iBUYPOWER is an online computer component and computer systems seller that provides core components or complete packages for online gaming specifications. This company focusses on professional gamers, game developers, LAN centers, major eSports tournaments, and general consumers.

The company was founded in 1999 and specializes in sourcing quality components from suppliers that include Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, Microsoft, Western Digital, Asus, Bethesda, MLG, and more.

Some Facts

iBUYPOWER address is located at 529 Baldwin Park Blvd, City of Industry, CA 91746-1419. They have been in business for 22 years and employed 200 people. Their CEO is Alex Hou who directs the company from their

offices in City of Industry, CA and comprises of a team of specialists that are supported by an international sales teams in Europe and Asia. Essentially, iBUYPOWER performs two functions, it creates packages specifically for the gaming market, or it provides advice and parts for people seeking gaming quality products. They also provide an online service for general consumers.

eSport

One of the best marketing ways that iBUYPOWER can reach as many potential customers is through active online competitions, and in fact, iBUYPOWER was one of the organizations that promoted online gaming way back in the 1990’s.

iBUYPOWER collaborates with many gaming companies, including; TeamSoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, ESL, ESEA, and Major League Gaming. iBUYPOWER is a North American pioneer of eSports and have been involved in many completions, and a few scandals too.

The Good, The Bad and the Obvious

OK, so essentially, iBUYPOWER is an online shop, it sells computer kits and components, so it’s no different from any other online seller, and as such, we have to compare and evaluate its performance based on customer reviews.

A word of caution about customer reviews for products. Unlike holidays, online frustration reviews for products and service tend to be more proliferous that happy content, this is due to the frustration levels causing many customers to vent their anger online. However, when you read the reviews, you will find a common thread that points to a specific set of issues, key performance levels that are underperforming.

One of the biggest issue with computer parts is the integrity of the supplier, in this case, iBUYPOWER, where specific parts, core parts such as memory chipsets, motherboards, and CPU’s, as well as graphics accelerators, should all be original, brand new, brands with high-quality performance in different configurations.

Just as with vehicles, some parts perform better with others, and certain configurations will not work due to peart incompatibility. The success of good service is building high quality, a hybrid kit that works perfectly well together.

As such. When buying a kit, or separate parts, you cannot blame the supplier unless they sent you faulty parts. On the switch side of things, customer service can either be a sleeping dog that bites you when you wake it up or a smiley happy face that delivers a standard annoying computerized automated response that leads you to nowhere, but more frustration or you get great service form an unwedgeable person that delivers results.

The key to success is patience and research.

Now, with this in mind, let dive into some reviews, that will shed light on the underbelly of iBUYPOWER’s customer service and product quality.

July 2018

The customer wrote in Better Business Bureau that the order process was simple and that delivery was promoted as taking within 2 days of paying online. The delivery took 5 days, which was a 3-day delay.

Upon inspection, after taking it out of the box, he noticed that the fan cases were not set according to his specifications, and the fan bodies only had 2 screws securing each one. The monitor did not react when the power turned on. Upon checking the system, he found that the PCIe power connector did not sit properly on the graphics card. He detached the connector and found that the pines were bent down and that the receptacle was mangled. This was a sign that the person building the configuration used force rather than accuracy to attach parts without thought. On further inspection, he found that the mangled power cable was not attached to anything and that there was only one PCIe cable attached to the PSU. Now, let’s add some insult to injury, one of the cables pulled free of the intact connector when he removed it from the card. This is a sign of zero quality control, and as such is not a mistake in configuration, but a major fabrication process issue.

The customer concluded that he was dissatisfied with their quality, and did not bother to complain, he dealt with the issue himself and managed to build up and connect the missing components and got the system working properly.

My take is that if the customer had not been computer savvy, he would be extremely frustrated and have to start a time-wasting process of returning the system and waiting for a new one to replace it.

June 2018

This customer claims to have both three systems over 10 years from iBUYPOWER’s without fault. In this instance, he ordered a system on the 26th of May, and it arrived on the 13th of June. The PC worked fine after setting it up, but sometime in mid-June the system started to shut down, and these shut-downs grew in frequency over time.

The customer checked the event log and found that there was a standard error message for the power supply. He contacted IT support services, and they offered him three solutions; 1) replace the power supply and check if all works well, he can buy the power supply from them if not, then 2) send it in for review and replacement. The third suggestion was to receive an RMA label and send the product in for review and replacement at no cost (what about time and frustration I ask innocently?)

The customer opted for the third option since he did not want to waste time and money on replacing parts himself, and preferred that the company take on all the costs, after all, it was less than 30 days before it started to malfunction.

My Take: Customer service should immediately request the part be sent back with a full refund of the money, or have a courier service (Uber?) that would collect the package and deliver it back to the company for reconfiguration and return. What we have here is an integrity issue, where sales have sold and who gives a damn what happens after this.

May 2018

Customer claims he purchased a desktop PC for $1200., and when he pulled it out of the box, he noticed that the front casing was cracked and a plastic piece of the base had broken off. Add to this the fact that the PC doesn’t load, and he gets a Windows error message requiring he install Windows again, and that the system doesn’t have a CD/DVD player. The customer returned the product immediately and managed to get a full refund in the iBUYPOWER’s 15-day full refund clause.

My take: a Standard problem that happens to everyone, you occasionally get a bad product in a good package. The customer acted wisely, and iBUYPOWER’s acted in accordance with their policy to give a full refund.

May 2017 (I needed to read back a bit to check history)

The customer bought a Snowblind system; this is a proprietor system that iBUYPOWER’s developed and sourced for parts to create an optimized gaming package. In this instance, the customer paid up front but had to wait a month for the product to be delivered due to backorder issues.

When the PC arrived, a month later, the SLI was not working, and the customer called tech support 10 times, speaking with different representatives. The customer explained that the motherboard was damaged, but only at the end of a long and exhaustive telephone-a-thon, the customer realized that he was not getting any actual support results. The customer claim is that iBUYPOWER’s does not do any quality control testing of their products before they are shipped out, so any faulty parts cannot be found until it reaches the client.

Conclusions

iBUYPOWER is just one of many computer shops that work online and has a name due to their gaming activities. They do suffer from some quality control issues, but these seem to be the standard percentage within the industry. Essentially, around 5% of all products in the IT sector will have a fault and need to be replaced. This can be sorted out with a good quality inspection, perhaps the main issue that seems to be the problem with iBUYPOWER’s is their quality control before shipping out kits that are made in-house.

I have read through over 400 reviews, and they all provide a similar focus on one issue: in-house quality control before shipping a signature kit.

The bottom line is that this is a good company providing a standard service, and is one of many that can be found online. My personal opinion is that if you want to buy computer components, you either shop locally, where you can get good service, or buy online and take a risk.

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