DXRacer Review: A lesson in over-hype and terrible customer service
Here’s how a DXRacer product review turned into a shitty customer service experience.
Update: I finally got my DX Racer chair replacement parts and it seems to be functioning normally, however it wasn’t easy. Shortly after this review was published, it started gaining traction and I finally got in touch with John Spiher, who is DX Racer’s social media guy. After some back and forth conversation with him, he was able to get my replacement parts sent out and I repaired my chair back to a normal functioning state.
I’m extremely thankful to him for handling it like a professional. We also met up at their booth at PAX East and talked about the situation in person and promptly buried the hatchet. A happy ending to an otherwise horrific story.
If you’re reading my words, there’s a chance you’re looking for an actual accurate review of a DXRacer product and not one from a professional streamer/YouTuber or someone who’s been given a chair for free for the point of writing a review. Well, as a member of the press who’s still a consumer above all else, I believe this is the review you’ve been searching for.
My DXRacer experience started most likely as yours might have: We see popular gaming influencers sitting in them while on stream and their unique look makes them hard not to notice. I reached out to see what it would take to request a review chair but was promptly ignored. I reached out a second time and was forwarded over to their sponsorship department where I was told their metrics (65,000 Twitch followers and 150,000 subs on YouTube as of 05/26/2015) and after scratching my head as to why they’d require such astronomical numbers, I gave up on going the usual route as I wasn’t exactly convinced they were what they’re cracked up to be.
After visiting Battle and Brew (this place is awesome if you’re in the Atlanta area) in Sandy Springs, Georgia, a few months back, I spent most of the evening sitting on one and liked it enough to purchase one to replace my failing office chair.
The issues trying to get an answer on a review request should have been clue enough as to what type of experience I was about to be in for, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to how bad the experience has been after I bought one.
I waited until Black Friday because DXRacer had already chimed in on their subreddit that they’d have the King Series and the Office Classic series on sale for the upcoming holiday. Because the price was fairly similar, I ordered the Classic Series OH/CE120/N/FT and it still cost me $395. I thought it was fairly expensive, but I figured it was worth the premium price for as much time as I sit in my desk chair, something comfortable and meant to support my average height but super fat ass body (I’m 5’9″, 300 lbs).
That’s about where things started to fall apart.
I ordered my chair on November 27th, 2015. It arrived on November 30th, 2015. They ship from Michigan, so I figured shipping would be pretty quick considering I live in Indiana. The box was obviously huge, and the chair came with instructions that were fairly adequate to follow. There were a few times I had to reference the internet to make sure something looked right because of their overly simplified pack-in flier, but I figured it all out and got the chair assembled. It looked nice, but I hadn’t put the finishing touches on it – it’s got several plastic covers that go along the base of the wheels and two plastic armor pieces that cover the hinges on the side of the chair.
The parts on the wheel base fit just fine, as did the cover on the hinge that doesn’t have the release lever. Unfortunately, the release lever covering is either misaligned, the holes in the chair are drilled wrong, or the plastic is too weak to hold the connection.
I considered saying fuck it and just dealing with the issue. It’s not horrible, but it’s extremely disappointing considering the seemingly high quality of the rest of the chair. What made me reach out to DXRacer to complain was that the gas lift that raised my chair up and down was already unable to support my weight less than two weeks after getting the chair. If I sit in the chair, the chair slowly lowers to its lowest point. If I rotate the chair, the lift drops even faster, and when all the way down, the chair makes a loud click/pop sound if I swivel it. This is extremely annoying, so I reached out to DXRacer’s support team for assistance.
Here comes the worst part – not only did the $400 chair fail within two weeks, it came with customer service that sucks almost as bad as the phone support at Sprint or T-Mobile. It’s grade A shit tier at its worst.
I know, I know, the chair would probably never have failed if I wasn’t the size of a small two car garage, but that’s irrelevant. I paid the premium cause it’s supposed to support my big ass. It doesn’t, so I emailed their support team. I sent them an email on December 14th, 2015. That’s one day shy of two weeks from the day I received the chair from FedEx. In my email, I simply asked them about these two issues and let all my other nitpicks go. I asked about the hydraulic lift and the plastic hinge guard that obviously doesn’t work right.
To protect the customer service person’s identity, this email will be the only one I attach to this article.
I received a response the next morning asking the usual questions about the order itself, as well as some basic troubleshooting tips. I assured them that I had constructed the chair correctly and awaited further reply. They initially ignored my request about the hydraulic lift, but since the only fix there is to outright replace it, I looked past it.
“They conveniently ignored my request for a refund.”
On December 28th, 2015 they requested a picture of the hinge itself with the plastic cover removed, which I sent them. This started the decline of their interest in my issue. On January 12th, 2016, I emailed support asking for a follow-up on the status of my fix. Finally on January 19th I received a reply saying that they “didn’t receive the picture of the hinge” despite that being the email that they replied to. January 29th, 2016 I emailed again for a follow-up, and stated that it’s been over a month since I’d reached out for support with no resolution, and I asked if it were possible to just request a refund at this point.
I finally received a response on February 8th, 2016 stating that they had “been having serious IT issues” and had just had a huge email migration. They stated that they would request replacement pieces for me and they should have a tracking number by the end of that week. At this point, I’ve been playing tag with them since December 14th so I decided not to reply and instead wait to see what happens.
They conveniently ignored my request for a refund. In fact, the only reason I got a reply on February 8th was because the editor of this very site reached out to DXRacer and let them know that we were planning to publish this article – he received no reply but I got one just a few hours later with the “IT issues” excuse.
It’s currently March 6th, 2016 at the time of this writing and I haven’t received any follow up messages from DXRacer, nor have I received any replacement parts.
I get it, companies have IT issues. I work in IT for a living so I’m quite aware of what they go through. I’ve done an email migration for a Fortune 500 company and I know it’s a shitty process, but they were unable to reply to customers yet looking at DXRacer’s website I notice that they’ve pulled down all the “spec” information for their chairs and actually released a “big boy” line of Classic Series Office Chairs that a quick Google search showed are meant to hold up to 500 lbs. The dimensions are the same, and the new version of that chair doesn’t have the leg rest like the one I have, yet it’s $150 more expensive than the one I purchased.
Fewer features for more money? Looks like DXRacer realizes they’re leaving money on the table not charging the same price Maxnomic (Need for Seat) for a chair that states it only holds 374lbs at max, and they’re avoiding a false advertisement claim since the chair I bought was supposed to hold 400 lbs and failed miserably with 100 lbs under that.
It’s a shame that their customer service problems are what took up so much of this review, cause the actual review of the chair itself has to be truncated to a small little section at the bottom.
Like most products, there’s good and bad here, but their customer service tips the scales from “buy it if you want something that looks nice and you don’t really need the weight support” to a solid “avoid this shit like a cave that says free candy at the door”.
My experience with DXRacer has been that they’ll ignore the customer until they give up and stop asking for support, or until the warranty runs out and they no longer have a claim. Reaching out on Twitter and venting my frustration got me a reply – the same type of reply I’ll give when asked if I’d recommend DXRacer again.
— DXRacer (@DXRacer) February 2, 2016
This review was updated on 5/17/2016 to reflect the resolution from DXRacer.