Like many, I ordered my NYC Train Sign several months ago, jumping on a promotion that offered their latest version for $100. Since then, nothing has happened. Customers have received email after email from NYC Train Sign support and their founder Timothy Woo apologizing for another delay. The emails usually go into the challenges the small company is facing in production, customer service, or technology and it all ends up about how it’s delaying the delivery again.
This latest one is the worst as the delay is going to be at least six months, which as you probably expect, is completely ridiculous. Here’s a couple bits and pieces I cherry-picked from the latest email:
Due to overwhelming scale and technical feedback we must make a hard transition to complete overseas manufacturing. We are closing our local shop and pausing all operations not directly related to support/fulfillment. What does this mean for you, our customers? It may now take 6+ months for you to get your product. We know, another delay… Overseas production is the only way we can catch up and will result is a more stable product (with all of our v2 updates).
A part of me thinks it’s great that they’re being so transparent, but a growing part of me wants to grab Woo, shake him and say “GET IT TOGETHER”.
This isn’t a Kickstarter, we put our credit card numbers in because we thought there was a finished product ready to be delivered in a reasonable time frame. Obviously, if we knew that we wouldn’t get the product in a year from when we ordered it, no one would have placed an order.
Also if you’re having a problem with scale then stop selling more signs. A https://nyctrainsign.com/ shows they’re still offering up the product. The irony is that there’s a video with a cover photo that says “Don’t Be Late”. That’s not the worst part. The email is a little self-involved. Take a gander at this precious passage:
Trust us when we tell you we’re just as upset and disappointed, especially considering how much negotiation and sacrifices we’ve made.
It’s really dumb of them to include this in the email. I hope that NYC Train Sign is hustling to make everything come together and understand they must be frustrated with what may have seemed like a solution, wasn’t. However, at this point, the customers don’t give a flying fuck about how upset and disappointed you are — it’s not about you. It’s especially not about you when you’re sending out an email to customers about yet another delay – the longest delay yet.
If our updated timeline doesn’t fit, you can have your money back. We suggest that you dispute the charge with your credit card company due to late shipping.
I appreciate the honesty and trying to be true to the customer. Unlike several Kickstarters that got investors and disappeared, I’m glad they included what’s on everyone’s mind at this point — getting their money back.
As beautiful as the NYC Train Sign product looked when it was first reported on, it obviously hasn’t come to fruition. Though the communication has been good for the most part, the delays have been more than unacceptable. Even if one was to wait the extra six months, the problems they’ve run into trying to produce the sign doesn’t exactly give me much confidence that what we eventually get is worth the year’s wait.
Last year, I asked if the NYC Train Sign was worth it — that question is still unanswered.