I understand Sapphire does not handle RMAs themselves. However, my experience with the third party that they have partnered with for the RMA is by far the poorest that I've had in recent history (versus EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte and Western Digital).
As a bit of history, Sapphire recommended I send in a request for an RMA to Althon Micro on the 5th. I sent my documents to Althon Micro the same day. On the 6th Althon Micro sent me directions on how to send them the defective card.
Immediately after shipping the card I sent an email to them stating the tracking number and expected delivery date, asking for a confirmation of this information or a confirmation upon receipt of the defective card. As of 12/17, I had received neither, so I sent an email asking for status.
A day later I have received no news from Althon Micro. Doing the math, I have been in the RMA process for about 13 days, one day shy of two weeks. Just as a basis of comparison, my coworker had a problem with his EVGA card and sent his card out two days after I did and has been told to expect the replacement to arrive by the end of the week. This means that not only is the actual RMA flow time for him about half of the expected flow time of Althon Micro, but he is actually getting status updates with his RMA.
Does Sapphire realize that, compared to their competitors, their third party RMA supplier is failing hard? Are they ok with that or doing something about it?
It's hard to not blame Sapphire for this extremely dissatisfying experience. I know parts fail, I know Sapphire did a good job troubleshooting prior to the RMA process, so kudos for that. But at the same time, if I know that any future RMAs with Sapphire will require me to deal with Althon Micro, why would I ever willingly put myself through that again?
Just finished a correspondence with Althon Micro. A representative talked to me about my experience, why I thought it was unacceptable. Basically, I conveyed that no communication and a long wait time are not acceptable. The official response that I got back was:
While this statement makes sense, it is completely ignoring the problems. I did not receive any promise to the contrary because I received no communication at all. I expect the following standard pieces of information to be sent back to me:After talking to my RMA department your card was received on Dec 11th and your card was ship out yesterday on the 19th this is still within the 7-10 days processing time. I don’t know what was promise to you but we did process your card in a timely fashion as we do to all our RMA customers.
a) confirmation of the email that I sent with the tracking # and arrival estimate,
b) response to my multiple inquiries regarding status,
c) expected RMA processing time.
I do also think holding onto a card for 8 days is too long, but that is just me.
TL;DR: If you expect communication and an RMA to not take the better part of a month, don't go through Althon Micro. They also don't see anything wrong with this so they are not likely to change anytime in the near future.