Imagine my surprise to discover an on-line store sporting low prices and free ground shipping. I was in the market for a new video graphics card, one that had a usable TV/out feature. This new vendor was offering an ATI card with TV/out for $19.99. I placed my order. Only took about four days and the card arrived in a plain cardboard box.

The card was enclosed in an anti-static bag and accompanied by a CD. Both items were stuffed into a priority mail envelope which was stuffed into the plain cardboard box. Nothing in the shipment, except the invoice, indicated this was an ATI card. No manufacturers box or manuals.

The CD turned out to be intended for an NVIDIA product, not the ATI card that was ordered and received. I downloaded the ATI drivers needed from the ATI website and installed the card in my computer, an Athlon +1800 with 2gig memory and 80gig hard drive.

The computer booted up with the new card but the video did a few vertical flip flops before stabilizing. The display setup software showed a second display, the TV/out, but attempts to route the output to the video connection on a TV failed to present anything but diagonal horizontal lines across the face of the screen.

The card was flakey and the TV/out did not work. Since the whole purpose of buying the card was for the TV/out feature, my new purchase had become worthless. Oh it still worked in a flakey way as a main display card but I had one of those that was not flakey before I purchased this new defective card.

My new purchase was obviously used and most likely a reject or second or rescued from a pile of floor sweepings. Certainly not worth the $19.99 purchase price or my time. I filled out an on-line RMA request with 3btech advising them of the situation and my desire for a refund.

That was two days ago.

Since then I have come to the realization that I have absolutely no reason to believe that an outfit that ships junk is going to fix their problem. I have already spent more time on this fiasco than the card is worth. I really don’t want to spend more time and do not want to invest any money is sending the junk back to the vendor.

So, I threw the offending hardware into the trash along with all records of its purchase and consider the time and money I lost as an investment in discovering that 3btech is an unreliable and unsuitable vendor.

Never mind that their prices are good and their shipping is free. Those things do not matter since their merchandise is no good.

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