While doing a bit of cleaning, I found this collecting dust in a box in my room:
What you see is a $130 Star Wars: The Old Republic 7.1 Surround Sound Headset, manufactured by a company called Razer. I won it in a contest hosted by 1up.com for a one-sentence review for The Old Republic on Twitter.
Problem is: within 20 minutes of installing and using the headset for the first time, it crashed pretty hard and actually deleted a very important, core component of Windows (rundll32.exe). After a system restore, I was instructed by Razer tech support to try installing it on a different system, which I did, and attempting to use it there resulted in a strange buzzing noise being heard through both the ear piece and the microphone. It was decided that the unit was defective.
Problem is: Razer wanted me to provide them with a proof of purchase so that I could return it for a new one. I won the headset in a contest, so I didn’t have that, and Razer tech support basically told me I needed to contact 1up.com for a replacement. I got in touch with J Kartje of 1up.com, who originally informed me that I had won the headset. He told me he would get in contact with Razer and see about getting me a replacement.
That was in February. I heard nothing back from J Kartje, so I re-contacted him in April and verified that he had no response from Razer and vowed to try again. It’s been silent ever since.
I’ve had at least one person tell me, “So what? You didn’t actually pay anything for it, so you shouldn’t be angry that it doesn’t work.”
Imagine winning the lottery but oops you don’t get a dime because of some stupid technicality. Oh well, you were only out the buck for the ticket, right? No, that’s dumb; you were promised something cool, and you have a right to that cool thing. A $130 headset is far more than I could ever afford to spend on something like that, and for the 20 minutes it actually seemed to work okay, it was kind of awesome. If you can believe it, it was the first time in my life I had ever experienced surround sound.
I refuse to sell it or give it away. It’s broken! Why would I do that to someone? That would make me a jerk. And I won’t just throw it away, because that would feel like I am throwing away $130, even if it is broken. And so, it sits. And collects dust. Forever.
Good job, Razer. I’ll think twice before buying anything with your logo on it, and I’ve already advised many of my friends to do the same.
The worst part of this all was that it came right as my old headset was dying. I figured this Razer headset was going to be my replacement, and it was going to be super great. Imagine how I felt when I learned what a hunk of junk it actually was. In the intervening seven months since I originally won the $130 headset, I broke down and spent $20 on a Microsoft Lifechat LX-300.