Hardware, Reviews

ROCCAT Kone+ Preview: Where is the Support?

The popular European gaming brand from Germany decided to expand onto the U.S. market, and the very first product we have in testing is the Roccat Kone+ mouse. Today we are providing a preview with some of our experiences.  

The mouse itself came in good, solid packaging, and has a nice look to it overall.

The main features of the Kone+ are the 6000 DPI sensor as well as their software, which includes assigning functions to any mouse buttons, as well as their EasyShift and EasyAim software options.

The Scroll that lost its way…
We will delve further into the aspects of the mouse from a performance and function standpoint in the actual review. Here, we would like to address some concerns we have. After a couple weeks of use, we noticed that the scroll function of the mouse was not working properly. When physically scrolling up, about 20% of the time, it would scroll down instead, and vice versa. As time progressed, the issue worsened to the point that the mouse would scroll in the wrong direction about 60-70% of the time.

After searching online about the issue, (side note: when typing "Roccat Kone+" into Google, one of the first things that shows up is "Roccat Kone+ Scroll Wheel") it seemed that no one had a solution to the problem other than applying compressed air and WD40 to the scroll wheel. We decided to contact technical support to see what the official solution would be.

Tech Support? What Tech Support?
According to Roccat?s US technical support page, there were two ways to contact support; by email or using their online support form.

On May 20th 2012, we emailed their tech support email address asking about the issue. We received no reply. After waiting a few days, on May 23rd 2012, We tried our luck using the online support form. As of this writing (June 18th 2012), we still have not received a reply from Roccat technical support. On May 27th 2012, we emailed a PR representative for Roccat, and he was able to verify that it was a defective mouse, and he sent us a replacement. So far we have not had the same scroll wheel issue with the replacement mouse, though whether it develops in the next week or two remains to be seen. We are happy the situation was resolved for us, however, the more important issue here was the complete lack of response from Roccat?s official technical support. Had we not been press, and had a contact with Roccat?s responsive PR agency, we would have been out of luck and stuck with a defective mouse.

Roccat has established itself as a top tier gaming peripheral company in Europe, and is now hoping to break into the US market. Unfortunately for them, they will learn quickly and painfully that companies ignore their customers at their own risk. Having responsive technical support is vital for repeat customers, and Roccat may want to address what appears to be a common issue with their flagship mouse.

It is also worth mentioning that after receiving the replacement, we did try the WD40 solution that had been mentioned in some forums. While it did fix the issue with scrolling in the wrong direction, it unfortunately made the scroll wheel extremely difficult to use. The scroll wheel now requires more than double the force to scroll as it did before applying the WD40, to the point that the scroll function is almost unusable. We do not recommend this as a solution to the scroll wheel issue.