Tiger Direct and Biostar have colluded to sell a defective product bundle designed to force a customer into hidden added hardware costs in order to effect the basic function of the bundle as sold.

The issue is the Biostar mainboard model A770E3.  Both Biostar and TigerDirect are advertising this mainboard as being compatible with the AMD AM3 series processors.  In my case specifically, TigerDirect was selling a pre-configured bundle with the Biostar A770E3 mainboard and an AMD Phenom II X6 1100T processor.  The bundle of course implies to the consumer there will be full compatiblity.

Upon building my system I discovered the BIOS revision that Biostar is shipping for this specific combo is too old to recognize the AMD chipset.  This is not very uncommon and the fix is very simple; flash update the BIOS.

Here is where their duplicity kicks in with their advertising.  In order to flash update the BIOS on the Biostar A770E3 they require that you already own an AMD AM2 series CPU in order to boot the mainboard far enough to flash update the BIOS.  It is not otherwise possible to to the BIOS update and with the AM3, the system will not recognize the CPU enough to boot at all.

This was disclosed neither by TigerDirect nor by Biostar.  The consumer will only realize this issue when it is too late.  When the consumer reaches page 6 in the mainboard manual, there is a small print note explaining the pre-requisite to own an AM2 socket CPU in order to do basic BIOS updates.

All of this wouldn’t be so bad if TigerDirect or Biostar would actually send the purchaser an AM2 with the product or disclose that it will require purchasing two CPUs to function.   However TigerDirect takes absolutely no responsibility for this deception.  They expect the consumer to either return everything they have built (which would cost easily $60+ in shipping) or to buy a new AMD AM2 CPU simply so they can do the required BIOS update to use the CPU they have already purchased.

This is direct fraud.  Biostar and TigerDirect know full well a consumer will be left in a lurch and have no choice but to have to pay for a CPU that they won’t even use.

It makes me wonder if AMD is maybe working a  deal with TigerDirect or Biostar to get rid of old stocks of AM2 processors.

So buyer beware, don’t buy the Biostar mainboard A770E3 from TigerDirect or any other vendor and beware the ‘bundles’ that TigerDirect are fraudulently misrepresenting as compatible;  shipping this motherboard with the current AM3 Phenom processors.

I have certainly learned my lesson not to do further business with TigerDirect or with Biostar.  I’ve always used Newegg and other vendors and never purchased a Biostar product until this unfortunate incident.  This has been a shameful level of deception on behalf of both TigerDirect and Biostar.

*** Update on the status of this running comedy

TigerDirect approached me via Twitter to send them my order # and contact information, so I did, including my phone number to make it easier to reach me.

They ignored my email and my contact info and as of yet have still not contacted me with any suggested resolution to the issue.

Their inquiry was March 7th, which is when I sent my email.  As of 5pm on the 8th, still not a peep from them.

*** Update  at 5pm on the 8th after another twitter posting I got a reply saying my issue was being handled, but it is still in pending status.

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