This is a bit lengthy, but I am really, really inspired to give some compliments where they are rightfully due. Take the time to read this, because this is a tale of all-star customer service.
Too often we complain about customer service, RMA problems, and other assorted sales complaints. I just wanted to take a moment to endorse the guys at Razer customer service: in no particular order, EugeneC, Jordi, and Erick.
I have a Blackwidow mechanical keyboard I bought at a large retailer here in Thailand. After about 20 months, it began to have an intermittent problem with the up/down keys, which would randomly and unpredictably spout garbage and occasionally reboot the machine when pressed. I could not find any obvious faults with the KB or the software. It behaved the same way on several machines in both Windows and Linux.
I checked the Razer website for the warranty term, and found it was 2 years on mechanical KBs. 'Good,' says I, 'I'll take it back to the retailer.' Which I did.
In the most inexplicable and quaintly Thai way I was told that they did not offer a two year warranty, but 1 year only, and that if I wished to get two years honored, I'd have to deal with the distributor in Bangkok. So they provided me with the contact information, and I spoke to the service manager there. He said, no problem, send it in and we'll take a look. Which I also did.
4 or 5 days later a box arrived. I opened it to find my KB and a service ticket stating that the unit was out of warranty and would not be repaired. No prior phone call or email, even though they had all my contact info, just a return. Now, I speak, read and write Thai pretty well; although it would be obvious to a native that I'm a foreigner, I understand the language and can communicate at a perfectly acceptable level for this transaction, so the lack of comms surprised me.
Well, shit. What now?
I then contacted Razer's customer service directly, and stated my case. They put me through some troubleshooting steps, asked some technical questions, and ack'ed that the KB should be looked at. Unfortunately, the place I was directed to was in Singapore, which apparently is the hub of Razer's SE Asian service. I went to both the post office and UPS, and the cost to ship out of the country was $71. For a $115 item. That I had already put $15 into when I shipped it to Bangkok. Hmm.
I contacted Erick again, and he told me that although they understood my predicament, and were sympathetic to my plight, there was no other venue to handle the case, and could I let them know what I wanted to do? I gave it some thought, but a few hours later another message came from Jordi that said they would replace it with a newer model, the 2016 Ultimate, and would that help me to decide? So, in light of this most gracious offer, I sent the KB to Singapore.
Fast forward a few days, and I receive a note from EugeneC, who asked for more information about how to reproduce the problem, because the keys in question were functioning OK after their testing. I ran down my experience with the board, that the fault was intermittent, and I even went back into the scrollback memory and dug out examples of the weird keystrokes that were happening. 'OK,' he sent back, 'give us a few days to reproduce the fault.' Which I did.
7 days later [today] I received an email from Eugene, who told me that they were unable to find any faults with the KB, although he tested it thoroughly and even used it day to day on his own desk. He also told me a key bit of information - the 2-year warranty did not apply to this model, which has some older incarnation of the famous Razer switches. The 2 years applies only to models 2016 and beyond [mine is a 2014]. So that explains why the local retailer and distributor would not honor 2 years; but they were reluctant to tell me the straight dope.
'Thank you for your patience, but we are unable to make the replacement if we can't reproduce the fault. Please let us know if you would like us to do further testing.'
Well, in light of the new information I now knew about the warranty term, I thought they had really overextended themselves already. In fairness, I wasn't actually entitled to anything at all. So, I told him I thought he and Razer had done their level best to make me happy, and that perhaps shipping the KB had dislodged some dirt or something from the keys in question, and that I'd be pleased if it continued to function.
Here's exactly what I said:
And I thought that was the end of that.
Until a couple of hours later, when I received this:
To which I replied:
Now, I can't guarantee the identical outcome to everyone with a problem but I can say that the Razer guys took time to reflect on what I, as the customer, had endured in this process: failure to get results from the local retailer/distributor; domestic shipping costs; international shipping costs; loss of use; and general frustration. And they decided to set it right, at their own expense.
I was entitled to NOTHING [although I didn't know that until today]. These guys went out of their way to make me happy. This does not happen every day, and I think it deserves kudos. It's also a life lesson: customer service is the world's most difficult business. As consumers, we reap what we sow in these situations. Be a gentleman when dealing with CS reps and service people, and they will often be willing to go the distance for you. Do the opposite, and well, you get the picture.
Thanks to the great guys at Razer: EugeneC, Erick, and Jordi. They acted like pros, and they were courteous, knowledgeable, and prompt with their replies. What more could a consumer want?
And buy their stuff! It rocks.