First, I'm not returning anything. I'm RMA'ing it so they can fix it or give me another one. It doesn't matter where they sell it. They know when they made it. It's just a way for a corporation to deny support.
I'm not certain that I understand the "first, I'm not returning anything", maybe I missed where someone suggested you were.
One of things I do is third party warranty field support, not for D-Link, but for a number of the bigger names in the PC business - product sold through distribution channels is as outlined by DLM (second post, first response) may sit in a warehouse or on the dealer's shelves for months after it leaves the factory.
For the sake of discussion - let's say you bought a product six months after it left the factory, working from the build date would deny you warranty service during the last six months of the warranty period, requiring the user to provide proof or purchase is one of the ways to deal with this.
The device shipped with 1.06 on it, so there's no way it was manufactured more than a year ago and D-Link knows it.
That's not quite accurate - I know of several manufacturers who update product firmware after manufacture.
I can understand that it 'may' require a receipt, but to require a receipt no matter what is not a good business practice.
It's really not your decision, this is how the manufacturer says it works, then this is how you do it. As a warranty support provider, I may not (and in fact don't) agree with some of the policies of some of my principals, but I can't change them - those policies were developed for different reasons, one of the things that you are not considering is warranty fraud, a practise that has cost the industry millions of dollars.
Another area that you are ignoring is "grey marketing", where unscrupulous resellers import product outside of the distribution channel so that a user may purchase product intended for sale in - for example - the United States, and then attempt to have it serviced in Europe - these are different cost centers for the manufacturer.
The bottom line is whatever the reasons for the choice, the manufacturer of the product has the final say on how warranty is handled.
I post on 4 different tech forums and unless they resolve this, I will be negatively posting about their products for as long as I can type.
Good luck with that - I post on a few more than four - and in my experience, it'll take more than just your lone voice, now if you can whip up some numbers, file a class action law suit, you might be able to get somewhere - yes I have gone that road successfully, but on this issue I think you have as much hope as a snowball in hades.
They should be able to verify the manufacture date by the serial number. That they can't do this really shows why D-Link's sales have paled in comparison to the other network vendors.
They can - but manufacture date can only be used to determine the start of warranty period when the manufacturer is shipping directly to the end user - if there is a distribution channel in between the two then manufacture date is of little relevance.
No, I don't keep manuals. Why would I? Complete waste of paper. I can download anything that I need in 2 minutes. I'm busy. I work 60+ hours a week. I don't have time to keep track of things like receipts. I'm busy. That's why I spend $200 on this NAS instead of spending time setting up an old PC to act as one. It's sad that I wasted my money on a company with such consumer unfriendly products.
Can you really? I'll bet that on average it takes you longer than two minutes to find the download page. As I said earlier, part of what I do is third part warranty support and personally I find it easier to download and host locally ALL of the available service documentation for the manufacturers and product that I support.