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?

Mary

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:

 

My Spinn account screen

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…

A portion of the September/October update from Spinn community update

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:

A Spinn coffee machine advertisement on Instagram

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.

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16 COMMENTS

      • Would love to know how much they made in that deal, should have been enough to fully fund the actually machine they are building, unless they just pocketed the cash!

  1. I was a backer back in Nov 2016. They’ve been lying over and over again. They also finally agreed to give me a refund but didn’t actually provide refund. They’ve literally stolen my money (my account now says I am not entitled to a spinn). Stay away! This is a giant scam.

  2. “If they don’t give a hard ship date by the end of January, it might be time to ask for that refund.” We’re a month past that and still no ship date. So…

    They’ve now raised the pre-order price for the basic “original” machine to $499, so it’s hard to imagine there’s any incentive for people to hand over their money in advance.

  3. I think a class action lawsuit is in order for fraud. I foolishly ordered two of these phantom machines. I’m beyond angry!!

  4. I was another early backer. The worst thing about this is the total lack of transparency and honesty. They ‘spin’ about the technical difficulties. In the meantime SPACE-X has launched a rocket and connected with the space station.. maybe thre problem is lack of engineering expertise?

  5. Into May 2019 and still no news. I got worried when they release the fake beta tester videos. You could tell they were professionally done.

  6. This is basically a scam. I gave up on the idea of ever getting this machine.
    When I tried getting a refund they insisted they can only pay me back using a credit card I don’t have anymore (it has been what, 3 years since I paid?!)

    Stay away.

  7. I drafted an email to you in May of 2018 to thank you for keeping up with this story. Now that it’s a year later I can say I have no regrets about cancelling. Here’s the options they presented to me last year when I requested a refund:

    Thank you for your email. We understand and can activate this refund for you.

    However you have some options so we just wanted to give them to you here, so let us know in your own time how you wish to proceed, and thank you so much for your early support:

    1. You could stay with us, and wait till we can deliver this new technology to you perfectly. We recently sent an update out via the Spinn Community Platform. You can check it out here. The Community Platform will be the quickest and most interactive resource for getting an up to date status on your machine so we thoroughly recommend signing up.

    2. We can activate a full refund of all your money, processed within 5 days, however you’d loose your 40% discount ahead of going to regular market. All customers received a 40% discount on their machine to account for the dynamics of a preorder and when the machine hits regular market it’ll be available full price at 40% more, with regular shipping times. If you do not have your card, you will have to reach out to your CC company/bank and they will be able to trace the funds for you.

    3. Or you can choose to transfer your purchase into coffee credits with our roasting partners at market.spinn.com.

    While you wait you can also browse with our roasting partners at our brand new boutique marketplace, and we have a ‘making of’ video here for customers to learn more.

    I hope this gives you confidence we’re on the right path to deliver you a great machine and experience.

  8. According to Spinn’s July 2019 update, “Our first shipment is imminent.” Although I’m sure “imminent” is too strong a word, since they’ll be lucky to ship before the end of the year, I actually don’t doubt that they’ll finally follow through. One clue: The tone of this latest update is quite different.

    Previous updates covered a seemingly neverending series of technical fixes. This one doesn’t. It focuses on features, product comparisons and packaging tests. I think they realized that they had to say “enough” to seeking perfection and push the first generation of their product out. We’ll see if the wait was worth it for those (unlike me) who stuck it out.

  9. I pre-purchased in 2016. Batch 2. “Delivery Pending” (Haha).

    Every time I check in on this I get a good chuckle. I personally don’t think the machine exists. The cake is a lie… and so is the Spinn machine…

  10. You may actually get your machine. They tweeted the following on Aug. 8: “We are super excited that shipping is getting so close! The latest estimates indicated we would start fulfilling 1st batch preorders towards the end of summer/beginning of fall.”

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