EVGA famously ran into problems when Amazon's New World game began frying users' GPUs, but the company earned plenty of kudos for immediately offering a no-questions-asked return policy to replace the impacted GPUs. According to a report from Igor's Lab, it now appears that EVGA is charging high RMA deposit fees that are based on current scalper pricing levels, generating some criticism. However, there's a rational reason for EVGA to engage in the practice, and it is an opt-in program that leaves its customers another option (albeit a slower one) for completing the RMA process if they don't want to pay the deposit.
According to the report, Igor filed an Advanced RMA request to get a replacement for his broken EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra graphics card, which retails for around 782 Euros (931 Euros with VAT included). However, EVGA requested a deposit equal to the current scalper pricing for that model: Instead of asking for the 931 Euro MSRP (the list price), EVGA requested a 1,728.20 Euro deposit.
The problem stems from EVGA's Advanced RMA program, which speeds the return process after your GPU fails. The service itself is handy to have if your GPU ever breaks: You pay a deposit as collateral and EVGA immediately sends you a new GPU before it receives your damaged card. Upon receipt of the damaged GPU, EVGA then issues a full refund for the deposit.
Of course, this would be perfect for any EVGA customer in trouble, unless the company required a huge deposit. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case, as EVGA uses the price of scalped GPUs to calculate the deposit fees. However, that's a reasonable and needed protection for EVGA, as customers could simply file an advanced RMA and pay the deposit at MSRP pricing, then scalp the card they receive from the RMA program — but without returning the original card. Sure, the customer ends up paying the MSRP price of the card, but they come out ahead through scalping and potentially delay a legitimate customer from receiving a replacement card in a timely fashion.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy answer here, either for the customer or for EVGA. Paying a high deposit based on scalper pricing, even if it will be refunded, isn't tenable for some. However, EVGA also has to protect itself from slick scammers that will just scalp the RMA'd cards, potentially denying its other customers a shot at a timely replacement GPU.
EVGA is one of the few companies still offering Advanced RMAs, which is a big reason to buy gear from the company. Regardless of the situation, if you don't want to pay a deposit upfront, you can simply use the standard RMA process that requires EVGA to receive the card before sending a replacement.