Monday, July 28, 2008

Quest for the ultimate keyboard - IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav keyboard

As I discussed in a prior entry , I had been looking for my 'perfect' keyboard.   Mainly my qualification had been response / comfort / and a trackpoint which led me to two products (Endora / IBM).

I had purchased the IBM ThinkPlus Ultranav Keyboard from Provantage and received it within a few days.   Upon trying it out I noticed that both the Trackpoint left click and "L" buttons were not working well.  Provantage does not handle repairs / returns for this product so I had to call IBM directly.

IBM does not apparently handle too many service calls relating to keyboards their IVR system kept bouncing me around until I got to 'Other'.   Upon talking with the first rep, he wanted me to clarify what computer they keyboard was attached to in order start a trouble ticked (apparently it has to be linked to something other than 'Other').  I told him it was attached to a laptop and then proceeded to ask the model / serial number of the laptop.  It just so happens that the laptop is a work computer and is an IBM / Lenova machine so the rep was quite happy about this and started a ticket under the laptop service agreement.  I was happy as this meant it would be replaced on-site under my works service agreement.  Well, that happiness didnt last long.

I was called back and they told me the originial agent made a mistake and they had to re-issue a new trouble ticket.  They issued a new one under just the keyboard and then sent me a new keyboard via DHL.  It arrived two days later, I opened it, and found it was the wrong keyboard model!   I called them back and was told the keyboard that was sent is the new part number replacement as the keyboard I originally wanted is no longer made.   However, the replacement keyboard, while it appears almost identical to the original one, does not have a numeric keypad attached to the side.   I told them that this was not a satisfactory replacement and wanted them to remedy this with either a refund or an equivalent model.

So, they are sending me what they think is the equivalent model now.  I interrogated the agent a bit about making sure it has a trackpoint and a numeric keypad, to which she confirmed as being accurate.   We shall see in a few days.

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