Computer parts are relatively delicate. Installing RAM and Vid cards requires care. PCIe cards lock in place so you must push the release tab to properly remove them. The RAM and Vid card also need to be pushed in level, not one end at a time.
Without seeing the alleged PCIe slot damage it's difficult to say what might have caused the damage. IME however Asus is not known for great customer support and this is one reason why I do not recommend Asus mobos. The other reason is Asus mobos IME are very RAM sensitive, which may have been the real issue with your mobo? For performance and reliability I recommend Gigabyte mobos.
Damage - if you owned ASUS what would you do accept it?!
IF you dropped or you had a completed system with GPU installed and shipped then I've seen the PCIe plastic get ripped right-off. So either you dropped (even knocked-over) the PC or you got it from 'someone' already completed via UPS/USPS.
Even the ASUS Mars II (3-4#) GPU won't pull-down or break-off the plastic PCIe track.
Thanks for the replies guys.
Just for clarity, the board was RMA'd to scan.co.uk, not Asus, as I have yet to contact them regarding the matter (I doubt they will do anything anyways).
Also the system was built myself, nothing was dropped or handled incorrectly afaik.
Sorry for double post, wasn't letting me edit.
What gets me is how scan can be so certain that I caused the damage, and wasn't delivered in this state. I understand the components have to pass some kind of quality assurance check at the manufacturers end, but the Coolermaster HAF X case I received had a manufacturing error...
RE 'AKAIK' got a wife or kids around? I remember my 8 year old spitting hot tea at my brand new Notebook. They 'tried' to clean it off, conspiracy of my daughter, wife and mother, and prayed I won't notice, it took me 3 seconds to know something was up and in less than a minute I was needing to pay $220 for a new keyboard. I was more concerned about my daughter's mouth and laughed about it. It sure in the heck wasn't Sony's fault nor did I ask them to pay...
No no, nothing like that.
I probably shouldn't have said 'AFAIK', as every component was installed with the method the manufacturer intended. I also spent time reading up on guides and tutorials for building PC's to brush up on my knowledge, since I haven't done it in a while.
Bottom-line, either you did it or someone at your home - period.
I have never seen a PCIe fall/break-off on it's own, nor can any GPU break it off by itself. NEVER! Hundreds of builds and thousands of posts and it never happened! You would have noticed it off the second you opened the box.
I am not the ASUS nor MOBO police.
Hmm, well, I haven't actually SEEN the damage yet, as I was only informed the board was damaged earlier today via email/telephone. I shall have a closer look when I receive it.
The person I spoke to on the phone mentioned tracks being 'scratched' and said nothing of the connectors themselves, hence why I'm so baffled about the situation (as I said, I was very careful with the components).