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My kid took a couple AP exams this week, and I panicked when I read the article. I asked him about it. His school told him to change the format before submitting. In other words, this was a known "issue" ahead of time, and students should have been instructed by the College Board and their teachers on a workaround.Turns out, they were told by the College Board ahead of time: In the email that I got (as a parent), it explains the problem with HEIC.As for submission feedback on the website, I completely agree. That's an easy add to the submission site. College Board really dropped the ball. To be fair, they only had a couple months to completely change AP testing to online.
WayTools asked that I acknowledge their responses to my queries. For some reason my original response is still in moderation. I'm guessing it's because of the links in their responses. I'm going to remove the links so you can decide for yourself how helpful their responses are. Remember, my emails to them were basically, "when will the product ship." I asked more stuff at the end, but you get the point. Their unedited responses are below (except I removed the links).
Keep in mind their first reply 1 year and 9 months after my order hints that shipping is just around the corner. The next one, 2 months later even told me the shipping process. In 2018, they said it was "going to be a great year for TextBlade and all its users." In August 2018, they confirmed my shipping estimate was "this summer" and even underlined it. 3/21/2019 was the first time they mentioned getting a refund in an email to me. That was after I mentioned the FTC.
You can also see the post that got me banned from their site (3/21/2019). Hey, it's their site and they are welcome to ban me, but you can decide if it was a bit draconian.9/29/2016: Hi John, Thanks for your email. We certainly understand that folks are eager to get their TextBlades, and sorry for our delay. We will be adding more TREG users, and will keep you in mind. Either way, just as TREG deliveries did happen, so will your shipment, and we hope you do love it when yours arrives. New TREG shipments always reflect the latest build process knowledge, and TREG user input is working very effectively to validate update details to help expedite general release. We've posted a Q4 window estimate on your status page while we work through inventory updates based on extensive user testing data, and flex fab is progressing as planned. You're in an early shipping group, so we do hope it'll be by your anniversary, but we'll have better visibility once we've tested finished TextBlades from this new process. We're using everything learned from TREG user experience, and putting it into what we ship to everyone. The heavy user testing is a conservative philosophy and takes time, but we think it's right for a big step forward. We very much appreciate your interest, and we are working hard to release something you will love. Thank you, WayTools Team
11/21/2016: Hi John, Thanks for your email, and sorry for our delay. We've identified and believe we've now resolved an intermittent issue that could sometimes cause character swaps for some users. We've shipped newly updated units to the field, and we're analyzing more user input now to be certain that's it's completely validated, but so far it looks good. Customers have been reporting good improvements with the units that we've shipped out with these changes, and we believe we understand what was causing it and how to prevent it. We are testing firmware and lamination process changes we've made to address this. In the meantime, we've preemptively ordered some additional lamination part stock, to let us move pretty quickly if all checks out ok. So we have units in the field right now with the firmware and lamination changes, and we're hopeful that let's us start general release within this quarter. After our test release group customers confirm no further details to address, we'll start shipping general release. You'll get a Configuration Email a few days before your shipment is ready to go out with a link to control all the details, so you'll be notified automatically. Customers are pretty happy with our test release shipments, and you can read some of their comments on our Blog page (link removed). We certainly don't want to take longer than needed, but with a significant advance, there's a duty to respond on those details, so everyone can enjoy what this new machine can really do. Thank you, WayTools Team8/13/2017: Hi John, Thanks so much for writing us, and very sorry for holding back general release. We are currently working with an expanding group of Test Release Group (TREG) users who we've shipped, to find and resolve any detail points they report based on their daily use. We'll confirm a final ship date for you once the remaining user observations have been settled, and that's expected over the next few months. We're very sorry our estimates can't be more precise right now. We'll update your Status Page (LINK REMOVED) again as we approach general release, and dates will become more definitive at that time. For many of our TREG customers, testing is already complete right now, but our users are pretty thorough on the details, and some have found unusual cases that are worth addressing before general release. They are finding less and less now, so that's quite encouraging. We're sorry that takes time, but we think you'll find it's definitely worth us making that extra effort. Very much appreciate your patience, John. We hope you are very pleased when your TextBlade arrives. Thank you, WayTools Team
3/15/2018: Hi John, Thanks for checking in, and sorry for the late reply. Our team is in full swing, and very busy working together with hundreds of users who are helping validate TextBlade for general release. TREG users who have it now are already giving us strong validation that it is superior to all their other keyboards.You can read about what we're doing on the Feb 17 report on your order status page (link removed). We’ll update as we complete the testing and begin general release. Very sorry our estimates can’t be more precise right now. Your pre-order purchase entitles you to significant savings and other benefits with our Early Adopter Guarantee (link removed). Those benefits include free MultiMap (save $19 per TextBlade), free future-proof swap (save up to $99), and a special gift based on your order date. All of those are included free of charge with your pre-order, and each are worth quite a bit of money. Our intent is that folks who ordered early should get a better deal. If any of those benefits is not of interest to you, we'd be happy to let you trade one for having us pay expedited shipping for you. We’re committed to doing all that’s needed for a high quality general release, and expect that 2018 will be a fantastic year for TextBlade and all its users. Thank you, WayTools TeamHi John, Thanks for your note, and very sorry for holding back release during validation. Yes, your estimated ship window is this summer, and we will update you on your Status Page as the details are cleared. We’re shipping more TextBlades to expand the installed base of users, and the process is working really well. As the punch list has narrowed, we bring in more users to surface any remaining details, at a pace our support team can resolve quickly. Sorry for the time for this phase, but it’s really the fastest way to deliver the best experience in general release. Once you get your TextBlade, we hope it’ll be clear why this approach is smart for a major paradigm shift in technology. We very much appreciate your patience, John. Thank you, WayTools Team
3/21/2019: Hi John, Thanks for your email. We’re complying with FTC Regulations. We understand your impression on a quick read of them, but there’s more to the provisions, and you’ve conflated some of them. The context here is quite different from a default presumption of 30 days, if no time estimate had been stated. Here, we provide estimated dates which are some months out, and update as we have more info. We disclose and acknowledge the uncertainties of ship date on our order process, and don’t promise final dates until we have cleared certain technical milestones. We always let customers take a refund at will, at any time. If you study the FTC guidelines in depth (our legal team has), they apply to promised dates certain, rather than estimates that are disclosed to be uncertain. Ultimately, it’s always in the customer’s control whether to keep an order or get a quick refund. It’s easy for a customer to decide this online at any time, based on their view of contemporary status. The FTC always advises customers that the first recourse if not satisfied is simply to obtain a refund. That is the primary resolution mechanism. The regulations also provide for a vendor to make refunds preemptively and independently if needed, at the vendor’s discretion, in order to resolve any concerns of customers. The mod’s will suspend posts when they see information posted that is materially incorrect, which is represented as authoritative. In this case, this topic had already been visited many times on many threads, which are available on our site, and you can peruse. At this point, there is much published on topic covering the same points we discuss here with you in this email. We appreciate your interest, and hope you are delighted when you receive your TextBlade. Thank you, WayTools Team
3/21/2019: Hi John, 1. To your timing question, we’ll be updating our order status server with new info soon.You can read a little about what we’re preparing right now, on our forum here - (Link to forum removed). While we’re updating the firmware, for a rough idea, please assume it will be around summer when we get sign-off from the treg users, and can start general release. The team is working through detail points on this right now, so we’ll have a more defined forecast when we update the server. If you’d like to see some impressions from the customers we’ve already shipped, you can find them here (link to forum removed). 2. To the comments about a class action, we’ve not been noticed of any such action, which is a legal requirement for an actual suit. We know a couple customers mused about this as a way to push shipping them as part of treg, however we don’t see a bludger as a way to invite a friendly relationship. Please forward the contact you received and we’ll talk with them to answer their questions. 3. For forum posts, mod’s do change trust level for a cooling period when they see assertions that misinform. That’s the essential utility of the trust rating. In your post, the language was postured as a fairly imperative form of a declaration to all our customers. It suggests FTC conflict. Yet it’s in a forum where the audience is well-informed of the delay, and indeed conversing about it. We have no interest in heavy-handedness. But experience has shown that common sense caution is wise to avoid unproductive debate where a party may have interests other than resolution. Below is the language from your post - “Of course, if it doesn't ship, we should all be reminded of the notification rules required by the Federal Trade Commission relating to sales on the Internet. (REMOVED LINK TO FTC WEBSITE)” You can weigh whether the mod’s take seems arbitrary, or rational in this context. Thank you, WayTools Team
3/22/2019: Hi John, We’ll re-send your status page link via email. Use the Change tab there to cancel, and it will let you send the credit to any card you choose. So no worries if your old card expired. On your status page right near the schedule estimates, the explanations you want are located there, as the attached markups show. Your status page changes as we update with new information. You do not get an email each time your bank balance changes, for example. You just go online to your bank and can see the current balance. Your status page works the same way. We tried the notification email approach on earlier products, and many customers complained that there were simply too many notifications, so we adopted this method and customers prefer it. We had inventory when we made our first press announcement, but we held it back from mass release during this time, at great cost to us, because of the refinement work that we reported on in great detail as we progressed. You’ve referred to our press release, but didn’t acknowledge all that we reported since then. We accept that you don’t have faith in us, and won’t try to change your mind. But we do take pride in doing something distinguished, and treating our customers honorably. You can choose what to see, and what to ignore, as you please. In fairness, we did what we did, and posted what we wrote, even if you prefer not to read it or credit us for doing so. You may wish to judge us only on the part of the picture you choose to see, and are free to convince yourself we are uncaring, or unworthy. That’s up to you to decide. We mention these points not for our benefit, but on the chance that it might provide some closure and peace for you. With your refund, we’ll consider the matter settled. We’re grateful for your interest. Thank you, WayTools Team
It's a shame. I want the product. All they have to do is ship it. If so many TREGs are happy with it, then why not ship it? And for those that are so vocal, why not ship it to them and shut them up? If they have complaints, I would think that it would be easier to say, "hey, you are part of the TREG - we know there are still things to work out."