Steelseries – WHAT is going on?!

Okay .. due warning .. rant incoming!

Steelseries had a sale on several months ago, so I treated myself.  I bought a keyboard and a couple of gaming mice which had decent reviews, looked really cool and, once they were in the sale, within my price range (which is pretty low).  The only way I could justify getting the keyboard was by making it a birthday present .. so when it arrived, it got given to my husband to wrap and keep until my birthday about a month or so later.

They keyboard was a SHIFT keyboard bundle .. it has a standard keyboard “base”, and then two removable keysets .. basically keyboards that fold into 3 when not in use, or clip into place on the base.

Well, my birthday arrived, the keyboard was opened up and excitedly installed .. only to realise that I’d somehow ended up with a US version.  It was my own fault .. I had just assumed, buying a keyboard from a UK shop (okay .. their online UK version of their shop, but still ..), that I would be getting a UK keyboard.  I paid in UK currency, to a UK storefront, to be delivered to a UK destination … I don’t go into a local shop to buy something and double check if it’s going to work in this country … I just assume that, as it’s being sold in this country, it will.

Anyway .. I immediately sent Steelseries an email through their website, asking if it was possible to either exchange the whole bundle for a UK version, or just the keyset.

I waited days with no response .. so after 5 days I sent another message, just asking them to respond.

Nearly a WEEK after that .. so almost two weeks in total, I finally got a reply.  Telling me that they didn’t have a US keyboard in stock (yes .. a US version?!), but also telling me how to set my operating system up to use a US keyboard.  *sigh*

So I replied the same day saying they had possibly misunderstood my original request, and attempting to put my request in plainer English.

Then waited.

Another week went by.  I sent another “chase up” email.

Two weeks later, I have finally received another response, now telling me they don’t have a UK version either.  And that, hey, if I bought my keyboard within the last two weeks, I can have a refund!

So .. two things .. firstly .. how can the manufacturer of a keyboard NOT have a UK version of the keyboard when I know that they sell a UK version of this keyboard in a local IT store not 10 miles from where I live?  I could order it online right now, and collect it from the store tomorrow.  Unfortunately I’d have to pay non-sale price and would end up with an extra base .. but if I could afford it, I could certainly do that.

Secondly .. a refund only available within 14 days of purchase?  Notwithstanding the fact that this was bought as a gift and wasn’t even unwrapped until the 14 days were well up, it’s taken more than 14 days for them to even reply to me properly!!  You can see, in their ticket system on their website, the full list of correspondence, from start to finish, complete with dates .. and yet they still seriously tell me they can only refund within the 14 day timeframe?

I’m seriously unimpressed with Steelseries.  I’d always viewed their products, from a distance, with a kind of awe .. looking forward to the day when I could use them.  Not so impressed now.

Not only is their customer service laughable .. but to be honest, I’m not even that impressed with the gear.  Perhaps it’s just a matter of getting used to the keyboard (and of course it doesn’t help that it is a US layout, so the odd character is in the “wrong” place), but I have had several problems with the mouse too … in fact, over the years, I’ve had a whole bunch of “gaming” mice, and none have them so far have lived up to the old Logitech I used to have.  Perhaps when companies specialise, they lose touch with the basics (buttons that work consistently would be a start!)?

Perhaps they view this as the price you pay when you can’t actually afford full price?  I thought we were getting a really good deal when we bought this bundle .. at the time it was less than £30  – if I bought it on Amazon today, it would cost almost double that (and yes, now I’m double checking the obvious, but that’s for a UK version).  Perhaps I should tell Steelseries where they can buy the US and UK versions, as they’re obviously having stocking issues …