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Lattis "A Smarter Bike Lock" Product Review
February 2, 2018
I’m a tech nerd. I’m totally addicted to data. A few years ago, fitness trackers helped me get off the couch. Knowing how many kms I was riding and chasing elusive KOMs helped me motivate to keep getting out there, as often as I could. Fitness became a noun, verb, and adjective.
What started as an app expanded into heart rate monitors, power meters, GPS enabled cyclometers. I don’t even necessarily care about being faster, i just like knowing, but the more gadgetry I had, the faster I did get.
You can’t have the Star Trek future if you’re not willing to adopt developing technologies.
So, when I saw the Kickstarter video for Skylock it seemed like an obvious purchase for me. I like bicycle related tech, here is a product that offers a lot of bicycle related tech, so TAKE MY MONEY.
Skylock promised the sky.
A solar powered, keyless entry bike lock that offered both theft alerts and crash notifications? This is a product for me. I Kickstarted the project - ordering three locks - one for me, one for my wife, and one for my brother. I knew it would be while before I actually saw delivery, because that’s how Kickstarter works. If I saw delivery at all.
That was May of 2014, and according to their claims, I should be giving some amazing holiday presents in December 2015.
2015 came and went.
The company changed their name, and the name of their product. It became Ellipse by Lattis. I thought Skylock was cooler, but I guess someone thought it infringed on a copyright or something.
And then the first half of 2016 came and went.
They were good communicators. They had issues manufacturing, but it was coming along. They had issues with software, but it was getting worked out. They had issues with plastics, but only in certain colors.
So, I was excited when I received an email saying they were able to start manufacturing the locks. Delivery for early kickstarters, like me, was promised for September 2016.
September came and went.
and then October came and went.
In November I wrote to ask them what was going on, and got the same prompt, courteous explanation, they was another manufacturing snag, but the first batch of locks would be delivered in December.
2017 started without a future lock. Communications from the company became less and less regular. I began emailing their customer support to get any information. They kept offering a refund. I was still hopeful for the lock of the future.
When i saw them posting social media content, I commented asking about delivery. So did everyone else who kickstarted, indiegogoed, or otherwise crowdsourced this product.
It wasn’t just me, no one was getting their locks. Except, they had them available for sale on their website. And REI had them for sale. And Best Buy had them for sale. And Amazon had them for sale.
So I reached out to customer support again. Their responses got more and more erratic, if I got one at all. I took the only option I had, and requested the refund that they had repeatedly offered. I was told it was being processed.
And then another month passed. I still hadn’t received my refund, nor had I received a response to my email. So, I did what any grown up American does when a company has wronged them: I went to Twitter to ask these questions out in the open.
They blocked me from their Twitter.
I’m not sure of the legality of taking crowd sourced funding to manufacture a product to sell to new customers in order to raise capital to manufacture a product to deliver to your crowd sourced customers. But I’m sure that’s what happened here.
I’d love to be writing a review of this product, because I like playing with new tech and new toys. Instead here’s what some people that did receive their locks through big box retailers have to say:
“…it WAS good for a short time. Then the keypad stopped working... since then it’s been a nightmare of support emails. At first they promised a refund or a replacement. I have not heard back since then….”
“Do not add stress to your life by taking a chance on this lock. It is utterly useless.”
“The software is unreliable, and the interface is TERRIBLE.”
“This lock is useless because it is not waterproof – something that Ellipse fail to mention in any of their marketing material. When my lock was bricked by an ingress of water, they promised me a replacement. I sent the original lock back and have heard nothing since – worse, they have ignored repeated requests for information. Avoid this product.”
“Anti theft only works if close enough for Bluetooth. Hard to lock, made of cast metal, fragile if dropped. Way too expensive.”
There are positive reviews out there as well, and I would’ve loved to be writing one, but the three card monte- bait and switch - Jeckyl and Hyde game they're playing with their customers is inexcusable. Lattis may have started with a good idea and the best of intentions, however their inability to deliver on any of those ideas or intentions doesn’t make a trustworthy or tangible product.