Last week I submitted my first direct manufacturer RMA (return merchandise authorization) request with Asus. I felt it was a bit of a gamble but for the $15 shipping cost it would be worth it if I got a repaired or refurbished motherboard.
Prior to submitting the RMA I researched other peoples experiences to gauge whether or not it would be worth it to make the attempt. Most experiences posted were negative, which is usually the case as very few people post about positive experiences. But despite that I decided to take the gamble anyway. Overall the process was simple and positive.
I filled out the RMA Submittal Form on Asus’ website (For USA and Canada) and received an email with my RMA#, some instructions, and some documentation to fill out and provide. It would have been a nice touch if the document already contained the RMA# they just issued to me, but unfortunately it does not (the information document does though!). So I filled this document in and signed it. One of the nicest things of this process was that I didn’t need to show any proof of purchase, which is always difficult to do after time has passed.
The instructions contain information about how you should ship the product, and what to include or not include. One thing it doesn’t mention that phone support did mention to me, you shouldn’t ship the motherboard back in it’s original box as you might need the product information from the box in the future. This meant finding a suitable box and suitable protection for the motherboard. (Based on what I received back, what I sent them was a touch overboard, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.)
I mailed off the package last Thursday (26/01/2017) using Canada Post Xpresspost and as expected it arrived Friday (27/01/2017), as seen through Canada Posts’s delivery confirmation as well as Asus’ Check Repair Status page. Then yesterday (01/02/2017) I received a shipping notification from Asus stating I’d be receiving a package from Purolator. This however is not seen on their Check Repair Status page. In fact, I’ve received the motherboard safely from Purolator, but the Check Repair Status page still indicates my repair status as “product repair is in progress.” and that the forwarder is FedEx 2Day.
In terms of the process, it was a positive experience. Simply fill out a form, some paperwork, pack the item in a box, and ship it. Then a week later receive a repaired or refurbished item. No complaints about these aspects of it.
However keeping the customer informed throughout the process leaves something to be desired. There was a confirmation email after submitting the initial request form, and there was a notification email informing me they were shipping me a P8Z77-V LK via Purolator. In between these two points there was zero information.
The Check Repair Status page as previously mentioned was not up to date, and even in the shipping notification email there was no information about what was done or what I should expect to receive. Beyond the fact I would be receiving an Asus P8Z77-V LK, which could be the malfunctioning board I sent them, it could be repaired, or it could be an entirely different refurbished board.
I found this rather worrisome as I don’t particularly want to be diagnosing issues in a board I’ve received back. There was however some solace, in the package received there were two documents. The first document contains a series of barcodes that match up with information written to the left of them. Such as RMA Type, RMA No, Customer, Shipment information. Followed by this table:
|Model||Serial No||Problem||New Part No||New Part No Desc|
|P8Z77-V LK||————||Cannot boot up and power is on (FF/00)||90-MIBIH0-G0AAY0VZ||[90-MIBIH0-G0AAY0VZ] P8Z77-V LK|
Presumably this is indicating I received a new P8Z77-V LK, but I find it rather uninformative. As it also restates the problem, so it reads like this is the item with the issue. The other document received is a test report which at least indicates that what was received should work. It contains the following information (verbatim):
ASUS Service Canada Inc
Model: P8Z77-V LK
|CPU socket double check||No bent pin||V|
The document leaves the date, RMA#, S/N#, Note, and Technician fields empty and lists a number of items tested or used in the test. Once again, I presume this is the test done on the board they sent to me, but is this the same board I sent them, or a new board? It’s a rather vague process.
I haven’t had a chance to test this board to ensure that it works, or compare it’s serial number to the one I sent Asus, mainly because I did not record the original serial number but perhaps can find it attached to a document somewhere. So I can’t 100% say it’s a different board based on the information received. Though I would highly suspect that it is, as the received board is in immaculate condition.
You might think that it would be obvious, that they would send you a board in original or marked Asus packaging, however the board I received was shipped in an box for an LCD bezel assembly. So once again, not a good indicator.
Overall a positive experience in that I received (presumably) a working board. But Asus is lacking in the communication department. Between their inaccurate Check Repair Status page, and vague documentation continually reminding you of the failure without also clearly indicating repair or replacement, it’s difficult to ascertain what it is Asus did. It would be nice if they provided some information on one of the documents somewhere that said something simple such as “Repaired” or “Replaced”. At leas then you’d 100% know.
Until such a time, I would suggest keeping track of serial numbers to compare with.