Ask LH: What Can I Do When I Keep Getting Sold Faulty Motherboards?

Ask LH: What Can I Do When I Keep Getting Sold Faulty Motherboards?

Hey Lifehacker, I recently bought some parts to upgrade my PC including motherboard, RAM and CPU. I’m no IT Pro but I’ve put a number of PC’s together before including an almost identical one on the same day that is working great.

Long story short: the first motherboard failed after testing myself and the shop testing. They replaced the board with a new one. The second one worked when I put it back together, but the following night it stopped working again. What are my ‘rights’ with regard to this? I’m concerned when I take it back to the shop they are going to tell me that it’s my own fault seeing it’s the second one and they won’t replace the part. Thanks, Hard Times With Hardware

Motherboard picture from Shutterstock

Dear HTWH,

Your plight is similar to an Ask LH query we answered last week. Like we said then, you’re certainly within your rights to request a replacement for a faulty product, even on the second or third go-around. Australian Consumer Protection Laws state that all goods must be of acceptable quality and fit for the purpose they were designed for.

Products must also remain functional for a “reasonable time” after sale — two days is not reasonable by anyone’s definition. When a product has a major defect, it must be replaced, repaired or refunded by the manufacturer.

The bottom line is that a motherboard which stops working after one day is clearly defective and you’re entitled to a replacement. Since the store established a fault in the first one, it would be difficult for them to blame you for the same exact issue this time. Our advice would be to be polite, but stand your ground.

On a final note, you may want to check your power supply and the air flow inside your PC before installing your third mobo — just to be on the safe side. Check out our guide to building a computer from scratch for some general motherboard hints ‘n’ tips.

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • All electronic products these days are a crap shoot when it comes to returns. Over the past ten years or so I’ve bought a lot of tech, TV’s AV’s, Mobos, PC parts, the list goes on and I reckon I’ve had to return over 50% of it for refund or replacement. That statistic is conservative by the way, I think it’s probably a lot higher. This month alone I bought a mid range Yamaha AV receiver, took the first one back because it was faulty and second one burnt out in a week. Have gone back to Denon now. Most of it is just Chinese crap!

  • I got one of those P58 Gigabyte or whatever motherboards when the i7 2600 first came out, the SATA ports or something are dodgy, but I couldn’t get hold of the IT service I bought it from and gigabyte weren’t accepting any claims on their site…so I’ve still got it.

    • i reckon thats the MOBO that i got for nothing of a friend. its only some faulty sata ports though isnt it? as long as you dont use those ports there shouldnt be anything wrong with it?

    • That would have been to do with the P67 chipset where the SATA ports were faulty after running them in 6G mode. They were actual manufacturing defects by Intel which was later fixed in a B3 revision but manufacturers kept selling the older broken ones and had a BIOS update to mask the particular broken ports.

  • As mentioned above, the failure rate of electronics is far too high. I once received a Motherboard with broken pins and the Store refused to take it back yet I had not even left the carpark, continuing to blame me. But besides that there’s been dozens of RAM sticks, a few GPU’s, couple of HDDs, DVD Burner Combo the list goes on.

  • I think alot of tech companies are operating under the assumption that its easier (read: cheaper) to have a certain percentile come back as RMA’s versus the cost of decent QA procedures.

  • If you can get friends with the technicians then you might be able to get the inside scoop about the whole production line of that being dodgy and then ask to swap for a different model. I did this for an Asus motherboard i purchased it was essentially a $300 Pos and the firm i bought it off knew this.

  • It’s ironic that a top tier manufacturers are promoting their military grade motherboards which are designed to withstand high temps for long periods of time. Thus in bringing such models to obviously cater for the fact that their lower budget items are clearly not up to scratch or so I’m inclined to believe. Though buying a good mobo and a crappy PSU is a sure fire way to ruin everything, so do not skimp!

  • Thanks for the response Chris. I was the person who posted the question. I did end up taking the board back and the shop was really very helpful. The assistant who looked after me, took the Motherboard, RAM & CPU to do some further testing. He found there was an issue with the RAM so organised to have that replaced. Frustratingly I’ve since found that I have an issue with my Case (Everything works out of the case, but getting nothing when its in the case!) Time for a new one I guess. Again, thanks for the reply.

    • Man you are having a rough trot there.
      I’ve only had 1 mobo issue in my 10years of building and it was replaced with no trouble.

      My RC Helicopters have been a different story. The same model replaced 7 timesover 3 months. I eventually just got my cash back.

        • The only thing I can think of and maybe you already do, but ensure you are earthed when handling the components.
          Some people say its a waste of time, but I’d rather be safe than sorry with this stuff.

          • Heard different things about being earthed. Personally never had an issue. Know a lot of people who dont bother and have no troubles. I guess its something that people see as ‘better be safe than sorry’ and I see the point of that, but as I’m a very occasional builder I don’t worry.

            As it turns out I bought a new case because it was just a hassle trying to diagnose and everything is working like a charm finally. So I guess there was some issue with grounding in the previous case.

          • Glad to hear you found the issue 🙂

            I do use the earth strap for that very reason – better to be safe than sorry.
            In saying that, there have been times where I have been lazy long ago and not used one and never had an issue but maybe I got lucky.

            Each to their own hey 🙂

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