After an XFX motherboard died in my sister's desktop computer, I purchased an Asus M3A78-EM AM2/AM2+ motherboard to replace it as it had almost the exact same hardware specifications and features and would support both her AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ dual-core processor and the four sticks of PC6400 DDR2 memory that she had in the XFX board. At the time that I purchased this board from NewEgg, I also purchased a two-year ServiceNet Replacement Plan as a measure of protection should something go wrong with the motherboard. Originally, I thought this to be a prudent idea. Now, however, I see that it was probably not such a great thing to do. Please note that the Asus motherboard came with a three-year manufacturer's limited warranty as it was not a refurb nor a recertified item and NewEgg's site accurately reflected this at the time of purchase.
About a ten days ago, my sister was using her desktop computer when she noticed that the computer was operating somewhat slow and buggy. After becoming a little frustrated with it, she decided to shut it down for the night (she normally lets it go into standby mode). However, when she attempted to boot the computer the next morning, it flashed a BSOD and automatically restarted itself. It kept performing this behavior until she shut it down by pressing the power button on the front of the computer. She then called me and asked me for technical assistance over the phone, but the problems that we encountered during the troubleshooting seemed to point to a dying motherboard.
So I trekked up to my sister's place (she lives a little over two hours away from me) with all of my technical tools and software in tow. After testing her power supply, I found that it had a defective +5VSB rail that (after having its 24-pin main connector attached to an LCD power supply tester for about 4-5 minutes) jumped from 4.9V to 8.8V. After it did this, the 24-pin connector appeared to not have any power to it for about 30 seconds, yet the PSU fan would still run. Then the power to the 24-pin connector would come back and stay on for two to three seconds, then go away again. After about five or six cycles of this behavior, the entire PSU would shut down completely. I then tested the motherboard by swapping out the PSU and resetting CMOS, but the motherboard failed to provide a video signal to her monitor via the onboard video chip. The CPU fan and the intake fan would power up and the LED lights on the motherboard would light up, but the exhaust fan at the back of the case would not run at all.
I then called ServiceNet to get a claim established so the replacement process could be started. This is where I ran into problems because when I gave them the information for them to check my extended warranty, I was informed that the Asus motherboard had originally come with a one-year manufacturer's warranty and that my extended warranty contract had expired on April 8, 2012. I knew that I had purchased the mobo on April 9, 2012, but I was not sure about the actual length of the manufacturer's limited warranty as NewEgg is known to post inaccurated warranty information on their site, occasionally, so I hung up. After I got home, I found the original box that the motherboard had been packaged in and found that Asus clearly stated that the motherboard had a three-year manufacturer's limited warranty, so I called ServiceNet a second time. Again, I was told that my extended warranty contract had expired on April 8, 2012. When I pointed out the fact that both the motherboard box and NewEgg's site specified a three-year manufacturer's warranty, they refused to budge and kept repeating that, according to the information in their database, my extended warranty contract had expired in April of this year. I then informed the rep that I would not be calling back.
So I called my sister to let her know the outcome of my two phone calls with ServiceNet, and that is when I learned that she had experienced a similar situation with them last November with an HP laptop she had purchased from NewEgg in February of 2009. At the time she purchased this laptop, she had elected to purchase a two-year ServiceNet Replacement Plan as well (the HP laptop came with a one-year manufacturer's limited warranty). When the power harness on the laptop failed in November of 2011, she contacted ServiceNet only to be told that her extended warranty contract had expired earlier that year as her HP laptop had come with only a six-month manufacturer's limited warranty. Since she had purchased the laptop as a new item (not refurbished nor recertified), she faxed the warranty paperwork that came with the laptop to ServiceNet and they immediately apologized for the error and began processing her claim on the laptop. This resulted in a repaired laptop two to three weeks later.
I decided to take a different tack and went to ServiceNet's "MyServicePlan" site and found a link where I could leave feedback concerning my experience with ServiceNet. This is what I wrote:
"After dealing with two of your "service representatives" concerning a 2-year extended replacement warranty plan that I purchased on an ASUS M3A78-EM motherboard from NewEgg.com on April 9, 2009 (the motherboard had a three-year limited warranty from ASUS), I have learned that I paid extra money for a basically worthless service from ServiceNet as the contract expired on the same day the limited warranty on the motherboard from ASUS expired. I will be posting negative reviews on NewEgg's site concerning this so-called "extended warranty" service and will be warning others to decline your service as well. I will never again waste money on your "extended" replacement warranty plans as they aren't worth the money or the time spent in trying to establish a valid claim. Thanks for nothing, ServiceNet. You will not see another dime of my money ever again!"
About an forty minutes later,I received this personalized response:
"Thank you for using My Service Plan. We do apologize for the inconvenience. Upon review, Newegg did advertise the unit to have a 3 year Parts and Labor warranty through Asus. We have placed a submission to have your contract updated accordingly, reference SID # 47191. You should receive a follow up call in the next 2-3 business days notifying you of the update. Again, we do apologize for the frustration this has caused. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us."
My Service Plan
I felt somewhat appeased by this response and decided to allow them the two to three business days to correct the problem and get back to me when the information concerning my extended warranty contract had been updated properly.
Today, I called them and spoke to a representative to see if the information had been updated. The representative said that there was some notation concerning my contract and proceeded to put me on hold for a couple of minutes while she checked into it. When she came back, she said that the corrections that were submitted by their customer service representative at the feedback area of their site had not been cleared yet and to expect a call back later today. After waiting a few hours, I decided to go back to the feedback area and ask what the problem was. Here is what I wrote:
"I have already received an email response last Wednesday morning from a representative named Raymond concerning a service plan issue on an ASUS motherboard that came with a three-year manufacturer's limited warranty (it has it printed on the motherboard box as such!) and was told that he was submitting some sort of request to have my plan information updated accordingly within 2-3 business days and that I should expect a phone call when the information was updated. I called this morning to check on this and even though some sort of activity is showing up concerning this issue, the information has still not been updated accordingly. I find this to be very frustrating as it has been nearly a week since I first called concerning the service plan on this motherboard. If I have not received a call before the end of the day, I will have no choice but to contact PC World's On Your Side column and see if they can intervene on my behalf to get some sort of resolution to this problem. Thank you!"
A little more than an hour later, this was their response:
"Unfortunately your situation is still being review. Due to the contract being expired it has to go through management approvals and then our IT department has to go into the system and override the information manually. This process is taking longer than expected and I will inform you upon completion. We do apologize for the inconveniences."
My Service Plan
If I am understanding this correctly, this was their mistake, yet it seemingly will take some bureaucratic "act of God" to get corrected?!!! WTF??? Has anyone here had a simliar experience with ServiceNet?
P.S.: It should also be noted that ServiceNet is listed as being one of NewEgg's affiliates. If that is the case, how the hell can they get the original manufacturer's limited warranty lengths so screwed up???