Defective product replacement experience within warranty period

Generally speaking, in India, customer is at a receiving end while asking for replacement for a defective product within warranty period. I shall narrate my experience, one bad and other slightly good.

It's a experience most people in India would agree and say it's not new - it's common. Any way, draw your own conclusions.

We had purchased Creative's EP-630 Ear-phone from a dealer in Lamington Road at about Rs.850/-. After few months, it became defective. When we contacted dealer, he said warranty is only for 2 months. I pointed out to him that on Creative's web site, it's written as 1 year. He said we don't get replacement from the distributor. I contacted distributor - Cyberroam. They said warranty is for 6 months from the date of manufacture. When I saw the date on the box, 6 month had just got over. I pointed out to them that Creative's warranty is for 1 year from date of purchase but they refused to acknowledge same saying it's only for 6 months from the date of manufacturing.

So, I wrote to Creative, Singapore. First they confirmed that warranty is 12 month from the date of purchase. They asked me to contact dealer/distributor. Then I convinced them that they are unwilling to do anything. So, they shipped replacement piece, EP-830 (which was one level higher and slightly costlier) by ordinary post. After waiting for 6 weeks, I informed them that it has not reached. So, they shipped second piece, again by ordinary post, in spite of my telling them to send by other means because their replacement policy did not allow shipment by courier. Again after waiting for about 5 weeks, I wrote to them to give details of shipment. They sent it to me and I registered complaint with Indian Post and sent them details of the same. Also, I advised them to give complaint at Singapore.

After that they sent me third piece, but this time by FedEx courier (priority) and sent me the shipment number. I got it on the 3rd or 4th day without any problem. Of course, it was not in the usual box packing. Earphone was kept inside a simple plastic bag inside an envelope.

Other replacement is about Transcend DDR RAM - 256 MB. We had purchased it at about Rs.2,500/- a piece. At the time of purchase dealer said it carried 3 year warranty. After about 3.5 year, PC started giving problem i.e., it would arbitrarily shut down or hang. After lot of trial and error, we found that it was one of the two 256 MB RAM that was problematic. Upon close inspection, we noticed that small portion of it's leg (that goes inside the PCI slot) had a defect. When we contacted the dealer, he said DDR rams are not available and warranty is also over.

So, I checked the Transcend's website and entered all details. Upon checking warranty details, I found that is carried life time warranty. So, I contacted Transcend for warranty replacement. They confirmed by return mail that my RAM had life time warranty and I should contact distributors. They sent me details of their distributors and I contacted all of them one by one, not knowing from whom the dealer who supplied to me had bought from. Two distributors, who were in Mumbai, when I sent the RAM to them, said they had not sold it. When I asked them details of the Transcend Warranty Replacement Centre, one said there is no one, we only give replacement for units we have sold. Other said there is one in Tardeo A/c Market but did not have any more details.

So, I wrote about this to Transcend, Taiwan. After about 2 weeks delay they sent name and address of Accel Frontline's warranty replacement centre. I sent them the defective RAM, they gave receipt and said contact in 1 week. After 1 week they said replacement is ready, send some one. When we collected it back, we found it was just returned as it is! When we contacted them, they said it was out of warranty, so it was returned. When I wrote about this to Transcend, some one called up from Chennai, saying please send it again because there was a mistake in number entered.

After initially insisting on their collecting the defective item from me, which did not do in spite of my writing to all concerned people and talking to them, I sent it back. They have online system of checking the status. For about 2 weeks, it kept on saying 'checking warranty'. After that it showed 'out of warranty'!!! When we told them the whole history and also told them that we had given proof to them from Transcend that it was under life-time warranty. Then they said, they are waiting for replacement to come. After few days, we noticed that Accel Frontline's website did not have any references to 'Transcend'!!! When we called them on phone they said the reference number had changed and we should contact them after some time. That's last we heard from them. It's been almost 2 months. We have written few mails to Transcend, some of which they forward to Accel but no response from Accel Frontline.

After few months of follow-up on phone, finally we got a brand new DDR-333 256 MB RAM in original packing.

Update Oct 2014
One more Transcend DDR RAM - 512 MB started giving problem by rebooting the PC. I checked the warranty status on Transcend's website by keying in the Serial number. System said it is having Life Time Warranty.

Transcend Part No.TS64MLD64V3F5
Product Description 512MB DDR 333 U-DIMM 2Rx8
Serial Number xxxxxxxxxxx586
Warranty Until Life Time Warranty

Once again contacted Accel Frontline and got response that as per Transcend's policy they don't accept any RAM module with capacity less than 1 GB! So, I made a complaint on Transcend's website. I got mail reply that I should contact Accel Frontline in Mumbai. After number of mails back and forth - I got a mail from Taiwan that they have spoken to Accel Frontline and we should give the faulty RAM to them. After showing them printout of mail they accepted the faulty RAM and gave receipt. They said replacement would take 2 to 3 months. Let's see what happens.

This is the deal customer gets in India for warranty replacement.

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