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Page 1 Troubleshooting USR Chipsets  USR Warranty

US Robotics Warranty (Updated 18-Aug-02)

U.S. Robotics brand modems have been sold for more than 15 years, with various warranty terms - often  lifetime. Most USR modems came with at least a 5-year warranty. (The new 'coming-soon' 5699-B, Conexant-based V.92 modem has only a 2-year warranty. The same modem without V.92 - 5699-A has a 5-year warranty.)

Sound good? Wait: The warranty is valid only on "retail" USR models. USR makes and sells modems to OEM's (original equipment manufacturers) who then resell them to end-users. OEM USR modems may be included with a new PC, and can also be purchased at mail-order and retail outlets. Any warranty or service issues with OEM modems must be handled by the OEM - you cannot get warranty service from USR.

How to tell if you have an OEM USR modem: USR modems report their model number in response to the command: ATi7 which you can issue from Hyperterminal.

  at i7
  Configuration Profile...

  Product type US/Canada External
  Product ID: 00178602

The key is the first 2 digits of the product ID: US & Canada models must have a number lower than 10 in the first 2 digits. (Outside North America, you must use USR International support. See bottom of page.)

EVEN IF YOU HAVE A WARRANTY, you may have difficulty: When you visit the USR website, warranty fulfillment information may be hard-to-find. It's not on the support pages, it's on the Contact page where you will find:

Warranty Repair
To obtain warranty repair service, you must first contact a Customer Service Representative using the appropriate Technical Support number corresponding to your product.

USR's unpublished policy: If your modem is more than 90 days old, you must first pay a $19.95 fee (in addition to your toll charges) to troubleshoot the modem and verify you have a warranty issue.

If you've had your eligible modem more than 3 months, don't waste your time calling USR support.

Sportster 33.6k and 56k Modems
Customer Service numbers:
Phone: (801) 401-1141
Fax: (801) 907-3801
Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. central time

Instead, use USR's e-mail support.

E-mail a Technician
If the support information in this section doesn't help you solve your problem, you can fill out a form to E-mail a Technician with questions regarding your product. You can also E-mail a Technician directly at na_modemsupport@usr.com.

USR will still try and insist you call their telephone support (where they'll try and get $19.95 from you) - but you need to insist that you do not have a credit card, and are unable to get your warranty issue addressed by telephone support. Only then will you be able to get an authorization to return your modem for warranty service / replacement.

You will likely get a canned response similar to this if you request warranty service via e-mail:

 Actual USR e-mail to customer  from 6/10/2002
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Thank you for choosing U.S.Robotics.
We are currently unable to create service orders through email. Please contact the following number for support:
801-401-1141 for Sportster modems.
These lines are open 8am-4pm MST Monday through Friday.

You must insist that you are unable to obtain a service order via telephone, and that you do not have a credit card.

One more warning. USR's troubleshooting 'no dial-tone' page includes:

Note: If none of the solutions above restores a dial tone, your modem may be damaged. While most U.S. Robotics modems are built to withstand up to 3000 volts, lightning damage is not covered by the warranty of your product.

USR made many modems with poor-quality solid-state DAA's (the part of the modem that interfaces to the phone line). About the only time a modem should be excluded due to lightning damage is if you have a hit severe enough to cause damage to more than just your modem.

Also see:

USR Contact Page
USR OEM Modem Support
USR International Support
USR Support Home
Newsgroup comments on USR Warranty Policy

IF YOU HAVE or HAD a Warranty problem with a USR modem, please tell me about it!

Here's some comments:

From Jason in Ontario, Canada:

After reading your article about the USR Warranty hassles, it reminded me of a faulty external 56k that I had sitting around. I e-mailed na_modemsupport@usr.com with a description of the problem, and here is what I got back:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for choosing U.S.Robotics.

In order for us to process your Return Merchandise Authorization request (RMA) we will need any and all troubleshooting steps you have done to determine that your U.S. Robotics product has failed.

Please list any error messages you have received in your troubleshooting steps.

If there is not enough information in the email for us to be reasonably certain the U.S. Robotics product has failed, we will not be able to process the RMA request at this time. Instead we will ask for more information or for you to perform more steps to ensure that your product has failed.

Please be as thorough as possible with your troubleshooting documentation.

You can also contact our technical support group at one of the following numbers, if you would like to troubleshoot the modem with one of our technicians.

801-401-1141 for Sportster analog modems.
801-401-1142 for Courier and ISDN products.
801-401-1143 for wireless, networking products, and/or routers.
801-401-1144 for PCMCIA modems.

To replace your U.S. Robotics product we will need the following information.
Please reply to this email with the following information.

1) First and last name.
2) Phone Number with Area Code
3) Street Address. (Please note we cannot ship to Post Office Boxes)
4) City.
5) State/Province.
6) Zip/Postal Code.
7) Product/Model Number of your product.
8) Serial Number of your product.
9) Name of the Store where the product was purchased.
10) Purchase Date.
11) If your product is a Networking device we need the MAC Address of the product.
12) If your product is a Cable or DSL modem we need the name of your Internet Provider.
13) Any and all troubleshooting steps you have performed on the product.

I e-mailed them back with the above information and the different things that I tried to make this modem work. Here was their response:

Thank you for choosing U.S.Robotics.
Here are shipping instructions to return your defective modem.
Your RMA number is: USR#########

Please pack you modem in a secure box. Do not ship your modem in the original box, as this box will not be returned. Please do not use styrofoam peanuts for packing.

Send only the modem. Do not return the power supply, and cables, software, or manuals.

Include an index card inside the box that has your name, telephone number, address, and RMA number.

In bold writing, put the RMA number on three sides and the inside flap of the box to ensure that we may cross reference your modem.

Affix a shipping label to the box and ship the item using a traceable method, such as UPS or FEDEX. Please do not use USPS. Make sure to keep the tracking information.

Ship the item to the following address:

USR RMA Return Dept
Unit 100
13751 Mayfield Place
Richmond BC V6V2G9
Canada

Standard turn around time is 7-10 business days upon our receipt of the defective modem. The replacement modem is shipped through Airborne Express.

The warranty does not cover power surges or damage from electrical storms. Your modem may be returned to you if damaged in this environment.

Now I'll have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks.


Name withheld writes:

I really do not have a credit card, nor have I ever had one.

I ran into the troubles that you describe. Unfortunately I had not yet seen your informative site. After many toll calls, emails, faxes, and time, I finally did get an RMA for my 5605 external USR modem. With my old modem, I was consistently getting 48000 connects, on occasion, higher than that. Now with the replacement I usually get 45333 sometimes lower...  Also there was no paperwork included in my replacement, just a modem in a box, (rude I thought) so my "lifetime" warranty is under the old original serial number not the new one. What will happen if I need to RMA this one?

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