Before Christmas my laptop keyboard started playing up, with the letters C and D working intermittently. I learned tricks to work around this - I kept the letter D in my copy buffer, and if I clicked the X key before clicking C, it would make it more likely for the C to work. I'd then just have to delete the X that I had typed. This quickly became second nature to me, but there were limitations.

Getting a capital D was annoying - I'd have to hunt some text for a capital D and copy it, as I only had the lower case D in my copy buffer. Once I'd done that, I'd have to put the lower case D back in the buffer. I couldn't use the copy buffer (copy/paste) for anything else, and if I did I'd have to re-load the D in the buffer each time. Adding to the buffer was annoying, as the Control-C copy shortcut was not reliable. And typing passwords was a nightmare, especially the Windows login password.

Despite these issues, I was able to get along until I was able to find a new keyboard - even writing a submission to the government on Religious Instruction.

I found a company in NZ able to send me a replacement keyboard for $60. This seemed like a good deal. Unfortunately when the keyboard turned up and I installed it, I found that all the keys were a little bit temperamental - occasionally a struck key would not result in a keypress. This is more likely with the spacebar and Control key than most, but all keys seem to be unreliable. Again, this is an issue for passwords more than elsewhere - as the text is masked, so it's hard to spot a mistake.

I contacted the company I purchased the keyboard from, and asked to be a replacement. They were happy to do this, but with one gotcha - I had to send them my keyboard first. This is not a good solution, as it would leave me without a keyboard and unable to work. After several emails back and forth, I received this email:

Hi Mark , It's a company policy, we are happy to replace or refund the keyboard for you. We just need to received the faulty keyboard first , The pre-paid ticket has been sent to your email. You don't need to worry about the return cost.

Thank you for understanding.

At this point, I was tired of trying to reiterate my point, so I did some research and pulled out the big guns:

Hi,

I’m sorry, but I’m not understanding! There’s no way that I can send this keyboard back to you, as I would not be able to work until you send me the replacement keyboard. It’s just not possible for me to stop working for several days. Additionally, the party responsible for sending me a faulty keyboard is your company, not me, so it seems wrong that I would end up being inconvenienced for RayTech’s mistake.

Are you able to send me your company policy so that I can read through it? Also, please give me the number of a manager that I can call and talk to.

I’m starting to worry about this transaction – I’ve looked up R.A.Y Tech on the companies register, and it appears to no longer be a registered company in New Zealand (as of 2016):

https://app.companiesoffice.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/2078474

Can you please give me a phone number so that I can talk to someone and clear this up.

Lo and behold, as soon as I'd pointed out how bad this all looks I finally get a positive result:

Hi there. No worries. We will send you a new replacement keyboard today . You should be able to get it soon . Thanks