Archive for 19th March 2010

E-Tech Sony replacement keyboard woes

For many years, I faithfully used a Sony Vaio VGN-FS742/W notebook computer. This computer was an absolute workhorse, and I never had a problem with it, despite using it heavily for software development as well as the usual e-mail and web surfing activities.

After I let my brother and his family use the computer, an unfortunate incident occurred that involved the cosmetic destruction of the B key on the keyboard. The key worked, but the tabs that held the platform that the keycap sits on broke off, so the B key stuck out higher than the rest of the keys on the keyboard. Unsightly, yes, but still functional.

Alas, my brother had to have a functional and flat keyboard, so I began the process of looking to find a replacement keyboard for a computer that was 5+ years old. The Sony part number for this keyboard is 147915321, and it must be the same keyboard on all VGN-FS series Vaio notebooks.

The first thing that I found was that I was more than likely going to have to buy a used keyboard and hope that it worked just fine. So I ordered one from the E-Tech eStore. The keyboard arrived well packaged, and after I installed it, I tested every single key on the keyboard and found that all of the keys worked except for the V key.

At this point, I should have requested an RMA for a refund, but I mistakenly requested a replacement. After sending the first keyboard back and getting the second keyboard, the situation got worse, as on the 2nd keyboard, quite a few more keys were not working. And of course, at this point my return request for a refund was rejected, as E-Tech is claiming that their keyboards are all tested, and that I check my equipment for failure.

So, as a response, I created this little rant video showing that my equipment is fine:


As I said in the video, I cannot see how they could have tested the keyboard fully, since my hardware seems to work fine with my old keyboard with the B key tabs broken. I am guessing that their replacement keyboards are all pulls from computers that are dropped off at the computer recycling, and for the particular keyboards that I received, the reason the computer was at the recycling center was that some of the keys stopped working.

By the way, congrats to the Ohio Bobcats.  Big win last night.

UPDATE: I still haven’t heard anything from E-Tech eStore regarding my appeal of their RMA request denial. Thanks to Tai Tran (eBay seller ID ttni) who came through with a perfectly working replacement keyboard.