Amazon Customer Banned for Returning Faulty Goods

A self-confessed Amazon addict has had his account banned and gift card balance seized after returning a number of items which he insists were faulty. Greg Nelson, a computer programmer from the UK, bought 343 items from the online retailer over two years, returning 37 of them on the grounds that they were faulty, damaged, or not as described. The frequent returns have resulted in him being blocked from any future purchases from Amazon, losing his gift card balance in the process, despite what Nelson claims to be fair grounds for sending the offending items back.

“As a previously fervently loyal fan of Amazon who has been a customer since 2002, I understand that it is trying to protect its business – however I find its actions in this situation totally egregious,” Nelson told The Guardian. “I could understand if there were evidence that I had somehow tried to abuse the system, but I haven’t. Of course, Amazon can refuse to serve whom it likes, but surely it cannot legally keep gift card balances and other purchased goods which have already been paid for by the customer – despite what any potentially unfair small print might say?”

Nelson has tried repeatedly to contact Amazon about the matter, but the company’s customer service department has only responded with a default response, refusing to re-open his account.

Amazon refused to discuss Nelson’s case specifically, but confirmed that Nelson’s account will remain closed.

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for the millions of customers who shop with us,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “In a tiny fraction of cases we are forced to close accounts where we identify extreme account abuse. This decision is only taken after we have reviewed the account carefully and tried to work with the customer over an extended time period to resolve any issues.”

 

ASUS Motherboards Have The Lowest RMA Rate According to Independent Analysis

Hardware.fr is part of LDLC, the largest seller of computer components in France and periodically releases statistics about customer returns. This allows us to gauge quite accurately each manufacturer’s RMA rate as a percentage and overall reliability. The RMA rates relate to models sold between October 1st, 2014 and April 1st, 2015, for returns created before October 2015. During the hardware survey, ASUS attained first position with a very impressive RMA rate of 1.89%. In comparison to the competition, Gigabyte reported returns of 2.05%, while ASRock managed 2.08% and finally, MSI finished with 2.55%.

Joe Hsieh, ASUS Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Motherboard and Desktop System Business Unit, said about the results:

“We are immensely proud of the latest Hardware.fr reliability report. The achievement is a result of our dedication to perfection and tireless efforts, leading to the development of advanced such as 5X Protection II,”

“We strive always to deliver the best motherboard defenses by combining the finest components, thoughtful circuit design, and exacting standards to guarantee quality and long-term durability all-round protection — resulting in exceptional motherboard reliability”

Interestingly, ASUS’ RMA rate dropped by 2.49% from the previous Hardware.fr report and showcases the improvements ASUS have made in the testing phase. Also, the motherboard section is extremely reliable and the lowest return rate in the industry. Although, the gap compared to other manufacturers isn’t massive. Nevertheless, it’s a great achievement and illustrates the durability of ASUS products.

The Pirate Bay Returns

Breaking just now, we understand that popular torrent site, The Pirate Bay, is finally back online following that raid on its servers 2 months ago.

The site is up and running at its usual domain and has one new torrent – an image of a phonix with the title “like a phoenix, it rises from the ashes” and the description of “The Pirate Bay is back.”

Whether this is permanent or temporary, we just don’t know yet, but time will tell.

Source: The Next Web

Reliable Tech – Hardware Repair Rate Rankings Released

As computer enthusiasts often get hostile about their favorite brands warranties, returns and reliability, we’ve just been given an insight into hardware failure and warranty rates across popular technology manufacturers.

Only just being released but complied with data relevant prior to October 2014, these statistics will show the top four performers in each category.

Starting with motherboards, the results read:

  • GIGABYTE: 2.51%
  • MSI: 2.65%
  • ASUS: 2.86%
  • ASRock: 2.99%

Before you grab your pitchforks and book the next-leaving flight to the island country of Taiwan, take a close look at the results and think about what you see. The first thing noticeable is that all four of these figures are land within a 0.5% margin, which is a pretty impressive result. Another interesting fact is that of ASUS’s ranking. We’ve just reported that ASUS are looking to out-sell all other brands in 2014, followed next by GIGABYTE, but looking at these statistics shows they aren’t the most reliable.

As with many other things in life (even including CS:GO tournaments), these broad spectrum statistics aren’t a be-all and end-all. Obviously it’s a little damaging for ASRock to be places last in the race and GIGABYTE are sure to have some PR bragging rights given their first place rating – but warranty tracking is often a fickle thing.

If you wish to see the full list of rankings and percentages (and have a translating app or add-on handy), please feel free to check a list compiled here (in Chinese), or the full comprehensive list (in French).

Power supply rankings came in at:

  • FSP Group: 0.83%
  • Be Quiet!: 0.84%
  • Corsair: 1.32%
  • Cooler Master: 1.51% 

The memory (RAM) rankings are:

  • Kingston: 0.36% 
  • Crucial: 0.57%
  • G.Skill: 0.97%
  • Corsair: 1.20%

Graphics card failure rates are slightly higher than any other statistic – ranking from 5.09% down to 2.25%.

  • MSI: 2.25%
  • Gainward: 2.67%
  • GIGABYTE: 2.98%
  • ASUS: 3.00%

It’s also interesting to note that there’s a rather large (in comparison) failure rate here reported of the Radeon R9 280X – coming in at 8.81%.

Hard Drive manufacturers have reported:

  • Seagate: 0.69%
  • Western Digital: 0.93% 
  • HGST: 1.01% (former Hitachi)
  • Toshiba: 1.29%

SSD’s saw most of the lowest rates of failure and a very close race within the top 3:

  • Samsung: 0.24%
  • Intel:  0.27%
  • Sandisk: 0.29%
  • Crucial: 0.57%

Please note that this statistical data has been taken from French online dealers, meaning some companies were not included due to their product sample being too small to manage. But either way this gives you a pretty fair comparison of companies units as a whole.

Coming from my own experience, as a person who’s previously worked in a hardware manufacturing company for 4 years, here’s a few things I’ve noticed about this warranty/failure rate subject:

  • Not every end user will warranty their broken products
  • Warranty percentages can often be skewed by a bad batch of products due to shipment, storage or factory error
  • Warranty percentages are not always reported, double checked, nor stock-taken

Rankings thanks to Hardware.fr