Daddy Clanger (imc) wrote,
Daddy Clanger

Truth in advertising?

Dear readers, if an item on eBay is described as "ibm 600 keyboard lovely condition — for spares or repair", do you think any reasonable person would be led to believe that they were bidding on a working keyboard?

I had misgivings when it arrived because many of the keys were sticky (not in the sense of having gunk on the tops of them, but in the sense of not springing back promptly when pressed). Nevertheless I cleaned it and put it into bopeepsheep's laptop.

Then I switched it on and got error 0301 at POST time. The BIOS test indicates that at least twenty of the keys don't function when pressed. Of course there's a teeny tiny chance that I killed the keyboard while cleaning it, but it seems pretty clear that this keyboard has had something spilled into it. So I've replaced the original "eyboar", and we are back to square one.

If you think about it, it's odd that someone would have a keyboard to sell on eBay unless it was one that they'd replaced owing to it being faulty, or they've acquired a broken laptop and have stripped it to sell the parts (only I didn't notice any other parts of this hypothetical laptop up for sale). It occurs to me that the phrase "for spares or repair" means they are offering it so you can take the keycaps off in order to replace worn-out or missing ones; and the keycaps are indeed in fairly good condition. But if you're selling a keyboard that doesn't actually work, you should damn well say so in the item description!

Given that my winning bid was only a couple of quid, and the keycaps may indeed be useful, I'm not inclined to do much about it. In fact, since I now have a dead keyboard to experiment on, I might try such things as soaking it or completely disassembling it to see if it can be rescued in any way. But it's time to let the Internet decide what I should do next…

Poll #678588 Restitution

What would you do?

Leave a big red minus in his eBay feedback
Leave neutral feedback
Leave feedback saying that at least it arrived on time
Conveniently ignore the option to leave feedback


Express my dissatisfaction by email
Demand a refund
Say nothing more

I would also advise:

Incidentally, it seems that the seller has a rating of 207 and a record of 100% positive feedback.

e: Well, so far it appears everyone agrees that I should have known. Perhaps I just wasn't paying attention at the time. Anyway, it turns out there's another seller offering them now (not quite as cheap as two quid) and this one definitely claims the keyboards are in good working order.

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