System76 Launch Keyboard: The good, The Bad, and The Worse…

I have mixed feelings about the Launch Keyboard. On one hand, they are very versatile and can be configured how you want them to be. But if you need to contact support, it is a rocky road.

I purchased the Launch Heave Keyboard on January 21, 2023. I paid $357.38 for shipping the keyboard and extended warranty. Likewise, I wanted to support a company that makes a free and open-source OS, Pop_!OS, and so I bought the extended warranty knowing that I will most likely not use it. Furthermore, I want to stress that I was a fan of System76 for opening their designs to the level that they have. I still support that about them. The keyboard was delivered on January 26, 2023.

February 2, 2023
I was playing Minecraft when all 3 of my monitors blacked out, then came back to my desktop and Minecraft. Like a power surge flash. My computer did not turn off, neither did my phone that was plugged into the same power strip as my desktop and monitors. The keyboard lights were still on too. But I could no longer type with the System76 Launch Heavy Keyboard.

lsusb shows
Bus 003 Device 010: ID 3384:0003 System76 USB4006 Smart Hub
Bus 004 Device 006: ID 3384:0004 System76 USB7006 Smart Hub

Meaning the system (my desktop, at the time running Pop_!OS) could not detect the keyboard but could detect the USB hub in the keyboard. This is what I was told from their not ticketing support, IRC chat. I was told to make a ticket for keyboard replacement.

I sent a help ticket in and was hoping I could get it replaced. It was 7 days from the day of delivery, so I had no reason to think they would not replace it. I know that I never had any food or drinks anywhere near this keyboard, as I learned my lesson when the keyboard that the System76 one replaced.

I received a reply from support on February 8, 2023, 7 days after I put my original ticket in. In the automated reply, I was told 2 – 4 days for a reply. So by the end of day 5 was fed up and just put another ticket in for a refund and not a replacement. The reply I did receive said they said tickets were backed up more than usual, so I could not be that angry, but it was still very annoying to have to wait 7 days for a reply at all from ticket support.

Feb 8, 2023.
They wanted clarification of RMA or return, and I close just a return at this point. I sent my address to them. And they sent me a label… but put my address as the address and their address as the form. So, I reached back out to them.

Feb 9, 2023.
To my surprise, they were charging me $17.77 to return a defective item to them. I reached out to them, waiting for a reply and still waiting on a new shipping label.

Feb 10, 2023.
I received a reply stating, you are correct, we messed up the addresses and have corrected them. Now the charge for return is only $12.74. Seriously, they charge for returning a broken device, that at this point broke on February 2nd… 8 days before I receive a valid shipping label.

February 15, 2023
I mailed the keyboard back due to waiting for bills to come out, so I can return this and know that account was good to go if they do a cost to return. I did message them saying it is disrespectful to charge a customer for a broken item when they could not get even reach out on my original ticket, until they saw my return ticket.

April 17, 2023
I have had time to think all of this over, and in the env System76 just left a bad taste in my mouth with how all of this was handled. I did get all my money back minus initial shipping, which I consider fair due to that service was rendered. I have moved from Pop_!OS and am on Debian Sid now. Furthermore, I will not be recommending System76 systems or OS from here on out. Or at least until I can see a change in how they handle defective items. There are more stories of System76 return issues as well, not just mine.
* Huge disappointment with System76 🙁
* Don’t buy System76
* System76 support: Am I crazy, or is this a bit surreal? Customer questions followed by support responses.
No company is perfect, but a good company can take care of faulty systems without charging the customer.

This is the System76 Launch Heavy Keyboard.







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