My MadDog Multimedia graphics card came with a lifetime warranty, so when the card's fan malfunctioned a few months ago, I e-mailed the customer service department. Following some correspondence, I received a return merchandise authorization number and sent the card in for repair. After several weeks went by, I called tech support, and two different people said that they were sending the card back. Another few weeks later, however, they told me that they could not locate the card I'd sent, but that they would ship out a replacement. No one did, and my card was never returned. I've continued to call, to no avail. What else can I do?
Stephen Petrovich, Burlington, Massachusetts
After we contacted MadDog Multimedia, the company shipped Petrovich a replacement. He received this new card, but it malfunctioned after a week. After both Petrovich and PC World followed up about the second card, Petrovich eventually got a third board--which also malfunctioned.
Contacting MadDog has been difficult; the company frequently has taken several days to respond to our inquiries. No one at MadDog has been able to say what caused the cards to malfunction, or to explain why the company has not tried to troubleshoot these repeated failures.
We have since learned that MadDog has an unsatisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau due to unanswered complaints; those complaints commonly involve refund or exchange issues.
At this writing we're still trying to help Petrovich. As we've often recommended, we advise that you check out unfamiliar companies' BBB records before buying.
D-Link Router Recall
Early adopters who purchased the first units of D-Link's DIR-855 dual-band draft-n routers online should contact the company to arrange for a replacement. The company says routers in the initial shipment do not perform as advertised because they have miswired cables. The affected routers have serial numbers ranging from F30A17C000019 to F30A17C000118. If you have one of these units, call D-Link customer service at 800/326-1688 to arrange for prepaid shipping of the defective product back to D-Link for replacement or repair.
Magellan GPS Navigation Device Support Gets Lost
T.K. Tung of Irvine, California, was one of several readers who wrote us about problems with Magellan customer support. When Tung sent in his RoadMate 2200T GPS device for repairs, he was told the work would take about three weeks. Tung received different information in subsequent calls: First, he heard that the unit was ready to be shipped; then, that no further information was available; and later, that the device was being processed. After we contacted Magellan, the company sent Tung a replacement model. A Magellan spokesperson acknowledges that customers have experienced problems; he attributes the issues to the brand's transition from one support company to another. The spokesperson says customers can contact the company in two ways: by submitting a message on the Magellan Web site (the company pledges to respond within 24 hours) or by e-mailing email@example.com.