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A Line in the sand


1.2 Million Keycaps
A Line in the sand
Itís been a long road with us at [CTRL]ALT, we started up in 2012, which is almost 4 years ago now, I canít believe how long weíve been running and how quickly it has passed.
In the past 3 years weíve run over 15 Group Buys, and yes we have run into a number of problems, but it has been an incredible experience, weíve shipped over 11,000 different orders and interacted with thousands and thousands of you, one of the most amazing communities we could ever hope to be a part of!

It has not been a perfectly straight road, as many of you know there have been bumps that weíve hit along the way, and we have worked incredibly hard, but now is the time for open arms honesty.

Whatís happened?

We have buys run that people have been waiting on for a long, long time. Why did this occur? Well we can go a long way back to our original proxy, as some people know, there are 2 members of [CTRL]ALT based in the UK, myself [Tym] and BunnyLake. We worked with a member of the community known as TheFlyingRacoon (TFR), he was supposed to make cables and ship the sets, from 5 group buys, 3 of which he did not complete.

TFR was given shipping money and payment for the cables, approximately 250 cables, plus enough money to ship 300 sets. The sets didnít get shipped, the cables didnít get made. We were fed a combination of lies and timewasting for many months, we asked for updates and we were told sets were shipped, incorrect tracking numbers were put up on the sites. Then TFR went radio silent. BunnyLake fought to get the sets shipped to a member of [CTRL]ALT our web developer Cody, this took a further 3 - 6  months.

*Interesting footnote, there are huge discrepancies in the numbers people seem to make up regarding what is waiting to be shipped, Cody did manage to turn things around and ship over 500 sets, as it stands, less than 1% of all of [CTRL]ALTís orders have not shipped.

TFR also did not return the sets as they were given to him, they were messed up into huge boxes, so instead of getting sorted keysets, there was a huge shipping box with thousands and thousands of keys in, which took an extremely long time to sort. Over time, Cody became overwhelmed, he did a fantastic job, but times changed and his other responsibilities became more important, such as changing jobs.

As many people suggested, we paid someone to help sort and ship a number of sets, however this person didnít understand the importance of sorting the keycaps correctly, which meant a good number of sets went out with the wrong keys in etc. This took more money and time to correct, luckily Cody managed stop a good percentage of these orders before they left.

It was at this point the remaining keys were transferred to N3rdly, who over a short period of time shipped a significant bulk of what was left, however he had a disagreement with another member of the team which resulted in him having no further interest in continuing, we are grateful for the work N3rdly put in, as he did sort a great deal of keys ready to be shipped.

As it stands the keycaps have been picked up by Cody and are currently in transit to BroCaps, who has great experience shipping and we have every confidence the keys will be shipped out with a degree of speed.

Why donít you get involved yourself? Well BunnyLake has poured his god damn heart and soul (and his wallet) into this venture and heís worked his ass off as much as he can from 3000 miles away from the actual keycaps, and I have responded to over 2000 support tickets and private messages, and resolved over 80% of all support requests so Iíd just like to make it clear that weíre not doing nothing.

Why are you still running GBís? Because of all the mistakes that have been made on both sides, by the manufactures and ourselves, have cost us greatly, and we cannot continue to fund the shipping without making progress in other areas, this is why some people who have been looking forward to the re-running on popular sets such as Penumbra will be rewarded in the near future, however we understand that our time needs to be prioritized in to fixing past mistakes, and as such have arranged for another vendor to deal with all logistics on our upcoming buys.

As it stands, I am assembling a spreadsheet of remaining orders, I am trying to do as much as I can.

I think the most important point to note, is that we are still here, itís been a long time in progress, and at any point we could have cut and run, we could have done what others have done, not that staying and doing what we said we would should be commended, but we have been chipping away at it for a long time. Itís not a good thing, it is something that keeps us awake at night, and weíve been trying our best to rectify the situation for the longest time, which is why it is greatly upsetting when people make up facts about our operation, and just outright lies, because, again, we are trying our best, but only so much can be achieved from so far away.

There are a huge number of projects and things that we have ready to launch, but we are holding back until previous things are wrapped up, Iím incredibly excited to set into motion things which have been ready for 12 months now, and I hope you guys are too.

Thank you to everyone for being a part of the experience.



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