Tag: rma

If Newegg says “item was received with apparent end-user caused physical damage to the CPU socket contact pins” here’s how to fix that problem


You should know that I am not a lawyer; however, I find that when a large company seems to not care, the possibility of getting a lawyer involved when you have been genuinely wronged by them gets you the attention needed to resolve the situation.

For a couple of years now, Newegg has been rejecting RMAs on motherboards with LGA-style CPU sockets and they always say that “item was received with apparent end-user caused physical damage to the CPU socket contact pins.” There are plenty of stories about this bad behavior all over the Internet. In fact, I have experienced this problem personally and written about it from the persepctive of boycotting the people who engineered the socket that allows for such easy breakage and is exploited by Newegg for RMA rejection.

If you receive a notice that your RMA was rejected for this reason, talk to customer service and tell them that you believe that their RMA technicians caused the damage to void the RMA. If they refuse to process the RMA, don’t waste time asking for a supervisor; instead, tell them that your lawyer will be very interested in this situation and ask them for the contact information for Newegg’s legal department. Also ask for the customer service agent’s name and their internal company identification number so they can be subpoenaed to testify if a lawsuit against Newegg is filed.

This communicates a few things that may magically get your RMA problems solved. One, it tells customer service that you are someone who will not let this issue go and will fight it in the legal arena if needed, a situation that no company wants (especially considering the widespread accounts of Newegg’s behavior). Two, it gives the company an added incentive to not screw you over and could cause a “good faith exception” to the policy be granted to you.

Another excellent outlet for getting your problems resolved is to email the VP of customer relations (or public relations)  or someone relevant under the “Investor Relations” section of the website. These people have a very strong interest in the company’s success. Don’t email the legal department. If you need to get your lawyer involved, your lawyer can do that.

If you buy a new motherboard and want to “cover your ass…”

  1. When the package arrives, DO NOT OPEN IT YET!
  2. Get something that takes decent quality video. Most phones will take excellent video if you don’t use an “MMS compatible” recording mode which records terrible quality video.
  3. Record a video of the entire unboxing process, from cutting the packing tape to removing the motherboard box to opening the board to inspecting the CPU socket closely for damage.
  4. That part is important: inspect the CPU socket for damage with the camera. If there is anything wrong, put it all back together on camera, seal the motherboard box with tape, and RMA it immediately.
  5. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES attempt to use a board that appears to have socket pin damage. This could blow up your CPU and could cause your RMA to have other reasons to be rejected.

Don’t buy Intel CPUs and boards until they stop selling “pin bending” LGA 1155/1156 sockets!

We purchased a brand new $100 motherboard (socket LGA 1155) from Newegg for an Intel Core i5 desktop system, intended to replace the fully functional $50 motherboard we previously bought from them because the customer needed more PCIe x1 slots. We replaced a known good, burn-in tested, never-overclocked computer system’s motherboard with a better motherboard. Immediately upon powering up the brand new motherboard in the case with the Core i5 CPU properly installed (we’re not newbies to the PC building game), a voltage regulator on the motherboard fried. It was visibly charred and clearly the reason for the board not functioning; this component also killed the known-good power supply that was connected to it, requiring us to give the customer a free power supply. We immediately repackaged the board identically to how it shipped to us originally and performed an RMA of the board, and I just received this email about the RMA status:

Dear Customer,

My name is Carl and I am contacting you in regards to RMA [rma_number]. The RMA was placed on hold by our inspections department due to reported physical damage on the MB ASROCK|P67 PRO3 SE P67 LGA1155 R.

Normally when an item is received damaged or missing the retail box and/or accessories, it voids our return policy and the item becomes ineligible to be accepted by Newegg. When a motherboard, and other items, are returned back to Newegg, they are inspected under a magnifier and are supervised. We look to see if the board was ever installed and look for signs of end user damage, aside from testing the unit to check its functionality. Signs of installation include bent pins, missing CPU cover or thermal paste.

Our records reflect that when the motherboard was received under RMA# [rma_number] at the Newegg warehouse, an inspection was conducted based on the notes entered in the RMA as to the reason for the return. At that time, the inspection revealed that the motherboard had sustained physical damage to the CPU socket wherein bent pins were detected.

While the RMA does not fall within our return policy guidelines, Newegg has authorized an exception be made in this case and we agree to accept the item as is and process the RMA for a replacement.

At this time, the RMA will be processed, as originally requested and as soon as possible.

We want you to know we appreciate your relationship with us and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me directly Carl.S.Pittman@newegg.com and it will be my pleasure to assist you.

Thank you and have an EGGcellent day!

Best Regards,

CPU/Motherboard RMA Team
T. 800.390.1119
F. 626.271.9524
www.newegg.com – Once You Know, You Newegg!

Although Newegg did the right thing in this instance (replacing a DOA motherboard that fried due to a catastrophic voltage regulator short) a cursory search reveals that most people who have problems with LGA 1155/1156 motherboards are rarely granted the right to a replacement under warranty, and the reason is always the same:

The LGA 1155 and 1156 sockets for the Core i3/i5/i7 and (Celeron/Pentium equivalents) represent a terrible and unnecessary engineering decision by Intel that effectively neuters any warranty you may have while risking that somewhere down the line a very minor mishap could easily destroy the socket on an expensive motherboard, rendering it worthless.

Despite having written articles about how AMD beats Intel if performance-per-dollar ratios are considered, I have built many Intel-based systems for customers, often due to factors such as availability of parts and motherboard features such as onboard video (or simply at the request of the customer.) I don’t have a problem with Intel processors, and I haven’t exactly been unhappy with them in computers I have previously owned such as my (sold) Core i7-2630QM laptop. After having the LGA 11xx socket pin issue personally bite me in the backside, though, I am beyond bitter on Intel processors, and I would strongly encourage anyone who is building a new computer system or rebuilding an existing one with a new motherboard and CPU to boycott Intel processors and matching motherboards until they return to a sane pin-on-chip CPU design and dump the spring-loaded fragile pin-in-socket design they currently use.

There is no valid excuse for this, Intel. You make excellent chips with crap socket physics, and in the end, your Haswell processors are garbage if the boards are so fragile that they break at every opportunity imaginable.

Vote with your dollars. Buy AMD. In all honesty, my AMD Phenom II X6 1035T has been the best desktop processor I’ve ever had; on software compilation tasks, it blows my Phenom II X4 965 out of the water, plus my AMD A8-4500M laptop can play Portal 2 in 2xMSAA graphics without a hiccup. Given my personal experiences, I have to say that I don’t know why anyone would continue to purchase Intel hardware, especially now that all Intel motherboard RMAs can be denied by bending up a few pins in the CPU socket and calling it “user error.”