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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tazman's Avatar
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    Damaged Computer

    I'm posting in here as there isn't another forum that really covers this. Mods, feel free to move it if need be.

    Here goes.

    Here's some pics of the computer. Beware dialup users, 27 pics.

    This was sent to me by my brother from Texas to NY. He wanted a firewire care installed and some software installed that his wife needs on it for work from home.

    The specs aren't important at the moment, I charged him $2800 to build it a year ago with the best components (IMO, the case sucked but that's what he wanted ). That includes a 19' monitor (.22) and $300 speakers, etc.

    He insured it for $2000 and shipped it out from an electronics store via UPS. And you can see how it arrived.

    Now the problem(s).

    Apparently the store insured it for $200 instead of $2000. The store says that the computer replacement isn't going to cost $2000 to replace. They screwed up the insurance and now won't stand behind the reimburstment. They want to salvage parts out of it and want me to replace only what is "needed".

    The "hit" that computer took pushed the power supply into the motherboard tray and twisted it. Hit it so hard that four of the motherboard srews were knocked out. That also means the video card and modem were twisted in thier slots. I pulled the drive and put it in another box to recover the data but it is also trashed. Would you salvage?

    I say no because of the problems that can occur down the road. I say it's a complete loss.

    How would y'all (other system builders) deal with this fiasco?

    This was topnoch a year ago and was shipped as such. To replace it and the rebuild, my time in tweaking, etc. plus the week spent getting an onsite inspector from UPS is well over $2000 and he's being offered $200.

    Advice, opinions welcomed and needed.

    TIA!

    Mike
    Last edited by Tazman; April 30th, 2003 at 10:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    That store should definitely stand behind it. I agree with you that ALL the parts should be replaced. How to go about accomplishing that, I have no idea.

  3. #3
    Member DaveLewis's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts:

    First off - does your brother have anything on paper saying that the computer was to be insured for $2000? If the whole deal was done verbally he's going to have trouble trying to prove that he wanted the higher insurance value. I think that "standard" UPS insurance is about $200 so that's what they want to settle for.

    The second issue is that the purpose of insurance is to "make you whole" - that is to say its purpose is to restore what you had 1 second before the accident. Insurance will not give you a new machine unless you specified "replacement cost" which I think is what you were trying to do in this instance.

    By the cold hard facts, if you can't claim replacement value about the best you can do is expect another one year old used computer. Your box might have been top of the line last year, but the same components are probably worth about half the value (if that) today. One second before the accident you had had a used motherboard, drive, video card etc. Why should you get new components as a result of the accident if the old ones are still functional?

    If you can't prove the insurance amount I'd settle for a new case as a result of obvious UPS mishandling, go for a new drive, test the other components and hope for the best. You'll never recoup time or aggravation.

    If you really like abuse you can do a small claims action but nobody can ever guarantee the outcome or your chances of actually collecting.

    BTW a friend worked at the UPS terminal near here. He stated that it regularly "rained" computers on the handlers when they opened the truck doors. They weren't about to try to catch monitors so the nice Dell and Gateway boxes hit the ground.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member Kuasimodem's Avatar
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    Another reason not to ship UPS

    I would definitely go after the electronics shop for cheaping out on the insurance. What person in their right mind would only insure a higher end computer for only $200?
    What did a tornado sound like before freight trains were invented?

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Nighthawk's Avatar
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    They definitely should give you the full insurance value.

    Does your brother have a bill showing that they charged him for the extra insurance? Is it a line item on the receipt?

    If you're forced to try to salvage stuff, I'd guess that the RAM and the media reader should be fine. The CPU might or might not be (depends on whether the core got crushed). Some of the cards still might work.. One of my friends slipped and had his computer fall down a flight of stairs. His video card popped out of the AGP slot, but was still OK.

  6. #6
    the *Voice* in your Head PresterJohn's Avatar
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    if you have to go to claims court to settle this, you are not going to get $2000. if the judge rules in your favor, you will probably be awarded an amount equivalent to repair the damage.

    you should probably inspect the machine and figure out what works and what doesn't. then figure out what it will cost to purchase replacement parts. have that ready when you go to court.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member chris64's Avatar
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    Yeah look on the invoice and see how much they charged for the insurance.

    UPS charges $0.35 per hundred dollars insured. So if they used the USP pricing rate then you can just divide the amount they charged for insurance by $0.35 and multiply the answer by 100 to find the dollar amount that they insured.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Tazman's Avatar
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    DaveLewis -
    By the cold hard facts, if you can't claim replacement value about the best you can do is expect another one year old used computer. Your box might have been top of the line last year, but the same components are probably worth about half the value (if that) today. One second before the accident you had had a used motherboard, drive, video card etc. Why should you get new components as a result of the accident if the old ones are still functional?
    Good point. But my take on that would be that to replace the computer, I wouldn't use the same parts from a year ago for obvious reasons (faster, better parts now available). They shouldn't depriciate the value because of age, it was insured for $2000 and that is the replacement cost for that computer, no matter that it is a year old.

    Kuasimodem - My point exactly, who in thier right mind would insure a computer for $200 (unless it was a Walmart flavor.

    PJ - I have 14 hours in data recovery (@ $50/hour). I recovered about 8GB but still have to sift through hundreds of folders . Just because he is my brother doesn't mean I shouldn't be compensated for my time - this is a business after all.

    Nighthawk & chris64 - He has the bill (I've yet to see the copy. He said it was around $55 to ship the 21# computer 3 day select. I have a UPS database I did for a shipping business last year and looking at the highest rate charged for a zone in the US for 21 pounds is $30.70 (plus whatever the shipper tacks on). Off the top of my head, it would sound as if he was charged for $2000 coverage. Maybe that amount wasn't submitted to UPS by the shipper .

    I'll find out more today and hopefully get a copy of the reciept.

    BTW, he has video of the computer packed prior to shipping (he lost a very expensive camera a while back because of damage hence the video).

    On another note, yes, I AM expensive when it comes to building computers because of the quality of build and the tweaks I do. Not ego, just a fact .

    Thanks all! chris64 - thanks for the infoon insurance cost - it'll help later to figure out what was charged.

    Mike

    Mike

  9. #9
    MDS
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    Never forget MDS's Avatar
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    I hope you still have the receipt for when you built it for him. As that will be the first ? from UPS about replacement. I know someone who had a similar problem with a computer destroyed by fedex and they paid 80% of original cost of a one years old system even though it was insured for more than he got. I hope UPS takes care better then that.

  10. #10
    the *Voice* in your Head PresterJohn's Avatar
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    >Just because he is my brother doesn't mean I shouldn't be compensated for my time - this is a business after all

    i feel for you and as a matter of fact, i agree. but the courts may have a dfferent view since sometimes it's hard to quantify & prove something like IT labor costs, particularly when the 'customer' in this case was a family member.

    we both know that to just install an operating system will take under 1 hour. but to tweak the system, etc. takes much more time.

  11. #11
    Member No Tact's Avatar
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    $2,800.00?

    $2,000.00 for what I see in those pictures?

    Soyo Dragon +

    Soyo Smart Card Reader = Free with board

    24x10x40 CDRW = Generic?

    Maybe Lite On DVD 16x?

    Floppy

    Cheap aluminum case w/ power supply also generic stock

    One HDD?

    Regular IDE Ribbons

    A Vid card with passive heatsink = Low end?

    A 56K Modem

    2 - 80mm fans

    Generic or retail Heatsink

    I do not see how the HDD would have been damaged and don't see the power supply hitting the motherboard. Looks like plenty of clearance to me.

    Don't know what type of CPU or RAM but I would assume they would be ok too.

    Sorry I don't see $2,000.00

    I do feel there should be compensation but I would test all that hardware and also price it out. I would nnot upgrade your system but buy the same exact components that it has in it.

    I just sold a comparable system NEW for $400.00 and a 600 MHZ Duron System trade.

    Just being honest.
    AMD 3200+ SLK-800A, eVGA 6800 Ultra AGP, Albatron NForce2 400 Ultra, 1GB (2x512MB Dual) Corsair TwinX 3200XLPro

  12. #12
    Senior Member nochay's Avatar
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    Angry

    NEVER SHIP A PC UPS!!!

    Ups handles packages like no tommorrow. They could set fire to them, and send them on their way, and I don't think they would care. Always ship via fedex, or airborne express, but never ups. I would never trust them to ship a block of foam. They would find a way to destroy it.

    Dane

    P.S.



    UPS can't drive!!!!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Tazman's Avatar
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    nochay - That's a great pic!

    No Tact - Indeed.

    The case is a "lousy" case and not a CoolMaster. But that would be about the only component he insisted on. The parts inside were the best (some near best, as you mentioned, not the top end video card at the time, but a step down).

    Break it down for ya. I'm doing this off the top of my head because at the moment I'm 1400 miles away from my records. Remember, this was ordered 12/01 and built 1/02.

    Case w/ 320Watt PS = 100
    Mobo - Soyo Dragon Black w/ RAID (Ultra) = 165
    Proc - XP1800+ = 250
    Mem - Corsair ECC 512MB PC2100 (2x256) = 200
    Video - Geforce 3 MX = 125
    CDRW - (again correct in Lite On) = 100
    DVD = 65
    HDD - Maxtor 40GB 7200 = 140
    Modem - 30
    Heat sink - CoolMaster (forget model) = 30
    Win XP = 200
    Other software = 400
    ______________

    Monitor - 19" .22 = 300
    4.1 Alec Lansing Speakers = 250
    Keyboard, mouse = 40
    ______________

    Rough math (off the top of my head is near 2000), And yes, I charge a whole lot to build and tweak a computer. For those morons who want a cheap, badly configured Dell, Gateway, HP, Compaq, etc, I direct them to those sites.

    we both know that to just install an operating system will take under 1 hour. but to tweak the system, etc. takes much more time.
    PJ said it best. About anyone can install Windoze or even do a build. What I do is above and beyond what most techs would bother with (if they were even aware of what it was that I ws "tweaking" and what it actually does. I have spent years learning what I know and still spend about 4 hours a day keeping current with hardware and software news / releases / reviews (thanks Rob ).

    All that said, my time is worth money. The only "free" advice I offer is here at TechIMO (which is my home page and was since the "old" site) and that is because I am giving back which y'all graciously help me with in times of trouble. I don't post as much as some members because when I do post a response to a technical question, I give a VERY informative response and I need to find the time to do the investigation to actually help someone instead of a response of try updating drivers, etc.

    Again nochay - good pic!

    ME

  14. #14
    prexaspes
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    I'm hoping that you get at least enough to rebuild the computer back to spec. It wouldn't be as expensive as it was to build then, but at least you'd get the newer revisions of the hardware. The Athlon XP would probably be a lot more overclockable.

    Any idea where in the chain of UPS the thing got messed up at? I've shipped stuff from California over to here a lot via UPS and FedEx (usually FedEx) without anything like that happening. It's shocking - brings a tear to my eye (all that messed up hardware). I know a guy who worked at our UPS. He told me that they would load Dells and Gateways all day long, and that some of them come in damaged. He also told me that they hardly ever had any accidents, and they took care of them when they did happen.

    Somebody's trying to give you the shaft

  15. #15
    Senior Member The Punisher's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nochay
    NEVER SHIP A PC UPS!!!

    Ups handles packages like no tommorrow. They could set fire to them, and send them on their way, and I don't think they would care. Always ship via fedex, or airborne express, but never ups. I would never trust them to ship a block of foam. They would find a way to destroy it.

    Dane

    P.S.



    UPS can't drive!!!!
    ROFL That doesnt surprise me, everytime I recieve something from UPS the boxes are all fu*ked up.

  16. #16
    just passin thru Sweeper's Avatar
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    just the opposite for me. Everytime I get ship FedEx something get's messed up. UPS for me please.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tazman's Avatar
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    Sweeper - I would find it hard to believe any shipper in the world could damage anything you ship the way you packaged the memory I bought from you - it probably could've survived a direct hit from a MOAB .

    I'm gonna price up the system as it was originally and send it out. It's up to them what they're gonna do after. At this point I too disgusted with the whole situation to deal with it. Seems my time is free no matter what I do .

    Mike

  18. #18
    Ultimate Member Wizzard~Of~Ozz's Avatar
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    UPS has been great with me also, Fedex really sucks, their drivers are extremely rude (one started b#tching to my wife about not having a form filled out already for pickup (how would I have had the form prior to her arriving?) and the doorknocker the one guy left without actually knocking. (my wife and son were both home when they claimed to knock)

    UPS always here around noon, packages are always in perfect condition (even across country)

    Even Canada post is better then Fedex IMO (always one time and always in good condition)

    must be a US UPS problem.

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