If you're thinking of buying second-hand computer equipment off eBay, you'd better make sure it doesn't have "Intel inside" because – and this is official – Intel regards re-selling its equipment as voiding any warranty.
The example we have is an 80GB solid state disk drive, brand new in July last year. A customer bought it from Scan, and then re-sold it in November complete with all warranty and receipt documents.
In February the drive failed, and when the new owner asked Scan for a replacement, they were refused on the grounds that a refund could only be claimed if the device was sent back by "the original purchaser".
So our broken-hearted broken disk owner contacted Intel directly. He wrote:
Rather than ship the item from London to Scotland, where the original purchaser lives, then [have him] ship it to Scan in England who will no doubt ship it to you… and the the whole process gets reversed (not withstanding the extra unnecessary shipping costs why would the guy in Scotland be bothered doing this?) I had a thought that perhaps I could try and save the planet a barrel of oil and short circuit the whole process by returning the drive directly to yourselves.
I am happy to provide you copies of the original invoice and the E-Mail address of who I purchased it from to verify it's legitimate.
Short and sweet came the reply from Intel:
Thank you for contacting Intel® Customer Support. Intel® provides warranty support only to the original owner of the product as per our terms and conditions.
Ah, and where are these terms and conditions, then? We spent a morning searching for them so as to provide a link, and had to give up.
Two questions need answering: first, how on earth can reselling a Flash memory chip affect its warranty? Second, why are these ts and cs so well hidden?
If we get an articulate response from Intel on either question, we'll be sure to pass it on. ®