BFG Bails on Its Customers, Refuses Warranty Repairs

Paul Lilly

Say it with us, folks: "Boo! Hiss!" That's how we feel about BFG ending its legacy by punking its customers who supported the once enthusiast-oriented videocard maker.

A quick history lesson is in order here. BFG blazed a trail in the videocard market by introducing the concept of a true lifetime warranty for GPUs, and not one of those bogus ones that were good only for the life of the product so long as it was still being sold in the marketplace. This proved a major advantage in BFG's favor, and not long after, EVGA and XFX would follow suit, adding twists of their own (like the ability to overclock and swap out heatsinks without voiding the warranty, so long as no physical damage occurs).

BFG also built a legacy for itself by taking care of customers in other ways. In late 2008, the videocard maker began offering free PCI-E upgrades for AGP card owners -- all a user had to do was send BFG an "AGP card in good, working condition" and they'd send back a "PCI Express equivalent at no cost."

If that weren't enough, BFG around the same time voluntarily offered rebate relief for users burned by bounced checks from Continental Promotions Group, a third-party rebate handling company that mishandled funds.

More recently, BFG fell on hard times, ultimately deciding to bow out of the graphics card business, and it only got worse from there. Now it's come to our attention that BFG is refusing to accept RMAs, leaving loyal followers to go pound sand.

"BFG Technologies, Inc. is winding down and liquidating its business," BFG states in a letter to customers seeking an RMA. "Unfortunately our major supplier would not support our business. As a result we are returning your graphics card without being able to repair it. We apologize for the inconvenience."

So what's the real scoop? According to reports, Fermi is partly to blame for BFG's sudden downfall. As the story goes, Nvidia is the major supplier that wouldn't support BFG's business by denying allocation of Fermi parts to the graphics card maker. Once Best Buy learned that BFG was not going to put out new graphics cards, the retail chain drop kicked BFG from its stores altogether, including no longer carrying the company's power supplies.

It's all kind of sad, really, and a sobering reminder that those awesome lifetime warranties and other promises are only as strong as the company behind them.

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