ADATA RAM memory defects NOT covered by warranty

In february 2013 a friend of mine decided to buy one of these new ultrabook laptop and the choice landed on a 15-inch Samsung NP900X4C. Back then it was the top of the range with SSD hard drive and 8 GB of RAM and a Intel 3317U processor at 1.7 GHz with Windows 8 installed. It was fast, slick, light with an outer shell of metal. However this was not a cheap purchase and it set him back a whopping 13 000 SEK (that's 1527 USD or 1359 Euro).

This new computer served him well for everyday use - web design jobs, photo editing, game playing, email, browsing - you name it, it was very usable. Unlike me he did not kick Windows aside and trustly stayed with the original Windows 8 and then when Windows 10 came he upgraded. He did not open the machine once to even take a look at the hardware as he was satisified with the performance. For handling he was very caring, always used the original sleeve and protected it from bumps and scratches. He was a satisfied customer with a good laptop.

But in the early middle of september 2016 Windows 10 started acting more than unusual. Blue screens (or whatever Microsofts calls them today) started to be common, programs crashed for no reason - especially Google Chrome which he told me was unstable.

After some trouble shooting he decided to try a memory test to see if one or more of the memory modules were faulty. Even if it was unlikely as it was only 3 years and 6 months from the purchase and he had not even seen the memories in question.

To boot the test program Memtest86 from an USB memory stick (he used the Ubuntu Gnome Live boot distribution which includes Memtest86) on this machine was not easy and the story about the Samsung ultrabook series and their very buggy BIOS has been told before. But after some hour of struggling he got Memtest86 to work.

Making things work usually makes people happy. But in this case the results made him sad, because Memtest86 printed red memory error warnings over the screen. At least one memory was definitely broken.

So he turned off the machine, unscrewed all of the 10 small screws on the back, discharged himself from ESD and opened the back cover up. Inside he found 2 ADATA 4G 1600/12800 DDR3 SDRAM memory modules, one which he carefully removed.

When testing again Memtest 86 still reported errors. So he repeated the procedure, put the memory he had removed back and removed the second one. This time Memtest86 did not report any memory errors.

Just to test my friend switched the memory with those in a Dell E6220 laptop with 2x4 GB RAM he had laying around and put the one from the Dell in the Samsung and the broken one from the Samsung in the Dell. The results of this was the same - the Memtest86 on the Samsung reported 8 GB of working RAM and the Memtest86 on the Dell with the broken RAM printed errors. 

Two computers cannot be wrong - the memory was broken. But how to solve this? 

A simple search revealed that Samsung has 36 months of warranty on their laptops and he was 6 months behind it, so it was no solution. Then he found that ADATA, the memory maker issued lifetime warranty for their DRAM products, which sounded like very good solution. 

So, he photographed the Memtest86 result, memory and found the receipt from the purchase in the store over 3 years ago which he made an image of (as ADATA do not support sending PDF:s). Then he made an account on the ADATA customer pages and filed an RMA with the correct product codes and all the photos. It was a warranty issue and he had lifetime warranty.

But only a day later he got this in response from ADATA:

"Hello

Thanks for supporting ADATA product.
According to the picture you provided, at first I want to inform you that your memory is an OEM product. It’s for certain customer. Please refer to your Notebook vendor for more information. Most OEM manufacturers provide the support themselves. We are sorry we do not have information regarding this product and cannot provide the warranty. 
Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

Regards, 
ADATA Customer Service Center"

Which means that the lifetime warranty of ADATA is not true and not working.

Hiding behind the fact that the memory is sold inside a computer as an OEM product is only giving them badwill if they don't replace it. 

Even if it is an OEM situation they could verify that the purchase and warranty issue was a legit one. When a customer files an RMA with a computer receipt and a broken memory module they could check their database and find that the specific module was sold as an OEM product in Samsung laptops - which they already seemed to have done. Then they could also require the customer to send the faulty memory back to them, to be sure that the customer is not trying to request free memory modules endlessly, if that is what they may be afraid of.

In contrast of this I and my friend have been in contact with other manufacturers in similar cases and we have always gotten replacements free of charge or at the cost of sending the faulty product back. Examples of this are Creative which replaced a keyboard of mine at no cost at all and Corsair that replaced a faulty TX650 PSU with a later version at the cost of only shipping it back.

How hard can it be to send the customer a new memory module and what would it cost them in the end? 5 dollar? Is it worth saving this and instead getting bad reviews like this one? I and my friend will from now on NOT buy or recommend ADATA - may it be memory modules, USB memories, SSD:s and so on. The reason we have learned is that this company does not give any warranty.

Conclusion: Do not buy ADATA products, their warranty is FALSE.

This is a personal note. Last updated: 2016-09-12 12:30:02.



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Don't forget to pay my friend a visit too. Joakim