If patience is a virtue, at what point does a man of virtue become a fool for waiting too long for his overdue grind and brew connected coffee maker?
It’s a question I ask myself every week or two about the Spinn, a machine that is, as I write this, almost two years past the original ship date promised to me and other early buyers who plopped down $300 or more.
The reason I think about the tardy coffee machine so often is I get an email every week or two asking me if I’ve heard any news about the Spinn.
Below is a recent example:
Dear Mike, I was an early backer in Dec. 2016 and I have not heard from them in ages. Is this just a complete scam and is there anyway to get my money back?
So why do the Marys of the world come to me for an update? In part, because I’m the only tech writer still bothering to keeping tabs on the long-overdue project, but I think the main reason is that the company has done such a poor job giving guidance on when exactly the machine will ship.
In fact, they’ve largely given up on giving any guidance at all.
It didn’t use to be this way. Early on the company said it would ship sometime in spring of 2017. When they missed that date, they pointed to first half 2018. Eventually, they stopped giving any guidance in their periodic updates, but up to just a couple months ago, a message on the home page right below the order button said that the fifth “batch” would ship year-end 2018.
As a first “batch” customer, every time I saw that I would always think, ‘huh, when will mine be here?’
Adding to the frustration is whenever I ask the company about the status of the machine, the only response I (and others) get is to suggest we log into our account for an update on our shipping status. What does that get me? A message telling me my ship date has yet to be announced:
It’s not like the company’s gone entirely dark. Spinn has a community forum where they update early customers every month or two on the status of the coffee machine. These updates go into excruciating detail on how the company is working to improve the early beta products and are filled with photos of torn down products…
…and with people working diligently in labs…
…and with highly granular descriptions of every aspect of the machine and how they are working to optimize it…
Lots and lots of information, but nothing about when the product will ship.
The forum also has a community discussion board where customers can discuss the updates. Most of the discussions revolve around one central question – when is Spinn going to ship the machine – and, as you can imagine, many people aren’t happy at the lack of guidance.
But the most frustrating thing is the company continues to advertise about the Spinn. Below is an image that popped up in my Instagram feed recently:
And as the company continues to pitch their hardware on social media like Instagram and Facebook, they continue to blast out emails advertising their coffee marketplace.
So what do I say TO the Marys of the world who ask me if the Spinn is a scam? I’ve always said no and continue to believe this. The reason is scammers don’t get issued patents for their innovations, nor do they offer full refunds (something the company still offers for backers).
Instead, I think Spinn is a company that has hit some snags in getting the machine to market and is continuing to fund the development of the product through sales of coffee and new machines they have yet to ship. If that is indeed what is happening, while not a scam, it’s certainly a dangerous game to play. It’s also something that has led me and others to start to run out of patience.
All that said, I’ve continued and will continue to stick it out, in part because the Spinn sounds like an intriguing coffee machine, one which I believe the company is trying its hardest to ship.
As for Mary and others who ask about getting their money back, I’m torn. I may be a fool with my own money, but I don’t want to give bad advice to others on what they should do with their hard-earned dough.
The company points to mid-2019 as the ship date for new orders, which means manufacturing of the product will need to start very soon if they plan to deliver to those of us in the front of the line. If they don’t give a hard ship date by the end of January, it might be time to ask for that refund.