Kudos to Intel Support

Back in 2014, I got myself a pretty tricked-out PC (for its time). The funny thing is, this is the first PC I ever built that had multiple component failures over the course of 3 years of normal usage (no overclocking).

First, the PSU died. I replaced that quickly and everything went back to normal. Then later on, the GTX 770 which I bought as part of the build died. That GPU is currently sent back to the manufacturer (Palit) and awaiting their decision on the replacement.

Third, and the topic of this post, is that the Intel i5 chip died. This is the first time in all the years that I have been using Intel that the CPU ever died. I’ll skip the part about troubleshooting to isolate the problem, but suffice to say, when it seemed like the CPU was faulty, I was actually skeptical. Never heard of anyone having a dead CPU before. But, in my line of work, dead CPUs are somewhat rare, and it happens only to AMD CPUs, not Intel Xeons.

So, I managed to borrow an i5-4570 CPU (mine’s an i5-4690) to try. Lo and behold! It was indeed the CPU – there can be no doubt. The PC booted up fine and ran diagnostics fine.

I then started to wonder whether I could send the CPU back to Intel in Singapore. After all they have an office plus a manufacturing facility here. To find out where they are, I went to the Intel website (www.intel.com). Interestingly, I clicked on SUPPORT and started to do warranty checking on the serial numbers, and other info which may be needed if I start the RMA process. While doing this, there was a big prominent button to click to start the warranty RMA process.

Thinking “why not”, I clicked it and started filling in all the boxes with the required information. I even attached photos of the CPU and the box to the ticket.

Now, Intel is a big company, an MNC. I was not expecting anybody to respond to my ticket until 1 or 2 days later – so I thought no more of it.

Surprise number 1 – within a few hours, a human actually replied to the ticket, requesting for more info which I duly provided. By this time it was already Wednesday, night time in Singapore.

Surprise number 2 – Got an international call via Viber app on the phone from Intel! The CS officer was calling to update me, as well as to give instructions on what to fill out for FedEx when they come to pick up my faulty CPU. Intel was going to foot the bill for shipping my faulty unit back to them via International Priority Shipping!

So I filled out the required forms, called FedEx to pick up the package. They did so on Thursday afternoon, around 3pm. I tracked the package as it went through FedEx’s network, and saw that these guys don’t drag their feet! International Priority was FAST! By Thursday night it had already left Singapore!

On Friday, evening, I saw that the package had arrived at Intel. Thinking that it was already “end of day” on a Friday, I probably won’t hear anything from Intel until at least Monday or Tuesday. So, I thought no more of this.

Surprise number 3 – Got an email from Intel on Sunday night – they have verified that my CPU was faulty and will do a replacement for me. They gave me another FedEx tracking number, and I could see that FedEx had already picked up the package. Throughout Monday I saw how it left Intel, then made its way to Singapore. On Monday night, around 8pm, it had arrived and cleared customs. The CPU was finally delivered to me on Tuesday.

Surprise number 4 – the replacement CPU was brand-new. Unused. All seals intact! Exactly like how it would be if we were to see it in a shop. No markings were on the chip itself to indicate it had been previously used. I checked the warranty on this serial number on the Intel website, and it stated the warranty will run until 2020!

All in all, it took less than a week – 6 days to be exact, to get my CPU replaced! That is incredibly fast, seeing as Intel facilities were “overseas” from Singapore. I wonder why they didn’t just tell me to send the CPU to the Singapore office. They probably don’t have the replacements in Singapore, I guess.

Bravo Intel! You guys are incredible!