I’ve run into a problem preventing me from continuing Galactic Survey Expedition 2. My throttle has failed. I’ve placed the details below. So I’ve gone a week without being able to fly my Cobra Mark III. It’s been hard. The withdrawal symptoms were really getting to me. Fortunately there is an alternative.
Here is the pictorial record of the history making maiden flight of the Kobra Mark III flown by Jebediah and Bill Kerman. Click on the first picture to follow the mission step by step using the Kerbal’s advanced album technology. 😉
Now, about the throttle, remember when I mentioned a few weeks past I’d had an encounter with a dark object and it’d knocked me out of super cruise? Well, the fact of the matter was I’d had my super cruise mapped to the slider on my throttle assembly and when I’d engage the throttle the slider also engaged. As I sped up and slowed down while surveying the throttle managed to actuate the slider twice for an emergency drop from super cruise. This behavior only got worse as the weeks progressed. Here’s a short video I made on what it was doing.
Needless to say that was quite annoying. For a week I flew with nothing mapped to the throttle except acceleration and attempted to remedy the problem by driver update, reinstall and reconfiguration. You know the shtick: all those things technical support is going to have you do anyway? As I do IT for a living, I did it several times and went so far as to open up the registry and manually delete any key associated with the Saitek X52 Pro software. As I have a Mad Catz V.7 keyboard this was a bit harrowing. At one point I had to pull out an old Dell keyboard I keep around as a spare in order to continue. In other words, I was thorough. My 20+ years experience told me it was not a software problem. So I contacted Saitek support.
It took them two days to respond. That did not make me happy. The response I received was to uninstall and reinstall the drivers. That made me even less happy as I’d supplied the above video to them and quite clearly explained how I’d already uninstalled and reinstalled the software several times. But I did as asked anyway (not the registry purge – gah!) and responded I had done as requested and the throttle was still malfunctioning. Two more days later I get a response and he says my driver and software versions were not the latest and to use the latest drivers, versions provided. The thing is, the versions provided were older than the versions I’d downloaded from Saitek the day I opened the ticket. And no one had yet even looked at the video I provided. It was obvious to me the drone was responding from a checklist that would string this out for quite some time. I’d already went weeks with a bad throttle and I’d had enough.
I sort of went nuclear on him. I got my RMA the very next email, but of course it was to only send the throttle in and “they’d repair it as soon as possible.” I don’t expect it back any time this month. Damn it! I’m not buying another one of their HOTAS so long as they have a two-year warranty. They need to do right by this and I am deeply dissatisfied with their response so far. I suppose I’m cutting my nose off to spite my face. I thought Saitek was better than this. They’ve dug a deep, deep hole with me by not looking at the evidence I presented and by not sending a replacement outright. Saitek as a company really has slipped. It makes me wish someone made a HOTAS as good who also puts the customer first. Anyone else have stories to share concerning Saitek technical and warranty support?
Edit 6/8/15: Vindication
Ticket ID: 180377
Department: US Warranty
Status: RMA Un-Repairable and Replaced