Coin, that awesome payment card that can replace all your physical cards including credit, debit, gifts and loyalty cards, last week announced that it wasn’t ready to ship the final product to backers as previously promised. In the process, the company disguised the announcement as an extended nationwide beta program that would be available to backers who choose to help, and to pay an extra fee on top of their existing pledges, shifting focus from the actual bad news. Since then Coin has come clean to backers about the product launch delay, Droid-Life reports.
In an email to backers, Coin said that it’s sorry about misleading customers about the delay, revealing that the summer 2014 launch date turnd out to be “overly optimistic.” The Coin beta program has also been extended, the company now accepting 15,000 backers (5,000 more than initially announced) free of charge, removing the $30 additional fee it asked for last week.
The company also explained that it has been working “day/night and weekends since May 2012,” but the first generation Coin only works in 85% of cases. Coin also said it managed to create a 0.84mm form factor card with e-ink screen, Bluetooth LE and a tactile touch button that provides feedback to the user.
Coin added that it’s ready to refund backers who aren’t willing to wait until next year for the full roll out. “We feel responsible to the commitment each of you has given to us by backing Coin and so we haven’t spent even one dollar of the crowd funding campaign. All our efforts and production has been supported by equity dollars,” the company said.
The full letter to backers is available below, as provided by Droid-Life.
Dear Coin Backers,
First and foremost, we want to apologize to each and every one of you. We are building Coin for you and are extremely disappointed with ourselves that we made some of you unhappy with us. We want to earn your trust again.
We apologize for our lack of transparency and clarity in our communications to you. You, as our valuable backers, should have been the first to know about all product updates. We honestly thought we could make our timeline. We were overly optimistic. The San Francisco Bay Area Coin Beta made it evident that we should conduct a larger nationwide Coin Beta. We need your help with testing nationwide, but realize that this is not a cost for you to bear. Therefore, we will run a nationwide Coin Beta for no cost to Coin Beta Backers ($0) and increase the number of Coin Beta devices by 50% to 15,000. We’ll do our best to grow this number over time. To clarify, your spot in the Coin Beta program is determined by your pre-order date, regardless of whether you opt-in with the iOS or Android app. We feel responsible to the commitment each of you has given to us by backing Coin and so we haven’t spent even one dollar of the crowd funding campaign. All our efforts and production has been supported by equity dollars.
Coin Beta was a hard decision but important step as we want to deliver the device we all expect and nothing less. Getting Coin to work with thousands of different card readers of different makes, models and regions is not easy and that’s why we need the help of an extended beta team.
We are truly sorry that the first generation Coin is not ready when we said it would. Our team has been working hard day/night and weekends since May 2012 in an attempt to deliver Coin to you on time and while we are close, we are not at the finish line. We have achieved ~0.84 mm form factor with e-ink screen and bluetooth low energy. We even found a button that has a tactile touch so you can feel feedback every time you press the button on Coin. Coin swipes successfully in 85% of the locations we visit. Our hardware team is focused on the remaining 15%.
With Coin Beta, we will validate compatibility nationwide and improve usability. Meanwhile, we’ll keep a focus on growing our manufacturing capabilities and are confident that we will deliver high-quality first generation Coins to you all.
We promise to do better with our transparency and updates to backers. We promise to keep working hard to deliver you a great product. We value your honest feedback, good or bad; and we are always listening.
Kanishk and the whole Coin team
PS – We appreciate your patience and support, but if you would like to cancel, we will promptly issue a refund to you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number. We hope to earn your trust again in the future.