Pando

Stunningly, shockingly, amazingly, Tellspec delays shipping of its bullshit miracle food scanner once again

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on February 26, 2016

From The Scampaign Finance Desk

You might want to sit down for this.

It’s pretty shocking.

Tellspec has delayed its projected shipping date yet again.

As a reminder: The company was already months late on delivering its Indiegogo-backed miracle food scanner when Pando’s James Robinson exposed its many, many flaws here on Pando. That was in 2014.

In late 2015, with still no product in sight for the project’s ($400k!) backers, CEO Isabel Hoffman threatened to sue Pando unless we deleted Robinson’s articles. Bizarrely, after we published her threats, Hoffman decided to flatly deny that she’d ever sent them, claiming she was the victim of an imposter (who somehow had access to her Linkedin account, email and voice on the phone to our attorney.)

At the end of last year,  Tellspec announced its latest projected shipping date: The devices would absolutely, definitely be sent to backers by Spring 2016, which would mean June at the latest. Remember, this is a device that was supposed to be ready to ship in 2014.

Well, are you sitting down?

Tellspec is delayed again!

According to an email sent by Hoffman to an Indiegogo backer and seen by Pando, the company now promises the first devices will be sent to Indiegogo backers “ by the end of the Summer if all goes well.”

“If all goes well” is a remarkable caveat given nothing has apparently gone well in the development of Tellspec. Not only has the company broken all of its promises to backers, but it was also booted off Crowdfunder.com after it attempted to raise even more working capital based on a provably falsified investor deck. When Pando published that deck, the company filed numerous DMCA takedown attempts with our hosting company. All of those attempts failed on the basis that… well, they were baseless.

Despite the delays, lies, fake lawsuits and other craziness, Indiegogo has (true to form) continued to stand by Tellspec. Also, according to multiple dissatisfied backers, Tellspec has failed to process refund requests. The only option now available to any customer who have lost faith in Tellspec is to ask their credit card company to process a chargeback.

Meanwhile, Tellspec’s promotional campaign continues: Hoffman was recently in San Francisco, performing her standard demo at Texas Instruments’ stand at PhotonicsWest. The company is also heavily promoting this blog post by an apparently satisfied beta tester, Kevin Michelizzi .

In the post, Michelizzi compares Tellspec's "scan" of the calories in his dinner with the official nutritional information provided by the manufacturer. He finds the Tellspec reading to be almost twice as high as the official information. Remarkably, he cites that as proof the device works:

This means, per the Tellspec scanner, my meal cost me 1670 calories (vs. the official guide total of 895)... The whole point here is that nutrition labels are not accurate. You need actual scans of the food to get true results.

Michelizzi’s blog is filled with posts about Tellspec and Hoffman. In a blog post titled “Why I Invested In Tellspec,” Michelizzi describes Hoffman as “pretty amazing,” and explains that during one of his (many) conversations with Hoffman “she asked me to share my story.”

When he’s not writing posts as Hoffman’s suggestion, Michelizzi takes time to attack critics of Tellspec, even hitting back at Pando after Hoffman filed her imaginary lawsuit…

I have followed the story from both sides, and I can say that I have not put many serious brain cells into worrying about what Pando and gang were saying. It is, after all, a pay to read tabloid that I find writes with tabloid credibility. I have read many of their posts about the technology not being able to work, people requesting their crowdfunding money back, and their rants against CEO Isabel Hoffmann. I have found none of these articles very credible, and mostly filled with unsubstantiated hearsay.

Uh huh.

Perhaps Michelizzi’s ability to cut through “unsubstantiated hearsay” is why Tellspec apparently chose him as their only public beta tester. We’ve been unable to find anyone else who claims to have been hands-on with the device.

If you’ve used Tellspec in the wild, or have received a beta device, we’d love to hear from you. [email protected]