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Good outcome with Club3D warranty :)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Edit: I got today reply from Club3D - while the detailed investigation highlighted that it is not possible to repair the card they have decided to replace my card as a gesture of good will for just the transport cost of the card. So as such I'm editing the title of this thread.

Needless to say I'm pretty pleased with the outcome regardless of a bit rough start.

Here follows the original thread. I'll add their last reply to the end:

The point: I have Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 card, stopped working just out of blue. Retailer is out of business, contacted Club3D for direct RMA, got RMA number, mailed card in and last night got a mail stating that card has some burnt components and as such can not be serviced under warranty. Obviously this puts me in rather foul mood bcos as far as I can see they are just trying to screw me over because as as far as I'm aware I have done nothing to damage the card myself.

Anyway - a bit longer version of the background information now. Last year I was in market looking for a new gfx card that can drive my 5x1 portrait eyefinity. The original thread: http://www.overclock.net/t/1248208/7xxx-series-cards-capable-of-eyefinity-5-today-i-e-at-least-5-outputs - as you can note in the original thread I ended up ordering Club3D 7870 Eyfinity 6 card which served me well until it just stopped working about a week ago. The main reason to go for Club3D was that I mailed to their customer support asking about warranty conditions and the answer I got was something I really liked. Let me quote the answer that ended up tilting me in favor of Club3D over the competitors:
Quote:
Here are our response in regards to your inquiry;

I'm planning to upgrade my GFX card to 7870 Eyefinity 6 version and as yours is one of the few available in this category I have some questions before I decide which one to buy.
(1) At first glance I must have missed the warranty conditions. Do you have some web-page where I can read your warranty conditions? In particular I'm interested in (a) if replacing the stock cooler voids the warranty, (b) if overclocking voids the warranty.
ANSWER: We offer two years warranty to our customers. On our website you can go to our support section / Warranty http://www.club-3d.com/index.php/support/warranty.en.html
The replacement of the stock cooler does not void the warranty, you simply have to place back the original cooler when you need to service the card. If testing detect improper use of the card (no thermal paste on the GPU, damage of the PCB due to cooler replacement etc you might get your warranty voided. Overclocking does not void the warranty.
(2) Second question is technical. Is the card voltage locked, i.e., can I change the voltage of the GPU core through AMD Catalyst control center or MSI Afterburner or is the value set in cards BIOS and not accessible through drivers ?
ANSWER: No but you need to be careful with the voltage. You probably have to use third party software to adjust the settings, with AMD catalyst you will be able to read but not adjust.
(3) Is there any reviews by third party sites you are aware of and perhaps could provide link for in case I have missed any ?
ANSWER: We do not have a review on this specific card as not to many reviewers offer a test for 6 screens. You can check our www.youtube.com/club3dtv to check on our own testing on this card.
(4) What are the AMD control center (in the drivers) AMD Overdrive maximum limits for this cards core clock and memory clock ?
ANSWER: This really depends on each individual system, normally the gap on this cards are about 15% safe.
(5) Do you know if there is a single slot bracket available for this card ? I.e., a single slot bracket with 6x mini displayport opening fitting for this card without the grill covering the second slot ? If not is it possible to order a replacement bracket (the same the card comes with) from you and if it is what would be the rough cost estimate for such item ?
ANSWER: No as this card supports 6 outputs. The only way we can think of doing so is to dremmel the second slot. We will service the card if in case is defective anyways, the bracket is not an expensive part of the card.

I hope this answers your questions and does not leave anything open. Further questions please feel free to contact us.

Regards,

Club 3D Team

Seems rather good, right? Until I got following mail last night:
Quote:
Dear Sir/Madam,

We have received your RMA shipment. This card has burnt components, so we cannot assume and is out of warranty. Please send us your address so we can return this card. Attached to this e-mail you’ll find the RMA checklist, please confirm it back to us within business 48hours.

Regards

Attached to the email was excel table which just states that my card is out of warranty and there was a blurry image attached to the e-mail which I suppose should be showing me that I have somehow managed to fry the card myself, but I really cant see how its supposed to show that. Anyway for the sake of completeness the image as well.


For the sake of completeness I will add here also the initial e-mail to the Club3D describing the process of card stopping working. This e-mail was printed and included with the card when I shipped it so that the person ending up dealing with the card would have the fault description at hand without having to look it up in their electronic system.
Quote:
Hello.

I have a Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 card which has stopped working. I bought it from senzidoo.de which apparently is not functional anymore. Please find the scanned copy of my invoice attached to this e-mail. The card's serial number is s/n: xxxRemovedxxx and the product code is CGAX-7876M6.

The card had some mild problems over the past few weeks - things like artifacts and occasional loss of textures but I assumed it to be some kind of driver related problem and planned to do clean install of drivers in the upcoming weekend. The card has not been overcloked and is still with the factory installed heatsink. When the problems started I monitored the temperatures, which on average were around 85C during gaming sessions and reached up to 90C occasionally, the card had a 140 mm low rpm fan in the sidepanel providing it with fresh air so temperature should not be the major reason for the failure. Last evening, however, the PC failed to boot - after couple of restarts to see if that fixes the issue the card increased its fan speed to full speed. The PC booted fine with this card removed and only the second graphics card plugged in. After that I tested this card in my secondary computer - which was able to boot into windows with this card plugged into second pci-e slot, however, when installing the drivers for the card PC crashed in rather spectacular way to just blank black screen until the card was removed. So it seems obvious that this card has developed some kind of serious hardware error.

I am located in Estonia.

So the questions are:
What are my options ?
Do you know if there is any viable way to dispute the decision to not service my card under warranty ?
Should I just swallow the 330 EUR lesson about Club3D not honoring their warranty ?
Do you think I have actually managed somehow to burn the card myself ? I cant see how this could happen, but perhaps you have an idea ?

The system is water cooled, but if there would have been leak it would leave some residue(automotive antifreeze in the loop, not pure distilled), if there would have been some kind of loose screw or something on the card I should have seen it when I opened the case to see *** is goin on, etc...

Is there any customer protection agencies I can take my issue to - if there are are they actually capable of helping me ? We have one in Estonia, but its rather toothless and probably cant do anything about some Netherlands firm screwing me over.
Edited by Carniflex - 6/11/13 at 6:18am
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Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 11
So your card is less than 2 years old on a 2 year warranty, and they are claiming out of warranty? And what are they pointing to in the picture? thinking.gif Ask them how the burnt components is user damage and not a fault of the card, as I have no clue how they are saying you caused this damage. They also claim OCing does not void warranty, so they can't use that excuse.

Explain yourself thoroughly, be calm and try not to be too stern or threatening in any way, as this will cause most CSR's to get defensive and not help. Just explain how you don't know how you could have caused such damage or something like that and ask them how its your fault as it seems like an obvious case of hardware failure, which can happen.

Hopefully you get to talk to someone with common sense and a heart, and they can properly help you with this issue.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well - I answered them with following e-mail:
Quote:
Hello.

Do I understand it correct that you are saying that you can not serve this card under warranty? As far as I am aware I have done nothing violating the warranty terms. The card was not overclocked nor volted during its use and the case had sufficient airflow and I have done no physical modifications. I have even not replaced the stock cooler on it.

So as far as I can see - if the card has managed to burn itself somehow it is not my fault and should be served under warranty. It would not make sense to send working card into warranty after-all.

My address is:
xxx Removed xxx

If you insist that this card can not be served under warranty what are my options to dispute that decision ?

Regards,

So will see how this goes.
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post #4 of 11
Typical powercolor PCB and they neglect to use heatsinks for the VRM and Memory section. Card probably ran like a toaster oven with more than 3 screens enabled. I would also bring that bit of info to their attention.
Edited by SLK - 5/7/13 at 7:40am
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK View Post

Typical powercolor PCB and they neglect to use heatsinks for the VRM and Memory section. Card probably ran like a toaster oven with more than 3 screens enabled. I would also bring that bit of info to their attention.

It might help, if brought up the right way. I just tend to tread carefully when dealing with RMA's, as CSR's are prone to making up their minds on how they will treat you pretty quickly, and if you get the wrong guy, having a bad day, and have even a tiny bit of attitude or something to make the guy annoyed, your gonna be in for a hard time. So I tend to over explain myself, and I like to come across as a little less knowledgeable than I am depending on the situation so they don't assume you were trying to mod/overclock/overvolt or anything else they can try to use against you, depending on the situation.

From what you've shared with us, you should be able to get this dealt with, without too much trouble. I really think you should get this RMA approved as I simply cannot come up with any way you could have caused this hardware failure.

They even said it had burnt components. How exactly did you cause parts to short or arc or burn up if you didn't do any physical modifications. How could you do so if you can't overvolt it. Even if you ran a massive OC, it wouldn't have the volts to run it, and it simply wouldn't work. So I'm a bit confused at how they expect to put the blame on you.

Before getting too deep, try to get them to tell you how exactly you had caused such damage, and what exactly they claim you have damaged. As it seems like you got a bad rep or a slacker in the RMA department who's skirting their duties and half-assing it.

No matter how many times I look this over, I can't come up with a situation where you apparently caused this problem. Seems like a textbook case of hardware failure, and it happens. Companies just need to own up and fix the issues, without making customers jump through hoops and contact many different people to beg for the service you should be getting without asking.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanx for the advice guys. I guess I'll just remain as calm as I possibly can and try to talk this one through with the company representative who ended up dealing with my case. So far I am still waiting reply to my email I quoted in post #3. Assuming they bother talking with me at all and not just send the card back without any further comments. The initial mail they sent me noted that I should reply within 48h so I assume the company representative has some time allocated to dealing with that card after that time so hopefully they will talk to me today evening.

My wild guess is that they assume that I somehow shorted something on the card and caused the burnt components. As far as I am aware I have done no such thing. I shut down the computer at work, removed cables, carried the PC to my car trunk, drive home, carry the PC upstairs, plug everything in, power on and .. nothing. Wait for a minute or so, still nothing, power is on but no BIOS texts appears and none of the displays powers on. Press the restart button, still nothing, press again in a minute or two, card increases its fan speed to full throttle. Then I powered down the PC, opened the sidepanel, everything seemed fine visually. But as the card was increasing the fan speed to full throttle just liek that then I ofc suspected that something wrong with that card. So I removed the card, plugged the displays into the secondary GFX card I use for auxiliary displays (a XFX 6770 Eyefinity 5) and PC comes up fine. So I take the card, find my backup computer (a Sempron machine running vista), plug in the card, boot to vista - so far so good - that secondary machine uses motherboard GFX stuff by default, vista detects that there is new hardware, starts to install drivers and then everything goes black on screen, including the display plugged into the motherboard GFX output. So I decide that the card is spectacularly dead, go look up retailer, which I cant find anymore in the net, only pile of angry customers with money stuck, so contact Club3D for direct RMA as dealer is out of business .. and well .. now that.

The PC is water cooled, but I have had no time to do anything with that card so it was still under air with stock cooler, no OC, no overvolt. It even had a 140mm on sidepanel providing it with fresh air. I do have waterblock for the card ready. Planned to OC once I get it under water. But for now I can really, honestly say I have used the card only at stock settings. I must add, that over longer gaming sessions the card did artifact a bit, which is not surprising if you consider that the RAM chips are just bare without any kind of cooling under that stock cooler and run at relatively high frequency. Was planning to put additional aluminium heat-sinks on them once I get it under water.
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
The Club3D representative which whom I ended up dealing has not answered anything to my mail over the past 4 days so I think it is safe to assume that they have decided to screw me over with this and are not willing to talk to me at all. I will wait whit editing the title of this thread appropriately until its certain and the nonfunctional card arrives back with courier. Sad part is that they will most likely charge me extra 30 eur for just handing the nonfunctional card back as in the start of the RMA process I had to agree to such "service fee". Anyway, should the card arrive back without them fixing it I will post also some proper higher resolution images from the highlighted area.

Overall - very negative experience this whole affair. Hell - even the Chinese noname guys have dealed with me better in their customer support in the past than this supposedly European firm.
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniflex View Post

The Club3D representative which whom I ended up dealing has not answered anything to my mail over the past 4 days so I think it is safe to assume that they have decided to screw me over with this and are not willing to talk to me at all. I will wait whit editing the title of this thread appropriately until its certain and the nonfunctional card arrives back with courier. Sad part is that they will most likely charge me extra 30 eur for just handing the nonfunctional card back as in the start of the RMA process I had to agree to such "service fee". Anyway, should the card arrive back without them fixing it I will post also some proper higher resolution images from the highlighted area.

Overall - very negative experience this whole affair. Hell - even the Chinese noname guys have dealed with me better in their customer support in the past than this supposedly European firm.

I would continue to mail them for a couple of days until they answer you, otherwise write some bad reviews about this matter on big forums and hopefully they will change their minds.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Huh - seems like I was about a hour premature in my judgement. Just got an e-mail from Club3D.
Quote:
Technically this card is out of warranty.
But we want to do a deep research to see if it can be repaired
Keep in mind that this may take between 4 to 6 weeks.

Do you agree?

Regards

Considering the card is not working I am willing to compromise even if I still have to insist that as far as I am aware I have not violated warranty terms. So I answered with the following e-mail letting them know that if it is possible to repair the card I'm willing to cover some reasonably modest additional costs related to that.
Quote:
I do agree.

As far as I am aware I have done nothing to void the warranty. What happened when the card failed was following: I shut down the computer at work, removed cables, carried the PC to my car trunk, drive home, carry the PC upstairs, plug everything in, power on and .. nothing. Wait for a minute or so, still nothing, power is on but no BIOS texts appears and none of the displays powers on. Press the restart button, still nothing, press again in a minute or two, card increases its fan speed to full throttle. Then I powered down the PC, opened the side-panel, everything seemed fine visually. But as the card was increasing the fan speed to full throttle just like that then I of course suspected that something wrong with that card. So I removed the card, plugged the displays into the secondary GFX card I use for auxiliary displays (a XFX 6770 Eyefinity 5) and PC comes up fine. So I take the card, find my backup computer (a Sempron machine running vista), plug in the card, boot to vista - so far so good - that secondary machine uses motherboard GFX card by default, vista detects that there is new hardware, starts to install drivers and then everything goes black on screen, including the display plugged into the motherboard GFX output.

For additional information - should that help - The PC is water cooled, but I have had no time to do anything with that card so it was still under air with stock cooler, no OC, no overvolt. It even had a 140mm on sidepanel providing it with fresh air. I do have waterblock for the card ready. Planned to OC once I get it under water. But for now I can really, honestly, say I have used the card only at stock settings. I must add, that over longer gaming sessions the card did artifact a bit, which is not surprising if you consider that the RAM chips are just bare without any kind of cooling under that stock cooler and run at relatively high frequency. Was planning to put additional aluminium heat-sinks on them once I get it under water. Even with the 140mm on the sidepanel the card war running a bit on the hot side reaching +90C on the core after about three or so hours of gaming. I did not monitor on regular basis other temperature sensors on the card.

Now - there is only two ways I can see which could short out the card on my side somehow. (1) Water leak from the CPU block above the GFX cards - however, I use car antifreeze mixture in my water loop which leaves sticky residue (sort of like dried syrup) and I was not able to detect any so that is unlikely. (2) Some loose screw on the card, as this is mobile system - however, if there would have been one I should have seen it on the card as I did not move the PC before opening up the sidepanel to see what is wrong. During the transport the PC has no power cord plugged into the PSU so it is highly unlikely that anything could happen electrically during the transport.

Should it be possible to repair the card I am willing to cover some reasonable additional fee for the service, if needed.

Thank you for taking the time to take a second look on the card.

Best regards,
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MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
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CM Quickfire TK (red) Corsair AX-1200i Significantly modded Jupiter .. something alumi... Logitech G700s 
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Intel Core i7 3820 X79-UP4 Gigabyte 390X G1 Club3D 7870 Eyefinity 6 
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64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
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Crucial M4 64 GB Barracuda 4 TB Sythe big shuriken rev B Windows 7 Pro 64 bit 
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm a happy bunny \o/
Quote:
Dear ....,

We have been trying to repair you card, however it can’t be repaired anymore since a few components on the PCB are damaged and broken due to an external forces on the PCB. We understand you are not helped with this, as a good will we will replace the card to you for a new card. We will ship the card today and you have to pay UPS 30 euro as we original agreed since you could not get anymore service for this card at the place of purchase.

Best regards

Club 3D RMA

To be honest I dont know how its possible to have any physical damage on the PCB, but as I'm getting the card replaced for just the transport cost (as the original reseller is out of business unfortunately) then I'm just guessing that as English is not the native language for them (and not for me either) then they might be meaning the originally fried components they highlighted.

Anyway, in conclusion I can say that I'm rather pleased, regardless of a bit rough start of the process. Deciding to replace my fried card of regardless of probably getting away with just screwing me over leaves a pretty good impression in my opinion so - while in here they are usually not the cheapest GFX cards available I will in the future certainly consider using their products again.
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DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
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64 GB Barracuda 3 TB WD Green 3 TB Crucial M4 256 GB 
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MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
DELL U2311H (x3) DELL U2312HM (x2) 9.7'' 2048x1536 (x3) IPAD3 retina Asus PB287Q 4K 
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