RMA – Brand-new APC BK650 UPS failed after 1.5 month

Around seven weeks back, I installed and wrote about adding the APC UPS backup power to my NAS. The brand-new APC UPS worked for around 1.5 month before it started beeping audibly and the replace battery indicator turned on. It is either a bad APC UPS product or my bad luck in getting a lemon. How was the APC UPS RMA process? It was borderline unacceptable.

Usage before the 1.5 month old APC BK650 UPS failed

The Setup

The APC BK650 UPS is connected directly to the wall electrical socket for main power source. The Synology DS1817+ NAS, with 250W PSU, is the only load on the UPS. The Synology Product Compatibility List for DS1817+ listed the China variant of the UPS (BK650-CH) as compatible.

During installation, the APC BK650 UPS passed the electrical black-out test, ensuring the Synology DS1817+ shuts down promptly in a safe manner.

Since then, the set up was left running and there were no black-out events.

APC BK650 UPS Alerts

It was one fine afternoon that I noticed a faint beeping sound. As I could not determine whether it came from outside [house] or the equipment rack, I checked the rack and saw the visual indicator on the “Replace Battery”. It suggests that the APC BK650 need a battery replacement.

I was thinking to myself, “Don’t tell me the battery (of the APC BK650) is failing just after 1.5 months of usage?“.

Time to contact APC’s customer care center.

APC/ Schneider Electric’s customer care center – Email

Getting in touch with Support

I would say this is the easiest part of the APC UPS RMA process as you just have to surf on to their APC support site (SG). Just take note to switch to your geographical region as support for your region might differ.

From there, I logged support request highlighting that the APC BK650 UPS indicated the need to replace battery after 1.5 month of usage.

Their response is very prompt. In fact, I put the request at 0815hrs and got a reply at 1315hrs.

Verifying purchase and warranty information

The support verified the purchase and product details by requesting for the sales invoice and product serial. Luckily I kept a copy the purchase invoice properly as I have the habit of keeping it somewhere that I cannot seem to find whenever I need it. It still remains a mystery to me.

Education on Power Factor Correction (PFC) and Logic Board Reset

The support repeatedly asked me to confirm whether the “power supply” has PFC. To which I told them that it the UPS is hooked up the the national power grid. Only then support clarified that they meant power supply unit (PSU) of the load. The question from support was really unclear.

It was then I learnt that there are PSU that has PFC and would need a pure sine wave UPS. I did not apart the Synology DS1817+ to look at the PSU model and I trust that these have been sorted out since the APC BK650 is listed as compatible on the Synology Product Compatibility List.

Follow the support’s instructions and reseted the UPS’s logic board. Hooked up the UPS as per the original setup and the “replace battery” indicator remain lighted, indicating the need for battery replacement.

APC Support requested for Site Delivery Details

The support confirmed the need for replacement and requested me for details of the site delivery and contact person. I filled it all up and waited, thinking it is all good for the battery replacement.

The instructions on the next email came as a surprise.

APC Support told me to carry in the entire APC UPS

The support sent me the instructions to carry in the APC BK650 UPS to their RMA office (Win-Bells Logistics & Services Pte Ltd) and gave me the contact information for the point-of-contact. It is not just the battery but the entire APC BK650 UPS.

I was puzzled as why would support need my delivery address when it is going to be a carry in RMA? I asked the support and they went silent on me.

So thumbs down for APC support for requesting personal data when it is not required and not answering why it was requested.

Carrying in the APC BK650 UPS

I would say the process was pleasant and very straight-forward.

  • Appear at their office with the faulty 1.5 month old APC BK650 UPS and RMA email
  • Exchange it for a replacement (definitely not new with the stains)
  • Sign a couple of forms to indicate the exchange event took place
  • Go home

Conclusion

The APC/ Schneider Electric Support is borderline unacceptable.

It would be better if they had not unnecessarily asked for my personal data (delivery address, name, contact and email) and blasting it to eight [email] addresses. Of which, I suspect two addresses are group emails as their mailbox aliases are “rma-apc” and “operations”.

Well, it is a lesson learnt. In the future, I would ask any support requesting personal data for their reason of doing so.

 

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