A few weeks ago, I bought a Das Keyboard from directcanada.com to add to my mechanical keyboards collection. I was so eager to get my hands on it that, in order to cut down on the waiting time, I had it shipped to my work place. The keyboard arrived two days after I placed my order online. I immediately opened the box, pulled the keyboard out, hooked it up to my PC, and started to type. Everything was perfect, the keys (Cherry MX Blue switches) felt wonderful and the sound they produced was very soothing. I was in love until…I had to use the semicolon key. For some reasons, that particular key was very different. Even though it did produce a click when pressed, the tactile bump was not very noticeable. Therefore, I had no other choice than to request an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorisation) and ship the keyboard back. Unfortunately, I had to pay for shipping again.
A few days later, I got an e-mail from directcanada.com telling me that they tested the keyboard and that they did not notice any difference. I called them and explained to the person on the phone why I returned the keyboard, once again. He kept repeating that the person who tested the keyboard could not find any problem with the semicolon key. I told him that I clearly mentioned in my RMA request that if one were to just press on the key slowly, one will not notice a big difference. However, if one were typing at a high speed, then one would notice the difference when one pressed on the semicolon key. He then told me the stupidest thing, “Sir, it’s perfectly normal for a keyboard to feel different when typing at a high speed.” I then asked him how he would explain that only one key felt different, to which he replied, “the tester did not find any problem with the key.” I was so angry that I told him to just process my refund and to charge me for the 15% restocking fee because “I returned a perfectly working” product.
After that, I e-mailed Metadot, the OEM, and told them what happened. They quickly replied telling me not to agree to the restocking fee, if I had not agreed to that yet, and that they were willing to talk to their reseller. I replied back saying that I did not really have a choice since I had to ship the keyboard back and that I was too far from the reseller to go in person to show what I meant by the semicolon was defective. Directcanada is in Vancouver. Then came a big surprise. Metadot told me that, although they do not ship internationally, they would send me a free keyboard to make up for my bad experience. Now, this is what I call great service.
I was not looking for anything in particular when I wrote to Metadot. I just wanted to let them know that mechanical keyboard buyers, in most cases, know their stuffs. When they decide to buy a particular keyboard, they have usually read a lot about it, about it’s switches, its controller, etc. And when they report a problem, the problem exists in 99.99% of the time. Therefore, telling us that the problem does not exist when it DOES exists (I had someone else tried the keyboard as well) is like an insult.
Credit to Metadot though for making the right move. It’s a win-win situation.
Update 1 November 2010
I received my Das Keyboard Model S today and started typing a few words as soon as I got home from picking it up from the UPS depot. All the keys worked as they should and the typing experience was very very pleasant. I can see this keyboard becoming one of my favourite ones if not my favourite. It has everything I like in a keyboard: blue Cherry MX switches which are plate mounted. Two keyboards, both equipped with blue Cherry MX switches, will feel different if in one the switches are plate-mounted whereas in the other they are PCB-mounted. It is my current keyboard at work for the time being.