Answer: Cooler Master, the manufacturer of the chassis you bought, and CompUSA, the reseller, both have an obligation to ensure they are selling defect-free products.
I checked with CompUSA to find out if it had any complaints about the unit, and it said it didn’t. I also did a little sleuthing of my own to find out if Cooler Masters were breaking in large numbers; I couldn’t find any.
You purchase should have been covered under your manufacturer’s two-year warranty — unless, of course, this had nothing to do with the product. And I only mention that because at 2 a.m., I’m not the most clear-headed person. It’s possible that you just slipped, although I have to emphasize the possible since you are a trained computer technician.
Either way, CompUSA should have been more understanding of your problem, in the interests of customer service. Telling you this was “100 percent your fault” is no way to treat a customer who is likely to spend a considerable amount of money of computer accessories over the years. I thought CompUSA might want to take another look at the way it handled your grievance, even if its ultimate answer was “no.”
Turns out it wasn’t. Although CompUSA declined to cover the $1,500 in damaged equipment, it contacted you, apologized for the way it handled your initial inquiry, and agreed to replace the broken chassis.