WayTools failure to issue refunds

This Topic is aimed at fellow backers of this project, not WayTools because I’ve given up with them.

I placed my original order 6 and a half years ago on 7th March 2015. I requested a refund 6 months ago on 7th March 2021. I have had absolutely no contact with WayTools since then.

On the WayTools website, the checkout is still active and they are still accepting new orders. The order page links to a guarantee:

Money-Back Guarantee
Every WayTools product comes with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee.
You can change your mind about anything in your purchase, at any time,
even up to 30 days after delivery – and ask for a refund in less than
60 seconds. No emails, no phone calls, no hassles.
Just let us know online, at any time 24x7.
You can get TextBlade in your hands, give it a workout for a month,
and decide if you find the product and the value compelling.
At every step in the process, our full refund policy for all customers
guarantees your freedom to choose.

There is also some preorder info which states:

Money-Back Guarantee
Your pre-order has a 100% money-back guarantee. You can get a refund at any time, online, 24 X 7.
Just click ‘Change’ on your order status page, and it takes less than a minute.
Your satisfaction guarantee also extends for 30 days after delivery, so you can
try TextBlade for a month with zero risk.

It doesn’t work though. Well, you can “request” a refund at any time. You will not “get” one.

WayTools as a company is clearly in big trouble.

Don’t forget, on 17th October 2019 (2 years ago) WayTools confirmed that it would ship in 2019.

I have completely given up on this project now. Even this forum is as good as dead. I have no doubt that I will never see either the product or my money. I should have requested a refund years ago when it first became obvious that I’d backed a crowd funded project rather than ordered a tangible product, but that’s hindsight. I’ve accepted that I’ve lost $250.

It is by no means the first crowd funded project that I’ve personally lost money on, but at least the others have mostly had the courtesy to stop accepting new orders.

The newest entry the Blog section of the website is over 4 years old, which is bad enough, but it’s disgusting that the website is still accepting new orders.

Thanks for reading this rant and good luck to you all.

4 Likes

All valid concerns and WayTools could certainly solve some of them (like the cancellations!) better than it has.

Whether it will ever reach GR, I have no idea. I’ll just repeat what I’ve always said. I accepted the risk when I ordered and felt it was such a great concept that I was and am willing to just let the money ride in hopes it does get released (being a Tregger, I also now know it is a great concept that I’d really hate to see fail to come to market. There is literally nothing close to it that I’ve ever heard of.

While I almost always just use it at home, I still hate the idea of dragging around a larger keyboard for the few times I travel with just my phone and iPad. But considering how pleasant it is to just type on, I also hate the idea of going back to a full-size keyboard even for home usage.

But I have always kept my eyes opened to alternatives just in case!

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I don’t think by now anyone on the blog doubts how much you get excited about the keyboard. You have convinced us. In short, all of us here -I think- have the (vanishing) illusion of using it sometime.
However, it should be noted that when I bought it, six and a half years ago, I was not informed that I was taking a special risk. It was advertised to be delivered a couple of months after I paid for it. Not unlike any Internet purchase. Clearly a finished product was being sold.
On the other hand, at this point, I find it unacceptable that in a context of uncertainty such as the present, WT is still accepting orders and promising an upcoming delivery date.

3 Likes

Sorry to see you give up and go.

I still want to see them complete the product and ship it. It’s a cool product, with a lot of innovation in it. It needs to ship.

I’m not worried about the price that I paid. But I do wish they’d deliver.

All true. I’ll only quibble about one thing, though it is pretty big.

I don’t think WT expected the problems that were found as they neared the expected shipping date. I can’t be sure, but I really suspect they ran into the same stuff we treggers discovered.

I think that, over and over again, they found these problems popping up where the typing was given the wrong key sometimes (too often to ship). And I think they fixed each of them quickly. And then there would be another.

Because that’s the exact thing that kept happening with treggers. We’d report a problem, usually it was quickly fixed, and then we’d find more. It was crazy in that it generally worked so well and I suspect most of us felt that these issue had to stop sometime. But they kept coming. Some probably because of new treggers.

It is my view that the slight differences in how people typed, hand shape, how the fingers naturally curve differently from one person to another, made it really hard to get the software to always interpret things correctly. Before Treg, with a much smaller test group in house, they probably thought they had solved this. That’s why Treg was hoped to just last a few weeks as a final test before general release. But all it did was bring in more people, with their own physical differences, extending the problem.

I think this was the single biggest factor. And it also explains why no Chinese company has been able to rip off the TB (which a number of people said would happen in 6 months). The hardware they could probably steal. The software that makes it actually work is far harder!

I do wish we knew a lot more about what the heck is happening now. We really only know they were rewriting the firmware from scratch so they could free up needed memory. Their detailed explanation for doing that makes sense to me. But it’s been a LONG time since they said they were over 90% on par with the old firmware (which they said was their goal). I’m sure the old “10% of the project takes 90% of the work” comes into play, but still, it has been such a long time that I have to wonder about whether some other factors are in play - the lawsuits over another product by a different Knighton company (one of which is not finished yet), covid affecting chips or possibly their manufacturing, or what.

Certainly good reason for folks to be worried even if we don’t know what the actually issues are!

If it ever does ship, I hope WT or someone they license to will come up with a keyboard cover for the new Mac Mini! It would be a fantastic setup. Especially if such a keyboard was also removable from the cover so it can be used like the TB is now.

I am not saying that they had bad intentions at the beginning. But I think that in the face of the difficulties, the logical thing to do would have been to change the sales strategy. Not to go ahead until the problems were solved. And inform those who had already bought of the situation, so that each one could decide what to do based on reliable information and not on conjectures and rumors.
Incidentally; in use, at least - we do not know about other aspects - the self-generated problem that hinders this development seems to arise from the idea of a multiple key. The question that after more than six years of testing WT should answer - and above all prove - is whether it really has a solution.

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That certainly creates some challenging issues. And I believe I’ve asked about that here before - that is, whether it might have worked better to separate those keys. I forget exactly what their answer was, but I think they said something about having tried that and people didn’t like it.

I can only imagine, of course, what something else would feel like, but I do remember that when I read their answer, it made sense to me.

I also can imagine a problem because of the reduced vertical reach (which does, overall, make typing so much more comfortable!). In that situation, with separate keys, you are likely going to hit more than one quite often.

Now, it can fairly be said that is part of the challenge with what we have. It may only be one big key, but the software has to figure out what you meant to hit. Then some people think if the keys are separate, you simply respond to a mechanical action. But if you are getting two mechanical actions by accident, you still have to figure out which was intended.

I don’t recall the details of what they are doing with the present concept, but I do recall that it wasn’t just a matter of deciding which key your finger was closest to. This is why when some people have said “it’s just a keyboard”, they simply don’t realize how complicated it is.

Maybe they should have gone with separate keys IF that at least reduced the challenges (maybe it wouldn’t) even if that reduced the ease of typing a little.

It’s sort of like times I’ve wondered if it would have been a good idea to make the vertical distance just a little bigger - it would still be smaller than anything else and have less need to stretch fingers than anything else. But I think they studied it and decided overall that this was the best size.

Only thing I really disagree with is the angles, which you are stuck with. I was so used to keys straight across that I had to work pretty hard to get my pinkies to hit where I wanted. After all, it was the shortest finger, but had to stretch the most to hit the top row. Mark said their studies showed this angle was best. And I suspect he is right - for most. But I suspect he is wrong when applied to specific individuals. I would love to have at least some ability to rotate them down a little more.

I’ll add that, if the TB doesn’t happen, I’d be quite willing to try out a variation of a standard keyboard that just uses 3 rows and lets you have layers set up like the TB. The only difference being the greater vertical distance between rows and, of course, the separate keys. Might be awful, or maybe just not as good as the TB but better than a full keyboard for my purposes.