This mouse don't work no more.

This mouse don't work no more.

This is a little bit of a rant about mice and a little bit of a back-handed compliment for Kensington, the computer peripheral company.

First of all, I am a Mac user. I’ve used PCs and I’m pretty fluent with them, but I was raised on a Mac and now that I work for myself there’s no way I’d go back. But if there is one piece of Apple hardware that I cannot bring myself to use it is their mice. The single button mouse is so uncharacteristically Apple, and the Mighty Mouse is perhaps their worst designed piece of equipment. (Hey Apple, form follows function.)

So, I’ve preferred to use a two-button mouse for some time now. It gives me all the functions of a two-button mouse on a PC and occasionally improves my ranking among my PC friends who continue to give me shit for using a Mac. But unfortunately the functionality I gain is somewhat offset by the lack of quality in a non-Apple product. And the Kensington Si300 I’ve been using for the past seven months is no exception.

I originally purchased it for its five-button functionality and ergonomics. Ergonomically it fits my hand great. But it’s really only a three-button mouse with a scroll wheel because their software that supposedly lets you assign other tasks to the remaining three buttons doesn’t work on a Mac. The bonus button is the scroll wheel that really only offers another way to scroll, but usually only in Web browsers.

And then the other day the scroll wheel stopped working and I realized that I’d sacrifice the second button to have a working scroll wheel. That is definitely the most useful part of any mouse. So, being the self-solver that I prefer to be, I went to the Kensington site to see if perhaps I was experiencing a common flaw and if there was perhaps a way to fix it. Unfortunately there was nothing in any of their forums, so I decided to email customer service. Here’s where the emotional roller-coaster ride began.

Their online email-the-tech service either wasn’t working properly or I couldn’t figure it out. Either way, I wasn’t convinced my message had gotten through. (Feeling down.) So I called Kensington. Now, I’m usually immediately turned off when someone with an Indian accent answers the phone. No offense, India, it’s just that I have had far more negative customer service experiences with Indian CSRs than positive. (Enough that I moved my sites away from Startlogic and over to BlueHost.)

Well, even though Roop (the rare instance where I believe that was his real name) didn’t seem to have a clue about anything computer-related, he immediately offered to replace the mouse. (Feeling up!) I was so taken aback that I even asked if there was anything else I could do to fix the one I have, not wanting to simply throw this one away even though it still mostly works. So, I gave him my mailing info and he assured me a new one would be in the mail early this week (our conversation was last Wednesday, before Thanksgiving). Satisfied customer.

But then, about ten minutes later, I received a call back from Roop informing me that the mouse I had was no longer available and could I chose another? Rather than pick something there and then, I had the presence of mind to ask if I could do some quick research and then call or email him back. He said “sure” and provided me with an email address. So, I did some research and emailed him my first and second options for a replacement mouse.

But then within the hour I received an email stating that the address I had sent my request to was an old address and no longer working, so would I please either reply to this email—specifically in the space provided below—or continue this transaction online. (Feeling down…) Uh oh, I thought. I’ve been lost in the system. So, I did both. Luckily I had the incident number and I made sure that was on both methods of correspondence. Well, there were a few odd automated email responses for the next hour or so and I wasn’t sure I was getting anywhere until I received an email back from a Subin Augustine stating that she(?) was very sorry about the malfunction of my mouse and would be sending me the replacement of my choice (feeling up!), which was the SlimBlade Media Mouse, but I had to confirm my mailing address, again in the specific space provided further down in their email.

At this point I’m fairly optimistic that a new mouse will arrive at my door within a few days; however, their email correspondence and online technical support interface leave me with just a tinge of doubt. If it does arrive, then I will have an improved perspective on Kensington, for the the people I interacted with certainly did what they could as quickly as they could to right the situation. But even so, I would encourage Kensington to improve their online interface. And if the mouse doesn’t arrive? Well, you’ll hear about it here.
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