Rosewill not so Rosey
by jgreecejr - 9/6/08 2:26 PM
Rosewill, advertises itself as a manufacturer of computer components through their website, ads at NewEgg.com, through people/companies/sites that review products, through non-existent company sites (TRG Electronics) that sells their wares through numerous re-sellers. In these same venues they advertise that they design and engineer their products to the highest level, this is claimed to reduce failures of the products.
Based in large part on their advertising, the fact they have now been in business for appr 5 years and that I had heard they were owned by NewEgg,
I decided to try one of their products, a 750 PSU (power supply unit) on a new system I was to build. I initially test all new components in an existing system, so if there is a problem, I know it is with the new component, which is what I did with this PSU. When I first powered it on their was a loud pop, a hint of smoke and nothing. I immediately killed the power and disconnected everything. When tried with the original PSU, still nothing. Further testing indicated the motherboard, CPU and one of the graphics cards had been ruined, the second graphics card (of an SLI system), would work, but barely and not up to spec).
I filed for an RMA on the product through NewEgg and wrote a review on the NewEgg site so that others would know of my experience and hopefully would be wary of the product.. I was surprised to find that Rosewill responded to the review publically and offered to replace the fried components, with the caveat that they need some more information, I promptly wrote them, describing in detail, what happened, and then the real problems began.
After ignoring my initial e-mails, they finally responded. Turns out the additional information they asked for want sufficient, now the wanted me to dismantle the system and send the components to them so they could test them to see if the PSU was the cause of the damage. This sounded both odd and suspicious as I have seen failures of this sort before and, after working/building computers for 28 years know of no way that they could do any tests to make that determination without the entire system intact. Problems of this nature normally occur from a short in the system, again, normally, but not always tied to an improperly installed motherboard (i.e. it shorts).
Also on the suspicious side was the fact they wanted me to ship all these components to an individual, actually, t6o the ATTN: of an individual at an address, no mention of Rosewill, NewEgg or anything else just the street address and to the attn of a Mr Arthur Chou., and to include a copy of their e-mail.
Being rather suspicious now, I googled the address to find it attributed to a cargo company in the Yellow Pages, so I wrote and asked them of my thoughts. A) Why to this address, why not an address listed in the BBB, B) Who is this Mr Chou, that is suppose to do the testing, per their e-mail, he is listed as Rosewills manager, and I had found sites where he is attributed to being the person that answers the NewEgg reviews C) what methodology was to be used to determine the cause of failure/damage D) why is there no RMA paperwork, as I was addressing the RMA dept.
The first three questions they ignored, and have ever since, to the RMA question, I was informed there is no RMA paperwork as they dont have RMA procedures, all are through NewEgg.. I responded by repeating my earlier questions (which were again ignored, and have been ever since), and asked why then, do they list RMA procedures (which mention the paperwork) on their web-site and if so, then how do they abide to their warranties, which in many cases extend far beyond NewEggs policy of handling returns for a maximum of one year. No response to my questions.
At that point, there was no way I was going to just up and ship over $1,400 worth of hardware to an unverifiable address, to the attn of someone who appears to do everything, and trust them with anything, until they answered my questions. I fully expected that if I did send the components they would claim they never received them (as anybody could sign for a UPS/FedEx shipment, or they would get them, let them sit for a few days (I would now guess weeks) and then claim they had tested and the PSU was not the source of the problem, these thoughts coming from their complete lack of hanesty and failure to answer questions.
After a couple more weeks of trying, I filed a complaint with the BBB that Rosewill was just playing games, and in the complaint I asked the same exact questions that I had been asking for weeks, the only response I requested was that they answer the questions, I didnt ask for compensation of any kind, just answers (I also did ask about all the questionable/mis-leading/??false advertising issues I had come across by then). As with me, Rosewill has ignored the BBB by not responding.
After trying a while longer, I let them know I would file a more in depth complaint with the BBB and post my findings elsewhere, at which point they conditionally agreed to pay current value for the PSU and the fried components. Their conditions include a full retraction of the BBB complaint (no problem with me if they were going to take care of the matter) and to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement about the matter, which I again had no problem with, being well versed in these from former government service as well as from testing software/hardware for various companies. I expected a reply along with the agreement the following day. After numerous put offs that their legal department was working on the Agreement they finally sent it, over six working days later.
The agreement, their legal department worked on for over six days was, according to my attorney, nothing more than a boilerplate fill-in the blank forms available from any one of a number of sources. Yet it took a legal Department six days, sound shady to you? Me too, especially after reading it. There are points that arent entirely factual and they want me to attest and stipulate to these in this legal document. Obviously, that wont work.
Of further note, once again, though they claim to be a manufacturer of the products they sell, going as far as to claim the design/engineering behind the products as well as the manufacturing (making), I personally have yet been able to find a single product of theirs that isnt manufactured by a different company than them, all have had UL numbers on them from a variety of different OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer), I have also had other system builders, consultants, techies and engineers check on what Rosewill products they could get a look at and they all ended up with similar results. Not a single product that bears Rosewills name is made by Rosewill. As near as I can determine they are, as many have noted on the net, nothing more than a rebrander that buys other peoples products and slaps their name on them.
Another thing that bears note is that, of the OEMs that have been identified, I, myself would never be able to attest to the quality of their products, based on what Ive seen and read about them, I do know I would not buy their products, nor would I have purchased this PSU if I had looked into it closer.
So in summary, NewEgg owns Rosewill and Rosewill sells lines of products under their name, claiming they manufacture them, when in truth they buy the products elsewhere and in effect brand them by putting their label and packaging with them, which can actually drive the price higher, which when you look at what appears to be low prices now, think about it..would probably be much lower without the rebranding, which may be more indicative of the products themselves.
I believe I have had some positive effect on Rosewills misleading advertising, which adds credence to the fact that they know what they have been doing, do to the fact that since until I challenged them on their advertising practices as extremely deceptive and misleading if not completely false in early/mid July they have ceased with what was their semi-standard line they used in responding to customers who complained via NewEgg reviews where they would state that they Engineer our products, they have since gone to We try to provide the most reliable productsproblem is, since this began with me, I am also seeing more and more people coming out and speaking out about receiving shoddy PSUs that arrive DOA (Dead on Arrival) or die shortly thereafter. These products are suppose to be reliable and with a 3 year warranty or whatever but too many arrive DEAD (lack of or extremely poor quality control and/or poor quality parts).
Additionally please dont take the reviews posted at NewEgg as being a true representation of the products, my first review, which, granted was extremely critical of Rosewill (they had just destroyed in excess of a $1,300 of components) was rejected by NewEgg on the grounds that it didnt meet their RULES and criteria. When I challenged NewEgg as to please point out exactly what criteria I wasnt meeting they went ahead and published it. I know for fact this has happened to others also, and like mine, YES the reviews did meet all criteria. I would hazard a guess that negative reviews of Rosewill PSUs far outweigh any positive or semi-positive reviews, but that NewEgg publishes enough positive versus negative reviews to keep them in line with the quality made PSUs of name brands. You will also see a number of negative where the authors openly state/claim they feel that NewEgg wont publish their reviews, my guess would be these are people that have had trouble with NewEgg before, reviewed and not been published.
The really sad part is that NewEgg allows this.
Lastly I would strongly recommend those with bad experiences speak out about them.