Monday morning Steorn sent the following e-mail to customers who had ordered an OCube:
First of all we would like to again thank you for your order and your interest in Orbo technology. We are contacting you to provide you with an update on the current situation with respect to product design, production and shipment.
As you may know we have been investigating a charging issue with the initial batch of products we shipped, specifically the charge controller board used and consequent under/over charging.
We believe that we have now developed a solution to the issues caused by the charge controller board failure. Testing is underway on the redesigned system, and assuming that the new approach meets our test parameters, we will then move on to the production stage of the process.
While we are eager to get your order to you as soon as possible, we have to establish that the work we have done to address the issues we encountered is capable of delivering the high-quality product you are entitled to expect. As such, it is currently not possible to say exactly when your order will ship but please rest assured we are doing everything we can to minimise the delay.
We will be in touch again shortly with further updates as work progresses.
The Orbo Team
Both Frank Acland and I received this e-mail in response to having asked Steorn about the OPhone that had been promised to OCube customers. If you recall, in their March 4th update e-mail, Steorn offered OCube customers either a refund or an additional OPhone at no extra charge. That OPhone, they said, would ship within 10 business days — which brings us to last Friday. However, Monday’s new update e-mail doesn’t contain so much as a mention of the OPhone, that was supposed to have already shipped by that time. It appears that Steorn has gone from making a new commitment to their customers, to forgetting that it ever happened, over the span of two weeks. Why did they even bother in the first place? After failing to follow through on their promises so many times over the years, why manufacture a brand new commitment only to fail to follow through on it, mere days later?
There is also an unconfirmed report from a customer who did ask Steorn for a refund, and nine days later still hadn’t heard back from them.
On a positive note, at least Steorn is still providing updates and responding to queries about the status of orders. Because their Facebook page has been inactive for several weeks now, even allowing spam and negative comments to build up that Steorn previously would have removed, it appeared possible that they had given up entirely. Instead, they sound confident that they’ve finally solved the problem with the charge controller board and will be able to begin production of the revamped OCubes. Soon.