On the 21st August 2013, Current Cost LTD launched an indiegogo campaign to fund their latest energy management and monitoring product quel.
The Campaign closed on 21st September, reaching only 38% of the funding goal. Those that chose rewards of to “get one of the first batches of Quels” had an estimated delivery date of November 2013. As we all know crowd funded projects are notorious for slipping delivery dates, and lack of communication to backers.
Until now here at HomeLabs we’ve had a good relationship with Currentcost, reviewing many of there products, and working to use them in various monitoring scenarios, Quel, looked exciting, and a the obvious step into the home automation arena, with the promise of support for many products in the future both from Current Cost, and other 3rd party vendors.
The first indication of any issues with Quel came in an e-mail from Current Cost MD Martin Dix on 12th Dec 2013, after the November shipping date had clearly passed. Backers were given the following options
So, we realise the target month came and went, that doesnt fill any of us here at Current Cost with delight and we can understand how you will be quite rightly miffed. I always said if we didn’t ship you wouldn’t pay, that’s still true and for those of you fed up of waiting, I offer you an immediate no questions full refund money back right now, I’ll even offer you a 20% discount on any order from our existing range as some small recompense… and also offer a 10% discount on the Retail price of the Quel on its official release.
We value your support and would prefer you just stick with us a little longer, and as a bit of a sorry, we’ll refund you 10% per month of the price you paid until you receive the unit, which is realistically now targeted as mid Jan, so thats 20% you’ll be getting back anyway and I’d like to offer you a 25% discount on any other complimentary Current Cost devices that are either available now or the new ones that include temp sensors, proximity sensors etc.
Here at Homelabs we chose the later, 2 months longer really isn’t that long to wait. So January came and went, in early February we contacted Martin to ask for an update, no response came back. March arrived, and despite assurance from an Current Cost employee on twitter that an update from Martin would arrive soon, it wasn’t until the 7th of April we got word again from Current Cost, nearly 6 months after we should have received our product.
As it turns out the Current Cost office had suffered in the storms that had battered the country. Which obviously had had an impact on Quel
The email closed with the following statement
By now you’re thinking… well all that tree stuff is fascinating, but when do I get what I paid for? As far as I can tell these pre-production devices are performing as I would hope, so I see no reason we wont be populating PCBs by this week.. then they’ll need assembly, flashing and final testing before being shipped from DongGuan…. I’m going to say 4-5 weeks, but you know we’ve been wrong before, despite some pretty sterling efforts at this end!
On June 5th we once again e-mailed the CurrentCost office asking for an update, some 9 weeks after the last update, and 4 weeks later than the 4-5 weeks previously offered as a new target. Again no response. On the 18th of June, I was able to once again get some engagement from CurrentCost an employee on Twitter, this resulted in me being sent a pre-production model. With the assurance that the issues raised would be discussed with Martin, and that more information would be made available to backers, once again nothing arrived.
In an e-mail sent on the 11th September, contained the following
One of the final pieces that we have been waiting for is the production of the LCD and touch screen, which are due to arrive on Monday. If they work as we expect, then we’ll know the exact final production date when they arrive in the next week.
An e-mail to CurrentCost on 10th October to CurrentCost got this response
I’m waiting to hear back from Martin and will let you know as soon as he does.
Well where are we now, 2 days away from the 1 year anniversary of the original shipment date, with backers having no idea of when or if they’ll ever see the product that they backed.
On the 10th of November 2014, I got the following update from a Currentcost employee
I should have more info this week. thanks for bearing with me. PCBs arrived last week. Checking what we are waiting for now.
It’s now the 19th of November, and no further updates.
November 20th, following the update yesterday, and some Twitter traffic, the latest is as follows
I hope to get an update out tomorrow as people are out today.
Lets see what Friday the 21st brings.