The team here at TKC would like to take the opportunity to address some of the standing concerns that have been brought to our attention from our customers and the community. TKC was born from a vision to share the many joys of this hobby and the satisfying experience of building customized keyboards while removing the barriers to entry for newcomers. This is the driving force that led to many products we have rolled out over the last few years: in-stock items, Keyboard University, entry-level kits, instruction manuals and resource guides, with many more to come.
With the tremendous growth witnessed in the mechanical keyboard hobby in recent years, we experienced various bumps in the road and made notable mistakes. The fact of the matter is we have let our valued customers and the community down and we are very sorry.
We love and rely on the community in this world of mechanical keyboards: Your experience as both customers and shared members in the community means everything to us. We have tried our best to remedy the production and QC issues that affected some of our group buys last year. Which is why we took a hard look at 2020 and decided we needed to make some serious changes to ensure that our community can engage us with trust and that we can live out our vision of providing the absolute best products. We want to be as transparent as possible and address the concerns and criticisms that have come up and how TKC will be improving and fixing these issues as we move forward as a company.
Note: Many of these improvements stated below have already been in process for some time, but due to the nature of how things are brought to market, the changes will not be immediately evident.
Product updates will be a top priority as we know how important it is for our customers to receive timely and accurate information regarding their orders. Last year, in Q3 and Q4, our Updates page was not consistently updated and we apologize for this. We now have processes put in place to ensure all of our customers are informed through regular updates on our Product Updates page as well as through our Discord and email newsletters.
Quality Control in our Manufacturing Process
As of last year, we started to produce prototypes for Infinikey keysets before releasing them for sale on TKC. These prototypes are sent to the designer, our Production team for color matching and quality tests, and our Marketing team for photography so that we can provide accurate physical documentation for everything we put up for sale. Additionally, we implemented new communication and sign-off processes to ensure any changes made along the design and production timeline are well documented and followed through accordingly.
The prototype photos are taken with consistent indoor studio lighting and are not edited with any modifications that would be unfaithful to the final product. Moving forward, these prototype photos (keyboards, keysets, deskmats, and other in-stock items) will be the assets used on our product pages and social media. This will not always be possible, but we strive to make every effort to be as comprehensive and will note on specific product pages if no prototype photos are available.
How old practices and processes impacted several 2020 group buys:
- Renders did not match the final product.
- Color matching may be off.
- Fix kits or corrected alignment keys may be on different trays.
- Communication in delays did not reach our customers.
What we are doing to alleviate these issues:
- All customers of affected sets will have the opportunity to see photos of the final product and have the option to cancel their orders with a full refund.
- Prototypes will reach several key members including the designer for the product, our Production Lead, and our Social Media Lead— Color matching, legend alignment, and other details will be meticulously inspected.
- We are discontinuing the use of renders to showcase keysets whenever possible.
- The Product Updates page will be updated on a consistent basis, with more communication improvements to come later this year as we transition email systems.
We are confident that improvements we’ve made in our manufacturing and QC processes with Infinikey will be visible starting with the fulfillment of Infinikey Comfy in Q2 2021. We will continue to closely monitor group buys that were in production prior to implementing our new processes as they arrive at TKC HQ for processing and fulfillment.
Deskmats: We’ve recently upgraded the materials used in manufacturing our deskmats to improve color saturation and show less washout due to the black rubber below the fabric. In addition to keysets, we also started prototyping all deskmats back in Q3 of 2020. As a result, many of our group buy deskmats are delayed as we want to ensure they are up to the standard and meet the vision of the designers. Below are some of the deskmats impacted by these delays:
- Moody Moon
- Nyap Time
- Plant Arcana
- UYU Milk
Shipping and Fulfillment
Last year, we hired additional staff to focus on customer order fulfillment and we are happy to announce that as of December 2020, fulfillment has been smoother and faster than ever! Even though we are fulfilling orders on an improved basis, there are still things that pose a challenge to our fulfillment:
- COVID-19 still heavily affects our delivery services and Winter 2021 has shown some extreme weather conditions in different parts of the country. From our understanding, we learned that many carriers are understaffed and skipping scans resulting in the miscommunication of where packages are during their transit.
- Customs in many countries are backlogged such as Canada as well as the UK.
If you have any questions or concerns about your TKC orders or want to share feedback about your experience, whether awesome or not-so-awesome, we want to hear from you. Our customer support team is always available to help and can be reached at our Contact Us page, or with Live Chat during business hours.
Our Exchange and Refunds Policy
Nothing has changed in our exchange and refund policy, but this is a good opportunity to reiterate that if you no longer want to wait for your group buy, or you are unhappy with the colors of a final product, or simply want your money back, our Customer Support team will be happy to assist you in issuing a refund as long as the group buy has not been fulfilled/shipped out. No questions asked. No fees. No problem.
Our Commitment to You
- We take complete responsibility for our oversights in the past year. It has truly been a humbling learning experience for the team with all the stumbles we've experienced as we've tried to offer more to the community. We are working harder than ever behind the scenes to make necessary changes and improvements that will be visibly tangible as soon as Q2 of 2021.
- We are prototyping all keyset collections with Infinikey going forward. Prototypes will be featured in photography and be featured on our Product Pages, social media, and Twitch streams.
- All customers of last year’s group buys will be notified of what the final product will look like prior to fulfillment and be offered order cancellations with full refund as per our Exchange and Refunds policy, no questions asked.
- Some of our deskmats have been delayed, as we have started implementing new processes that ensure that products you’ve ordered meet your expectations. If you’d like to cancel your order and receive a refund, our Customer Support team will help you out.
We want to thank everyone for supporting us here at TKC, it truly means the world to us. It’s a tough environment out there right now with COVID changing the way we live our lives, and we completely understand that it’s our hobbies and passions that have allowed us to experience joy and excitement during this time.
We are looking forward to the day we can all hang out together again at KeyCon! Until then, rest assured we are committed to creating products with the best collaborators and talented designers for the community.