I purchased both a SlingBox Pro-HD and a SlingCatcher back in August of 2009. After setting up both devices, things went smoothly for a few months until I began having problems with the ethernet connection on the SlingCatcher. It would no longer recognize any network it was plugged into and after talking with technical support, they determined it was a defective connection somewhere within the box. All was well as they sent me a preaddressed box to return the unit and sent me a new one. This unit also worked well after the initial setup and although it turned itself on occasionally, everything seemed fine. Fast forward to today and the exact same problem seems to have occurred. The SlingCatcher no longer recognizes the network it is connected to.
I was certain there was a one year limited warranty on hardware defects. Sure enough, I looked through the manual and found this section,
This warranty only covers defects in SlingCatcher hardware products purchased from Sling Media authorized resellers.
How long does the coverage last?
Your SlingCatcher hardware product is warranted to be free of defects for one (1) year from the original date of purchase.
What will Sling Media do?
If your SlingCatcher hardware product is defective, Sling Media will repair or replace it with the same product, or another product with similar features.
How do You get warranty Service?
Please contact the Sling Media technical support team at 1-877-GO-SLING (option #4) to verify eligibility. Once the Sling Media technical support agent determines that your eligible SlingCatcher product is defective, that agent will provide you with a Return Material Authorization (RMA) number and the address of the Sling Media Returns Center. Returns sent to the Sling Media Returns Center or to the corporate offices without an RMA number will be rejected. Upon receipt at Sling Media’s designated Returns Center, Sling Media will service the original SlingCatcher hardware product and use reasonable efforts to send it, or the replacement product, to you within 10 business days. Repaired or replacement products will be shipped back to you at Sling Media’s expense. You are responsible for costs to ship the original SlingCatcher hardware product to Sling Media’s Returns Center for repair or replacement.
After reading this, it is my understanding that I should call and they will determine whether or not my product is covered under the warranty. However, when I called the technical support line, I was informed that it would be a $29.99 charge to determine if my issue was indeed with the hardware. Seems like a bit of a bait and switch.
Does anyone know how I can determine if this is a hardware problem without having to pay $29.99? This seems utterly ridiculous to me. Has anyone experienced anything similar?