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Im just a dude watching over my parents,
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Motherboard RMA Refused, Caused by Shipping Damage or Was It

, By Patcoola

*Image by Patcoola and ComiPo 2018

How I was a possible victim of RMA fraud.

Late November 2018, my Gigabyte motherboard had failed. The motherboard was still under warranty, so I submitted a claim. My Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) was approved. However, I didn’t not receive a replacement or any compensation for the defective computer part. After what I had experienced, and the things I have recently learnt about Gigabyte. I can no longer recommend any products from the company GIGA-BYTE Technology Co., Ltd.

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*Image Source: amazon.com

At the end of November 2018, my Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 6 motherboard failed. The USB controller and PS/2 controller failed, rendering the computer uncontrollable. The motherboard was still under warranty and I was approved. I prepared the board and placed it back into its electrostatic discharge (ESD) bag and taped it closed. I then placed the board flat into a fitted motherboard box, and placed paper tubing over top so it would shake much. Everything was perfect and the package weighted approximately 2.9 pounds (lbs). At the time Canada Post was on strike, and I had to ship it with United Parcel Service (UPS). The cost of shipping to California from the Yukon with insurance was approximately 130 dollars Canadian. Now I waited.


*Image by Patcoola and ComiPo 2018

I received a shocking email from Gigabyte’s customer services eleven days after shipping the board. The message claimed that my RMA claim is void due to “Reason: the PCB is damaged,” and photos were provided. The short email also instructed me to file a shipping damage claim. “Please contact your shipping carrier on instructions to file a shipping damage claim.” In all my years of ordering computer parts online, I have never experienced lost or damage. The photos looked very suspicious to me, and one image even had what I would call impossible damage.


*Image by Patcoola and ComiPo 2018

The photos were taken from an older Motorola cell phone with poor image quality. The images showed that the box was damaged on the thinnest side with a hole on each end from the motherboard. The amount of force must of been substantial and focused with repeated strikes. An unnatural damage which could only be done by an axe like motion swinging down on to the edge of a surface. Never the less, the damage to the motherboard was only cosmetic. What was stranger is the position, I didn’t place the board in the box that way. I always place a board with the back-to-back, the damage indicated that the board was placed in box back-to-front. This would indicate that the motherboard was removed then placed back into the box, closed, and then smashed.

The impossible shipping damage. A photo was taken displaying damage to a CPU socket pin. Damage that wasn’t physically possible by shipping. The motherboard’s socket clamp was down and the board was placed in a ESD bag. There was no way anything could of made contact with that little pin. Based on the photos, the only conclusion that could be made was needle nose pliers. The size of the pliers would disturb the surrounding pins while a the pin was pulled and not bent. The damage was unbelievable, and I headed out to file a shipping claim.

December, the worst time of the year to be at the post office. The clerk told me that they don’t do damage claims and I have to contact their office. At home I signed up for an account with UPS and could not file a claim online. The website said I needed the shipper’s account. I tried contacting our local UPS store and was told to call them. I made the call and was told that they would look into it. UPS contacted me in February and said that I do not qualify for a claim, because I did not pay them to pack it themselves. By then I had already fixed my computer with a lesser used part. I was out a few hundred for parts and shipping. I had spent months of administrative time to process and resolve the matter.


*Image Source: bbb.org

The situation didn’t sit right with me. The damage just couldn’t be natural shipping damage. In the Yukon we do not have a computer store, and I have been ordering parts since 2003. Making at least ten orders per year and sometimes countless small eBay orders, I have never experienced shipping damage. So I went online and Google’d if it was possible for a CPU socket pin to be damaged during shipping. The search came to one result “Gigabyte damaged my motherboard when I sent it in for RMA.” It was a complete surprise that the only result was from a blogger with the exact same motherboard trying to claim a warranty as well. Except that this blogger had paid for the extra packaging. It was a sign that they did it on purpose in my mind. I continued to search the web for complaints against Gigabyte and found many damning things. They had an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and many RMA stories. It appears that they maybe committing RMA fraud. I will no longer recommend Gigabyte products.

 

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