carbon-copy to one of the founders and leaders of the nWo.
When you find out later in life that both dealt with a number of awful personal issues and tragedies, your heart goes out to them. They were a part of your childhood. While they’re sacrificing their bodies for your entertainment, you have no idea of the horrors they are dealing with outside of the ring. That is why when they came back to the fans, buried their pride, and asked for our help, they received it in droves. Through the advice of Diamond Dallas Page, the two decided to use the Indiegogo service. According to their website, Indiegogo is “an international crowd funding platform to raise money.”
Through the service, Roberts asked fans to contribute $9,200 for a shoulder operation that he unfortunately could not afford. Hall asked for $80,000 to be raised for hip-replacement surgery, physical therapy and some dental work. When it was all said and done, Roberts received $29,547 from the fans, which was over $20,000 more than he had even asked for. Hall received $109,432, nearly $30,000 more than he requested.
Great — right? Wrong.
For donations to the two wrestling legends, fans were promised some “perks.” Depending on the amount you contributed, you were scheduled to receive autographs, t-shirts, DVDs and phone calls, among a number of other incentives to chip-in. As noted, the fans came through. At this point, all these two guys had to do was call some fans, send out some merchandise, and everything is a done deal. That doesn’t sound too complicated, does it? Unfortunately for the fans, it apparently was.
eWrestlingNews.com journalist Ryan Clark broke the news earlier this week that many fans failed to receive the promised “perks” associated with their financial contributions to the campaign. How could this be? Certainly Indiegogo has a system in place to ensure that people who donate their hard-earned money will get what they are promised. Here’s what the Indiegogo website says about their “perk” system and what to do if you fail to receive yours as promised:
Where is My Perk?
Receiving your perk(s) often takes time! Selecting a perk as a part of your contribution is not the same thing as buying something online. Perks may require much more than just money to develop, manufacture and distribute.
Check the Updates tab
Campaign owners are encouraged to update their contributors on the status of their perk deliveries by sending out campaign updates. If you had chosen to opt out of receiving campaign updates during the contribution process or have since unsubscribed from campaign updates, these updates are still posted on the campaign page, under the Updates tab. We recommend checking to see if the campaign owner has posted any information about perk shipping schedules.
Basically, be patient and check for updates on the individual campaign pages themselves. So, let’s do just that.
Scott Hall’s campaign page currently features 9 detailed updates on the status of fans perks. Considering he received over $100,000 in contributions, one can imagine how many autographs and phone calls the guy has to do. The latest update, from campaign manager Diamond Dallas Page, reads as follows:
“Wrestling fans! You’ll be happy to know that your perks are literally being packed up as I write this. We apologize for the lack up updates and the delays in getting some of those out to you. ALL perks will be out the door within the next two weeks.”
Seems fair enough, right? Now, let’s take a look at Roberts’ campaign.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts received just under $30,000. That is less than a third of what Hall received. Basically, he shouldn’t have as many autographs and phone calls to do, so he should have a much easier time fulfilling the “perks” he is required as per his campaign agreement. Right? Wrong.
If you check the updates page associated with the Roberts campaign, as you are told to do by Indiegogo if you fail to receive your promised “perks,” you will notice that there are zero updates available. Nothing. Nadda. No information to be found for those wondering why they have yet to receive their phone calls and/or autographs. Surely this means that he has fulfilled his obligations and all fans are satisfied with the way things went. Right? Wrong again.
As noted in the aforementioned Ryan Clark article, we reached out to both Hall and Roberts to find out what is going on. In the case of Hall, his “updates” page claimed a month ago that it would be a few weeks until everyone gets what they’re supposed to. So, he’s off the hook. For now.
In the case of Roberts, however, due to the fact that no updates are provided, and that is how Indiegogo tells us we can keep track of what is promised, the only thing left to do is to go directly to Roberts himself. Clark contacted him before running the article to make sure he had his information correct, and he received nothing back. Sound familiar? Fans sent $30,000 and many failed to receive what they were promised. Roberts is of the impression that the entire Indiegogo situation is behind him. He got his money, he got his operation, and he gave the fans their required perks. Yet many fans have contacted eWN claiming otherwise. Fans have written the website in droves and claimed that they have not received their promised phone calls and/or autographs. Roberts disagrees. “Didn’t you know everything you read on Internet is true? I adore the fans and have done more than was promised. Why not ask fans,” wrote the legendary WWE performer on his official Twitter account. Well, the fans have spoken. Directly to Roberts, I might add. If you read the “comments” section of his Indiegogo campaign, you will notice a number of remarks from fans who claim they are still waiting on their “perks.”
When Roberts heard about the article Clark wrote this week, he once again took to his Twitter account. “Been notified of some very shoddy reporting about me. Attacking my character in a very personal way. Would never “screw over” the fans who helped me get my life back. It is not true. But of course this “reporter” did not ask me for my side,” said Roberts. First of all, that “reporter” did ask for his side. He asked a number of times, actually. Much like the fans waiting on their promised perks, he received nothing. So he did what any reporter would do, he told the story using the information he had access to. He didn’t attack anyone’s character in any way, personal or otherwise. He simply shared the facts. The fact is, many fans are claiming they didn’t receive their perks. The fact is, according to Indiegogo, you’re supposed to find out about the status of your perks through Roberts’ campaign page. The fact is, there are no updates on the status of fans’ perks on his campaign page. Finally, the fact is, Roberts himself claims he has done “more than was promised.” So if you’re a fan who donated money and didn’t receive your perk, the fact is, the only conclusion you can draw is that you’re never going to. If you go by the Indiegogo guidelines, another fact is, there doesn’t appear to be anything you can do about it. Well, you can contact Roberts and tell him the issue, but if we’ve learned anything this week, it’s that he doesn’t consider there to be a problem. He doesn’t react to the issue until his “character is attacked in a very personal way.” Well, it wasn’t attacked before. Light was shed on some facts. That prompted Roberts to react. Here’s some more light shed on the issue, let’s see if that motivates the guy I idolized as a kid into doing the right thing. Give the fans what they were promised. Make it a priority. Spend some time, find out why so many fans are claiming they were ripped off, and do whatever it takes to fix that.
The following is from the Jake Roberts campaign page:
“If a man has enough power, he can speak softly and everyone will listen.” Jake will call you to express your thanks, to share a wrestling story or two, and give you an update on his life. He’ll definitely make you smile, and he might even inspire you.
Estimated delivery: April 2013
The campaign claims an estimated delivery of April 2013. Jake claims “he can speak softly and everyone will listen.” Hey Jake, we’re in the middle of November. It might be time to speak up.
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NOTE: The above item is an eWrestlingNews.com opinionated editorial, and should not be confused as a factual news item. Readers can contact the author of the above editorial, Matt Boone, via Twitter @MBoone420 or by posting your immediate feedback in the “Comments” section below.