The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't Blinq

I purchased a keyboard the other day... well, a week or so ago. It arrived on Tuesday of last week. I purchased it from The price was low but the shipping was high. Overall, it was still cheaper than I could have got at a brick and mortar establishment. Except it hasn't turned out that way.
The keyboard was sent through USPS "priority" mail. The first thing I noticed was that the box was damaged. Not in shipping but sometime before it was packed up in the flimsy plastic envelope it was sent in. The flap on the box was torn... like it would be if someone tried to open it without first pulling out the little tab that holds the box top in place.

The keyboard itself looked fine. The box suggested that this was a used item, one that was returned for some reason. I remained slightly optimistic... there are many reasons why someone might return an item like this; didn't like the feel of the keys, for example.

So I plugged it in. One thing about a USB keyboard installation, you need an active, recognized keyboard to log into my computer. A new USB interfaced keyboard must be found by the system and installed before it can work. Therefore, I must leave my existing keyboard attached, log in and then plug in the new keyboard. The machine will then "find" it and install it. I can then shut down, remove my old keyboard and fully test the new one.

Unfortunately, that didn't work out. The machine found the new device ok but it failed to install. I was informed that the installation failed. What little optimism I had fled, scurrying away like the little coward it really is.

I sent an email (using my old keyboard, of course) which read:
"Keyboard arrived today. However, it fails to install properly (no driver found). Going to provides no relief. No device driver for this model. Keyboard will not work without driver. Please advise."

And received this response:
"Thank you for contacting Blinq.
KWe are so sorry to hear of this. We do not have any replacements to send to you at this time. I have gone ahead and authorized a request for a full refund. There is no need to return this item back to us, please DISREGARD any emails stating otherwise. Please allow an hour for the funds to be credited to your Paypal account; they will be the ones to refund whatever the money originally came from in 3-4 days.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.

ind Regards,

-- Patricia
Blinq Customer Care

(the typos are theirs, not mine)

It's as if they knew they had sent me a defective keyboard. They didn't tell me to try anything to install it, they didn't suggest I go to (the maker) or anything like that, just said "don't send it back" and "we'll credit you back." Problem is that the keyboard was all of $1.99 but the shipping (which we know won't be refunded) was $9.99.

So I am stuck with a keyboard (such a nice looking one, too) which does not work and I am out $9.99.

I did come out of this with some positives. PC Gearhead has been trying to help and have offered to repair said keyboard (I will decline since shipping it would bring the cost way out of line) and have made a few suggestions to get it working. I like PC Gearhead because they have been so helpful and I told them that. I will look favorably on them in the future. They also told me about an unknown (to me) feature of Windows 7 (it may also be in earlier versions) called "On screen keyboard." You go to Start, Accessories, Ease of use and that's where it is. This will bring up a virtual keyboard on the screen which you can mouse-type with or operate with a touch screen. I think this would be quite useful if my keyboard fails in some way. You can also access this from that icon on the lower left of your login screen, the one that says "ease of use" when you run your mouse cursor over.

I will not, however, look kindly on

Important Update.... See: You can Blinq now


Steven Scott said...

I've only had one outright fraud incident while buying computer stuff online, but plenty of less-than-perfect ones. That's why I just go to newegg and see what there is to see. The ratings are generally accurate, the prices are generally good-to-great, and the customer service is stellar. I'll give amazon a check out if i find a good item and want to get a comparison, but all the associated stores cause me headaches, and i don't always get great shipping times from them.

not that i'm telling you didn't already know, I'm sure!

oh, anything connector / cable / converter related I go to Buying 10ft usb cables in bulk since everything uses the same charger these days is handy. one recent item I looked up was a mini-displayport to HDMI or DVI (don't remember) adaptor, ~$50-100 from Apple, $5-10 from monoprice.

Douglas4517 said...

This was not outright fraud as fa as I can tell. It probably is just poor quality control (little or no testing when buying discontinued or surplus items in bulk) tied to perhaps some knowledge that a certain percentage will be unacceptable to the customer. Hence, immediate willingness to credit without a return of item. Normally, I buy keyboards locally. But, normally, I was in an area where computer shows/markets were monthly events. I am taking this as a lesson. is associated with eBay. Through eBay/, the same keyboard was $2.99 plus about the same S/H.

 Thanks for that link, Steven, it'll come in quite handy.