a not-so-pleasant Mushkin 996647 RAM review (8GB – 2x4GB)

To be upfront, this isn’t a performance review with benchmarks and stuff. It’s more of a purchase review. I’ll sum this up pretty quick for those who are reading dozens of reviews and just want the “gist” of things:

1 stick was good, 1 stick was faulty. RMA service to Canada is kinda awful.

2 sentences. If that’s all you needed to know, you can go on to the next review now. You’re welcome.

Now for the details.

I ordered the RAM through NewEgg (about $80) for my Macbook Pro. It came with a $10 mail in rebate, so after a couple days of everything working, I cut out the UPC code and mailed it in.

Unfortunately, when I booted into Windows for a game some time later (League of Legends if you’re wondering), I found that the game kept crashing. I didn’t immediately suspect the RAM, but eventually broke down and started running some tests to narrow down the culprit. Turned out it was the RAM.

I tested each stick individually with a couple memory testing programs and found the bad stick. Tried it in other machines, and it failed there too. Great.

The RMA Process

Now normally, I’d send the thing back to NewEgg. I was still barely within the 30 days for exchange. Unfortunately, I’d already cut out the UPC code for the mail in rebate which according to NewEgg’s terms makes me ineligible (fair enough). I had to deal directly with Mushkin.

Now for a Mushkin RMA, you have to create an account on their website, and submit a ticket. Creating the account’s a bit of a hassle, but submitting the ticket’s alright. Here’s the note I added within the ticket:

1 stick is faulty (other one is fine). System instability, and fails both the Apple Hardware Test, and Memtest86+ 4.20. Tested in multiple machines (together, and then 1 at a time to narrow down the bad stick). ***Replacement stick must be sent via USPS if being shipped from the USA (via Canada Post if shipped from Canada), as this is a rural address.*** CANADIAN ADDRESS: Matt Gadient <address removed> Please provide the RMA address and any additional information required for return of the defective stick. Thanks.

You’ll notice that I placed pretty heavy emphasis on the USPS/CanadaPost part.

They sent a reply, asking for proof of purchase. A bit odd for an item with a lifetime warranty, but I sent them a PDF of the NewEgg invoice. In a few hours they replied that the RMA was approved.

I packaged up the bad stick, and mailed it in the “rigid box” they required. About $8 to ship it back to them.

The hiccup

A few weeks later, I got an email stating that they’d have to charge me an extra fee to ship the replacement back through USPS as I’d requested. I responded that I was very disappointed to hear that, as I’d been quite clear in the initial request that USPS would be required, and expected that this issue would have been mentioned *prior* to me returning the RAM.

I went on to say that if it was under $20, I’d be paying by Mastercard, and otherwise just to throw the thing out. Turns out the fee is $31.95.

The math

Now let’s do a little math. The set was about $80. That works out to $40 per stick. I paid $8 to ship the dead one back to them, and they wanted to charge me $32 to mail me back the replacement. $8 + $32 = $40.

Had they told me this up-front, I wouldn’t have sent the stick back. It’s smarter just to buy a new one.

Granted, I was already out the $8, but at that point I preferred eating the $8 loss as opposed to paying for more potential surprises.


This certainly doesn’t look good on the company.

I didn’t spring a “surprise, I need USPS” on them. I was very clear and upfront from the start. They sprung the “surprise, that’ll be $32” on me.

They could have said upfront that “your RMA request has been approved, but note that there may be an additional fee for shipping your replacement via USPS“. They didn’t.

To ship via a USPS-branded box would have cost $11.95 (I looked it up just now). For their own box would have been $5.58. Both are a far cry from the $32 they were looking to gouge me with.

To be fair, they wouldn’t have charged me to ship via FedEx, but I wasn’t about to cave in and spend half a day taking a $20 drive to the FedEx depot at the airport in the next city to pick it up (and probably pay customs-clearing-fees on top of it).

Mushkin sold me a defective product, made a mistake in not informing me about the cost to ship via USPS. Rather than rectifying that (and waiving the $5.58), they decided to try and profit further from me by charging a whopping $32.

Needless to say, I won’t be spending money on a Mushkin product again. It’s clear they don’t mind selling defective products and aren’t willing to own up to their mistakes. That’s fine. I don’t mind calling them out on it.

I’ll take my $32 and put it towards a stick from a better manufacturer.