Top critical review
GS316 Gets a D but Netgear Gets an F
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2019
This review is about the Netgear 16-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch (model GS316) which I bought to replace my 10-year old 3Com Gigabit switch which was beginning to show its age.
Initially, I was impressed. It was compact and solidly built. It negotiated with my various computers very quickly (1 to 5 seconds) and transferred data at over 100 Mbytes per second. Its temperature was never warmer than ambient (roughly 65 degrees F). It worked fine … for 32 days!
One morning I could not connect with my e-mail. After trying to ping the server, then other computers on my LAN, then my modem/router, I went to investigate. I found that the switch had power (the power LED was green) but the port indicators were dark on have the ports and the other half indicated Gigabit connections even with no devices connected. I tried cycling the power – no change. I disconnected all the Ethernet cables and cycled the power again – no change. I disconnected the power for 5 minutes and reconnected – no change. The switch was dead. I reinstalled my old 3Com switch so that I had a working network. Everything worked fine.
Because I had registered it with Netgear, tried to submit a warranty claim on the web site but they wanted "proof-of-purchase" in the form of an image. I was unclear what they wanted so I contacted Amazon to see if they had some form that would satisfy this requirement. This was best thing about this experience because the technical folks at Amazon were amazing. I explained my problem to Millena in the Amazon chat room and she contacted Netgear for me. After about an hour of waiting, we finally got someone at Netgear. Millena was going to call me and conference the Netgear technician into the call. Netgear declined to participate in a conference call because of privacy concerns. So Millena connected me to Netgear and dropped out of the call but we stayed in the online chat.
After I described in detail the steps I had taken and the state of the switch, the Netgear technician insisted I walk through her script which included disconnecting my 3Com switch (severing my online chat with Millena) and repeating all the steps I had already told her I had done. Finally satisfied that the switch was dead, she offered to create an RMA and gave me three options: 1) send the dead switch to them (at my expense) and when they received it they would send me a replacement; 2) give them $16.90 to send me a replacement by ground transportation with a return shipping label; or 3) give them $29.90 to send me a replacement by air with a return shipping label. So much for their warranty!
I contacted Amazon, again. This time I chatted with Chris. After I explained the Netgear RMA options, Chris offered to refunded my purchase and give me a return shipping label. I took the offer and replaced the Netgear switch with a similar switch from Cisco – a little more expensive but its reviews were generally more positive (nothing less than a 3).
Let me be clear: new electronics sometimes fail and need to be replaced but the hoops that Netgear required to make a warranty claim are unacceptable. I device that fails within 90 days should be replaced expeditiously for free. I give the switch a D and Netgear gets an F.