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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | After The Purchase | Upon System Receipt ]

Package and Contents Inspection

Some people, in their excitement to start using that great new PC, peripheral or component they just received, forget an essential first step: inspection. It is important that you thoroughly inspect everything you buy as soon as you get it home, to ensure that you got what you expected and that nothing is missing. If you don't do this and later on discover a problem it will make it harder to get the proper corrective action.

Here is a list of specific items you should cover when doing an inspection of a new PC or component order:

  • External Packaging: For an item sent by mail or courier, carefully inspect the outer box that contains the items sent. You are looking for any signs of tampering or damage. If the box appears to be badly banged up, or it looks like somebody opened it before it arrived to you, some contents may be damaged or missing. If so, to protect yourself, don't open the box immediately. Contact the vendor for assistance; they may in turn ask you to contact the delivery company. If possible, take a picture of the damage to the box to use as evidence in the event of a claim against the delivery service or the vendor.
  • Contents: Examine everything that is in the box to ensure that you received all that you ordered. Compare the items against the packing list included with the box; some companies ship from multiple warehouses and the rest of your order may be coming in another box from a different location. Promptly report to the vendor any discrepancies between what is supposed to be in the box and what you find.
  • Internal Packaging: For any item packaged in a retail box, check it carefully. Look for any signs of damage, and also read all the labels to ensure you received the item you ordered. Sometimes a manufacturer will have several models that are very similar in appearance, and you might have received the wrong one.
  • Receipt Or Invoice: Check for a paper receipt or invoice with the box, and double-check what is written on it to ensure the order is accurate.

After you are done with your inspection, set aside all the packaging materials, as well as any receipt or invoice. These should be retained for 30 days or the length of the vendor's money-back guarantee period, whichever is greater. If you don't save these materials it may complicate any efforts to return products to the vendor, should that become necessary.

Next: Setting Up and Testing Your PC

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