Caution Advised When Preordering from Clockwork Tech - Delays and Lack of Communication

Hello Community,

I wanted to share my ongoing experience with Clockwork Tech, particularly regarding preorders, to help others make informed decisions. I preordered the uConsole Kit from them, which was supposed to ship within 90 business days from the order date. However, the reality has been far different, and I believe it’s important to shed light on this.

Initial Promise

  • Order Date: January 31, 2024
  • Promised Shipping Time: 90 business days
  • Product: uConsole Kit RPI-CM4 Lite

Issues Faced

  • Batch Processing Rate Miscommunication: Initially, it was communicated that the company processes 3-5 batches per month. Based on this rate, the expected delivery time seemed feasible. However, the actual progress did not align with these projections.
  • Delays: Several months into the preorder, I was informed that there were still multiple batches ahead of mine, despite previous assurances that production was on schedule. This has pushed the delivery well beyond the initially promised date.
  • Customer Service Response: When I reached out to address the delay and request a resolution, the response was that the company is small and must focus resources on production and R&D, without offering any concrete resolution.

Conclusion and Advice

Given these experiences, I urge potential buyers to be cautious when considering preordering products from Clockwork Tech. The discrepancies between the promised and actual delivery timelines, coupled with non-committal responses to direct inquiries about delays, suggest potential challenges in receiving products in a timely manner.

While I understand that delays can occur, especially with small companies, transparent communication and concrete solutions are essential in maintaining customer trust and satisfaction. If you are considering a preorder, I recommend:

  • Seeking Detailed Production Updates: Ask for clear, regular updates on batch processing and delivery timelines.
  • Understanding the Risk: Be aware of the risks associated with delays and potentially inadequate responses to service requests.
  • Considering Alternatives: Explore other suppliers who might offer better reliability and customer service.

Please share your experiences if you have encountered similar issues, and let’s help each other make well-informed purchasing decisions.

Thank you for reading, and stay informed!

Sincerely,
Owoz

1 Like

Well, no matter how pessimistic it is, the vendor should present more information to the customer. Also, I think we should increase the number of employees a little more and make every effort to procure parts.

Going by the holidays of the Chinese calendar, 90 business days from January 31 is May 16. You’re not likely to get it by then but complaining that it’s late before it’s actually late doesn’t help anybody.

3 Likes

I ordered my DevTerm (so, not a pre-order) at the start of the year and it arrived (in the UK) pretty much bang on 90 business days. I agree that communication could have been better though, all I had was my initial receipt and a wait with my fingers crossed.

Best wishes,

Tom

Three things:

  • The 90 days are sadly, a joke. This should be addressed by Clockwork so you know what to expect when ordering.

  • The communication is sorely lacking. I mean the posts here on the forum are great, but I’d expect an honest update at least once a week. Even if there is nothing new to tell (this is news too). I have experienced this behaviour with other/similar small companies with new producst like Clockwork that seemingly fear that talking about problems will make customers go away. This might even be true, but I still really dont like it - a lot!

  • But in the end, you will get it your order! There are no reports of people who ordered and never got their device from Clockwork. It took 8 Months out of 90 days for my uConsole to reach me. But I finally got it earlier this week, a widely shared experience. And Clockwork also refunds the money if you don’t want to wait.

So know what you’re getting into. In my case I think it was worth the wait, but your priorities might differ.

2 Likes

いくら全員体制で注文に応じているからといっても、せめて小まめに情報を出さないと顧客が疑心暗鬼に落ちて焦って、最悪の場合キャンセルする羽目に陥ってしまいます。
会社はその点を考慮すべきですね。

1 Like

It took about a year for my devterm to arrive, but that was several years ago, and it was worth the wait. I can confirm that ClockworkPi issues refunds without delay, as I ended up requesting one on my uConsole order. That was less about the company track record and more about my financial situation at the time. (I also own a Gameshell which is a quality device too, even if it’s an old device now in terms of internal technology.)

I have no knowledge of the company beyond interaction as a customer and the posts here, but I get the feeling that these devices are more like hobby projects and everyone at ClockworkPi has real.jobs and this is not their main focus. I expected that when ordering and was not disappointed. They also design and produce great hardware, and in cases where quality control is lacking (no personal.experience there, but I’ve seen posts from others) they always make good on replacements. They don’t seem to do long term software support, but the community has stepped up with that, producing updated os builds with newer kernel support.

If you’re looking for a device to tinker with, then they make solid, unique stuff. If you’re looking for something that “just works” out of the box I’d hesitate to recommend. Part of owning one of these devices is committing to it becoming a hobby project for yourself, to at least get it up and running and doing what you want, or perhaps to modify or add onto it in more elaborate ways. Their devices are more “assembly required” (for hardware AND software) than “plug and play”, but that isn’t such a bad thing and is part of the fun. They might have advertised that better on the website, but communication is definitely their weakest thing, as a company.

I’ve been happy with my purchases and refund though, and would consider anything else they decided to produce.

2 Likes

First of all, I would like you to stop announcing that every order will be delivered in 90 business days, and honestly admit that you are not doing well in sourcing parts. On top of that, efforts should be made to facilitate the procurement of parts. As I reminded, instead of announcing the situation, I would like you to explain the situation at least once a week.

1 Like