I normally clean everything with iso alcohol, air, antistatic brushes etc., but, aside from a little dust buildup on the fan assembly, the card looked great before I sent it out. Plus, as I told them there could be no external cause of failure (it hadn't been opened, overclocked, nothing, not even serviced as the case is hepa filter modded), with no changes in over 6 months, I wanted the GPU to speak to that truth. Besides, I never in my wildest dreams thought a little dust buildup and smell of cigarette smoke could cause denial of RMA.
Today, after they sat on the card for 2 days, I get this email:
"Your EVGA graphics card is unable to be processed for warranty service as it arrived with a tarnished bracket and fan assembly with strong non-electrical ordor, which has resulted in damage to the product from improper operation and maintenance not covered under EVGA's warranty."
EDIT: That reads to me as though they would even use this as an excuse to not only deny the RMA but void the warranty as well.
Screencap of the email:
Pictures from EVGA that show buildup and tarnishing due to cigarette smoke
The GPU is ~8 years old; in what world is this not normal wear and tear? The tarnish and buildup on the GPU fan would take a measly 15min with a q-tip and iso alcohol to clean (I've done it before). With a lifetime warranty card, I felt like I had a target on my back for warranty denial, but I never thought they could sink this low.
Further, while their newer warranties stipulate denial based on excessive dust and cigarette buildup IIRC-not that I would concede that their is any issue with the card-the original product warranty has no such stipulation: https://www.evga.com/warranty/2007/
Yes, the GPU has had years of (albeit light) service, but I spent a lot on this GPU because of their (then) stellar service, with the promise that they'd take card of it when something went wrong. I'm really upset. I'm going to reach out and try to escalate the matter once I've calmed down a bit but I wanted to bring some awareness that they will deny warranty for little dust buildup and smoke odor on a GPU.