Thursday, March 01, 2007

Other World Computing Warranty Hassles....

Update 3/2/2007: After kicking it around at OWC, apparently, their owner made an exception and has granted my warranty request. I also want to point out that the original owner of the ram has used these people MANY times and has nothing but praise for them.

First off, let me say that I don't usually like to do these sorts of things, but I figured that people (especially Macintosh owners) might like to hear this.

Next, let me setup the situation. I bought a Mac Mini second hand from someone who had upgraded the ram with a 1GB DDR2700 DIMM from OWC, a computer upgrade website targeted towards the Mac user. The RAM has since gone bad and I'm trying to get a warranty replacement since it has a lifetime warranty.

As they have a confidentiality statement in their email that does not permit reproduction, I will give you a summary as to protect all involved except the company in question.

Since I saw no restrictions on the warranty information on their site, I emailed their RMA form and received a response .

The response seemed friendly enough asking if they could use the original credit card to place a hold in order to expedite a cross shipment(nothing outlandish there).

Since the original owner should not be liable for this, I let them know that I had ownership of the ram and would like to use my card and address to secure the cross-shipment.

They responded back saying that their warranty was not transferable.

At this point, I go to their website and read their warranty policies(see the quoted text at the end of this post). Nothing in there about being non-transferable or limited in any way other than direct physical abuse.

I respond back to my contact with this, to me, reasonable view of their warranty, and they once again said that their warranty was not transferable.

At this point I requested contact from the supervisor and have, as yet, received no response. Hence my dilemma. This RAM is about a year old, has verifiable problems, the warranty(as far as I can tell) should still be valid, but they won't do anything about it. The really interesting part however, is that the original owner CAN request a warranty exchange and I believe that they can use my card and address, but they won't do it if I make the request. What am I missing?

At least for initial owners, they seem good enough at customer service.

-- The Papa

Here the text of their memory warranty page as of 3/1/2007. (screen shot was too difficult to post on blogger. Although, I do have both a screenshot, an HTML dump, and all the emails for my evidence.

All OWC Memory is covered by a Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty and 30 Day Money Back Guarantee! This warranty shows our commitment and confidence in the product we sell. OWC certifies and tests ALL OWC memory to ensure that this memory meets or exceeds the specifications for those systems a module is listed as being correct/compatible with. Unlike the competition, OWC owns and maintains our own lab that includes nearly every Apple/Mac model we list compatibility for. In addition to the long testing every OWC module undergoes before shipping (most just short test if they test at all), we also continuously batch test modules in the actual machines. You can count on OWC to consistently deliver the top quality memory products you need, correct for your system for a lifetime of reliable operation.

OWC Memory Warranty/Guarantee terms:

Within 15 Days of invoice date*: Should any issue be experienced with a module in a system it is listed to be compatible with, OWC will - At no cost to you, issue a Return Shipment Label that covers the return shipping of said product back to OWC. It will be your choice at that time for OWC to advance ship replacement product or request that OWC provide a full refund for the original product upon it's return to OWC. OWC covers the full cost of returning the product as well as the cost of shipping the replacement.

Within 30 Days of invoice date: Any memory module may be returned for refund or to be exchanged for a different item. Refund/Exchange value provided for memory returned is the lesser of the invoiced price or current web listed selling price. Return must be received within 30 days of the original invoice date, after 30 days - Lifetime Warranty terms apply.

A Lifetime Warranty applies to all OWC Memory items unless otherwise specified. Should your memory product cease to function in a system that module was listed as compatible with at the time of purchase, OWC will replace the module at no cost. At your option, OWC can either advance ship a replacement via a credit card authorization that will be released upon receipt of the original product or do standard replacement whereby OWC will ship the replacement memory upon receipt of the suspect product. In either case, you will be responsible for the return freight to OWC and OWC will be responsible and cover the cost for shipping the replacement product to you.

The OWC Lifetime Warranty on memory does not cover damage that is the result of mishandling, incorrect installation, or incorrect use and is limited only to the OWC memory module. Although relatively rare, the most common mistake we see with memory installation is where a module has been forced into a slot backwards. All memory modules have a notch or notches on the pin connector that connects into the computer's memory slot. The memory slot has corresponding 'blocks/breaks' that
line up with the notches so the correct installation orientation is easy to determine. Sometimes it takes a little bit of force to push a module into the slot and you can remove and re-insert an existing module just to get comfortable with the process. As long as you have taken care to line the notches up, and push the memory in all the way, you'll be good to go every time!

*15 Day DOA Pickup policy applies only for delivery/pickup within the USA.

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