Avalon has retracted its no-refunds policy after announcing delayed delivery of its ASIC chips.
The company said in an email update that the delays were caused by events beyond its control, but added that customers who placed their orders before 1st June can request a full refund (in bitcoins) if they desire.
It goes on to say it is receiving a batch of more than 400,000 chips on Wednesday (4th September) so expects to be able to meet the deadlines for orders made in June or later.
“In addition, we hope to wrap up generation one, finish shipping the chips, construct the modules and build the 2 module Avalon mini, put this pre-order mess behind us in general and switch gear into 55nm production, tape out generation 3, and start work on improving chip design for generation 4,” the company’s email states.
Avalon had suggested earlier last week that full refunds would be offered. On 28th August, BitcoinTalk forum member BitSyncom, who represents the Avalon, said: “We are shipping as per usual … and are doing the best we could but probably simply going to offer full refund soon, I am tired of this toxic community malformed by greed.”
Many of Avalon’s customers are not satisfied by the company’s decision to offer refunds. Several have voiced on BitcoinTalk that they feel they should be offered compensation, either in the form of bitcoins or additional chips.
“At this point it isn’t ‘toxic malformed greed’ from the community. Forget profits – it’s people desperate to even have a chance of getting close to breaking even. Prior to this, delays on units only diluted profits. Now the delays are costing people more and more money,” said forum member Kartaiv.
AdamKD used stronger words in suggesting Avalon has both cheated and alienated the community that developed around its product. He went on to say he doubts people will trust the company again after its failure to fulfil promises.
However, forum member zefir suggested he still has faith in the company:
“Until otherwise proven I personally give them the benefit of the doubt and assume things went wrong outside their control. Sooner or later we all will know what happened.”
This isn’t the first time Avalon customers have experienced delivery delays. Back in March, the company sent an email to its customers informing them that batch two deliveries were going to be delayed: “We are unfortunately going to be late. This should not be too surprising as the delay from batch one will no doubt carry over.”
Despite past delays, many Avalon customers seem to be pleased with their purchases, with forum member silverserpent praised the company for the “rock solid packaging” and “quality and durability” of his new bitcoin mining rig.
“This has to have been the toughest and proudest purchase/investment I have ever made – it really feels good to be part of something that is so powerful and evolutionary in the world today,” he added.
Avalon competitor Butterfly Labs has faced significant criticism over late deliveries. For example, the Jalapeño – the company’s first-generation entry-level miner was delivered to customers more than 6 months late.
What do you think about Avalon’s refund offer? Is it enough?