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My Coolermaster horror story.

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bahnburner 2 months ago

I just want to put my story out there in hopes that someone can learn from my experience and avoid the same fate.

Back in May I decided my Mac Mini was no longer sufficient as a Plex server, and that it was time to build a new one. I had been reading about the awesomeness that is used LGA1366 Xeon cpus, and decided to take that route. I bought a used SuperMicro X8DTi-F board on eBay as well as 2 x5650 processors, a pair of cpu coolers, a 120gb SSD for the OS and 12 4gb sticks of ECC DDR3. I figured I’d throw my current HDDs in there for storage until I was ready to start adding more drives and finally go RAID5. It was going to be a sweet 12 core beast for pretty cheap.

Unless you’re super into server boards, you may not be aware that the X8DTi-F is an E-ATX Mobo. We’re talking full the 12x13” standard size, not the 12x10.7” size that Asus and Gigabyte use for some of their gaming boards. I knew I was going to need a big case, since I’d have to house not only the board, but a bunch of drives, too. After browsing Newegg for far too long at work, I found the CoolerMaster Master Box 5. It was advertised as supporting full size E-ATX boards, and had the option to add additional hard drive cages (up to 4 for a total of 8 mechanical drives). So, I ordered the case, and planned to buy the additional cases once I was ready to expand (read: Once the wife would let me by more drives).

That point came just after Christmas. I picked up a few 8tb easystores to shuck while they were on sale and quickly realized I had an issue. I didn’t notice until that point, but the motherboard hangs about an inch over where the HDD cages would mount. ****. I reached out to @Coolermaster on twitter in hopes they could point me in the right direction and I was just overlooking something obvious.

“Sorry, but that case is not meant to support eATX.” -@coolermaster

Do what now? I quickly checked the listing on NewEgg. Motherboard Compatibility: Micro ATX / ATX / Mini-ITX / E-ATX. Ok, maybe they were mistaken. I responded with a screenshot of their marketing materials showing it clearly printed as supporting up to E-ATX.

“Ok. I asked around. And from what I understand e-ATX is unofficially supported. However, if you want to fit e-ATX then you cannot also fit a 3rd HDD. There's no space. You may want to consider getting a 2nd SSD bracket and mount it on the back…” -@coolermaster

Yes, Coolermaster support suggested I shove an 3.5” HDD into an SSD bracket. *facepalm*

I questioned how it could be unofficial when it was printed all over the marketing material on every Master Box 5 listing on NewEgg and Microcenter, and discussed in several reviews. After several days without a reply, and a few friendly reminders that my issue was still outstanding, they finally responded that they were forwarding my issue to management, and that I should hear something soon. I got a response a couple days later stating that they weren’t responsible because I purchased the case through a 3rd party. This was an interesting response considering I had already provided them a copy of my order summary from Newegg showing that the case was shipped and sold directly by Newegg, which I reminded them of at this point.

At this point, NewEgg reached out to volunteer to help, but since they weren’t directly responsible the most they were willing to do was provide an out of warranty return without a restocking fee. While generous, this would still leave me paying more for something my current case should already do. I will say, the Newegg reps were wonderful to work with and really sympathetic to my situation. They reached out to Coolermaster on my behalf and confirmed that Coolermaster removed E-ATX support at some point after my purchase and never bothered to notify them. On 1/16/19, they went ahead and updated their product listing to prevent this issue from recurring. (screenshot) SIDE NOTE: Microcenter still shows the original marketing material with full E-ATX support (screenshot).

So, on my way home from work that evening, I decided to call Coolermaster support and see if I could explain myself and get a response in a reasonable timeframe. I talk to a rep named “Stephen” who seems super understanding. I give him the whole story and advised that he would talk to his manager and see what they could do. I ask for an ETA and am told that “everyone’s in a meeting right now, and all day tomorrow, and we’re only working a half day on Friday, and... (I zoned out at this point) …on Monday, so probably Tuesday I’ll have an update for you.” Sure, whatever, it may be a week away, but it will be an answer. An end to my story. A resolution.

“Hello [bahnburner],

Unofficially the case does support an E-ATX, but it would require losing some hard drive options in order to do this. Much like the ability to add on more HDD cages to the case. Since customers would want all options available to them, we removed all content stating the support on our product page a long time ago to avoid any confusion that this might have made regarding the E-ATX support. We do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have for you. Thank you.”

That was sent Friday (SWEET! 4 DAYS EARLY!) at 12:30pm, probably on his way out of the office for his half day. FUN! I quickly responded by reminding him that it was still plastered all over Newegg’s product pages until I brought it to their attention 2 days prior, and reminded them that it’s still on Microcenter’s product page.

I’ve still yet to receive a response to my email. I tried to reach out to support by phone on Monday, but the number rings into full voicemail box for “Michael Cohen” and immediately disconnects. I finally gave up and contacted sales, where a rep answered immediately and greeted me with “Coolermaster Support.” I explained my situation and was advised that he didn’t have the ability to do anything to help, I asked to speak with someone above him who may be able to help and was transferred to another person who never provided his name. He explained that when Coolermaster was designing my case, they never actually thought anyone would try to install a 12x13” eATX case, even though they advertised that they supported it. He then tried to tell me that Newegg hasn’t carried the case in years, so I must have bought it from a third party. I tried to explain that I had sent screenshots of my order summary showing that it was sold direct by Newegg, but was interrupted and told it had to be a marketplace sale. I asked him to talk to the previous rep and look at the screenshots I had sent, but was ignored. I tried to again state my case, but the employee slammed the phone down, hanging up the line.

So, at this point, I’ve given up on trying to get Coolermaster to stand behind their products and marketing materials and do anything to resolve my issue and will probably end up returning the case to Newegg and buying a Phanteks Enthoo Lux. I just wanted to share this story in hopes of saving even just one person from buying from Coolermaster and getting screwed over by them and their terrible customer support. BTW, props to you for reading this whole thing.

TL;DR: Bought a Coolermaster case based on advertised features. Case doesn’t actually support advertised features. Coolermaster doesn’t care, lied to me, then ghosted me. Don’t buy **** from Coolermaster.

Comments Sorted by:

Godzlegend1 9 points 2 months ago

So, if I'm not mistaken, and I could be so let me know if I'm getting it wrong.

You purchased a product that advertised features it did technically support, but would mean losing a HDD space, the Cooler Master team notified you that yes, it's an unofficial support (as in it works but removes functionality) so it's not officially supported.

Newegg then got involved saying you can return the item and they'll waive the restocking fee. You aren't satisfied with this because it means you'll still have to buy another case that will potentially cost more than the CM case. You then let CM know they still advertise said feature and that they should remove it, they do this (some retailers haven't updated as your example microcenter) and then you contact support again wanting a response, the response they give you is that the case unofficially supports E-ATX but to avoid anything like this happening again, we'll remove all mention of it. You then reply telling him that it was advertised 2 days prior at New egg but now removed and it still is advertised at microcenter.

At this point they didn't reply so you called support but never got through. Now you're contacting support again and explaining your situation to a sales rep, who told you there's nothing they can do. got trnasferred to a higher up and he explained the philosophy behind the case and that the case design team never imagined somebody would use the E-ATX feature, despite support telling you a way to use said feature. He believes you purchased froma 3rd party seller as he states NewEgg hasn't directly sold them for years. You provide statements showing it was Newegg. The employee got irate and hung up on you. Now you gave up and purchased another case.

So if all that's correct, why did you not just do that when Newegg offered a full replacement/refund and they waived the restocking fee. Why if they "they never actually thought anyone would try to install a 12x13” eATX" would they detail how to get that to work? I mean they told you it does work but you lose one HDD space.

Maybe I'm not understanding what's happened, but it seems like you had an issue, you explained your issue, they rectified it by providing you with the opportunity to fully replace it and waive the restocking fee, but that was not enough for you. So the company is bad? if I misunderstand let me know but that's how I read it

gorkti200 3 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Yup

akimboo 5 points 2 months ago

Don’t buy **** from Coolermaster.

Mhm mhm i see. Yeah looks like i won't be taking your advice.

tragiktimes101 1 Build 4 points 2 months ago

Okay, so I work with a distributor and this problem arises from time to time. I'll try to briefly explain why it generally happens followed by what I would suggest is your best option:

Often manufacturers will make changes to products or descriptions. As they have many distributors / vendors that sell their products sometimes they won't actually notify them all of the changes (sometimes they do). In these instances, there isn't much a vendor can do aside from periodically requesting any updated material (rarely happens to be honest).

It sucks, but it's kind of the state of things. Sometimes companies will have an FTP set up for the manufacturers to submit the changes, sometimes it's manually sent over via reps. If I were you, I would just request Newegg offer a free return shipping label to ensure you don't have to pay anything out of pocket for the return. The only thing you'll be out is time and frustration. Better than being out cash.

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Same thing happens a lot in technical writing. You think you've got a system documented only to find out that someone changed things, and you didn't get the memo. Modern business is complicated, and there are a lot of ways communications can break down.

PrivatePengu 3 points 2 months ago

They reached out to Coolermaster on my behalf and confirmed that Coolermaster removed E-ATX support at some point after my purchase and never bothered to notify them.

I know this sounds weird, but after you received this knowledge, what were you trying to gain afterwards? I mean, that seems like the only thing they can really tell you. "Hey, we made a mistake - apologies. You can RMA it, we've updated the webpage." Sure, they did lie to you and they did refuse to support the situation. But it's not like they can magically fix the case.

Am I missing something? Sorry if I come off as rude or judgmental.

tragiktimes101 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

If I understood them correctly they were upset they would have to pay for return shipping (I think?). If that's the case, I would have been a little burnt too. But, if he would have pressed it at Newegg he almost certainly would have gotten a free return shipping label.

PrivatePengu 1 point 2 months ago

Paying for return shipping doesn't really warrant a "Horror story" (and is also far from worthy of such a post) if you ask me. But I might just be weird.

tragiktimes101 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

I disagree. Paying for shipping when the error was not yours is pretty well ********. As a consumer you shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes of vendors / distributors / manufacturers. Perhaps "horror story" was a bit exaggerated, but it's definitely a bad experience.

gorkti200 3 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Sounds like you are agreeing it is not a "horror story". "Bad thing happened", yes, nobody is disputing that.

tragiktimes101 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Bad things, yes. Bad things plus having to pay to undo those bad things, it starts getting closer to "horror."

Granddy 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

Get a Dell Precision T3500 or HP Z400 next time op if you want a lga 1366 socket or T5500 if you want a dual socket one.

Also, why didn't you return the case when they gave you the chance?.

[comment deleted by staff]
Granddy 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Welp, he was asking for it.

tomtomj2 9 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

I own 3 Coolermaster cases and so far they’re some of the best cases ive ever owned! Lol

Levyrat 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

I'm sympathetic to people who experience bad customer service, and I understand the need to vent. But you can't expect other people to stop dealing with a company because of your bad experience. We have different experiences.

Example 1. I'm looking at two Cooler Master cases on my desk right now. I like them. I'd certainly consider the brand for future purchases, even though they did you wrong.

Example 2. You said "...the Newegg reps were wonderful to work with..." Oh, really? For the last five years, I wouldn't even look at the NewEgg website because of my own "horror story". My experience with them was so bad that I not only boycotted NewEgg, I also boycotted TigerDirect and MicroCenter, even though they had nothing to do with it.

If I told you the whole story, you'd probably be sympathetic, but I doubt you'd stop shopping at NewEgg, and I wouldn't expect you to.

tl:dr Not your personal army.

ZFGeek 1 Build -1 points 2 months ago

WOW. That is a heck of a time. Cooler Master needs to get on top of that problem. Both the case and their arrogance about their products.

[comment deleted by staff]
PrivatePengu 5 points 2 months ago

Boycott Intel!

Also AMD!

Also... every.. single manufacturer because I've heard people having issues with... both?

Granddy 1 Build 4 points 2 months ago

Boycott food since everyone that eats them has a 100% death rate.

vagabond139 5 Builds 5 points 2 months ago

Dihydrogen monoxide is highly toxic and is even found in water and food. Everyone that has came into contact with it has died.

Captaincow285 1 point 2 months ago

Even more dangerous (and common) is hydroxic acid. It goes through the skin and causes internal damage.

[comment deleted by staff]
Cosine_ 1 point 2 months ago

If that were the case...

I see what you did there. :)

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