You Just Lost a Customer, Razer.

I like to think of myself as a good customer, having spent a good 6 years on the other side of the consumer equation. Whilst I might be ruthless in my product selection once your product is past that hurdle you’re guaranteed a whole bunch of free marketing from me, usually in the form of recommendations to my friends and sometimes even here on this blog. It’s not much but I’ll be damned if I haven’t swayed dozens of people to products that I’ve bought solely on my recommendation. It goes both ways though so if your product (or business practices) are terrible then you can be assured I’ll be voting with my wallet and encouraging others to do so.

Today, I’m going to do exactly that.

So for my birthday last year my loving wife bought me one of the TRON keyboards from Razer. It’s a very pretty keyboard but it’s unfortunately not all that great for gaming thanks to the extraordinarily large keys and tendency for the keys to get stuck in the on position when several are pressed together. Figuring that it would make a great keyboard for either my spare test machine or media PC I set about looking for a potential replacement keyboard, something more suited to my main purpose of gaming.

I had heard good things about the Razer series of mechanical keyboards. These are preferred for gaming due to their distinct actuation points rather than the rubber domes that are common on most keyboards today (including the TRON keyboard I have now). They’re also renowned for being quite loud due to their mechanical action and the keyboard I had my eye on, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate  is known for having some of the loudest keys around thanks to Cherry MX Blue¹ type switches. Razer does make the same keyboard in a stealth option which uses the quieter MX Brown switches, something that I’d prefer to have so I don’t get driven insane by the loud clicking.

So of course I started looking around for somewhere to get the keyboard. Strange though all my usual sites don’t seem to stock it, but they do stock every other keyboard. Frustrated I check Razer’s store and it’s available through there for US$139.99. Googling around reveals that the stealth version is exclusive to the Razer online store. Fair enough I thought, the price is a little on the high side but it’s one of those things that you buy once and don’t replace for a good while. Attempting to follow the order screen through to see how much the total would be lead me to a brick wall, not being able to ship it to Australia.

Undeterred I saw that they had an Australian version of the store and the keyboard was available in there. The price, however, was no where near what I expected being a whopping $90 greater than its USA counterpart. Now Australia is renowned for getting gouged on pretty much everything, including in places where distribution doesn’t matter like Steam, but I still don’t tolerate companies that do it. Frustrated I tweeted at Razer about it, hoping for some kind of response but alas I got nothing. I could use a remailer service to get the keyboard here but then I’d be giving my money to a company that obviously doesn’t respect its customers enough to price their products fairly.

So instead I went looking elsewhere for a similar product and not 5 minutes later did I come across the Corsair K90 which ticks all the same boxes and has the better Cherry MX Red switches to boot. It might be more expensive than the stealth Razer in the USA but it’s available here from pretty much everywhere. Corsair also have a history of not treating their customers like crap either, I’ve sent several sticks of faulty memory back to them only to get better memory in return. I’m more than happy to give them my money, especially when it means not giving any more to Razer.

Will Razer respond to this post? Probably not, but it needs to be known that Razer have no respect for Australian consumers if it’s trying to pull crap like this. I’m doing the only thing a consumer can: voice their discontent and then vote with their wallet. If enough people don’t put up with these kind of shenanigans then maybe one day we’ll be able to buy products in Australia at fair market prices rather than at the garbage, price gouging levels we get today.

¹If you’re wondering what the hell I’m on about here check out this guide to mechanical keyboards on overlock.net to get the low down on the different types.

7 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. dave, lemme tell ya about the worst i’ve seen online…

    tl;dr: helping mum on the swarovski website, noticed this little price difference:

    http://www.swarovski.com/Web_AU/en/1048781/product/Alsaqr_Almalaki.html
    — $25,000 AUD

    http://www.swarovski.com/Web_US/en/1048781/product/Alsaqr_Almalaki.html
    — $15,500 USD ($14,449.35 AUD)

    http://www.swarovski.com/Web_GB/en/1048781/product/Alsaqr_Almalaki.html
    — £9,500 GBP ($13,936.16 AUD)

    in france, it’s €100 dearer than in germany, germans paying “only” €11,500. all other countries get to buy this little old thing for €12,000.
    http://www.swarovski.com/Web_AA/en/1048781/product/Alsaqr_Almalaki.html

    if i may, i’d like to coin a phrase from this and other examples of online price disparity, “online economic racism”.

    peace,

    n, f i.

  2. i should note, “all other countries” refers to countries not specifically listed on the swarovski website.

  3. That’s incredible, I have no idea how they can justify such a massive price difference. I’ve seen so many arguments from companies but when you could fly over there, buy it, and come back for the price difference then there’s really no way of explaining your way out of it (save for “we like to price gouge where we can”).

    Trouble is enough people must fall for it, otherwise they wouldn’t keep doing it.

  4. Why the price difference?
    They are shipped from Singapore, which is just above Australia.

    USA price Razer DeathStalker Ultimate US$249.99 – See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-deathstalker-ultimate#sthash.94aWdtrR.dpuf

    Australia price: Razer DeathStalker Ultimate AU$399.95 – See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/au-en/store/razer-deathstalker-ultimate#sthash.YToPZdHP.dpuf

    Razer can’t say it’s freight, they are made in China, shipped from Singapore

    Singapore is Kilometres: 3911.01 from Australia
    Singapore is Kilometres: 13 594 from San Francisco

    I’ll never buy another Razer product, I was gouged enough with one.:(

  5. That was my experience exactly, huge mark up with no justifiable reason at all. I was hoping that Razer might have changed their tune in the year since I posted this but it’s a real shame that they haven’t. Guess I’ll be avoiding them from now on.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.