Overclockers UK - Swish New Website, Same Shoddy Service? Page: 1
The Christmas Purchase

It was one week before Christmas and I found myself browsing the multitude of UK retailers for the recently released Microsoft Habu mouse as a stocking filler present. After exhausting the usual list of sites that I've had good experiences with in the past, I was left with one website: Overclockers UK. Since having some bad experiences with this site a few years ago, I've generally kept my distance. However, on visiting their homepage I was presented with a whole new image. The site looked professional, was well arranged and more to the point they had a good stock of the Microsoft Habu mouse.

Microsoft Habu

Apprehensively I entered my address, card details and proceeded to complete the transaction.


The Problem

Christmas day arrived and sure enough Santa had delivered a Microsoft Habu mouse. The mouse was promptly plugged into the PC and the drivers installed in the manner described on the Habu's packaging. However, problems lay in wait with the mouse not being detected by Microsoft's (Razer's) drivers. After several hours of reinstalling drivers, trying different USB ports and even testing the mouse on a different machine I finally gave up and consulted the internet for other users experiences of this mouse.

Razer Software

After reading threads on various forums from people with exactly the same problem, it seemed that the fix was to flash the mouse with either firmware used on the Copperhead or a new Habu firmware that had just been released. Unfortunately after spending yet another hour trying to get the firmware update software to detect the mouse I finally gave up and decided it was time to send the Habu back to whence it came.


The RMA

Without doubt, raising an RMA was a simple affair. Visit the homepage, click on Contact and fill out an RMA request on their webnote system.

OCUK

Within moments I received confirmation of my RMA via e-mail which can be seen below:

26/12/06:

Overclockers UK WebNote System Message
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Your message has been received and shall be answered as soon as possible.
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YOUR MESSAGE
The mouse is not detected by the drivers under Windows XP (sp2) or Windows 2003 x64. I have followed the driver install instructions both on Razer's website and the forums and this has not helped. This seems to be a widespread problem with the mouse fixed only with a firmware update. However, when trying to perform an update it is still unable to detect the mouse. I am following the instructions for the firmware update on Razer's site.

The day turned to night, and surely enough the next day a reply from Overclockers UK arrived in my mailbox:

27/12/06:

Dear James Napier,

There are issues with these Razer mouse engines with certain motherboards Sir. Please check for compatibility.

Regards,
Andy Mclean
Technical Support
Overclockers UK
www.overclockers.co.uk

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE

Not exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. Were Overclockers UK actually suggesting that customers need to check that something as simple as a Mouse is compatible with their systems? I duly replied:

27/12/06:

THIS IS AN AUTOMATED MESSAGE - PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO IT

Overclockers UK WebNote System Message
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Your message has been received and shall be answered as soon as possible.
------------------------------------------------------------------
YOUR MESSAGE
Message: In reply to the message below, as stated i'd like to return this mouse for an exchange or refund. I'm clearly not going to change my motherboard in order to get this mouse working.

A perfect reasonably request: Either allow me to exchange the mouse for another model that does not suffer these issues, or provide me with a refund.

The next day, much to my surprise the following E-Mail arrived in my Inbox:

28/12/06:

Dear Mr James Napier,

In response to your RMA request, we have reserved returns code RMA10xxxx for you to return your item(s). Please review the following information and ensure it is correct:

==================================================
Products on RMA:
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Microsoft HABU 2000dpi High Precision Gaming Mouse - Retail

Please only return products that are on the RMA, anything not on this RMA will cause the processing of your return to be delayed.

Problem / Fault description: Faulty,
Desired action: Refund,

Overclockers UK had authorised the RMA! All that was left for me to do now was to return the mouse in it's original packaging, to the address specified and with the RMA number clearly visible on the front of the box. No problems, I immediately arranged for DHL to collect the rather oversized and extremely well padded box (better to be safe than sorry)!

Fully aware that the new year was approaching and things had already slowed down I patiently waited for a response from Overclockers UK that the RMA had arrived safely and was being processed. Sure enough, on the 6th January I received the following mail:

06/01/07:

Dear Mr James Napier,

Your RMA has been received at our offices. We will deal with your return as quickly as possible and e-mail you again upon return.

Regards,

Excellent, only a few more days to wait and hopefully I should either see a new mouse or a refund. Or so I thought....

Several days passed without any contact from Overclockers UK, but being the patient person I am, I waited quietly. Then on the on the 10th an unexpected parcel had arrived at my door. Can you guess what was inside? That's right...the very same Habu mouse that I had paid to return to them.

To add insult to injury they has also charged my bank account £21 without authorisation, and more to the point - without any call, E-Mail or response to my RMA request with information on why they were actually doing this.

The next step was to of course was to talk to them over the phone.

At this point I'll spare you the details on how I waited in a queue for ages, got thrown between 'departments' and generally got very annoyed as we've all experienced plenty of times before. So lets cut straight to some out-takes from the call:

Me: Hi, I had a problem with a mouse that I purchased from you just after Christmas and sent back to you as requested on your RMA: 10xxxx. However, I've received the mouse back without any reasoning why and you've also charged my account £21. Why?

OCUK: We plugged the mouse into a machine and it worked for us, so you've been sent the mouse back and charged £21 for testing.

Me: I told you that the problem with the mouse was down to the software not detecting the mouse. You informed me that the mouse was not compatible with all motherboards, and accepted the RMA after I informed you that I'd like to exchange the mouse for another model as I wasn't willing to change my motherboard in order to get it working.

OCUK: I'm afraid there is nothing we can do. The mouse was not faulty so it has been returned to you...

At this point I ended the conversation as it clearly wasn't going anywhere, and to this day am left with a mouse that doesn't work, and a £21 charge on my account for returning an item as requested to by Overclockers UK.


The Conclusion

Clearly I've learned a lesson from this adventure: stick to the websites that are known to have good customer service and if in doubt ask members of your resident forum for their opinions on any retailer you are thinking of making a purchase from. In addition to this, always use a credit card if possible as their dispute departments will always endeavour to get your money back.

Maybe my experience is just down to bad luck, or maybe you've been treated in a similar way. Why not tell us your experiences in the Overclock3D forums.

As always, we're giving Overclockers UK the opportunity to respond to this article and any issues raised in it. Any responses will be posted below.