I fully agree with the OP. XFX did not have a proper behavior. And he only got the "secret" offer for a replacement because he happened to know that a XFX employee was a regular at a certain forum and he got to talk personally. This is, of course, not the normal way to do things. Not everyone is fortunate enough to know the right person. That is not even a very legitimate way to do things in the first place as it can lead to one person being favored and not the others. And as he said, through the normal channels - which is what most of the consumers would be using - he didn't get a thing.
People can always say that the consumer has to defend himself from shady companies' tactics, and not blame the company if he didn't pay attention in the first place. That is correct to a certain extent - but then again, you have to set reasonable limits - and that is what is at stake here. The OP was reasonable, XFX wasn't.
Some of those people even went as far as saying something as preposterous as "a model number is only of interest to the company itself". This is so wrong on so many levels I'm not even sure I should argument.
Let's see a few examples:
- motherboards that went through a revision process. They are stated in the manufacturer's site. Why ? Could have implications not only on functionality, but also what is the correct Bios update you need.
- GPU's the same thing. Some graphics cards come with GDDR memory from one manufacturer, the same GPU model can come with the exact same configuration, but GDDR memory from a different manufacturer, that, again, needs a different BIOS.
- CPU's, same thing - not only do revisions bring lower temperatures, power consumption and more overclock headroom, but also
new instructions and new features. May I remind those who don't know, some CPU models from Intel from a few years ago came without Virtualization, and some with Virtualization. Take the Pentium Dual Core E5300 - first available without and later with Virtualization. The same applies to the Core 2 Quad Q8200 and Q8300.
- When you are searching for drivers you may need the exact model number - happened to me with a TV Tuner from Hauppaugge - different decoder chips needed different drivers, or complaining about a product you bought, it's not uncommon for the manufacturer to ask what is the board revision, so they can troubleshoot the problem properly and give you the right solution.
Just because companies have very arguable practices, it doesn't mean the consumer always has to take the burden. A few of you may not remember this, but 20 years ago, people had way less consumer rights. The warranty period for example was shorter and you were on your own way earlier. And the conditions where the warranty applied were also different and favored the manufacturer - in an unreasonable manner.
If it wasn't for people like the OP pointing out that it is only reasonable - that is what we are talking about here
- for them to change the model number when they do a PCB change with such big implications (no bios switch and different heatsink mounting layout - which is very important on a high-end card that employs a loud and thermally inefficient cooler, which makes it even more likely to be replaced by the end user), we would still have almost no rights.
It's up to us to call them out when they don't behave accordingly to what is reasonable.
This is not about asking them to not change the reference layout as I incredulously read someone post here. It's something as simple as changing/adding a letter in a model number when they do such a big, functional, change, or adding a V1.1 at the end of the reference. Other vendors do that not only on the website, but also on the product box - no need to unpack a card.
This is all about being reasonable. In a time when many people buy online, the information should be as clear as possible. It is not reasonable for the OP to have to wait for the card to arrive and then open the box to realize he was deceived. This could have been avoided by XFX. Consumers have the right to be properly informed.
The OP was not properly informed. In fact, if you go to the XFX website, the HD6970 product page
only has one model, and it has the AMD logo on the PCB, which is clearly not what the OP got (see the photo on the first OP post).Edited by tpi2007 - 4/15/11 at 7:44pm