GripeLine by ED

Logitech Mouse Features Get Shifty

Sometimes it's not clear if a vendor is deliberately promoting a feature it knows the product doesn't have, or if it just can't be bothered to change the information on its website. Such is the case with one reader who recently found the feature that led him to buy a Logitech mouse was missing.


"Last year, I happened to have a chance to use a Logitech MX Revolution mouse," the reader wrote. "I liked the feature where you could switch between free-spin and click-to-click modes by changing settings in the mouse driver software or by pressing down on the wheel. I didn't want to pay $100 for a mouse, though, and didn't need the rechargeable feature or the side thumb wheel. I saw later that an online retailer was offering a good price on a Logitech MX 620 mouse, which appeared to have the same features, except for not being rechargeable or having the thumb wheel."

The reader went to Logitech's website and studied closely the differences between the MX Revolution and MX 620 models. The descriptions were pretty similar, with the $99.99 MX Revolution having a few extra bells and whistles that the reader didn't want. "The description of the MX 620 advertised that it is has hyperfast scrolling and the Microgear Precision Scroll Wheel, just like MX Revolution," the reader wrote. "There's also a 'Learn More' link on the MX 20 page -- and the same link is present on the MX Revolution page -- that takes you to a .PDF that explains how the Microgear wheel and the 'SmartShift' technology work. So I gathered from that page that the MX 620 had the same switching feature as I'd liked on the MX Revolution."

The reader went ahead and ordered the MX 620 for the best price he could find on the Internet. "When I installed the software, I noticed the options to change the SmartShift mode were missing, and pressing down on the wheel did not switch modes. So I looked through the skimpy manual that came packaged with the mouse, and saw near the end that there's a lever on the bottom of the mouse to switch between click mode and free spin mode manually."

The reader was very disappointed to realize that while the mouse did indeed have the "Microgear" wheel, it lacked the "SmartShift" feature that he'd been attracted to in the first place. "At this point I didn't want the mouse anymore, and felt defrauded by Logitech. I sent a support request via their site, and asked them to send me a mouse that worked as advertised on their site. The first reply assumed that I was complaining about a defective mouse, so I replied back and explained it was not defective, just advertised fraudulently by Logitech. Here's the next reply I received:"
"We apologize for the misunderstanding pertaining the features and specification of the MX 620 Cordless Laser Mouse. The PDF document in question is an overview of the Hyper Scroll and Smart Shift technologies and is not intended to indicate which models of mice are equipped with one or both of those features. We will be more than willing to process a refund for the products purchase price if you will send the complete product to address listed below."

The reader was happy to take Logitech up on their offer of a refund, so he shipped the mouse back to them. But meanwhile he also wanted the company to correct the misleading information on its website about the product. He and several other MX 620 customers posted their complaints about it on the Logitech forums and elsewhere. "I also tracked down some of the executive e-mail addresses at Logitech and fired off a polite e-mail explaining the situation. Not a word in response. Why does no one seem to care about falsely advertising a product's features? I sure wish we had a Dept. of Trading Standards office or something like they have in the U.K."

It took almost three months for the refund check from Logitech to arrive, but even now the website remains the same as when he bought the MX 620. As I write this on March 27th, I just checked the site myself and the "Learn More" link on the MX 620 product page still references the "MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel and SmartShift Technology" PDF. Anyone reading that will certainly get the impression that SmartShift is one of the features of that mouse. Even using Logitech's "Compare Products" mechanism doesn't show that the MX Revolution has SmartShift while the 620 doesn't.

I find that odd, because it doesn't really seem to be in Logitech's interests to fool people this way. In fact, you'd think the company would want to make it clear why the more expensive device might be worth the cost. And it would be a simple fix - all that would be needed is to add a few clear specifications in place of the barrage of marketing hype that makes every product sound the same.

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