New docking station - laser light keeps flickering and none of the ports are working

I just got my new docking station and it’s just not working. The white laser light on top keeps flickering and that’s pretty much it. It wouldn’t charge my laptop, it wouldn’t even recognize the external monitor either via HDMI or DP and the USB ports aren’t working either as I tried charging my phone from 5/10 gbps ports and none of them are working. I’ll likely be returning the device in a day or two unless the support team here helps troubleshoot the issue in the meantime. Thanks.

Hello Jay,

Thank you for reaching out to Plugable Support!

I am sorry to hear that you are running into issues with your TBT3-UDC3, but I would be happy to help diagnose the issue.

I also noticed that you reached out to us on Amazon as well. For simplicity’s sake, I will continue all communication through this channel and email.

First, can you confirm that you are trying to connect to your laptop using the included Thunderbolt 3 cable that came with your dock? We’ve seen issues arise when a third party cable is used.

Lastly, I’d like to request some logs from your device using our PlugDebug diagnostics tool. However, we cannot exchange files on this forum, so I’d like to ask you to send these log files to our email at support@plugable.comwith the subject line “Ticket #379614”. With everything still attached to the dock (even if it appears to not be working) please follow the instructions on our PlugDebug page and send the ZIP file back to us so we can take a look at the logs.

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support

Evan - I just emailed the log files to support@plugable.com per your request. Please let me know when your team gets a chance to look at it. Thanks.

Hello Jay,

Thank you for sending the log files.

After taking a look at them, I did notice that the dock was not being detected by the MacBook, which definitely confirms the issues that you are seeing. There is a chance that this is a hardware issue with this particular dock considering the flickering of the white LED on the top of the dock. However, one troubleshooting step that I would like to try is to perform an SMC and NVRAM reset of your MacBook. This may help your MacBook better recognize the dock.

To perform an SMC reset, follow the instructions here:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295

To perform an NVRAM reset, follow the instructions here:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063

Please let me know if this helps at all.

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support

Hi Evan, I performed the two resets you recommended and unfortunately, the issue still persists. I’d like to check with you what are my options here? Would Plugable be able to send a replacement device or do I have to deal with Amazon? Please let me know as I’m in need of a docking station now and would like to get a working device at the earliest. Thanks.

Jay

Hello Jay,

Thank you for trying that.

At this point, we can look into a pretested replacement device covered by our two year warranty to rule out a hardware issue. To do so, can you please reply to the email thread where you sent us the log files and include the Amazon/Walmart/Newegg Order ID and a good address to send the replacement to?

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support

Evan - thanks for your response. I just shared the requested details to the email I sent the log files.

Jay

Hi,

Could you please confirm that you have all the necessary details to send me a pretested replacement docking station? Also, could you share when I can expect the replacement device to be delivered to my address? Thanks.

Jay

Hi Jay,

We did receive the necessary details via email and it has been sent to our shipping department. I will update you with tracking information once we ship it out.

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support

Hey Evan - just checking if there’s any update on the replacement device. Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks.

Hello Jay,

I attempted to send the tracking info to your email that you sent us the log files with. However it may not have gotten to you. I will not post the tracking info here, but according to USPS it should be delivered by no later than tomorrow evening.

For returning the original unit and its accessories, there should be a return label included within the replacement’s package:

  1. Attach the postage paid shipping label to the package containing the product that is to be returned
  2. Drop in any US Postal Service mailbox or at a USPS facility.

Thanks!

Evan King
Plugable Technologies

Evan - I couldn’t find the return label unfortunately. As I ordered the device on Amazon, can I request a return label from Amazon and drop it off at one of the nearby locations that accept amazon returns (likely a nearby Whole Foods)? Please let me know if that works. Thanks.

Hello Jay,

You received the replacement dock though, correct? If so, can you confirm whether the original issue was resolved or not with the replacement? In the case that the issue is resolved, then we can look into sending another replacement label in case we forgot to include it with the replacement we sent you.

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support

Evan - yes I received the replacement device and it appears to be working with my laptop and monitor. I was also able to find the shipping label in the usps box. I’ll be mailing the original defective device this weekend. Thanks.

Hello Jay,

Thank you for the update! I am glad to hear that the replacement dock is working so far. Please do not hesitate to reach back out to Plugable Support if you run into any other issues with your TBT3-UDC3!

Thank you,

Evan
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support