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EVGA RMA. Rust considered physical damage? Being charged $40 for RMA

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 12, 2012 9:24:01 PM

Hello,

As the title said I'm quite confused on the matter. To make things short I sent my awesome EVGA 8800gt since It started loosing video signal randomly for quite a long time until it got worse and I decided it was time for an RMA. The card would have been 5 years old by the end of this December so I was quite satisfied with the lifetime of the product. Well, after $25 in UPS charges for a small box ( I live in Puerto Rico) I received an email today saying that the card had physical damage :ouch:  Rust! The technician was kind enough to include the pictures in the email and I could see that the screws had a little rust on them and so did the bracket on the DVI ports. I was instructed to pay $69.99 to continue with the RMA but this is where I'm honestly confused. Is this even considered physical damage? I always took good care of this card and cleaned it with compressed air only so rust happening is not my fault, its what happens to metals that aren't treated, as far as I know. The sad thing is that I was saving to buy a new GPU and use the 8800gt as a physx card but now I don't know what to do. I only have 5 days to decide this. Should I pay the repairs and have a card that performs like a 8800gt which will cost almost $100 in the end? or should I just forget about it and be without a working GPU until I buy a new card?

Also, I replied back to the technician explaining my situation, I'm waiting to see what my options are but wanted to get some advice before I make my final decision.

So much for playing games on Christmas :( 

*Edit*

The technician responded back saying that rust and corrosion is not normal wear and tear and that they have cards older than 5 years that look like new. I told him if there is any special consideration regarding the country in which the owner lives since I live in Puerto Rico and the tropical climate ranges from hot and humid to cool and humid with humidity reaching up to 80% or more. So given these living conditions can we assume it is a natural environment for rust to develop along the years?

I'm still waiting for the answer on that but I would like to get some advice.


*EDIT*
I ended up paying the fees but I will keep you guys informed and post the final outcome.
Pictures:




Man, looking at those pictures again makes me feel a bit ripped off :(  What do you guys think? Does it warrant the $40 (reduced from $70) fee?



*e-mails coming as soon as I get my RMA, though I believe the guy was as helpful as he is allowed to be.*
a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 9:28:37 PM

I wouldn't think so. Rust should be considered wear and tear in my opinion. A lot of PC components containing steel eventually rusts. No matter how well you plate a part, it will have weak points, and mounting it/using it will result in contact of said part with air oxygen. The fact is, you used your card for 5 years, in your (more humid and warmer) climate, the rust should be considered normal wear and tear.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 9:30:24 PM

Which brand is this by the way ?

I would seriously take this to the manager/higher in chain-of-command in the RMA department. Write emails, to customer service, RMA service, whatever you can get your hands on. Unless there is a more obvious way someone else suggests or you have some ideas in mind.
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December 12, 2012 9:32:59 PM

Exactly! This is what I first thought. I'm waiting on the response, I have 4 days left to make my final decision. I'm concerned that If I pay the $70 that I'll receive a card with performance of an 8800gt and that it will take me much longer to buy the GTX660 I've been saving for.

*Edit*

The brand is EVGA, I've never had this problem with them, In the past I sent an EVGA 680i mobo and the process was very smooth and they sent me a 780i instead so I was quite happy with them, depending on how this turns out I might or not buy from them again.
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a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2012 9:46:21 PM

Hmm, I'd take it up with the technician's supervisor, and post this to other forums around the internet to make your voice heard. A tiny bit of rust that isn't even the cause of GPU failure is just an excuse to scam you out of your rightful RMA.

That's pretty low of EVGA.
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December 12, 2012 11:50:34 PM

Maxx_Power said:
Hmm, I'd take it up with the technician's supervisor, and post this to other forums around the internet to make your voice heard. A tiny bit of rust that isn't even the cause of GPU failure is just an excuse to scam you out of your rightful RMA.

That's pretty low of EVGA.



Well, I just got back an email from the technician. He said he reduced the price to support me better from $69.99 to $39.99 I was quite disappointed that he didn't respond to my initial question about the climate I live in being the factor of the rust. Do all companies charge their costumers when RMAing on Lifetime Warranties? Since I don't think I can get away with this being a free repair, I'll have to ask him if shipping is included in this price and maybe if we could work something out on him getting me a GTX660 and me paying the price difference.

Wish me luck!
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 12:05:53 AM

lpedraja2002 said:
Well, I just got back an email from the technician. He said he reduced the price to support me better from $69.99 to $39.99 I was quite disappointed that he didn't respond to my initial question about the climate I live in being the factor of the rust. Do all companies charge their costumers when RMAing on Lifetime Warranties? Since I don't think I can get away with this being a free repair, I'll have to ask him if shipping is included in this price and maybe if we could work something out on him getting me a GTX660 and me paying the price difference.

Wish me luck!


I think they are realizing the ridiculousness of their shenanigans. Quite frankly, you DESERVE a proper RMA with no money on your part. I would see if you can bypass this technician first and talk to his supervisor, or contact EVGA sales directly. Try phone and email. Take a day or two to see what they have to say. When you are doing this, avoid the technician, don't contact his superiors or other people at EVGA through him. Also, if you are a member of other forums (not sure about Toms forums), there are usually EVGA representatives posting on behalf of the company. Get a hold of them, and start a THREAD with an obvious title, a title with something like "EVGA RMA denied due to minor rust", post the pictures the technician gave you, and wait for the EVGA forum representative to reply. They will usually be a BIG help for people in your position.

Frankly, this is a BIG upset for me from EVGA, who developed a reputation based on GOOD service.

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December 13, 2012 12:22:16 AM

I live in Taiwan and I have had rust develop on a few computer parts. They haven't failed and I have not tried to RMA anything yet. The climate really makes things rust a lot faster than they normally would. I had things for 3 or 4 years in Michigan and within a year of bringing them to Taiwan, they started rusting.
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December 13, 2012 12:56:23 AM

Quick update:

EVGA has changed the warranty terms info for people who purchased after July 1st, 2011. but since my product was purchased before 2011 it still applies to the old original warranty terms (indicated in their own website) which do not mention anything about charges for the RMA itself. I will reply to the technician about this but I'll be more direct this time and if that doesn't work I will contact EVGA sales as was advised by Maxx_Power.

Thank you for the replies gentlemen, I will keep you informed on the situation.


*Edit*
Changed the title of the topic so it reflects better my current situation.

*Edit*

I will also post all of the e-mails once this situation has been resolved but since the technician has responded well and hasn't disrespected me with accusations then I do not wish to gain "media" attention and get anybody in trouble... at least for now since all is well.
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 1:15:31 AM

Good to hear, please do keep us posted. This is disturbing from EVGA.
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December 13, 2012 3:26:20 PM

Well, the technician replied back and it seems I can't change their mind. Apparently rust is considered physical damage since " The product is physically altered from its original condition. "

I will just end up paying for the repair fees. So far I'm not satisfied with the warranty terms, though the technician has helped as best as he is allowed to I guess. I would have taken this further and emailed the higher ups but time is not on my favor since Christmas is the only time I have for playing games worry free, so I guess its time to pay.

Big question... are other manufacturers like this? Do they charge for repairs on their warranties?

The irony is that a brand new 9800gt is sold for $64 on Amazon. The total payment will end up being $65 ($40 for repairs+$25 me shipping the GPU to them).

Will I buy from EVGA again? It will all depend on what they send me on the RMA, if I get a refurbished 9800gt I will be seriously pissed.

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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 7:58:37 PM

lpedraja2002 said:
Well, the technician replied back and it seems I can't change their mind. Apparently rust is considered physical damage since " The product is physically altered from its original condition. "

I will just end up paying for the repair fees. So far I'm not satisfied with the warranty terms, though the technician has helped as best as he is allowed to I guess. I would have taken this further and emailed the higher ups but time is not on my favor since Christmas is the only time I have for playing games worry free, so I guess its time to pay.

Big question... are other manufacturers like this? Do they charge for repairs on their warranties?

The irony is that a brand new 9800gt is sold for $64 on Amazon. The total payment will end up being $65 ($40 for repairs+$25 me shipping the GPU to them).

Will I buy from EVGA again? It will all depend on what they send me on the RMA, if I get a refurbished 9800gt I will be seriously pissed.


That's terrible of them. As per their "the product is physically altered from its original condition", the card was altered by time, moisture naturally occurring in the air and a basic physical principal called galvanic corrosion.

If you go ahead and pay for the RMA service, I wouldn't be surprised if you got back the same card. A lot of the older 8800/9800/8600/9600 series of cards had issues that guaranteed failure sooner or later ("bumpgate" is the most common one I think).

I haven't heard of much of the same stories. I know ASUS developed a terrible reputation with crappy RMA service. I personally had ASUS sending me known defective boards unwrapped in a paper box with no packing materials. The board came damaged. But this was something that people who RMA a lot of ASUS were familiar with, so it is not completely un-warned.

Your case is surprising because A) EVGA is known for good support, and B) the excuse they gave you is pure BS.
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December 13, 2012 8:28:14 PM

Sorry, I think your wrong.

It is not your fault, however it is not theirs either. You live in an area where this will happen and that's just the hard fact of it. It is no different than with any other product. The climate you live in can have an adverse effect on your card. I don't see why the manufacturer should be held accountable for that.
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a c 200 U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 8:42:29 PM

do you know what the rust was from...your finger oil and anyone that handle the card without gloves. the acid in your skin oil will eat metal slowly over time. working with servers you see finger markers on the plating of parts and drives over time. I would call the vendor back and ask for a level three customer service rep. rust on screws is not rust on parts of the video cards. ask the rep if the video card is damaged or modified. if the ansure is no then they have to honer the warranty. if the drag there feet just tell them you take them to small claims court...for bait and switch. that what there doing in the eyes of the law there baiting you with there life time warranty then switching it. also talk to a local lawer of starting a class action lawsuit or email or contacting a larger class action lawsuit firm. cost the vendor a lot more defending a class action lawsuit.
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December 13, 2012 9:00:22 PM

smorizio said:
do you know what the rust was from...your finger oil and anyone that handle the card without gloves. the acid in your skin oil will eat metal slowly over time. working with servers you see finger markers on the plating of parts and drives over time. I would call the vendor back and ask for a level three customer service rep. rust on screws is not rust on parts of the video cards. ask the rep if the video card is damaged or modified. if the ansure is no then they have to honer the warranty. if the drag there feet just tell them you take them to small claims court...for bait and switch. that what there doing in the eyes of the law there baiting you with there life time warranty then switching it. also talk to a local lawer of starting a class action lawsuit or email or contacting a larger class action lawsuit firm. cost the vendor a lot more defending a class action lawsuit.


Holy cow..
"your finger oil and anyone that handle the card without gloves. the acid in your skin oil will eat metal slowly over time"

We aren't talking about raw steel here, most of this stuff is stainless steel or plated. I've had parts in my basement in Wisconsin for 10 years that has no rust on it. I've never had a part rust and my hands have been all over them. He lives in a highly corrosive environment. No amount of manhandling is going to cause that.

"ask for a level three customer service rep"

You're just going to assume they have rep levels? Most places have reps then a manager, that's it.

"bait and switch"

Not even close to what Bait and Switch is.

"talk to a local lawer of starting a class action lawsuit "

No lawer is going to waste their time on a case like this. There is no where near enough money to be made even if there was a chance of winning.
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a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 10:04:45 PM

Escalate this to their higher tier management, that's the best idea I have heard so far.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 10:22:50 PM

File a better business bureau complaint if the escalation fails to solve your problem. I am willing to bet that the tech is trying to pull a fast one after switching the cards then making you pay for it.

As for the failure of these cards it is mostly thermal related and poor build quality.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
December 13, 2012 10:49:16 PM

In my experience cards take a LONG time to gain that must corrosion from the air and it has to be exposed to water for extended periods of time for the solder to corrode like that. EVGA is pulling a scam

Looking those pics the damage to the resistors is fresh but the card has water damage around some of the resistors.
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December 13, 2012 11:52:12 PM

Maxx_Power said:
You should read the HardOCP thread I started, someone else with EVGA had a VERY SIMILAR problem like yours:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1039420057&posted=1#post1039420057

To OP: Could you post the pictures the tech sent you ?


Hey Maxx! Thank you very much for forwarding this to other forums. If you want to update the thread in HardForum as well as the other one you made in tom's forums as this one progresses that is fine by me.


Ok, so now questions will be answered... (Please allow a couple of mins so I can read the entire thing and compile everything nice and organized)
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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2012 12:18:25 AM

lpedraja2002 said:
Hey Maxx! Thank you very much for forwarding this to other forums. If you want to update the thread in HardForum as well as the other one you made in tom's forums as this one progresses that is fine by me.


Ok, so now questions will be answered... (Please allow a couple of mins so I can read the entire thing and compile everything nice and organized)


No problem, very glad to be of any help. We would all appreciate the pictures the tech sent you, I think, so they can judge for themselves.
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December 14, 2012 12:19:28 AM

Pictures:


This is mostly dust as you can see on the fan blades, maybe the screw on the inside had rust but I definitely know that everything else is dust. I used compressed air as best as I could when cleaning this card but some places are hard to get.



Man, looking at those pictures again makes me feel a bit ripped off :(  What do you guys think? Does it warrant the $40 (reduced from $70) fee?
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December 14, 2012 12:38:23 AM

Best answer selected by lpedraja2002.
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December 14, 2012 12:43:40 AM

I just don't understand how anyone here thinks EVGA is responsible for the failure of this card. It's 5 years old and rusted due to the environment which resulted in the gradual decrease in function of your card. I can't go after a car company because road salt caused rust on my 5 year old car... This is not the manufacture's fault. The one thing I would insist on the company telling you though is "How did the rust cause the problem I am having?" If they can't answer that then be as kind as possible when asking if they can please not charge you since the "Damage" is not the problem. The CS guy you are working with is probably doing his best to keep you happy even though EVGA has no obligation to do anything for you. The card is damaged and it's probably effecting how the card operates. That fine metal powder is probably caked into places that it shouldn't be. Be happy they are trying to help and move on. With a 5 year old card wouldn't you like an upgrade anyway? :) 
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a c 185 U Graphics card
December 14, 2012 12:48:10 AM

Holy crap WTF!Happened ? I never seen such a horrible card.
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December 14, 2012 12:57:59 AM

ibjeepr said:
I just don't understand how anyone here thinks EVGA is responsible for the failure of this card. It's 5 years old and rusted due to the environment which resulted in the gradual decrease in function of your card. I can't go after a car company because road salt caused rust on my 5 year old car... This is not the manufacture's fault. The one thing I would insist on the company telling you though is "How did the rust cause the problem I am having?" If they can't answer that then be as kind as possible when asking if they can please not charge you since the "Damage" is not the problem. The CS guy you are working with is probably doing his best to keep you happy even though EVGA has no obligation to do anything for you. The card is damaged and it's probably effecting how the card operates. That fine metal powder is probably caked into places that it shouldn't be. Be happy they are trying to help and move on. With a 5 year old card wouldn't you like an upgrade anyway? :) 



It never occurred to me on asking them that since I was too surprised by the response. Wish I would have gotten your input sooner. Though I did told the guy I couldn't pay the whole amount due to the fact that I was saving to buy a new GPU and have other expenses that need taken care of. That is why he reduced the amount to $40 (original was $70!). Though I responded very courteous on all of my e-mails, I'm not the kind of person who starts throwing accusations around and looses his head.

I know the card is old and I was saving to upgrade to a GTX660 and using the 8800gt as a physx card so having to fork out $70 was my main concern here and that it would lead to me receiving the same product fixed when I could have just bought a new 9800gt from amazon for $64.

Lets see how this turns out I will post the pictures when I eventually receive my RMA.
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December 14, 2012 1:11:42 AM

If I were you I wouldn't pay a dime for the card. If they won't send you a new one free then keep what money you have and move on to a new card. Let's be honest, we all know a 5 year old video card is near worthless. Anything you pay to get this one back is probably a poor investment at that point.

"having to fork out $70 was my main concern here and that it would lead to me receiving the same product fixed when I could have just bought a new 9800gt from amazon for $64."

That's exactly the right way of thinking. Just don't blame EVGA in the process, it's really neither of your faults, just life.

edit: grammer
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a c 200 U Graphics card
December 14, 2012 1:31:33 AM

guys now that there photos of the card that not rust on the card. that looks like tobaco tar. to the op does anyone in your house smoke?? if they do all the vendor has to do is blow the card off with high pressure air.
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December 14, 2012 1:39:39 AM

smorizio said:
guys now that there photos of the card that not rust on the card. that looks like tobaco tar. to the op does anyone in your house smoke?? if they do all the vendor has to do is blow the card off with high pressure air.



Nop, no one in my house smokes, I think you mean the color of the dust? Well my friend I can surely tell you that Saharan Dust is a major player here to make it look like that. I know this from experience, it doesn't happen in a week, it takes some time but as time passes and we get hit by more of the dust you'll end up with dust that looks like that. I have only seen it when I clean the top shelves that are near windows in my house.
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a b U Graphics card
December 14, 2012 1:40:12 AM

ibjeepr said:
If I were you I wouldn't pay a dime for the card. If they won't send you a new one free then keep what money you have and move on to a new card. Let's be honest, we all know a 5 year old video card is near worthless. Anything you pay to get this one back is probably a poor investment at that point.

"having to fork out $70 was my main concern here and that it would lead to me receiving the same product fixed when I could have just bought a new 9800gt from amazon for $64."

That's exactly the right way of thinking. Just don't blame EVGA in the process, it's really neither of your faults, just life.

edit: grammer


I advised the OP to do a scientific proof on this, and take a few pictures of the computer the card is installed in to show that other steel components are NOT rusted/rusted. Then we'd know for sure if the environment was the cause, or the screws/springs EVGA used are not properly treated/plated.
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December 14, 2012 1:40:44 AM

smorizio said:
guys now that there photos of the card that not rust on the card. that looks like tobaco tar. to the op does anyone in your house smoke?? if they do all the vendor has to do is blow the card off with high pressure air.


I can see how you got to that but if you look closer it's definitely a fine surface rust. The small pitting on the screws and the fact that is only on the metal mounting point rings on the board gives it away.
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December 14, 2012 1:43:25 AM

Maxx_Power said:
I advised the OP to do a scientific proof on this, and take a few pictures of the computer the card is installed in to show that other steel components are NOT rusted/rusted. Then we'd know for sure if the environment was the cause, or the screws/springs EVGA used are not properly treated/plated.


That's a good point, what do the rest of your cards look like? My guess is the case is fine due to the type of steel that's used or it may be an aluminum case.
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December 14, 2012 2:01:36 AM

I will do what Maxx advised when I have time this weekend, this didn't occur to me before (Doh!) but it seems perfectly reasonable, at least it will help solve the mystery.
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a b U Graphics card
December 15, 2012 12:57:45 PM

lpedraja2002 said:
I will do what Maxx advised when I have time this weekend, this didn't occur to me before (Doh!) but it seems perfectly reasonable, at least it will help solve the mystery.


How is this coming along ?
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