I conducted an interview with Kerim Chikhi, who is a representative of Bitmine AG.
What are the delays looking like on refund requests? BitmineRefund.com lists a lot of customers who might not have received their refunds and are still waiting over a month.
I confirm delays are around 1-2 months.
Have you actually shipped any mining equipment? Can you cite any posts from customers who are enjoying their miners?
The majority of our customers received their orders, and we feel the vast majority of them are satisfied with the product they received. I won’t point out a specific post, but on our official forum, you will find, among many negative comments, customers actively discussing our equipment.
Many mining companies have had lots of difficulty with their product design, shipments, and refunds. How do you think you compare on how you’re handling things in those areas?
We at Bitmine don’t have any difficulty to admit we were not the best ASIC company to handle pre-orders, but we do not feel to be the worst. While the deliveries were delayed, we feel our products, also compared to other ASIC companies, are solid and reflect the quality we aimed to and do not have any major issue. So I’d say designing was satisfying even if it took so long, shipments were all delayed at least 1-2 months which is not satisfying. Refunds are having delays, but we are committed to [clearing] all pending dues with our customers. Other companies may not have been suffering these delays, but we have reports of other companies not having refunded a single customer.
The concerns I received about Bitmine AG is that the support staff is unresponsive, but when I contacted them I received a message the next day. Does your customer service ignore requests that they find challenging to answer or cause your company financial duress, such as requests for a refund?
Time to reply to inquiries depend on many factors. For example during the month of May we had both a peak of inquiries for technical issues and refund requests, and it took us more days than usual to reply to every customer. Now that 99% of preorders are cleared, and all refund requests registered there are [fewer] inquiries than usual, but being summer there may be somebody of the staff on vacation, which may lead to some delay to answering to all requests. Currently, I’d say 80-90% of requests are answered within 48 hours. But we sometimes take the liberty not to answer to menacing / insulting / spamming or particularly unpolite requests.
In this day and age, customers are quick to jump to the conclusion that an ASIC manufacturer is a scam based on misunderstandings. There are some companies who are scam companies due to obvious reasons, but refunds do take time to process and with the massive number of refund requests that ASIC manufacturers often receive, waiting one month is perfectly reasonable. How many people work on processing refund requests and how many requests do you receive? Is there a dedicated staff working on just refund requests or do you employ a third-party to handle your financials?
Browsing through forum and websites, one may get the impression that most Bitmine customers asked for a refund and never received it. But keep in mind most of [the] satisfied customers just use their equipment and do not post online to provide feedback about the company. Refund requests may have needed their load of work, but we never felt we needed any additional staff to handle them.
This interview as well as various news articles on the Bitmine.ch website suggests that Bitmine AG is very transparent in their operations. That often is not the case. Alpha-Technology was just exposed as not being transparent about their still being in the tape-out phase when they said they were shipping this month.
Disclaimer: I am not a affiliated with Bitmine AG in any way.
Featured image by Shutterstock.