Radio Shack Replaces Its Crappy Mouse Again And Again

Bobby has found that Radio Shack’s Gigaware wireless mouse to be shoddily made and breakdown-prone, but is happy that the company seems happily eager to replace it as many times as necessary.

He writes:

Never thought I’d be writing in to say good things about the Shack, but I am.

A few months ago, my mouse died suddenly. I do a ton of stuff with spreadsheets and I’m useless with a mouse pad, so I needed a new one RIGHT NOW, and the only option was Radio Shack. I bought a Gigaware (their house brand, it turns out, but I didn’t know that) wireless mouse for ~$20.

It’s a decent mouse – the one thing that’s annoying is that it doesn’t have a dedicated off switch – it turns itself off after it’s been idle for a minute or two, then turns back on when any button is pressed. I guess that’s fine for desktop use, but I use it with my laptop, which means it bounces around in the computer bag, so I need to take out the batteries every time I pack it away, which is a pain in the neck. My own fault probably; should have thought of that. (I also have the same problem with cheap Bluetooth headsets, but that’s an entirely other story.)

Anyway, maybe a month after I bought it, I flew to Minneapolis. When I unpacked the mouse, it wouldn’t sync with the USB part that connects to the computer. Useless. When I got home to Chicago I stopped at a RS on the way home from the airport to see if anything can be done. The woman behind the counter tries the mouse in her computer, confirms that it isn’t working in exactly the way I say it isn’t, changes the batteries, and, when that doesn’t fix it, pulls a brand-new one out of the box and gives it to me. Just like that.

I was pretty psyched, but I figured it was probably a very isolated incident.

I’m on the road again in Denver. Last night I took the mouse out of my bag, and the buttons work, but the laser light that actually moves the mouse is dead. I take it to the nearest RS here, and same thing – the first person I talk to plugs the mouse into a computer, confirms that it isn’t working, swaps the batteries to make sure that’s not it, pulls a new mouse out of the package and gives it to me. Just like that.

So, boo to RS for making a mouse that has totally broken down twice in less than 4 months. But maybe a little bit of boo to me for buying something inappropriate to my needs. And much props to them for stepping up and doing the right thing twice.

If Bobby’s story is typical, I guess the lesson here is to steer away from the Gigaware mouse unless you live next door to a Radio Shack. And if you happen to get one as a gift, look into moving next door to a Radio Shack.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Petaluma says:

    A better title would be …Amazing customer service at Radio Shack…yet it seems the title implies problems with the “shack” (sorry could not help it)

    Just sayin

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      if the product is repeatedly breaking down then yes, there is a problem with the product.
      good customer service would be them resolving it once. amazing customer service would be repeatedly doing it… unless there’s a history of it with this particular product and they have been told just to get it over with and hand out new ones. which i could see potential for even from this isolated incident.
      having worked in retail, there have been situations where a product was so bad that anyone complaining was offered recovery [replacement/refund where normally credit or exchange was the only option] outside of the normal pattern just to make the problem go away.

  2. thesadtomato says:

    I’ve never had any luck with wireless mice. The first one was given to me as an Xmas gift years ago and never worked but I was too polite to tell the gift-giver. More recently, I picked up one for my Mom and it also wouldn’t work, right out of the box.

    Kudos to RS, though.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      I’ve had my wireless mouse for 3 years… love it! (hate the touchpad on a laptop)

    • ktetch says:

      I’ve been using wireless mice and keyboards for almsot 10 years, usually logitech. Love em.

      Mostly it’s to do with weight. I started with the old heavy Amiga mice of the late 80s/early 90s, and after years with them, the flimsy lightweight mice we have now just don’t cut it.

    • Leria says:

      That isn’t common. I’ve bought wireless mice before, and all of them have lasted for at least a year before dying, and I am kinda ‘hard’ on them to be blunt.

  3. emax4 says:

    I believe with wireless mice and keyboards, there is a sync button underneath the device that you have to press to get it to see the receiving base. Either the OP forgot to press that, wasn’t aware that he had to press it, or the GigaWare mouse doesn’t have a sync button.

    • Aphex242 says:

      …and the employee who tested it forgot too.

      I’m guessing the thing was broken, like he said.

      • GoBobbyGo says:

        Yes, I knew about the sync button. In fact there’s one on the bottom of the mouse and another one on the dongle. Pressing them both repeatedly yielded no results.

        The one on the dongle has a green light on it. When you press the button to sync, that light’s supposed to start blinking. That wasn’t happening.

  4. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    The hands down most convenient wireless mouse I’ve ever gotten for my laptop was one by microsoft. The nice thing is that the USB dongle snaps into the bottom of it when not being used and turns it off. Its great, the battery lasts forever, and IIRC it wasn’t that expensive.

    No extra buttons but the scroll wheel, but its great. I

    • BoredOOMM says:

      I agree the best hardware is that branded by Microsoft. Recognized instantly in Linux and never a problem. The initial sale price cost $14.99…

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I have an old version of that one too that I bought in 2005, and it’s still working! It does look shabby, but it does work.

      I also have a wireless Microsoft Keyboard and mouse for my regular PC and it’s pretty good too. I like the action on Microsoft keyboards.. other keyboards are too.. um.. squishy? Spongey? I’m not sure.. but I don’t like it.

  5. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Well, it’s nice that RS replaces the broken mouse every 2 months without issue, but maybe the OP should consider investing in a mouse that fits his needs sometime soon. If he uses the mouse that frequently and on trips, I guarantee you one of these days that he’ll stop at RS, and be given the run around and potentially be left without a working mouse, or buying a different model mouse from RS when he’s had ample time to shop around and buy exactly what he’s looking for.

    I say to the OP, take the free pass on the mouse, great that RS has helped you- but start looking for a permanent solution.

    • GoBobbyGo says:

      Well, that’s the plan, isn’t it? But I’ll keep using this one as long as I can before buying something new.

  6. kingoftheroad40 says:

    I have the mouse in question for 2 years mine works fine except the wheel is loose and is worn out i also have the Microsoft mouse , it is better than the one from the shack but the one from the shack is better for gaming but does feel cheap.

  7. Emperor Norton I says:

    But every time he gets a new mouse, they bill his credit card a dollar to give to Livestrong!

  8. Boberto says:

    It’s win/win. RS replaces the mouse, ad infinitum and the OP gets a new mouse.
    It’s all good until you consider the fact that there are tons of people out there, who just don’t have the energy or time to keep getting it exchanged. RS REALLY wins here.

    Also, in the year warranty period RS will most likely change the model (slight variation, or different packaging). The OP will no longer qualify for replacement in this case.

    I say to the OP, get your money back, or a merchandise credit and use that money to buy an Apple BT magic mouse. It is pure art, in both form and function. Yes, I’m a fanboy/man. Flame away.

    • Rhainor says:

      Or, for the non-Apple-fanboys, a Logitech MX VX Revolution.

      • Rhainor says:

        Er…”VX Revolution”. How did that MX get in there? I swear I didn’t type that… >:/

      • MattSaintCool says:

        I’ve had the VX Nano for about two years and it’s still solid. Nice and portable for the laptop, and I don’t even bother removing the dongle in transit because it only sticks out 1/4″ from the USB port.

  9. Mr. TheShack says:

    Yes this is our policy if you want a replacement within 30 days, it was a manufacturer defect. Typically we don’t even do any paperwork (if it’s the exact same SKU). Any Shack should do that for you. We’d do it on a 32″ TV even. Even if it is after 30 days (and under 90 days) we’ll be cool about it if you’re polite.

  10. Rena says:

    It’s nice that they replaced it, but I’m always annoyed when I can’t just get a refund for what turns out to be a product with a severe design flaw. I had a similar experience with a Transcend flash memory card: sure, they’d replace it for free when it stopped working after a month, but it’s not worth the trouble getting it replaced every month. After 4 of them, I just stopped buying their junk entirely.

  11. cptkincaid says:

    I bought a gigaware model that the usb dongle slides into the mouse to turn it off. Not a problem insite.