BFG Completely Liquidating, no more RMAs accepted. Project Manager blames Fermi

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by Spare-Flair, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    http://hardwareaware.com/news/bfg-tech-liquidating/

    This letter was sent in response to a PSU being returned so it seems this is a generic letter and all BFG products are being refused warranty now. People have also recieved this letter and response when calling BFG from this forum.

    [​IMG]


    http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6921&page=2

     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  2. AthlonXP

    AthlonXP [H]ard as it Gets

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    wow, so they are done completely then huh..
     
  3. IRSmurf

    IRSmurf 2[H]4U

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    Bring on the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaales!
     
  4. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    in the BFG RMA thread in the Nvidia forum, Seafoam called BFG and they told him the warehouse was already empty of all inventory.
     
  5. MGDMN

    MGDMN 2[H]4U

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    Wow, this sucks. I loved BFG. They never let me down on any of the RMA's that I did. I am sad to see them go.
     
  6. Reus

    Reus Limp Gawd

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    This illustrates why being vendor exclusive is a bad idea. Your supplier totally fumbles a product cycle, or wants to be difficult, you're screwed. If they would have sold ATi cards alongside nVidia, we most likely would not be mourning the death of BFG. EVGA could be in the same boat, but at least they have a rather successful motherboard business to help compensate.
     
  7. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    It also highlights exactly why XFX decided to jump ship and it looks like they did it with the right timing as well. Whether Nvidia will let them back onboard is another thing. From this situation, it looks like Nvidia doesn't really value it's AIBs, despite their reputation. It really sucks that one product cycle and Nvidia's refusal to allocate Fermi supply basically ended this company.

    I also get the feeling that lifetime warranties are going to be disappearing on videocards in the coming years. EVGA is already putting out many more TR warranty cards. It's like getting insurance without having to pay any premiums. BFG's consumer friendly policies might have been a factor in their decline.
     
  8. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Im absolute sure ATI would have welcomed them if theyd ask before hand. +1 XFX.
     
  9. Reus

    Reus Limp Gawd

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    A company ended for the second time really, I believe BFG was formed from the remnants of the original VisionTek. Board makers should revolt and tell the chip vendors no more exclusivity bullshit, botched product cycle = dead AIB companies. It might work, the chip vendors need the board makers as much as the board makers need them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  10. chinesepiratefood

    chinesepiratefood 2[H]4U

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    In my opinion, there will be a new company formed out of this - smaller, and will work hard to build up their reputation ala early BFG.
     
  11. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sapphire and the other AIB probably weren't happy with XFX jumping onboard, and Sapphire is (arguably) ATi's favorite, and closest, partner.
     
  12. Oldie

    Oldie Mean Old Administrator Staff Member

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    I shot this over to the news staff here, sadly it's quite believable, but it would be nice to get it confirmed by some insider.

    As soon as BFG announced they were dropping graphics cards, I was pretty damn sure Fermi was at least partially to blame, though I highly doubt it was anywhere near the only factor. Pretty sad to see what appeared to be a great company go down this way.
     
  13. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    There is. They had a promo video about it a while back. I don't remember the name of the company though.
     
  14. blastingcap

    blastingcap Gawd

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    Sapphire's parent company also produces Zotac, i.e., NVIDIA, graphics cards. Sapphire is thus part of a conglomerate that sells both ATI and NVIDIA parts.

    BFG trusted NVIDIA (to not screw up too badly, and if so, to at least get a fair allotment for being exclusive) and died because of it, so I'm not so sure that the remnants of BFG will start up another NV-exclusive company after this. Visiontek didn't go out of business btw, so it's kinda harsh to say that BFG sprung up from Visiontek's remnants.
     
  15. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The part company is a manufacturing facility, iirc. Both brands, likely, do not share technology, nor patents.
     
  16. blastingcap

    blastingcap Gawd

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    I've heard of PCP being referred to as the owner of both, with the longest explanation offered by Firingsquad.com:

    "While they’re a newcomer to our roundups and technically were just established in 2006, Zotac isn’t some fly-by-night company running out of someone’s garage. They’re actually a subsidiary of PC Partner (Sapphire); arguably ATI’s most important board partner.

    ...

    Zotac was essentially founded as a result of the Radeon X1800 (R520) fiasco. NVIDIA’s G70 GPU used in the GeForce 7800 GTX had beat R520 to market, giving NVIDIA and their board partners a huge advantage over ATI and their own board partners, who were forced to compete with slower X800 hardware. PC Partner and Sapphire were hit hard by this because they were an ATI exclusive board partner. This was the same problem NVIDIA
    board partners faced during the NV30 debacle a few years prior: GeForce FX 5800 was late to market, forcing board partners to peddle GeForce 4 cards longer than they wanted.

    Just as ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and other NVIDIA exclusive partners decided to produce cards for both ATI and NVIDIA as a result of the NV30 fiasco, ATI exclusive partners Sapphire (PC Partner) and PowerColor wanted the flexibility of producing cards for both sides as a result of R520. However, they didn’t want to risk damaging their relationship with ATI, so they decided to quietly launch subsidiaries. Zotac is PC Partner’s subsidiary, while Zogis is underneath the JV Logic umbrella, which includes PowerColor."

    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_gtx_260_roundup/page5.asp

    http://www.tweaktown.com/news/12514/rumours_pc_partner_to_retool_for_larrabee/index.html

    Do you have a newer citation than that?

    Yes, of course subsidiaries can indeed operate independently. I wasn't implying that they shared patents; I was merely responding to your talking about Sapphire not liking XFX entering the red side. Maybe that's true, but the parent company makes money on red and green cards and presumably would be indifferent.
     
  17. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Very, very true. Thank you!:)

    My latest one was a 2008 quip from Toms
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-4870-palit,2096-3.html

    about Sapphire making every reference board for other companies to use.

    EDIT: I was thinking about the vapour-X cooler.
     
  18. MrGuvernment

    MrGuvernment [H]ard as it Gets

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    I see lawsuit for people who's cards are still in warranty period, the company has to cover a warranty i assume unless there us some fine print and they filed bankruptcy?



    wasn't sapphire also the actual board maker for ATI cards sold by ATI... or at least many eon's ago? But sapphire also had a bad CS rep too though.
     
  19. blastingcap

    blastingcap Gawd

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    PCP owns and makes boards for Sapphire and Zotac, and probably other companies too during the initial phases of a new release, i.e., reference boards.

    I am not sure but I think if a company goes bankrupt and it's not a case of fraud or something, then the company's first order of business is to give money back to creditors, then to equity holders like stockholders, then whatever is left over might to go customers. So what's the point of suing them if by doing so, you are THIRD in line? Unless you think they have so much money that by the time they give money back to creditors and shareholders, they have money left over for you?
     
  20. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    According the the tomsHW review linked in the post above yours, they speculate on that.
     
  21. Notleh

    Notleh Limp Gawd

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    Is no one else bothered by the fact that BFG flat out lied? In the letter that Kyle posted from BFG they said that they had sent aside plenty of money aside to continue support of RMA's.

    I could be wrong, but I do not think it is a stretch to say that they lied to buy time to liquidate their inventory.

    I plan to track who was involved because they will probably end up somewhere else in the industry. Wherever they end up I will try to avoid doing business.
     
  22. xBanzai89

    xBanzai89 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't think companies have to honor warranties if this happens unfortunately.

    Shame to see them go. Would love to see them start up with ATI and have step up. More competition on the ATI would be great.
     
  23. blastingcap

    blastingcap Gawd

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    No prob.. I guess the moral of the BFG story.. and the Zotac and Powercolor stories, is that it's risky to be dependent on one supplier. I wonder how close EVGA came to bankruptcy... probably not as much, if they made enough money on their mobo sales to counteract the Fermi drought.
     
  24. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's also possible they simply ran out. They mentioned their upstream vendor, which is likely nVidia, refusing to give them access to residual stock of cards, as they are no longer an active vendor.
     
  25. vjcsmoke

    vjcsmoke [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can sue them all you want but if they declared bankruptcy and now are out of assets, there's not much you can get out of them unless you're first in line. And most likely you're not unless you loaned them some money.
     
  26. Notleh

    Notleh Limp Gawd

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    "After eight years of providing innovative, high-quality graphics cards to the market, we regret to say that this category is no longer profitable for us, although we will continue to evaluate it going forward", said John Slevin, chairman of BFG Technologies. "We will continue to provide our award-winning power supplies and gaming systems, and are working on a few new products as well. I’d like to stress that we will continue to provide RMA support for our current graphics card warranty holders, as well as for all of our other products such as power supplies, PCs and notebooks."

    BFG will continue to offer RMA, telephone and email support for qualified BFG Tech graphics card warranty holders, but will no longer be bringing new graphics card products to market.

    First and foremost, I have to say that HardOCP is sad to see BFGTech go. It was a company that opened up new ways of doing business with customers in the graphics card arena. The solid warranties and support you all enjoy now with high-end graphics cards companies can be traced back to BFGTech and its three founders, Scott Herkelman, Ric Lewis, and Shane Vance.

    Of course our biggest concern is that our readers that have purchased BFG video cards are taken care of. Speaking this morning with then BFGTech CEO, Scott Herkelman, he assured me that BFG has taken measures to make sure full RMA and support will continue. Eight full time employees and the full group of tech support will remain in place as well as warehouse labor. That means continued 24/7 phone, email, and full RMA support for registered cards. As of today, BFG has a full reserve of cards and monies set aside to sure proper support occurs.

    http://www.hardocp.com/news/2010/05/18/bfgtech_exits_graphics
     
  27. NKDietrich

    NKDietrich [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yeah. Sounds like BFG was full of shit.
     
  28. Reus

    Reus Limp Gawd

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    The original VisionTek has nothing to do with the current company. Hartford Computer Group acquired the name in 2002. From what I remember, BFG was founded by by people from the original, nVidia exclusive VisionTek.
     
  29. Yikes2000

    Yikes2000 Limp Gawd

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    It didn't make sense to me when I read that. Why would BFG continue to honor their video card warantee and RMA? More importantly, where was the money coming from that pays for their staff and replacement cards? Profit from BFG power supplies? Highly doubtful. This latest turn of events is the only logical conclusion.
     
  30. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    As Jonnyguru said on his forum, BFG had expected to stay in business selling powersupplies (perhaps while supplies lasted [bad pun]). But when Best Buy discovered they were nolonger allocated graphics cards, they cut BFG off as well which was the primary retail channel for their PSUs. After all that, it's likely Nvidia stopped supplying them as well and RMA replacements completely dried up when they might have earnestly expected to still be in business a little while longer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  31. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    There's a nice response to this by Jeff over in the BFG RMA thread.

     
  32. night_2004

    night_2004 2[H]4U

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    So what happens to people that now no longer have warranties on stuff they purchased from them? I got a GTX 275 from them less than a year ago and now it has no warranty? Complete bullshit, I want my money back.
     
  33. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    Exactly. The company is liquidating. There are no more warranties. Judging by the BFG RMA thread, the last few went out a month or two ago and the recent ones have all been returned as is.

    There's not much else a company can do when it goes out of business. I think Nvidia is mostly to blame for this than BFG.

    The customer has little recourse. In case of liquidation/recievership/bankruptcy, the customer has the least likely chance of recovery.
     
  34. night_2004

    night_2004 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, but for us little guys is their any recourse for us? Charge back? Return to Best Buy? Something?
     
  35. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Charge back?
    If your CC suports it.

    Return to Best Buy?
    If possible (if you want to - I'm not going to question why/not).
     
  36. Jesus_Faction

    Jesus_Faction [H]ard|Gawd

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    the first aftermarket gfx card I bought was a Ti4200 from BFG. It was a good card that eventually broke down and they replaced with a 6600gt
     
  37. Spare-Flair

    Spare-Flair [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wonder if XFX has harmed their relationship with Nvidia? From what it sounded like when this all first started, it seemed like Nvidia was holding out on allocations to both XFX and BFG (unless they would accept to take on requisite quantities of lower tier cards and old stock) which precipitated all of this.
     
  38. night_2004

    night_2004 2[H]4U

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    There is no question about it. I am going to try and get my money back. This is complete bull that companies can just give up on their customers like this, bankruptcy laws be damned.

    Here's to hoping my bank will support a charge back 7 months after a purchase :(. Best Buy has been surprisingly flexible previously but this one would take the cake if they did anything.
     
  39. Basinger

    Basinger Limp Gawd

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    Sad stuff, I liked BFG products.
     
  40. Yikes2000

    Yikes2000 Limp Gawd

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    I also bought my BFG GTX260 video cards less than a year ago, charged them on my American Express card which has an "extended warranty" protection that extends manufacturer's warranty up to 1 year. It is structured more like an insurance policy, so I hope if my GTX260 dies within the first 5 years, then I could still make a claim for it. :)