Files included in archive *damage pics.rar (Thumbnails) attached to the following message which was the final message sent before opening dispute with Paypal:
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 11:15 PM Subject: Ebay Mobo Return/Photos attached
From: "Ai-Ling Logan" To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message contains attachments: 1 File (5030KB) * damage pics.rar
Re: response sent via Ebay mail system –
"I apologize for jumping to conclusions about your intentions; my partner has reminded me that not everyone is as tech-savvy as I and it is possible that you were simply not aware and perhaps the board would still power up even though it isn’t likely to perform properly. The amount of compound which was still all over the cpu bed would indicate at least someone who was unfamiliar with the required amount to use, so in retrospect I am inclined to agree with him, though I was VERY frustrated at the time, as I really needed a viable board. After considering it’s condition, I didn’t want to cause any damage to the components that I would have to use to test it, which, though slight, was still a risk, but I took some pics documenting the areas of concern and why I believe this to be a REFURBISHED piece.
As Ebay mail is limited, I am sending some pictures to you at Tomfab4@netzero. You should receive the board itself today or tomorrow at latest via USPS #:0309 1140 0001 4956 0573"
Reasons for return of item: (see pics)
A – PACKAGING/SHIPPING
First, let me begin by saying I was entirely dismayed upon first seeing the condition of the packaging when the board arrived, which looked as though it may have been drop-kicked through the postal system by careless workers. I don’t quite understand what happened here. When I discussed with you the option of ugrading to priority mail, I thought it was clear that time was of the essence, hence my willingness to pay more than the asking price for Parcel Post and my reluctance to buy from overseas. Yet the package didn’t even ship until after you received my email requesting to cancel the order if it hadn’t actually shipped yet due to the overlong delay, citing illness as reason. Did you know that you can schedule a pickup from your own house for packages on the internet? It seems to me this could have been accomplished much earlier as quite obviously a trip to the post office was not even necessary to obtain the proper box. At the risk of sounding like a mother hen, I will point out that had the thing been shipped in accordance with our original agreement and what I paid for, I would have been less suspicious of the contents inside. Please note, that the returned item was marked "FRAGILE", and shipped in a MEDIUM flat rate box (FRB02) (which was the first suggestion I provided to you in our communication, and in fact, roomy enough to accomodate the entirety of the package including some additional packing to ensure against damage to contents) for a grand total of $11.05 including "Delivery Confirmation". That being said, while perhaps less suspicious of your motives with the board itself, I AM still angry that I paid $14.65 specifially for the cost of shipping a LARGE Flat Rate Box (the option you chose based upon the measurements I provided) via priority mail. Since there was such a long delay before the item even left your possession, this obviously did not serve the purpose of even getting to me within the appropriate time frame, but (if it should have occured during shipping) it might have prevented any DAMAGE to the board like the type you see in the pictures if you had bothered to ship properly instead of pocketing the difference between that and the $7.80 you actually spent on shipping. Considering that this amount is even less than the Parcel Post cost of $8.80 you originally listed in your auction, this is actually the point I began to feel that some deliberate deception/omission may have been involved. I would have been happy to give a few extra bucks for "handling" charges if you required them, provided that the item could be sent to me in a timely fashion. While naivete might account for the lack of disclosure about the rest of the issues, I am having trouble finding good intent in this one. Frankly I am suprised at this from someone who has any more than the most introductory level of experience buying OR selling on ebay and this action alone deserves a "shame on you" finger wagging.
B – BAD CAPACITOR
The dust layer on the board and thermal compound on the cpu bed did not improve my mood but after cleaning it up a little, I took a closer look to be certain I had gotten most of the grease off (I could only hope it was a non-conductive variety; if not then it probably would certainly have shorted and possibly damaged any cpu I put in.) Closer inspection revealed a bad capacitor just behind the back panel outputs which is not discernable in the picture from the listing (though I did use it to point out the location of the bulging cap.) Thinking this was an unusual place for just one capacitor to fail, I then took a closer look at the caps nearest the cpu bed.
C – EVIDENCE OF HAND-SOLDERING/ATTEMPTED REPAIR
I have actually done a little repairing of pc circuit boards myself, and was not surprised at this point to find evidence that the caps on this board had probably been replaced by hand. My own VAIO has recently failed due to this exact issue, and I was able to eek a few additonal weeks of use out if it by replacing the bad capacitors with very similar results as what I saw here. The biggest giveaway that this was not a factory job, was not just the small "solder flag" which occurs when the iron is drawn away, but rather the small dot of solder next to it that was sitting on the board next to it, that easily brushed off with my fingernail once I took the picture. It made more sense that these caps (which are often the first and most noticable fail) were replaced, but the one behind the audio ports actually escaped notice than for this capacitor alone to exhibit symptoms.
D-F DENT ON RAM-SIDE OF BOARD/INTERRUPTED TRACE
Any notion I might have had that the board might be salvageable still went out the window after seeing this dent in the side of the board near the end of the ram slots. While I had hoped it might not be deep enough to damage the copper trace, which I was unsure about on the top, the bottom revealed a half-inch gap in the outermost three lines. At this point, I didn’t even bother to attempt powering up the board, because even should it post properly, that would certainly have caused a problem somewhere down the line in actually trying to USE the board, and didn’t want to risk the possible damage to any other components (ram/cpu/agp/psu).
Even if the shipping issue ALONE is not reason enough, along with the damage and the evidence of this being a refurbished board, I believe this qualifies for a refund under the category of "Significantly Not As Described." Please remit the original amount of $68.65 via paypal upon receipt of the board so I don’t have the additional hassle of filing a dispute with them. You may still be able to sell the board, as the expert I consulted with (who agreed that it was likely an amateur repair job) was offering to buy this from me for $31.00 shipped even knowing its condition, but I told him it was being returned. I would suggest adding higher resolution photos to avoid further problems, however. I took these with an older Canon Powershot A-10 and a DV3100. The Canons are better even though they are only 1.2 megapixels.