Tuesday, February 27, 2007

eVGA Customer Service and how it makes me giggle like a little girl

So, back in April of 2006 I swindled a friend of mine into giving me 300 bucks for my old eVGA 7800 GTX video card and a few computer parts. I take that $300 and take another $300 and pick up two of the new 7900 GT 256-meg cards that came out, to take advantage of SLI on my DFI Lanparty motherboard. The cards are ordered from Newegg, they arrive, are installed, and SLI-fueled gaming joy is mine. Life is good.

This is an eVGA 7900 GT:

Sometime in January of 2007, I start noticing some artifacting in several games I play, mostly Battlefield 2 and Medieval 2: Total War. This is somewhat annoying, as I've put about $2200 into this machine, but due to my reticence to admit there is an actual problem with MY gaming computer, I let it go for a while.

So the artifacting gets bad. I can't game for 20 minutes without spikey jagged graphical flickering obscuring my view. I finally get annoyed enough to start fixing the problem. Evidently, 7900 GT's, such as mine, are now notorious for memory problems which are causing (gasp) artifacting. They're being RMA'ed left and right. So I pull out one card, test the remaining 7900 GT...yup, it's....artifacting. I pull out that card, put in the other one...it's fine. Ok, this is workable, I can still play on the one card while I send back the other for replacement.

So I start the RMA process, which I've never done before, with eVGA. I request an RMA number, receive it the next day, print off the convenient label that eVGA e-mailed to me, and send my card back to eVGA. About a week later, I get a package in the mail, which I presume is another 7900 GT.

By this time, I've settled with playing my games with just the one 7900 GT. It's slower, especially with Medieval 2's 1000-man battles, but overall - not a problem on a temporary basis. So I'm not in a huge hurry to get my replacement video card installed. I get some time one night about a week later after I get home from work, and figure, "Hey, why not open up that package and install that card, so I can have SLI back?"

So I open up the package and this is what I see:

Whoa! That's not a 7900 GT with 256 megs of video ram at all. That is, in fact, a 7900 GTO with 512 megs of video ram. Take a look at that heatsink/pipe setup. The fan's bigger than the 7900 GT's (which means it's going to run cooler, with less noise) Sweet!

Once the initial euphoria settles, I realize that, as cool as this is, I cannot install both a 7900 GT and a 7900 GTO into my machine and have them working together in SLI mode. To have SLI mode working, you need two cards with the same graphics processor. The GTO is faster than my GT. Crap.

So I go to the eVGA website and shoot an email off to their customer service department.

Question (2/25/2007 9:45:30 PM): I recently submitted an RMA for a 7900 GT and sent it in. I got back a 7900 GTO card. While this is a nice card, even fantastic, I purchased a set of 7900 GT's with the express purpose of running them in an SLI configuration. Sadly, I cannot run the 7900 GTO and my remaining 7900 GT in SLI mode, no matter how much I wish I could. So I am now running the new 7900 GTO alone, by itself, while my poor 7900 GT is sitting on my desk, looking at me with forlorn hope of a productive life. What can I do about this? Would it be possible to send in my 7900 GT for another 7900 GTO so I can run my system in SLI mode? I'd understand why eVGA couldn't do this, but then, what's life without a little hope? I purchase eVGA products because of their reputation of customer service, please help me out. Thanks!
I get a reply a few days later:
Answered By Aaron H (2/27/2007 1:33:31 PM): I can work with my RMA department to make sure that we can upgrade your other 7900 gt. I just need you to verify the serial number for your 7900 gt and your shipping address and we can start an RMA for your 7900 gt to a 7900 gto. EVGA Tech
Wow. I totally expected eVGA to send back a polite little "Sorry, but we're not going to give you a free upgrade" note. I expected something along the line of "Hey, why don't you go find yourself a nice big pile of sand and a comfortable hammer, and go pound sand for a while."

Instead, eVGA took care of my needs, and gained themselves a loyal customer for life.

Yay for me. Yay for them.


Daxx Ruckus said...

I'm glad they helped you out. Customer service sucks for me. I have sent 5 emails and only had one reply about the copy of Quake wars that they advertised on their website and was supposed to come with my 8800 GTS. They can't even write me back. Very disappointed.

Anthony said...

I had an old 6800 that finally kicked the bucket after I abused it inside a poorly ventilated XPC rig. I later bought a ventilated casing for it. EVGA took their card back and sent me a replacement within a few days. Wish I got an awesome upgrade like you though!

Thouroughly Disgusted said...

With the exception of their great guys answering the phone in tech support, the customer service experience at eVGA is horrendous. I RMA'd a motherboard to them only to have them send me another DoA as a replacement. Getting that one replaced has been a journey into hell that has lasted over a month with still no motherboard for me, a status of "pending" on their site and no hope of resolution. Calling in gets me nowhere, "pending," and supervisors are never available and don't respond to email, nor does RMA.

At this point I'd reccomend steering clear of eVGA.

mike said...

to the guy above me, post what you posted here on the official eVga forums. I guarantee it will get lots of attention and a eVga mod will eventually see it and email you directly to fix the problem. The earlier you do this the better. It gets your problem resolved more quickly and makes eVga look good- both parties win.

Great blog on eVga CS imo. I had a very similar experience where I have my evga 7900 GT die and they sent me back a 7950 GT. I was super stoked to be sure! I have heard of people getting a GTS 320mb back too.

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