Sunday, September 2, 2012

ASUS Motherboard RMA

I am creating this blog post as a public record for the RMA process of an Asus motherboard I recently purchased from TigerDirect.

Over the past 3 months I have been ordering parts for a new computers from One of the first parts I bought was an ASUS motherboard and an Intel Processor.  I made that purchase from TigerDirect on 6/29/2012.

3 months later, I finally have all of the parts and start assembling. (I'd like to note here that the plastic baggy holding the motherboard inside its box was not sealed. I'm not sure if that's standard or not) Everything turns on and works fine except for the processor. There is a red light lit up on the motherboard that indicates something is wrong with the CPU. We take out the processor and put it back in, but still nothing.

We then inspect the pins on the motherboard itself. It appeared that the bed of pins was not complete. This being my first computer build ever, I never thought to look over the motherboard before hand (I wouldn't know what to look for even if I had!) A number of the pins appeared to be bent and there was a patch that looked like some of the pins were actually missing entirely (photos soon)

I tried to think if I or my friend could have caused this damage, but it doesn't seem possible. The motherboard comes with a little protective cover over the CPU pins that you have to remove before installing the processor. The cover is thin plastic and shouldn't have been able to bend those pins down (and especially not pull any of them out). While handling the processor itself, I was extremely delicate because I was scared to death of harming it. I gently placed it onto the pin bed before locking it down, but even then I was afraid to press down on the locking bar too hard because I didn't want to bend anything.

Now that I new that there was damage, I looked all over inside the machine to try and find any loose pins to see if maybe we had knocked them out some how. We couldn't find any.

Defeated, I sent an email over to TigerDirect, hoping to be able to send the board back for a replacement. On 8/24/2012 I got a reply email from their customer service saying I would have to contact the manufacturer directly. They directed me towards XFXforce's web site. When I got there, I noticed that XFX was a graphics card company and not the company that made my motherboard. ASUS was the manufacturer of my motherboard so I went over to their site. I entered in my serial number and found my board model. I filled out the RMA form on 8/28/2012.

On 8/29/2012 ASUS directs me to another of their departments and tells me to fill out a second (shorter) RMA form. I fill it out that day (with the same information as the first form) and send it. The confirmation email says that I should hear from them within 48 hours (or 2 business days).

On 9/2/2012 I still hadn't heard anything from them (granted it was a holiday weekend) so I decided to just give them a call. I got on the line with a Mr. Aaron Harris. I gave him my case number and he pulled it up. He then tells me that they have no way of telling if I personally caused the damage to the board and therefore cannot replace it. But he says if I would like to pay $120 dollars, I can ship it to them and they can try and repair it, but adds that trying to repair bent pins is very difficult to do and might not even do any good.

I can understand that they don't know whether or not I damaged the product myself, but they also don't know whether this product showed up to my door damaged. I didn't damage the product (to my knowledge). I'm not trying to swindle anyone, I just want a replacement motherboard that actually works. I asked him what the possibility was that they just slipped up and sent out a damaged motherboard and he just kept telling me that they quality test all of their boards (by taking every 3rd or so off the line and testing them). Obviously mine wasn't one of the ones tested.

After a bit more complaining on my part, I managed to get his personal email and he requested that I take some photos of the pins and email him so that he can further look at what we are dealing with. He said he may even bring his manager in if need be.

Here is one of the pictures I sent to him

I sent him an email with the photos that day. I didn't hear anything back for a few days so on 9/6/2012 I sent him a follow up email asking if he had gotten around to looking at the pictures.  Later that afternoon a "call center manager" replied saying that he was forwarded the email and promptly said ASUS has a strict policy stating that bent pins instantly voids warranty but that I could pay a fee to have the part repaired or replaced. I asked how much it would cost to just replace it and he has yet to reply

It just seems a little ridiculous that I can spend 220 dollars and get absolutely nothing for it.

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