Tiny TextBlade keyboard still not shipping after five months

The company behind the unique TextBlade keyboard started taking orders in January, but is still not shipping to customers. Waytools, the producer of the TextBlade, is not providing buyers with definitive ship dates.

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The unique TextBlade mobile keyboard caught my eye back in January. A tiny gadget with a promise to deliver the typing experience of a full keyboard, TextBlade went on sale in January on the Waytools' web site.

Over five months have passed and the company hasn't starting shipping units to customers. This is in spite of the fact that Waytools charged buyers the day they placed orders.

See related: 10 portable keyboards for iPhone, iPad, and Android

I buy a lot of mobile keyboards so as soon as the TextBlade went on sale I bought one. The purchase date was January 21 of this year and my credit card was charged $114 the same day.

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Months went by and I forgot about the order until recently. I checked my order status (see image above) and had no better idea when it will ship than I did before. The status implies that Waytools will start shipping soon, but a check of the company's online forum makes it clear that believing the statement should be taken with a grain of salt.

In the forums frustrated buyers have complained about multiple claims of shipping, only to be told that issues arose and approximate ship dates have been moved back. Reasons given by Waytools have included that they improved the TextBlade and held off shipping, and that production line problems have delayed getting them out.

Buyers have asked for transparency from Waytools about when their TextBlade will actually ship, or even an approximation. The company's responses in the forum have at times been less than professional. The company stated at one point that those complaining about the months-long delay must be more concerned about availability over performance. Makes you wonder why they started selling a product that wasn't finished.

Now, I'm sure the company has been hard at work to get the TextBlade out the door. That doesn't excuse them from refusing to give buyers at least an estimate of when they might get the product. They have been giving vague estimates for months and pushing it back repeatedly (the latest statement on June 10) so it's no wonder buyers, many who gave Waytools money months ago, are getting frustrated.

The company insists that once it starts shipping at long last, it will ship in the order of purchase. That's the right thing to do in this case, but without customers knowing where they are in the purchase queue even when an announcement is made that purchase #1 is shipping they'll still have no clue when their unit will go out. The company has indicated that the backlog is big and customer fulfillment will take weeks. Again, it gives no estimate how many weeks that might be.

To the company's credit they offer a refund to any customer tired of waiting. I'm going to keep waiting for my TextBlade since I've already got almost six months in the game.

Some buyers may be willing to give TextBlade a pass, but in this writer's view once you start selling a product and charging buyers' credit cards, it should be ready to go out the door. If it wasn't good enough to ship, it wasn't good enough to sell.

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