Hi-Profile PBT Dye-sub (the time has come)

zslane wrote:From what I can tell, most of the disdain for MassDrop comes from the EU community, and for reasons that are sometimes understandable and other times irrational.

On a 'successful' run, we have to put up with with longer shipping times, more expensive shipping and customs (both the payment and delay that causes)

On a bad run we then have to have things shipped back and forth to the US, replacements are hit by customs/taxes once again - it just gets very pricey and slow.

What's more annoying is that GMK sets are sent from Europe to the US, then back to Europe again. All that shipping and the taxes involved are paid for by European customers. It's frustrating to know that those keys were made right next door yet we've had to pay so much extra. I don't think it's too irrational to be annoyed at that, even if we accept that it's just not plausible for massdrop to have an EU warehouse or for people like matt3o to try fund new moulds himself.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 02:03

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zslane wrote:I'm located in the US, so for me MassDrop is the most reliable and trustworthy source of GBs I know of. Plus, they push through more projects than anyone else. They have a dedicated customer support department that is larger than one person, which puts them far ahead of anyone in the community who tries to run GBs themselves.

Ditto, plus their volume is 10x any other company/person doing group buys for keyboard related stuff.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 02:38

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Petch wrote:I don't think it's too irrational to be annoyed at that, even if we accept that it's just not plausible for massdrop to have an EU warehouse or for people like matt3o to try fund new moulds himself.

I agree (though I think matt3o should speak for himself as to how plausible it would be for him to fund expensive keycap molds all by himself, and blaming MassDrop for wanting to partner in with something they find highly promising and beneficial for the hobby just strikes me as spiteful).

What tends to happen around here is that a whole host of unrealistic expectations get lumped in with all the understandable frustrations, and MassDrop gets unfairly crucified. The inability to completely overcome the vast array of challenges that come with transcontinental commerce does not plunge an otherwise effective operation like MassDrop into the ranks of incompetent amateurism. They are not Amazon, and yet it seems to me they are expected to perform on Amazon's level. That's what I consider irrational. One should scale one's expectations according to the actual size and operational reach of a company of MassDrop's size (which, I suspect, many here have a profoundly exaggerated estimation of).
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 04:29

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MassDrop had unsuccessful deliveries to Germany for my last two orders: stuck and that wasn't only my order in the shipment. Then the summed up experience was, my fund held for 9+ months by MassDrop and ended up getting nothing.

To get things from MassDrop, I may have to use a US proxy next time.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 06:55

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zslane wrote:
Petch wrote:I don't think it's too irrational to be annoyed at that, even if we accept that it's just not plausible for massdrop to have an EU warehouse or for people like matt3o to try fund new moulds himself.

I agree (though I think matt3o should speak for himself as to how plausible it would be for him to fund expensive keycap molds all by himself, and blaming MassDrop for wanting to partner in with something they find highly promising and beneficial for the hobby just strikes me as spiteful).

What tends to happen around here is that a whole host of unrealistic expectations get lumped in with all the understandable frustrations, and MassDrop gets unfairly crucified. The inability to completely overcome the vast array of challenges that come with transcontinental commerce does not plunge an otherwise effective operation like MassDrop into the ranks of incompetent amateurism. They are not Amazon, and yet it seems to me they are expected to perform on Amazon's level. That's what I consider irrational. One should scale one's expectations according to the actual size and operational reach of a company of MassDrop's size (which, I suspect, many here have a profoundly exaggerated estimation of).

Believe me when I tell you that your horribly apologetic stance would be severely challenged had you ordered anything other than straight ANSI SA. Massdrop are not on the level of Amazon, neither when it comes to size, success nor professionalism, but when one man businesses manage to ship stuff with less fuck ups than MD, I will consider them nothing but happy amateurs.

Moreover, when on this side of the pond, expect shipping delays galore while they try to fix your order and expect multiple, often erroneous, customs charges for the same thing because MD has yet to figure out how to fill In the documents.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 07:04

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codemonkeymike wrote:Ditto, plus their volume is 10x any other company/person doing group buys for keyboard related stuff.

7bit
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 08:55

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I'd say 7bit and MD are opposite points on a scale. 7bit makes extremely few mistakes, but the whole thing is convoluted and takes forever. Also, when he does make mistakes (e.g. the Space Cadet legends in R6a), he fixes them but the fix creates more problems in the form of a liquidity crisis . MD makes more mistakes, but they also have a bunch of people that do stuff like pack keycaps and deal with customer support. Also, MD has the finanscial resources to place an order with someone like SP without paying in advance, and they can deal with unforseen expenses.

The problem with MD seems to be that the people who are knowledgeable aren't really on top of things. For example, someone like YanboWu probably knows a lot about keycaps and their production. But we're hearing about reprints in a comment of his buried deep down on the discussion page of the drop, instead of in an email or proper statement at the top of the discussion page. And support apparently haven't gotten the memo, as they keep offering people nothing but refunds.

Not unpacking one sample of every kit and looking at it before shipping, that's just a lazy way to run your operation. It's not something I'd expect from someone running a small GB here on DT, and it's even more weird when the GB is supposedly run by a company where people are paid to do their thing and thus expected to act like professionals. I mean, what does that conversation even sound like?
– Hey, maybe we should at least look at a sample of this thing that is the first run ever of this product before shipping it out to customers?

– Nah. It'll probably be fine. Let's just ship these 5,000 orders and be done with it. What's the worst that could happen?

Joe Blow sorting keycaps in some warehouse does not care much about legend uniformity – nor should he, it's not in his job description. But someone at MD should be in charge of those things, and that person does not seem to be doing their job. And if no one is doing basic QC – then what's the point of MD in the first place?

EDIT: grammar
Last edited by caligo on 12 Feb 2018, 14:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 09:24

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I totally agree with everything what you said. I just wanted to point out that a single individual is able to perform a GB with SP in the Volume which is normally only done by MD. Albeit e very special "individual", but still a single human beeing ;)
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 12:15

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Khers wrote:Believe me when I tell you that your horribly apologetic stance would be severely challenged had you ordered anything other than straight ANSI SA.

Except that I'm not judging MassDrop as a whole on the basis of mistakes made in a handful of products/drops (like /dev/tty). People here seem to think that MassDrop only deals in keycaps, but they have 19 other product categories they deal in, and they organize and fulfill more custom products in one year than all the mech community GB runners put together have ever delivered. Compared to the scope of their business, the percentage of errors is quite low overall. It is perhaps an unfortunate fact that EU customers encounter a disproportionate amount of those errors because of the logistics involved, but MassDrop as a whole can't be judged on the basis of such a limited user experience (i.e., EU members of the mechkeyboard category). MassDrop is far from perfect, but they are way better than the alternative in my view.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 18:12

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To be frank, I couldn't care less how MD stands "as a whole", so the fact that they deal with a lot of product categories with "low overall" errors is not, IMHO, an argument about their quality standard with respect to *keyboard* related products.

On the other hand, it would be maybe clarifying to have these MD keyboard-related errors, made over time in their drops, listed here by some of those who stumbled upon them.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 19:09

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Laser wrote:To be frank, I couldn't care less how MD stands "as a whole"...

You may not have any personal regard for it, but you must take it into account if you want your judgments to have any rhetorical merit. Otherwise your assessment is the product of too narrow a view through too distorted a lens.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 20:03

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Umm, no, sorry, I don't think you see where I'm getting at, so "I must ..." nothing. Again, because some entity functions alright when seen as a whole, it does *not* mean that it can't have a vulnerable spot exactly in the particular area I'm most interested in. In this case, keyboards. What I'm saying is, the narrow view is exactly what is needed since we are interested in keyboards and keycaps for God sake, not how well MD business is going. They may have few errors in total, but if their quality check *in this particular area* sucks, than it's not ok, no matter how the "general view" looks like. And I'm not even saying that it sucks, all I'm saying is - let's see how it is! Let's see some facts.

And on the contrary, wrt the rhetorical merit - knowing the error mean is nothing, you also have to take into account the variance/dispersion, how well are the errors keeping close to the mean value ... or not.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 20:08

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I agree with pretty much all that. In the particular area where they are weak they need to make improvements. My point is that some of the complaining comes across as general criticisms of the company as a whole, when in fact the criticisms apply to only a limited portion of the company's operations.

For example:
Their whole operation just comes of as amateurish...

The only way for the "whole operation" to come across as amateurish is if you are looking at only one tiny piece of it (that we all agree needs work) and convincing yourself it reflects the entirety of the company. This suggests, to me anyway, that this person isn't really looking at the whole operation, and in fact may not even be aware of its full scope.
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Unread post12 Feb 2018, 22:31

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zslane wrote:I agree with pretty much all that. In the particular area where they are weak they need to make improvements. My point is that some of the complaining comes across as general criticisms of the company as a whole, when in fact the criticisms apply to only a limited portion of the company's operations.

For example:
Their whole operation just comes of as amateurish...

The only way for the "whole operation" to come across as amateurish is if you are looking at only one tiny piece of it (that we all agree needs work) and convincing yourself it reflects the entirety of the company. This suggests, to me anyway, that this person isn't really looking at the whole operation, and in fact may not even be aware of its full scope.

Maybe "whole operation" as in production, QA, Customer support?
Also selective quoting for 200?

... Apparently they're reprinting messed up kits. That's awesome. But we only know this because some community manager mentioned it in a comment, and they're yet to make anything resembling an official statement. Some people still seem to get the canned responses that simply offer them a refund when they email support about one or two keycaps missing from the order – that's just silly.

He is looking at his interaction with the company, better than repeating hearsay I would say. And the whole point of the post is to ask for other peoples opinion, so your interpretation here is quite a stretch ;)

Finally, their customer support should reflect on the whole company, I guess. It certainly isn't keyboard specific IMHO. And it is one of their selling points, according to your own posts ...
zslane wrote:What tends to happen around here is that a whole host of unrealistic expectations get lumped in with all the understandable frustrations, and MassDrop gets unfairly crucified.

massdrop help center wrote:We are sorry to see that you did not receive what you were expecting ...

Sorry, but please don tell me that different font on the same key cap set is what I should have been expecting.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 04:23

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Isn't their helpdesk reply acknowledging that you did not receive what you were expecting (in this case, consistent font across all keycaps)? What's with all the clenching?
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 17:42

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Anyone can guess who's zslane's valentine tomorrow ? :)

I'm getting my package tomorrow with a 30$ customs charge on ~400$ worth of caps so I got off easy. This was my first massdrop order and I didn't order any international kits. We'll see if I'll have to interact with their support.

Can't help but wonder how many people will get their replacement caps with the full value of the invoice on the package (again) for a double wombo customs combo :D
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 19:36

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gogusrl wrote:Anyone can guess who's zslane's valentine tomorrow ? :)
[...]

Considering zlane's working with them, zlane being heavily biased and passionately defending MD isn't all that surprising, I guess. :mrgreen:
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 19:50

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Well, that quickly escalated into a flame war…

I think we can all agree that Massdrop screwed the pooch here. The argument is over the extent of said screwing. Perhaps it's fair to be critical of people being upset about alignment issues, seeing as that's a thing that can probably be expected when dealing with a new profile. But the font weight issues are simply a case of bad QC, and communication from Massdrop hasn't exactly been stellar so far. Also, based on what Matt3o has written about the whole thing it could probably have been handled a lot better.

As for your defence of Massdrop zslaine, I think you make some valid points while completely missing the points of others. ;-) As someone already pointed out, what's being discussed here is the pros and cons of using Massdrop for keycap group buys. And if /dev/tty/ is representative of how they handle these more complex drops, then I don't know if it's worth it for me or not. There are still upsides of course, like not running the risk of someone disappearing with all the money. I just expected more professionalism, I guess. Maybe that's unreasonable. But Massdrop presents itself as a proper company, unlike e.g. [ctrl]alt that have never claimed to be more than a small group of enthusiasts.

And at the end of the day, us EU people will probably all come crawling back to Massdrop since it's one of the few places that offer keysets that cover our weird layouts. I guess that's where some of the bitterness comes from – we don't really have a choice. I'll pay through the nose for toll and VAT on faulty keycaps, and then pay it again if they ever manage to send replacements.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 21:13

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It's kinda sad when giving someone (or a company) the benefit of the doubt and looking at a situation logically is considered being unfairly biased. Regardless of my personal opinion of MassDrop, in this case I'm mostly passionate about reframing the criticism so that small-scale mistakes aren't allowed to pass as broad-reaching systemic flaws. I'd do the same thing for any company (e.g., Signature Plastics, which has received the same kind of undeserved vitriol in the past).
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 21:19

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zslane wrote:Isn't their helpdesk reply acknowledging that you did not receive what you were expecting (in this case, consistent font across all keycaps)? What's with all the clenching?

You do not get my point.
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Unread post13 Feb 2018, 21:26

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zslane wrote:It's kinda sad when giving someone (or a company) the benefit of the doubt and looking at a situation logically is considered being unfairly biased. Regardless of my personal opinion of MassDrop, in this case I'm mostly passionate about reframing the criticism so that small-scale mistakes aren't allowed to pass as broad-reaching systemic flaws. I'd do the same thing for any company (e.g., Signature Plastics, which has received the same kind of undeserved vitriol in the past).

It's just that this isn't a small-scale mistake – it's a significant flaw affecting some 10–15 percent of the orders. And since the mistake is indicative of insufficent QC protocols, I'd say it shows that there are indeed systemic flaws. Same goes for the lack of communication. I personally wouldn't have taken issue with a scenario where the flaw was discovered before the fact, resulting in even more delays. I'm sure some people would have, but that's beside the point.

Also, if I recall correctly you had plenty of vitriol for 7bit when the whole Space Cadet things went down in Round 6, and later as well. But 7bit is not a company, so maybe that's different? ;-) I'm not saying that criticism wasn't warranted, by the way. But this apologetic stance towards Massdrop doesn't really come off as some unbiased call for perspective and moderation, seeing as it's not really a consistent stance. If your order was unaffected, then good for you. But telling the rather large group that did recieve faulty kits because of slip-ups in QC that they have 'unreasonable expectations' isn't really warranted.
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Unread post14 Feb 2018, 06:46

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Since the colour of the triumph mods didn't quite come out very "Triumphy," I had this nagging feeling like it reminded me of something... I was browsing through some other ICs and then it struct me.

MiG-21.jpg
m3tnorbaT.JPG


  • Spherical 1960s keys - check
  • russian aviation turquoise - check
  • red highlights -check
yep Matt3o stole the march on the Mig-21 buy, and did it in a period appropriate profile.

You can't really see it from the shitty photo above, but that case is one of Norbauer's with the 1940s/50s textured finish - it matches the caps perfectly. All in all - I couldn't be happier.

Matt3o, if anybody asks what the triumph name refers to, just erase all mention of typewriters from your blog and say it's all about mother Russia and its aviators.
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 09:53

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PS. Just flicked through the last couple of pages and while I understand the criticism leveled at MD, I really think it's way overblown.

From my personal experience; they have been amazing at shipping to the antipodes, something many companies run screaming from. Any problems I ever had were fixed well above what I expected - replacements promptly shipped and I was never asked to ship anything back, plus they usually throw a voucher your way for the next buy. One think I've noticed, their CS has a lot of leeway on how they resolve your issues; it pays to remember that they are people trying to do a job the best they can and genuinely want to see you happy, think how you'd like to be treated if the shoe was on the other foot. Some of the comments on their drop discussion pages just sound so fucking entitled...

The problem seems to be that their size attracted a lot of people new to the hobby who never dealt with failed MOQs, buy money going AWOL, projects taking forever to complete - all with no recourse WHATSOEVER. They are doing 10x the volume of previous buys, of course there will be mistakes made. BUT, I honestly don't think that anyone lost money AND got nothing; perhaps casting your mind back to those times would put things a bit in perspective. Not to mention that, by having other product lines, they recruit people into this hobby; without new blood, how many of the recent sets would have been made? There's very few of us willing or able to support every new set.

I know this will get me branded as an "apologist," but seriously - people are complaining about having to pay duty as if it's MD's fault! In all fairness, MD have muddied the water a bit by trying to move past their core "group buy" business and into being a thinly disguised conventional sales vendor for some products. There's just as much disclaimers on a drop of a new keycap design by some hobbyists and a camera from Sony; no wonder some of their customers are a bit confused.

Anyway... I cut out a long rant about how people seem to loose their shit at the slightest inconvenience thanks to Amazon's brainwashing in an attempt to legitimise a distribution monopoly... but there's that too...
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 10:44

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I am one of those MD-ranters, and I do not rant about "slight inconvenience". I have no problem with long wait times (7-bit, Ellipse...) or having the risk of complete cancelation, even with lost money. That is not the problem. What I highly dislike is the fact that MD fails again and again on QA - particulary when it comes to international sets - and the customer gets "punished" for it (Paying taxes twice on a single order because of reshipment of fixed things is just unfair) and their behaviour in the whole halo/haku drama, the Fox, I:C and similar things. And yeah, you are right, they are enthusiastic, they made much things easier and better. But nowadays they act like the company they are, with all the shady things a company does.
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 12:00

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consolation wrote:These are not the bold fonts that you are looking for.

Nobody has been discussing taxes or shipping in this thread recently before you straw man wielding apologist jedi turned up. So please get lost again :P

How to know when you are an apologist:
consolation.PNG


At last, it seems like our complaining starts to work :) No email received yet, btw.
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Unread post15 Feb 2018, 20:42

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Slom wrote:
consolation wrote:These are not the bold fonts that you are looking for.

Nobody has been discussing taxes or shipping in this thread recently before you straw man wielding apologist jedi turned up. So please get lost again :P

How to know when you are an apologist:
consolation.PNG


At last, it seems like our complaining starts to work :) No email received yet, btw.

Do try to maintain a basic level of courtesy - telling people who disagree with you to get lost is, well... bit childish, eh. If you go back a couple pages you will see a discussion regarding MD shipping and duties.

Congratulation, you found me out? Not sure if it was very difficult, given that I said I use the same username on GH, MD and DT in numerous threads; including the one you copy pasted... As to how inquiring about the extent of the problem from YanboWu makes me an apologist, I'm not sure.

Seems like your definition of an apologist is "anybody who doesn't want to join in my two minute hate."
Shihatsu wrote:...But nowadays they act like the company they are, with all the shady things a company does.

They do seem to be bit confused about what kind of a business they want to grow into, can't argue with that. Have you brought up the fact that you paid duties twice because of replacements with CS? For example, they have refunded losses due to exchange rate fluctuations. Maybe I just got lucky with who my tickets got assigned to, but; they always addressed all the issues I encountered and have made sure I wasn't out of pocket.

All I have is anecdotal evidence, and I certainly do not have the full picture. But, based on my experience and a number of other posts - I do not see the need for the level of vitriol directed at MD by some people.
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Unread post16 Feb 2018, 04:19

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consolation wrote:
MiG-21.jpg
m3tnorbaT.JPG

that is amazing!
consolation wrote:Matt3o, if anybody asks what the triumph name refers to, just erase all mention of typewriters from your blog and say it's all about mother Russia and its aviators.

I never said it was inspired by a keyboard, that's all on you :) :P
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 07:33

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This whole aircraft cockpit angle is actually quite fascinationg. Apparently most Soviet aircraft used turqoise. As did some American airplanes, like the DC-7 and DC-9. And it's still used on some modern aircraft.

Spoiler:
Image
Image


I bet a lot of research has gone into what colors worked best in those kind of stressful technical environments. So I guess that means turqoise is soothing? Makes one wonder what other colorful combinations there were – maybe something worth looking into for future color schemes?

Also, I guess that implies everyone ought to dress like the soldiers of the Spanish Foreign Legion in order to minimize stress. Looks like I'll have to update my wardrobe. And probably hit the gym more often. ;)

Image
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 08:38

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I find the green-blue color combination (i.e. turquoise) in a plane quite the metaphor - "between the earth and the sky" :)

On this topic, I miss flying in "Rise of Flight" - a great "Great War" flight combat simulator. If you have a good joystick, and maybe some pedals, go check it out!
Laser
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emacs -nw

Unread post17 Feb 2018, 10:28

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I occasionally fly DCS, the MIG 21 in there has this beautiful colour.

There is a successor to ROF in the works, based on the current IL2:BOx series.

@consolation: No hate from my side, promise :) In other news, my replacement int kit arrived at the local tax office, if all goes well I will report to be a happy customer on Monday.
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Unread post17 Feb 2018, 12:07

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