Last year, we told you about Coin, a credit card gadget for people with so many credit cards, they need a fancier credit card to organize them all. If this sounded like a convoluted product idea, it turns out you're right—and everyone who pre-ordered is boned.
Coin is the reason why pre-ordering a product that doesn't exist is a terrible idea. You're essentially giving an unproven company with unproven technology an interest-free loan. And if it turns out the technology doesn't work as expected, you have no recourse.
That's how one Valleywag reader is feeling:
Almost a year ago I paid $55 to be an "early backer" of the credit card replacement system, with the promise that I'd be shipped a Coin summer of 2014. As the months went by emails would arrive detailing how Coin worked, how it was made, etc., all with the reminder that soon enough, I'd be receiving my Coin this summer.
Fast forward to this week — everyone who paid to be backer received an email stating that—HOORAY—our Coins would begin shipping after we follow some steps (such as downloading the app, registering on the site). So today I register on the Coin site, follow the instructions, and then I'm told to choose my Coin. What? (See attached image)
So yeah, I can either opt in for Coin Beta, their "kinda works, some of the time" beta product to ship now and then PAY an additional $30 for the actual final product (oh yeah, and it ships in Spring of 2015 now), or just keeeeeep waiting for another 8 months for the real thing.
The old bait and switch. Lovely.
Coin tells me they "offer a 100% money back refund to all users up until the point where we ship their Coin." Might be time to start considering it.