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Newegg has a bit of a scandal on its hands (windowscentral.com)
392 points by gautamcgoel 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 291 comments

Newegg doesn't limit their fraud to selling broken open-box items.

I personally saw them try to pass off an expensive mouse that was crusty and scratched as "new" (I double checked and it was NOT marked as an "open box" on the product page or order page).

Newegg support refused to process the return, so I had to contest it with the credit card company. Pro tip: the CC support rep told me to process it as "product never received." He said if you pay for a new item and you get a used item, then you never received the item you paid for. Hopefully I never have to use that again, but now I know (and now you do too).

Is it me, or are retailers and service providers suddenly getting less and less reasonable about returns and disputes? I’ve had to do more credit card chargebacks in the last three years than I had done in the previous 20 years. Fortunately, AMEX heavily sides with consumers against merchants, so this route has consistently worked for me.

I’ve always considered a CC chargeback the tool of last resort, but companies are more and more slamming doors and dodging responsibility to the point where that tool has to be used all the time now.

Same experience over the past couple years.

It's also weird to me, for example I bought six items from Leatherman (some multitools plus accessories) and one of them showed up with some damage. No worries, Leatherman supports their product with a 25 year warranty so I just mail it back for a repair.

There was a whole saga about Leatherman refusing via email and my bank charging back for the entire order (I asked for just the tool that Leatherman refused to repair, the bank was "Nah, we're just gonna do it all, we have an email where the merchant refused to honor a warranty, they have no leverage.")

It's bizarre to me, because a relatively minor repair had to be cheaper than giving me three multitools and six accessories for negative dollars (since the bank tosses fees on top of the chargeback). The companies have no incentive and know they're going to lose (see all the articles complaining about 'friendly fraud' to reference chargebacks) yet they do it.

Perhaps they over index on being paranoid that the customer wants to defraud them via chargeback, which in turn increases the odds a chargeback happens since the disgruntled customer feels they were ripped off?

>It's bizarre to me, because a relatively minor repair had to be cheaper than giving me three multitools and six accessories for negative dollars (since the bank tosses fees on top of the chargeback). The companies have no incentive and know they're going to lose (see all the articles complaining about 'friendly fraud' to reference chargebacks) yet they do it.

From where I'm sitting (business owner who handles my own customer support), this seems like a classic case of the business's incentives not aligning with the employee's.

Minor complaints are often much harder to deal with (and care about) than major ones, and far more likely to explode into something nasty. Couple that with the fact that the support rep doesn't see a cent of that transaction, and I can see why they would want to shut down the interaction ASAP.

The support rep is following a script cooked up to follow a directive from an MBA. Support is a cost center, subject to optimization for P&L. Reputation isn't in the analysis so the customer hostile solution is best.

Exactly. The rep gets yelled at for a “cost” repair. He gets no telling about a chargeback, that’s eaten somewhere in finance.

Oh wow it's the guy that built the open source dog USB Oscilloscope! Great product :)

I'm surprised that you have to do your own customer support, though. I had always assumed that Crowd Supply would take care of that.

Labrador is my side project; my main business is actually in used video games down here in Aus. :)

I think Crowd Supply handle certain support issues specific to orders through their platform (as does Amazon), but there's still technical information that people need/want and so I help where I can.

> It's bizarre to me, because a relatively minor repair had to be cheaper than giving me three multitools and six accessories for negative dollars (since the bank tosses fees on top of the chargeback). The companies have no incentive and know they're going to lose (see all the articles complaining about 'friendly fraud' to reference chargebacks) yet they do it.

For every person that does a chargeback, 10 of them don't know or don't bother. A lot of companies & services rely on that.

Oh man, Leatherman has really gone downhill in the last 10 years. My father's Leatherman is a solid tool that has withstood lots of abuse. I went through three doing light electronics repair (chipping the wire cutters, bending the hinge out of whack so it won't close all the way, busting the tip off a blade) before finally deciding to never buy another one.

I feel like practically all manufacturers have switched to cheaper metal alloys. For example, Fiskars scissors, garden shears, and such used to be a thing you buy once and use practically forever, now they're pretty much the same as anything that has any kind of brand on the packaging.

> "Nah, we're just gonna do it all, we have an email where the merchant refused to honor a warranty, they have no leverage."

From the bank's perspective, this makes sense: better you keep your money with the bank than it flow out to the vendor.

I think it's less nefarious than that. The vendor did not fulfil their end of the contract, so the contract is voided and the money is transferred back. If the bank starts to go into do partial refunding they could suddenly be spending a lot more on this service.

Maybe the simply lack the manpower to do basic customer service and device repair?

I doubt so. When I bought my Leatherman Wave, the bundled leather pouch was a little too tight, and I emailed them about the issue. The response was "It's intentionally made that way. If it doesn't stretch to fit in a week or two, let us know and we'll send you a new one, for free. Have nice day and enjoy your tool".

I'm arguably not too involved in the US Customer Service industry ... but what prevents Leatherman to kill your credit score in that scenario?

The credit relationship is between you and your bank (or your credit card issuer), not Leatherman.

Leatherman's ultimate recourse would be take me to small claims court, argue I lied to the credit card processor to win the chargeback case, get a judgement, and if I don't pay go after me for collections. I doubt they'd have a good time given they sent me an email refusing to do a warranty repair and I based my chargeback on that.

Of course they'd have to come to my home jurisdiction and all that. While in theory if they prevailed I think they'd get triple damages, they also run the risk of losing and throwing away even more money and also angering Visa who considers my bank's ruling in my favor to be final. There were a few companies that had the genius idea to go to small claims and Visa got upset enough that those companies can no longer take credit cards.

In most cases it is better for the merchant just to eat it and write it off as a loss.

It's happening to them too. Returns fraud is booming business.

Not trying to excuse anything, just explain why some people are getting crappy used products (sloppy returns QA) or aggressive customer services denying consumer rights (burnt retailer). Ultimately it's all on the retailer, but it's also a cost we'll end up bearing.

Criminals ruin things for everyone.

Yup, it's a business now on internet boards. Here is a link to one such telegram group: https://t.me/refundingclub

There are tons more. The basic philosophy is that they use a bunch of social engineering techniques that are specific to companies and use them to get refund for people and then take a cut (usually 20-35%). The likely picked up these techniques through trial and error or from other people running similar services. Their most common targets are amazon, PayPal, almost all electronics retailers, tons of clothing companies, Walmart, target, Costco, etc.

Every time these scumbags succeed it hurts all of us just a little bit. Society becomes just a little bit less trusting. High trust societies are so much better to live in. I wonder how countries go about engineering high trust cultures. I suppose the first step is actively finding these people and putting them in prison.

>I suppose the first step is actively finding these people and putting them in prison.

what do you think the police are for? the FBI also investigates wire fraud cases. unfortunately both do not have enough resources to investigate $200 frauds. Hell, in some jurisdictions they don't even bother with $900 thefts.

This is what I think the police are for but as you say, it's hard to figure out what they actually are for these days. And to be clear, it's not just the police, decades-long underfunding of the public legal systems, prisons, and all the services that are supposed to stop people ending up that far in the first place.

But I'm not sure it's good to stop expecting the police to deal with this. That sort of surrender to criminality would be a dark step for humanity.

> what do you think the police are for?

General beatdowns. Detectives are what you're thinking of. Most people want detectives, few people want harassment and fines (or death) over nothing more than some cop's power trip or petty things (like jay walking when it blocks no traffic and is completely safe).

Granted, this perspective is colored by American policing. I know some other countries have it better.

Yep, and that's why fraudsters should spend decades in prison

Decades? Murderers get less than that.

Definitely noticed this as well.

Five or more years ago I bought a kettle from Amazon and two months later it starts leaking. Turns out it's a design flaw and a lot of reviews on the kettle mentioned the same issue. I sent a support ticket and they refunded me immediately and told me I could keep the kettle.

Then last year I ordered a knife on Amazon. A month later I receive a water flosser...

I contact support (which is now next to impossible to find in the UI) and they tell me they can't refund me unless I send the item back and they also won't be sending me my actual purchase. This was during lockdown and as I do not own a printer I was not able to print out the return slip. They also refused to come and pick it up. I got nothing, not even a "we're sorry" coupon; my account is over 20 years old.

So we went from automatic refund + you get to keep the item for an issue that was not their fault to them completely fucking up my order and then making me go through hoops, spend me own money to send their mistake back to them.

The good news is that there are a lot of different and competitive online retailers around these days, and a lot of shops are now online due to Covid. So it was not very difficult for me to stop using Amazon altogether.

> I contact support (which is now next to impossible to find in the UI) and they tell me they can't refund me unless I send the item back and they also won't be sending me my actual purchase.

If you receive something in the mail by accident, you are under no obligation to return it. I would have issued a chargeback given that you never received the item you paid for.

> By law, companies can’t send unordered merchandise to you, then demand payment. That means you never have to pay for things you get but didn’t order. You also don’t have to return unordered merchandise. You’re legally entitled to keep it as a free gift.


If you do a chargeback, you have to be prepared for the company to permanently ban you as a customer. Many people are not willing to take that risk with their Amazon account.

I'm fortunate in that I have been able to cancel my amazon subscription and not do any more purchases with them, but if the poo hit the rotary accelerator I am sure I would be grateful to have the option.

Charging back on your Amazon prime account will quickly get it closed. Any gift balance you have goes with it. You can probably keep access to your digital purchases if you complain enough.

It certainly doesn't sound legal to invalidate your gift card balance, and it seems at least in one case a banned person received reimbursement in the form of a check.

> “All open orders were canceled, I just could access digital content purchased in the account. I had over $100 in my gift card balance and Amazon agreed to send me the refund, I received a check in my mailbox after 1 week,” wrote Do, who calculated that his rate of return for Amazon is about 17% — ordering 104 items and returning 18.


I am not sure what the law is here in Australia, but as others have mentioned, a chargeback would have jeopardised my account. I don't pay for prime (although I think I actually had a prime trial at the time of the issue, which makes it even more infuriating) but have quite a few kindle books.

2 weeks ago I contacted Amazon because a delivery reached the estimated time and was marked as possibly lost. Because the order was split into 2 deliveries half which arrived and the other half lost, they couldn’t create a new order. So they refunded the missing items and delivery costs. Reordered and arrived in 5 days.

First time in like 10 years I’ve had to contact support and was happy!

Are you in the USA? Every Amazon return I have done is they give you a QR code and I drop it off at a UPS store. No printing required and UPS handles the packaging.

Amazon has many faults but returns have always worked well for me.


I guess their systems aren't quite as smooth here. I'd still be quite annoyed to have to go to UPS in my free time to return something I never ordered.

Years ago I started using a Dot/Alexa. One day I needed to return something and asked Alexa for customer support and "she" responded by reading me the definition of customer support from Wikipedia or something. I tried numerous times in different ways before realizing there was no way to contact support through Alexa. That was the beginning of the end of our twenty year relationship.

When I tried to get a chargeback from my bank they terminated my account as it was too much trouble.

I bought some electronics, turned out it was a scammy company. After six weeks, nothing shipped, merchant agreed to refund me. Asked card company (Cash/Square/Block) for a chargeback. Week later merchant ships something, FedEx fails to deliver and it gets returned to merchant.

3 months later Square asks me for all documentation. I give it to them. They say I can't have a refund as the package was delivered. I tell them "yes, delivered back to the merchant". They say "sorry, our policy is that if it was delivered somewhere then we won't do a chargeback. I know that's not the outcome you wanted." Then they terminated my account. LOL

Thanks for this. It's a good thing warning to stay away from square.

I've had to do chargebacks with two different banks and both were painless even though something was delivered.

I've done a number of charge backs over the years, and they most often are painless. I did have one not go my way though. A hotel I stayed at charged my credit card $100 for parking. I had taken a taxi to get to the hotel. They refused to listen to me, so I did a charge back. They sent my bank a copy of a parking receipt that had no identifying information on it, just basically said, "overnight parking, $100". My bank said that was good enough, and reversed the charge back, no appeal allowed.

But at least the other time a merchant pushed back on a charge back, it worked out better. A South American airline charged me for a flight between two cities in a continent I had never even been to in my life. They used as proof a record that simply showed the flight did actually fly. My bank sided with me.

If you wrote to square saying you are taking them to small claims court in the US, I bet they would have immediately buckled.

If you file in small claims court, they might settle. Saying you're going to file doesn't work like that (because people say it all the time and very few people follow though). At most large companies, the script if you threaten legal action is to notate it in their file, refer them to the legal department and stop communication except through legal.

Long story short, don't threaten lawsuits. Just file the suit.

I figure it is worth trying anyway, as the cost to send an email/phone call is almost nothing compared to the time it takes to fill out paperwork for the small claims court and actually go and deal with that.

IIRC they have one of those bogus arbitration clauses in their ToC. I told them I wanted them to appoint an arbitrator and now they won't respond at all.

And as someone who litigates for shits and giggles, it can be pretty expensive in Small Claims, about $400 often just to file and do service on the defendant. And some courts won't accept suits that are less than the filing fee. And a lot of the time you can't get back your costs from the defendant either. And.. I'm not sure you can sue the bank for not charging back. I guess the correct process is to sue the merchant for never delivering the merch.

Yes, and there are surveillance companies dedicated to tracking people and the returns they make [0]. Many retailers now demand personal information like ID cards to make returns. If their secret fraud detection algorithms flag you, you can find yourself suddenly unable to make returns.

[0] https://www.theretailequation.com/

There are federal mail order laws in the US. They better slow thier road.

>> Fortunately, AMEX heavily sides with consumers against merchants

No. AMEX heavily sides with AMEX against merchants. AMEX, via chargeback penalties, turns a net profit every time a customer complaint is filed. They aren't being nice out of the goodness of their hearts. They are leveraging their market dominance to extract penalty money from users. Just be happy that we customers are on the winning side ... for now.

This is true for Visa/Mastercard as well. I used to work in merchant processing and sat near the chargeback department and would frequently overhear conversations with irate merchants having to pay a $25 chargeback fee regardless of the outcome. This was almost 20 years ago so not sure if that fee has been lowered or got higher.

Higher, and more strikes per merchant would mean the merchant is drop. $25 is the minimum. 1% used to be the minimum for what was acceptable per monthly volume, but now it's much less, I've seen guidelines on risky categories go to .5%.

I've had the opposite experience recently.

Last month a fan failed on my 2080 Ti, which I bought in 2018, I contacted the retailer and they said they've started to replace fans on GPU's themselves because of the shortage situation. Great, works for me.

A week later I got an email saying they're replacing it with a 3080. Slight upgrade at no additional cost.

"slight" got quite the chuckle out of me. You are quite lucky!

Which manufacturer? I've had good luck with EVGA and terrible luck with MSI, but that's pretty anecdotal.

Over the past decade+, retailers have been giving up on scrutinizing returns. You used to need a reason for returning something, then it morphed into just "didn't like", then they stopped asking questions, and now it's common for them to not even ask for the item back! This has been widely lauded as customer friendly. And evidently the math worked out that losing a bunch of money on the occasional return wasn't a big deal.

But while this is customer friendly, it completely forgoes the idea of individually judging returns! So now retailers are looking at the absolute amount of money they're losing to returns, and attempting to optimize that. They can't discourage returns outright (by changing their policy) because that would break customer expectations, and it would be extremely hard to inspect/adjudicate returns better because that would require skilled workers, so all they can do is adjust the false positive/false negative ratio.

Another black box approach is the use of surveillance databases like Retail Equation, to track whether an individual has made "too many" returns based on the amount they've spent - a totally irrelevant and unjust metric when you think about it. It also could be "just you" due to getting tripped by these databases, perhaps even because of your first chargeback. Who would know?

The "unfixable" waste also ties into the hollowing out of other business departments too. Many food items are not packed very well and are put in the same box without regards to density, so items arrived dented, crushed, or destroyed. Rather than the return process feed that failure back to the packing department, it's just treated as another "no fault" return. So now as a customer I've just got to accept that many times the items I've ordered are going to arrive damaged, and meanwhile I'm sure I'm building up a record in their surveillance database as a less profitable customer - when it all stems from their mistake.

Companies are betting that you'd prefer a continued tentative transactional relationship with them rather than ban yourself over a charge back. That's definitely how Airbnb works.

Some ebay seller is fighting me right now saying they’ll block me if I demand a refund over them sending me a materially different condition item than what was pictured. I’m totally fine with never transacting again with them.

I’ve never had a good AirBNB experience. I’d never miss them if they went away.

About a month ago I ordered some ice cream from postmates and they delivered it completely melted, like it was never frozen.

I assumed it would be an easy refund because it wasn't even safe to eat, so I sent them a photo and... they adamantly refused?

Charged that back and deleted the app. I was kind of flabbergasted.

Question. Last week I ordered a keyboard (price around $120), but received two. What should I do?

Returning it would take me easily 30 minutes of work, so I decided to keep it until they start complaining.

We bought two suitcases from Amazon They shipped it to the wrong house so we never received it. We sent them an email and they refunded our money and we bought two more.

Two weeks later, our neighbor came back into town and brought us the two original suitcases that we never received.

Trying to be honest, we started a return process. But we could not get them to understand that we didn’t want a refund. We were returning a duplicate. Since either way we were going to have “free” luggage, we just kept both.

Similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago with a 3D printer. Tracking showed it cross the country, get within 50 miles of my house, and then suddenly took off several states away. At that point tracking stopped updating. After waiting a while for Amazon to get past their "just wait to see if it shows up" threshold, they shipped me a another printer, which arrived without trouble. Two months later the original printer randomly showed up one day. I contacted support but they couldn't understand what I was talking about. After wasting a bunch of my time and their time, it seemed pointless. I didn't really need a second 3D printer but it seemed like it was going to cost both me and Amazon more time than it was worth to straighten out their mistake so I dropped the matter.

This reminds me of a similar tracking behavior I saw last year. It was both frustrating and hilarious. Item shipped via FedEx from TX to CA. I think the ETA was 5 days.

   Day 1: Left TX
   Day 2: In transit in NM
   Day 3: Arrived in Tracy,CA
   Day 11: Left Tracy and arrived in destination city
   Day 14: Left destination city
   Day 15: In transit in southern OR
   Day 18: In transit in northern OR
It hasn't been seen since. When I contacted FedEx, their investigation showed that the truck it was on was currently sitting empty in WY. No explanation for why it sat so long in Tracy, why it left the destination, or where it ended up.

So the seller shipped a replacement.

   Day 1: Left TX
   Day 2: In transit in TX
   Day 6: Arrived in Tracy
   Day 7: Left Tracy
   Day 11: Left Tracy, again
   Day 12: Left Tracy, yet again
   Day 13: Arrived in destination city
   Day 15: Delivered

I had a similar situation with a cat-proof trashcan ordered from amazon. After they messed up the delivery and issued a refund I got it from brick and mortar. Two weeks later it shows up on my doorstep.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Now I have a cat-proof recycling bin.

I twice got things as part of an Amazon order what I didn't order. It took hours, and speaking so several supervisors to get them to take back the extra stuff, and that no, I wouldn't "just keep" large metal pipes.

Amazon now has an option on their return reason: 'received extra items'

Depends on the scale/size of the merchant. For some it's more hassle that it's worth to try and get it back. Chances are they won't bother.

I received two motherboards from Newegg recently. Because of a screw up in shipping, my first motherboard didn't look like it was ever going to show up, so they send me another one. A week later, the first one did show up. I contacted them and they definitely wanted one back, seemed genuinely happy I contacted them about it. They sent me a return label and it went off back to them that day.

My American law, you're entitled to keep it with no extra payment.

When this happens to me, I tell the retailer that if they want to schedule a pickup at my address, I'll happily hand it to the driver, but I'm not going out of my way to fix their mistake.

This kind of thing happens when the bottom falls out of an industry. Amazon, Walmart.com, and Alibaba/Aliexpress are totally destroying independent retailers.

Overall across the economy most fraud is committed on the way down, not the way up. The same happens as economic bubbles collapse and financial entities scramble for some way to inflate the books.

> This kind of thing happens when the bottom falls out of an industry. Amazon, Walmart.com, and Alibaba/Aliexpress are totally destroying independent retailers.

This makes no sense. Amazon has famously good customer service. I don't deal with walmart often so I don't have an opinion either way. Finally, you bemoan aliexpress, which is comprised of independent sellers, but complain how they're destroying "independent retailers"?

I think it's because there's so much abuse going on. More and more I'm hearing about it becoming normalized to buy a product, use it once for whatever purpose, then return it again.

Not new, really. I knew plenty of people who considered that acceptable behavior as far back as the 1970's. In fact it used to be an old TV sitcom trope that they'd buy the expensive TV for the "big game" or expensive dress for the "big dance". They couldn't afford it, but they could just return it the next day. Then they'd accidentally destroy it, and you were supposed to feel bad for them for now having to pay for what they bought.

I've been trying to send back an SSD to Samsung for over a month now. They keep postponing sending me the shipping label. You have to request it by phone.

That is, after I received the product with over 4 months delay (after which I didn't need it anymore - hence trying to return it.)

I'm not sure if it's because the German Samsung store might just be too incompetent though.

I think people abuse the return system. I am a "minimalist" in the sense that I buy only stuff I need, so I barely ever return anything. But I see friends ordering 20 boxes and then returning 19 as standard operating procedure.

I do wonder if a lot of companies reached peak growth in a legitimate way, but because the organisation's existential need to grow larger never goes away, they start turning to less legit methods to make it happen.

Don't you get blacklisted with prejudice at the vendor if you chargeback?

If I needed to go as far as to do a chargeback against a vendor, I probably don't want to use them ever again anyways.

That works for an odd item, but it would be a pain if that was the issue where you don't have alternative providers. Steam is one of the companies where issuing a chargeback is a risky move. Sometimes it even happens without your knowledge: https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/2inknm/help_steam_re...

Steam, Amazon, Uber, Google...would all be quite painful. Personally I believe this forms a sort of litmus test for me personally whether I consider a company "too big to not regulate". I can imagine some additional CFPB protections which would be useful for these mega-corps.

It's nothing like doing a chargeback to a local independent coffee-shop who double-charged you and refuses to refund the duplicate charge.

This is exactly my thought too. When I’m at the point where a chargeback is my only recourse, it’s a “burn the bridge” moment. The company has made it clear it’s intention to fuck me. I am totally fine with no longer doing business with that company. You can’t fire me because I quit!

At the e-retailer I worked for, yes. If you did a chargeback you got your money back but we blacklisted you. I send several emails to that effect: "We told you to engage with CS & not just do a chargeback". Its a shame because we did good CS but people get used to being fucked about by other retailers and go straight to chargeback, plus we do get return fraud too.

Inflation causes retail profits to plummet... So we'll see this as managers try to protect their bonuses.

It it fraud or just laziness?

10 years ago I stopped buying open-box items from NewEgg. They never, ever worked.

I had a theory that it was cheaper for them to ship it to another customer, and then if it got returned a second time, mark it as defective, vs doing actually DOA checks etc on their side.

That lately has been my experience with Amazon's "tested and refurbished" outlet items. The last three items have all been defective or missing parts despite Amazon's claim that they were thoroughly tested and checked for quality. The funny part is one of the items was bulky and would cost $45 to ship at retail rates. I know Amazon gets a bulk discount but it still couldn't have been cheap for them to process the return. They paid that $45 (or whatever is their discounted rate) at least four times on the item that cost under $200. Wonder if it went on a returns pallet, sold to a liquidator, who then sold it on Craigslist or someplace similar.

For computer components, especially, this must be true.

Big +1 for talking through the actual issue with your CC rep and asking them how to best process the claim. 9 times out of 10 the answer is pretty straightforward but that 10th time you can really get saved by getting the advice of someone who knows the system and is as "on your side" as they can be.

Does the product not received work better? From the merchant side those seem to be easier to win since tracking is sufficient proof, and the case review probably doesn’t spend too much time looking into used versus new item.

I only have that sample size of one, so I have zero confidence of whether it's better or not. All I can say is I had no problems with it that one time. Newegg didn't even try to contest (as far as I'm aware).

I have a theory on what happened at NewEgg with this motherboard:

1. GN gets motherboard from NewEgg, never opens the shipping box.

2. GN sends motherboard back to NewEgg, as allowed by NewEgg’s policy.

3. NewEgg decides to decline the RMA just because they can, claiming whatever excuse they are forced to make up when anyone asks. (NewEgg went back and forth regarding whether it was thermal paste on the motherboard or damaged pins on the CPU socket.)

4. GN knows they didn’t damage the motherboard, since they didn’t even open the shipping box, so they relate the story to their surprisingly large audience, and the whole story blows up.

5. NewEgg goes “Oops, bad publicity, we’d better refund them.”

6. GN wants the motherboard returned, too.

7. NewEgg goes “Oh crap. We said the motherboard was damaged, so if we actually send the real motherboard back, GN will see that it’s fine and know we lied. But GN said that they never opened the shipping box, so GN has never seen the motherboard. We can just send back any old motherboard which is actually damaged. Genius!”, and NewEgg picks a motherboard which is marked as damaged in their inventory system, and ships it to GN.

8. GN opens the newly-received motherboard box, and finds it indeed has damaged CPU socket pins, but also finds an RMA sticker from Gigabyte, with an RMA number on it. GN investigates, and finds out the whole history of that board, painting a very ugly picture of NewEgg if that was the motherboard which they were originally sold.

NewEgg is now in a bind. They can’t admit to lying about blatantly refusing legitimate RMAs, nor can they admit to knowingly shipping back a fake damaged motherboard to GN. So what they will probably try to claim is that the damaged board was the one sold to GN, but that it was a mistake in inventory management. However, this story still would not explain why NewEgg’s returns department missed seeing the huge RMA sticker from Gigabyte, and why they sometimes claimed thermal paste on the motherboard, and sometimes damaged CPU socket pins. Unless, of course, NewEgg lied and shipped a fake damaged motherboard back to GN.

They did a similar thing to me. They even added on fraud during my CC dispute as the cherry on the top. But I don't have a large social media following so I'm just out my $700.

Sue them in small claims court. They won't show. you'll win by default.

Which gets me nothing without a way to collect. And is not practical due to arbitration clause and service issues.

Simply going through the process of a small courts claim will likely get your money back. They will not send a lawyer to the small claims court hearing and they will settle. Even if you make a bunch of mistakes with your small claims process, the court will never review it before the hearing. Newegg will not have their lawyers spend time dealing with your mistakes.

Send a demand letter and if they don't respond, do the small claims court paper work. The hardest part is serving Newegg a notice. You can pay a professional to serve the paperwork. If you're willing to stick it to them, you will very likely see your $700 + fees. Most people won't do it because they feel intimidated or can't be bothered with the work.

Have you actually done it?

Either way, this was 5 years ago and beyond the SOL

It seems like credit card chargebacks are designed for exactly this situation.

I did and Newegg committed fraud during the process. Newegg responded to my dispute saying they had no record of me returning the item despite tracking and e-mail confirmation that they received it.

The credit card company will accept your paper trail. They can check with the shipping company. The fact they lied about it should make it even more clear-cut.

I haven’t researched but this feels quite plausible. I think it’s important to remember how few people could be involved in this decisions, there could possibly be just two people on the Newegg side making the majority of these calls.

Does the number of people matter?

If you make a decision as part of your work, that decision is de facto made by the company. Even if this was one person making $12/hr who made every single decision related to this story, it's still Newegg making the decisions. Newegg only gets a pass if it's explicitly against all actual and de facto policies, and even then they may not.

It doesn't matter when it comes to responsibility.

But if you want to judge them, then I think it's relevant. Because just about every company is susceptible to an errant employee causing damage in some way or other. So do we want to judge companies on their policies and overall damage rate and probability ("how likely am I to suffer this fate if I do business with them, and what is it likely to cost me?"), or on whether they won or lost the errant employee going viral lottery ("did a bad employee work for this company once and cause damage in a way that happened by chance to become very public")?

Bad employees are far rarer than bad management.

Employees don't go out of their way to steal from customers and give to the company, unless management pressures them to.

Yes it matters a lot! It's about plausibility. So very many security controls in industries where it actually matters, are about collusion. You can't completely prevent many types of fraud, but you can very significantly reduce it if it requires collusion.

It's the same here. If 1-2 people can make this happen, it's far more likely than if a chain of 10 people are needed to execute this kind of fraud.

I don't see the incentive - by the time Newegg is in damage control mode, they're not trying to save money [0]. And sending such a derelict board makes the situation that much worse. If anything, they would have swapped in a pristine new board to make it look like a legitimate sale.

I'm guessing this is a run of the mill "nobody's fault" failure of many people handling a small bit of the same situation, with their own poor incentives, leaving terse notes in the system, while nobody steps up to take ownership of the overall situation. The person receiving the board from Gigabyte didn't want to affect their metrics with the write off so they decided to put it back into inventory as open box. The person who inspected the RMA is trying to make metrics so they leave the shortest rejection note possible rather than noticing and investigating the Gigabyte RMA sticker. The CS rep on the phone cannot tell him anything more because there's literally nothing to tell besides what's displayed on their screen. etc.

Once you see this pattern, it's effectively everywhere these days. The other day I called a well-known brokerage company. I was transferred to the wrong department (like always), and the rep apologized while assuring me he would definitely get me to the right department (like always). My response was to casually tell him "no worries, I can ping-pong for a bit". Five departments later and I was finally in the right place. The people in the system don't even know how preposterous it looks from the outside.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30357038 . In the video linked here, Newegg stiffed someone on a $500 payment and then after it went viral suddenly offered them $1500, presumably so they'd keep quiet.

> they would have swapped in a pristine new board to make it look like a legitimate sale.

But then NewEgg would have admitted that NewEgg’s returns people lied about the motherboard being damaged. If only the returned motherboard had not had an RMA sticker on it, NewEgg could then have plausibly claimed that the returned damaged board was the same motherboard which was originally sold to GN, and blamed a mistake in inventory management, thereby admitting to a simple inventory mixup instead of admitting their returns people are scamming legitimate returns. But the sticker destroyed it; the sticker being there makes it both unlikely that it would have been sold to GN originally, but also makes it implausible that the returns people simply missed the huge sticker on the motherboard saying “From: Gigabyte; BROKEN CPU SOCKET”.

Miscommunication and mistakes don't rise to the level of deliberate "lying" - they would say "Our inspection tech made a mistake and thought there was thermal paste on the socket. We're sorry." and that would have explained the entire RMA situation. Then some blah blah about making it easier for customers to escalate to a manager, while not really reforming their processes.

Instead, this situation is much worse - they sold a known-broken refurbished-at-best motherboard as "open box" (fraud #1), and then rejected the return for fictitious reasons (fraud #2), likely because the RMA inspection tech saw that the motherboard was an unsellable piece of trash and had every incentive to make the customer eat it.

And I don't see how the Gigabyte sticker being there indicates it was not the board originally sent to GN. It's completely plausible that meets the requirements for "open box" at Newegg. And IIRC nowhere on the sticker does it say that the CPU socket is broken, rather that specific history was obtained by calling Gigabyte and asking.

> And I don't see how the Gigabyte sticker being there indicates it was not the board originally sent to GN. It's completely plausible that meets the requirements for "open box" at Newegg. And IIRC nowhere on the sticker does it say that the CPU socket is broken, rather that specific history was obtained by calling Gigabyte and asking.

First of all, it’s just my personal theory; the sticker being there does not prove anything. But the sticker does say¹:



This makes me guess that it’s unlikely that this was the same motherboard which the returns people at NewEgg sometimes claimed “Thermal paste on motherboard” on, and sometimes claimed that GN caused the CPU socket damage.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL-eB_Bv5Ik#t=7m38s

Ah, you're right about the sticker. I didn't zoom in on it when I first watched the video, so maybe his explanation skipped that or I misunderstood.

I think it's likely the RMA tech just ignored the sticker because they're used to seeing such stickers, if "open box" really is a free for all. The RMA tech's job isn't to look for reasons that something is Newegg's fault, but rather to look for reasons that it is the customer's fault. As such, a sticker that usually means the board was repaired by isn't something to note, but thermal paste is. And then once that note has been made, that's all the phone agent is going to ever see.

>and NewEgg picks a motherboard which is marked as damaged in their inventory system, and ships it to GN.

I imagine Newegg have a large inventory, but they would have to match the exact motherboard with the one Steve bought, and with some sort of CPU pin/socket damage. And the reason Steve accidentally bought an open box in the first place was due to the limited stock of that particular motherboard. So I'm not sure that this holds true.

>6. GN wants the motherboard returned, too.

Also I'm pretty sure Steve requested the motherboard back _before_ they then got the refund.

Steve just wanted his money or a working board.

They wouldn't have to match it, just pick one out of an RMA pile and damage it the way they described.

Or like, it was just a mistake? Hanlons razor.

A mistake happens once. When you refuse to correct that mistake and blame the other person, it is no longer a mistake, it is your stated position on the matter.

I have to agree that this timeline implies too much malice.

The null timeline of new egg just shipping an RMA'ed broken mobo in the first place seems more plausible to me.

The "This was customer damage" RMA rejection though I do not think applies. Hard to see any "honest mistake" there.

Applying Hanlon’s razor to profitable ‘mistakes’ is unwise.

The story that GamersNexus shares here of dealing with Newegg's support is so painfully realistic. Support reps have no idea what's going on. There is little to no escalation process. The support folks probably receive no training about the RMA process, how damaged hardware is assessed, or even what 'thermal pate' is. For companies like Newegg, there is no value anymore in quality support reps with expertise... companies only focus on quantity and trimming the budget: hiring the smallest team possible at the lowest price. This transcends so much of the tech industry.

I used to work in IT support, started at $65k which was amazing for where I was living at the time. Everyone on the support team took pride in our work, and we shared a culture of expertise and owning the issue; of quality over quantity. Everyone suffers- the customer, the company, the support staff- when the goal is sheer throughput and 'cost efficiency'.

Not just customer service but also their media liaisons.

It's a long video[1] but another Youtuber called Brett from UFD Tech has been talking about Newegg recently too. Newegg agreed to sponsor a fan giveaway by providing an Intel CPU to a winner, but after receiving photos and marketing from Brett did not respond to inquiries about the CPU for five months. They also didn't pay for two product review videos that Brett had made for them. Like with GamersNexus, they didn't respond to inquiries about fixing the situation until Brett posted about it on Twitter.

Another small but interesting detail about this is that Brett never revealed the identity of his liaison with Newegg, but after making the video he received a photo from someone he's keeping anonymous that knows the liaison. In the photo, the anonymous person asks the liaison what is going on with the UFD Tech issue, and the liaison explains what happened but blames the lack of communication on him losing emails and not having Brett's contact information to make it right. A lie considering Brett was emailing the liaison during all of this.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c_rKnK-uAM

I once had a lengthy chat interaction with a Google Store CSA about charging me 12 times for an order that ended in them saying "I'm sorry, it's all automated and I can't do anything."

It was sort of a profound summation of the state of customer service today.

I had to cancel a credit card because of Google. I tried buying 4 pixel phones from them. They cancelled the order 3 times after exactly 7 days, but didn't cancel the transactions on my card. I obviously didn't have that much money on my card (meaning the limit was lower than the amount). Increasing the limit would've released the money to Google automatically. So I cancelled the card and reopoened. I bought the phones from a local dealer afterwards.

It is the nature of the credit card system that refunds may take 5-10 business days to show up on your statement. That isn't the fault of the merchant.

(though, canceling orders is)

We recently got aquired by a larger SaaS based in Canada. All their employees, including me now, go through a 3 week introduction program which includes 1 week in support. I have to say I'm stunned by the level of quality and attention they put into their support.

So there are counter examples still.

One of the huge issues in industry today is that internal promotion isn’t the default, so people don’t work their way up the chain in companies anymore. Starting at a service desk, mailroom, or as a page used to be a rite of passage that let you learn a lot about the business and informed the rest of your tenure. Now people get hired into a mid level job and have to reverse engineer what the business does. It hurts IT because you have a bunch of capable people who seemingly are clueless as to how the business makes money.

> transcends so much of the tech industry

Pervades might be better, but fully agree with your comment/experience.

It's sad that "at scale" has become synonymous with "without human oversight". It used to be that businesses tried to scale up while providing a level of support for their customers that showed they were valued. As a user today it is so hard to get bug reports directed to someone that can effect change in the right part of the system. As a software developer, I absolutely love getting bug reports for something I can fix, and I know how to file a good bug report. I see this universally across virtually every online product I interact with, from online accounting software to online mapping products and various large tech company's email services. I'm a powerless, unimportant user, not worth listening to because my statistics are not those generated by millions of other people.

The thing that boggles my mind is the lack of formal escalation in modern support departments. It existed because it was a good model: it worked, while managing headcount and cost. Your front line people aren't trained or paid to know everything, but for God's sake have someone backstopping them up with deeper knowledge and access!

Spoiler: there is no such thing as “escalation” most of the time. CSRs at the same level escalate to each other just to make you feel good. My wife use to work as a CSR at Verizon.

When I was in college, I worked CSR for a software product, and we definitely had an escalation path.

My level, to any peers who might know about the specific issue, to our management, and then to engineering (if technical) or our support VP (if business). And it was critical, because inevitable engineering "Oh, that doesn't work that way, but we never wrote it down" or "Oh, I guess that would be a thing people would want to do."

Sadly, after the company was bought the system was collapsed down to the standard front-line-or-close.

For support where someone needs help yes there was a real “escalation path”. But when Karen called complaining about a policy, they were “escalated” to someone else telling them the same thing.

Aren't the calls recorded? That would make this kind of deceit actually encouraged by management?

Management is fully aware and supports it. They don’t want to be bugged either.

> It's sad that "at scale" has become synonymous with "without human oversight".

That’s exactly the point of scaling though. You’re using automation to replace a human component. It’s as true now as it was during the industrial revolution.

Unfortunately you can’t have it both ways.

Thankfully if you want to deal with humans then you can still buy from small independent outlets. But you then also have to accept that might come with a higher price tag too.

Honestly, I don't care if I have to pay an extra $5/month or more so that when that rare need to talk to a human comes up. The problem is that the automated system isn't doing the job that the humans did, and there's zero recourse. It's a disease infesting tech companies that needs to be addressed by consumer protection laws.

The thing is not everyone is willing to pay more. Some people can’t even afford to pay more. That’s how we ended up in this race to the bottom to begin with.

EU offers some protections here but not with services run outside of the EU.

> It used to be that businesses tried to scale up while providing a level of support for their customers that showed they were valued.

I want to reassure you (or horrify you, depending) that poor and fraudulent customer service and products are definitely not a new phenomenon.

The easiest way to "scale" is set your base value to 0. If you don't do it at all, it's easy to double it, triple it, increase it by orders of magnitude.

If your base value is 0, then the value to your customers is also 0. In theory, a company with good customer support should have a competitive advantage over a company with poor customer support. But in B2C industries, customer support always seems to be a race to the bottom.

That seems like an expected outcome if you consider support requirements a relatively rare event though.

Because customers will almost always choose to buy from cheapest, or 2nd cheapest vendor.

Newegg had a broken motherboard, already tried to RMA it themselves, then (likely accidentally) sold it as open box.

I see no big problem with that first part at all. Seems like a honest accident - stuff like that can happen. No big deal, imho.

But investigating the returned board - not seeing the RMA sticker on it, mis-classifying the damage, not checking their own records on the board - and claiming it was "customer damage" without any hard evidence... and not ever double-checking anything at all, after the customer repeatedly insisted they didn't even open the box...

That's the real problem. It's almost impossibly sloppy to miss all that during any damage investigation, it's outright offensive to claim "customer damage" without having done any investigation to substantiate that claim, and it's complete madness, to spend a lot of time insisting on "customer damage" in discussions with the customer, without ever double-checking the board, the damage or the records.

That's the reason why it's hard to believe this was a honest accident. Because if it was a honest accident... how could they have never noticed their accident, while "investigating" and refusing a refund multiple times over? With an RMA-sticker right on the board, dated to before the date of sale?

It is a really incompetent fraud attempt, they could have just removed the RMA sticker before sending it back. Steve of GamersNexus would still have been able to get the history from the serial number with the motherboard manufacturer but it would have taken longer to work it out but it would also have removed the plausible deniability of an error I guess.

My guess is that prior to this episode blowing up on YouTube, Steve was dealing with a single customer support/RMA person who was either extremely lazy or negligent (perhaps due to Newegg incentives) and there is no escalation path for regular people whom Newegg isn’t aware are YouTube stars. I doubt Newegg set out to defraud Steve or anyone else, but they put the structure and incentives in place that let it happen. And they probably know this happens to some extent due to the wealth of other complaints they’ve racked up. They choose to operate this way, though, so the bottom line is that their execs are ok with scamming a small percentage of their customers because it saves/makes money. That small percentage just happened to hit the wrong guy this time.

> Steve was dealing with a single customer support/RMA person

Doesn't that mean, that Newegg has no procedure in place to escalate contested cases to a higher-up or second person?

No way of dealing with customers who contest your findings?

Nobody looking at why a ticket still isn't closed after weeks, and has way more emails going back and forth than it ever should have?

Basically, if you send something back in, and have the bad luck to get some "single lazy or negligent" person answering your ticket - then you are screwed. Won't get your money back, won't get your board back, and absolutely nothing you can do to change that (other than making a YouTube video on a famous channel)?

There absolutely should be a way for a customer to contest those claims - and if all else fails - be able to demand speaking to a superior - and if that fails as well - at least get their board back.

Yes and:

Fraud and incompetence are indistinguishable. The outcomes appear the same. So should be regarded as different types of error. Without the messy bother of divining intent.

Eh, I’ve purchased a bunch of Lutron Caseta dimmer switches from Amazon Warehouse, and I’ve several times received what was clearly a fraudulent return (the switch is obviously not a smart switch and doesn’t look like the picture on the box). Clearly return handlers at Amazon are not careful at all — basically they saw a light switch and said “yep that’s it” without looking more than the 0.1 seconds required to tell it’s not even remotely similar to the item supposedly being returned.

And it’s bound to happen. The issue here is that Newegg is not careful, as well as not trying to help the customer once they sell them something broken. Amazon makes up for it by basically blindly trusting the customer.

Perhaps, but a big part of the value prop of NewEgg (to me at least) is "better than Amazon at not giving me damaged/fake product."

I don't think that's been true for a while and NewEgg is much much worse at fixing problems that do arise.

I once bought a powerful IBM server many years ago at one of the online resellers/liquidators (not eBay) (actually bought 5 of them, but only one was IBM and was the only one that had the problem).

Got the server, plugged it in connected power monitor/keyboards etc - wouldn't boot.

Finally opened up the case and there was no memory, no video card and no motherboard and no drives at all - but there was a note from someone at IBM detailing that the server had been cannablized to use the parts for another machine (with all the required documentation of who took it, when and where the parts went etc.)

When I contacted the company that sold it to me as 'new / surplus' - they said it wasn't their problem, it was a warranty issue I had to take up with IBM, and they washed their hands. After many failed attempts, I resorted to tracking down the officers of the company via public records and harassing each of them personally by phone in the evenings and weekends at their homes until they issued me a refund. I hadn't paid by CC, so couldn't just dispute the charges.

> Finally opened up the case and there was no memory, no video card and no motherboard and no drives at all

In the 90's a fairly popular scam was to buy a computer from a traditional retail store, like JC Penny or Sears, and then remove the hard drive and RAM, exchange the computer saying it didn't work, and then you end up with a computer that has double the storage and RAM for the same price.

It wouldn't at Best Buy or Circuit City because they would open up the computer and test it out. But when some warehouse worker just throws the computer on a dolly and brings you out another, and you pay cash, it's easy to get away with.

Seems like small claims court may have been easier

The harassment route sounds like more fun.

And creepy/illegal

Please explain how it is illegal to call the person that sold you something defective, and refuses to refund your money?

> harassing each of them personally by phone in the evenings and weekends at their homes

In other words, stalking.

In the US, this would not even be close to rising to the level of stalking, in a legal sense. Even harassment could be a stretch (since obviously the legal use of harassment is different than casual conversational use). Stalking laws generally require the a “reasonable person” to fear for their safety and that the accused intended to cause them fear. Calling a business owner at inconvenient times is at best, meant to annoy. Even harassment typically involves things that have “no lawful purpose” and attempting to resolve a legitimate consumer complaint would likely be considered lawful.

Thanks for the info. This is great explanation. I had a feeling I was way off.

I mean, OP themselves typified their behavior as "harassment", so...

The company that sold it to you is not the same legal entity as the execs, so calling them at home is certainly an illegal form of harassment.

Is that company still in business?

Perhaps one of the worst parts, which I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

GamersNexus eventually managed to get the motherboard back, and took a look at it. Not only was it in terrible condition, there was an RMA sticker from Newegg to Gigabyte (the manufacturer). Gigabyte told Newegg it was broken and offered to repair it (for a price); Newegg refused, and then still sold it anyway.

(Actually, looking again, this is mentioned in the article, but it bears emphasis.)

Even crazier is that Gigabyte offered to repair it for $100, but Newegg refused and later sold it for $500.

We don't know Newegg's margins. Perhaps the board cost them $450 in the first place so paying $100 to repair it so that they could sell it for $500 wouldn't make sense.

I mean, it would make sense.

You have a broken product. You may have already spent 450$ to get it, but that's sunk cost. You have 3 options:

1. you pay $100 dollars to have a working product (you can sell it for $500).

2. you can engage in fraud and sell this broken product.

3. you write off this loss.

if you discount committing fraud, then the 100$ repair fee definitely makes sense.

Yes, unless they thought the probability that they'd be able to sell the board for $500 was less than 25%, it would have made sense to pay for the repair.

EU's consumer protection laws put the burden of proving that the customer didn't receive a faulty item on the seller. This is valid up to one year after purchase.

The seller must either fix or replace the item or reimburse the cost.

Afterwards, during the course of an additional year, it is the customer who must prove that any damage on the item was there to begin with, so that a faulty item can be shipped back to the seller.

This is a two year warranty which sellers must provide by law to the customer, regardless of any warranty terms the manufacturer attaches to its products.

Usually the seller will want you to contact the manufacturer and ship the item to them directly in order to not to get involved, but in this case the consumer is accepting to be bound by the warranty of the manufacturer. If this was not successful, he can still send it to the seller.

It is better to tell the seller that you won't be doing this, that you are going to use the seller's warranty, even if this may mean that the item will be gone for a longer amount of time because the seller may send it to the manufacturer first, to see if he can get the manufacturer to fix the item under the terms of his warranty, instead of directly replacing or reimbursing the cost of it.

We also have a 14 day return window, or more clearly you have to notify that you have the intention to return it within the window. During this window you are allowed to test the thing you purchased. This applies to any remote purchase.

Returns does not have to be free but almost all stores offer free returns.

> This is valid up to one year after purchase.

Up to has asterisks and differs per country, here (Netherlands) it's 6 months.

Are you sure?

It was 6 months in Germany until 2021-12-31, but since this year it has been changed to 12 months and I thought that this came from a new EU-wide regulation.

And the asterisks are in regards to "faulty" animals (stays at 6 months), and it's not applicable to B2B and C2C, at least in Germany. And some special rules regarding digital stuff like software.

Issues with Newegg returns have only been an issue since... well, forever. Especially the bit about stonewalling customers until the issue appears in a public forum, and then suddenly backpedaling. I've avoided them since 2012 or so: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4108456

Y'all stuck it out longer than I did. I bailed on Newegg not long after they became a marketplace and not a sole supplier. It just took too long to use the site to be even close to feeling assured that I was ordering (and likely to receive) the parts I actually needed.

I do less PC building these days, but I, too, shop with B&H if they have what I'm looking for (which is nearly always).

I immediately quit using NE when they did the marketplace thing because they were getting pretty bad already at that point. No way I was going to deal with 3rd party shippers on top of Newegg's 0 customer service.

I did use them once last year for RAM. Took them 2 weeks to ship, then I cancelled the order. They shipped it anyway.

Yup, I'm not interested in marketplaces at this point, so B&H and Microcenter get the vast majority of my business (along with a local mom and pop electronics store). I even turned to bestbuy for some cables recently, I would've laughed myself out the door at that thought 8 years ago (I still generally avoid them but at this point I'd take them over newegg especially since they're usually willing to price match).

Honestly, bestbuy seems to have gotten better within the last few years. 8 years ago I definitely agreed with you, but in the last 2 years over half of my tech purchases have been from them. Their prices have been either matched or cheaper than Amazon, and not having the to wait on shipping is really nice. Plus, I don't really worry about counterfeit goods like I do with Amazon. Still nowhere in the same league as microcenter, but unfortunately there isn't a microcenter anywhere close to me where I currently live.

Although the overpriced premium cables are definitely still a thing...

The marketplace killed it for me. I ordered a prebuilt PC for my kid from Newegg without realizing it was from a third-party seller. The seller printed a shipping label which counts as "shipped" so my credit card was charged. After waiting a week or so and realizing from the tracking info that it had not in fact shipped, I contacted Newegg, which promised to contact the seller but didn't.

After multiple rounds of that they gave me a phone number for the seller itself, which, when I called it, turned out to be something like a 2-person shop. Their recorded greeting said that they were on vacation for an extended period starting from before the date I ordered and upon which they printed a shipping label (which was presumably printed by a shell script or something).

Multiple more rounds of trying to get a refund from Newegg later, I just did a credit card chargeback.

>Especially the bit about stonewalling customers until the issue appears in a public forum, and then suddenly backpedaling.

That's standard practice for pretty much all of Big Tech. Official support channels? You can go fuck yourself. Get lucky and frontpage reddit or HN? They'll finally honor their commitments and put out a press release about how $BigCo is committed to $generic_ideals.

Amazon is a pleasant exception from this rule.

Apple is also very easy to get in person support from, you can even schedule it.

Yep... You need to have a personal army on the scale of Brad's Wife to get real help sometimes...

I miss Perl.

I've bought at least two computers' worth of parts from Newegg, and generally had a positive impression of them, in part because of stories here about how they stand up to patent trolls. However, their reputation has indeed taken a dive. When they had coupons for 4 and 8TB Samsung SSDs last week, several comments on a deals forum pointed out this very incident.

I watched a couple of the Gamers Nexus videos, and even the most charitable explanation is pretty damning. One of the related links on YouTube was a former Newegg RMA inspector, who gave some background on how things used to be done. Even if this is limited to open box items, which I would rarely if ever buy online, it gave me enough pause to pass on the SSD deal.

I bought a 14tb drive from newegg and received an empty box in the mail. Later I ordered a 2tb SSD from best buy and received a 500gb ssd.

I wonder if there's just more warehouse theft from the volatile market/inflation. And more people trying to exploit systems of trust in delivery now that everyone orders online eg https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-customer-admits-290k-...

I think it’s down to incompetent returns handling.

People buy a 500GB SSD and a 2TB SSD at the same time and return the 500GB one in the 2TB box. No one checks the return properly and it goes back to the warehouse and is sent out again.

I expect this doesn’t happen enough to affect margins enough to invest in doing something about it so it carries on.

The fraud can get pretty sophisticated. I came across a WD external hard drive that visually looked fine. Only when I plugged it in did I notice the size difference, and upon inspecting the SMART tables saw it was a much older Seagate brand drive with bad sectors. Somehow they had managed to swap the drive without making any marks on the case to indicate it had been disassembled. Either that or there's someone selling empty unassembled shells in new condition.

WD externals were extremely popular a few years ago because they contained standard WD Reds at $20 under normal market rate. Really easy to shuck the case and slap it in your NAS. I bought about a dozen myself. Of course the people who did what burned you ruined it for the rest of us, and now they build the externals with custom pinouts on the drives.

For a while (maybe still now?) it was cheaper to buy external HDDs and 'shuck' them than to buy the standalone drive. Some people took the obvious decision to get a free upgrade by replacing the internal drive and returning.

Try to get delivery to a nearby store, then insist the staff open it for inspection. Staples will do this.

This is why I love the in person stores over Amazon/Newegg/purely online options. Ship to store maintains their liability the whole way, and it reduces the time I spend dealing with that nonsense.

Heh, I rememeber the last time I bought from Newegg, I bought a Motherboard + RAM combo, and when I went to assemble my PC, it would not boot. After a long time searching, it turned out the RAM + Motherboard combo I had was the reason.

When I brought this up to Newegg, they actually told me they do not test their Motherboard + RAM combos to make sure they actually work. I think it took me two months to get my money back as well.

Ugh. I had an equally infuriating transaction with them. I bought some obscure batteries for our wireless landline phone. I bought batteries for 2 handsets. They sent me the batteries for only 1 set. OK, mistakes happen. I contact them and tell them what happened. No problem, they say, they’ll send me the other set. An hour later my card is charged for another 2 sets of batteries, none of which ever ended up shipping to me. So I was charged for 4 sets of batteries and received 1 set. I’ve just stopped doing business with them now because it’s not worth my time or money to deal with them.

I buy new computer parts somewhat infrequently these days, but in the 2ish decades I’ve been buying from Newegg I’ve never had a problem.

Once, when I royally screwed up an order (I double bought a whole desktop worth of parts) they took everything back without any problem at all.

Additionally, they have been one of the most prominent companies fighting patent trolls.

I’m sure they have screwed up in big and small ways over the years, but they’ve also been serving the tech community well for a long time. Companies are large and difficult to manage. Hopefully they learn lessons from this and improve.

I've been a (fairly loyal) Newegg customer for at least 20 years, but past history is irrelevant and your flawless experience doesn't mean that there aren't countless people being royally screwed over with no means of recourse.

I literally just today finally got reimbursed from defective RAM (2 out of 8 sticks were DOA) I sent back on the _24th_ and it only happened because I contacted them every other day (I kept records).

Old Newegg was great. It's gone. I'm done.

EDIT: English are not my bestest

Their policy[1] clearly states that it can take up to 10 business days to process a return, and then an additional 3-5 business days to process the refund. If you mailed it on the 24th of last month, it arrived on Friday the 28th, and you received the refund today, that would be 12 total business days, which means they actually outperformed their policy maximum. And if they received it after the 28th, then they actually went above and beyond for you.

But instead of acknowledging the policy, you decided to harass some poor CSR every other day, who didn't have any power to make anything go faster than it already does. I really think you ought to take a moment to reflect on why you had such a visceral reaction to a completely innocuous situation.

[1] https://www.newegg.com/promotions/nepro/20-2902/index.html

As fascinating as it is to drag someone over coals in such an incredibly acidic way as you did. Perhaps Newegg's (clearly deserved, if this article thread is any indication) reputation means that the person you replied to simply has zero faith in the company to actually follow the procedures and promises that you've brandished as gospel?

"Brandished as gospel" is ludicrous hyperbole. I referenced a document on a website which explains why the GP shouldn't have repeatedly harassed other humans when they weren't doing anything wrong. Your trolling isn't welcome, and isn't even very good.

You made a very good job of avoiding actually countering my argument and instead reaching for the "oh you're just a troll"

You claimed that a company's publicly posted return policy is somehow irrelevant to a story about returns. You also claimed it's perfectly reasonable for somebody to order from a company "they had zero faith in," and then use that as justification to harass the company when they don't meet some arbitrary expectations, despite the company actually exceeding the standards set in the policy that the user agreed to when ordering.

What argument are you trying to make, exactly? Let me know, and I'll be happy to counter it. But as it stands, nobody got dragged over coals, nobody claimed anything as gospel, and yet you've made two outlandish claims that are completely illogical and definitely do not reflect any semblance of reality.

Where did the "had no faith in" come from? I had order from them for 20 years. I had faith in them. I had only ever had to return something once before (years ago) and it was fine. This experience wasn't.

I'm reporting my experience and you are attacking the victim. Classy.

I highly recommend you go read this thread again. You are asking that question to the exact opposite person you should be -- I didn't say it, I quoted it. But this seems to be another case where you refuse to read the words on the page, and instead decided to lash out at someone who didn't deserve it, just like you did to the CSRs.

I directly linked to the policy that you agreed to when ordering, and instead of reading it, you've now doubled down on calling yourself a victim, despite the company exceeding all reasonable expectations. You are not a victim. You are trying to invent a scenario to get pity, but you are inarguably wrong on all accounts.

The word 'victim' is inappropriate here.

You literally have no idea of what happened, but happily makes assumptions on my part.

You explained exactly what happened, and now you're claiming that I can't possibly have any idea of what happened. Do you not see the disconnect there?

You said the time frame was January 24th to February 15th. By using simple math (only addition), I explained how they exceeded every reasonable expectation. They quite literally didn't do anything wrong, and you are publicly vilifying them for it anyway.

You mean they took 3 weeks to give you a refund on something you sent in during peak return season...

And that's old Newegg is gone?

You also badgered them every other day... which probably took a bunch of your time but didn't accelerate things.

I really didn't want to expose the whole ordeal, but that didn't stop you from assuming you knew the situation. That's really impressive!

I had to badger them every other day because the return label they gave me was wrong and UPS couldn't deliver and kept waiting for an update from them. It sat for ~ 4 days with nothing happening before being returned. I can guarantee you nothing would have happened as every time I spoke with a representative, they were discovering everything anew. I even had to teach them how to use their own tracking tools. Frustratingly, the official UPS site didn't have the same information as their internal site.

What's impressive that you thought there was another way for anyone to interpret your comment! What a painfully overactive imagination you must have!

And your update doesn't change anything: They accidentally gave you a wrong label and it went to a bad address.

Already not a likely situation with automated systems, and not the interaction I'd used to write off an organization...

But then according to your own comment it got returned because it couldn't be delivered... you realize that just happens right? 3rd attempt and it goes back.

So to recap:

- you badgered these people of your own volition

- package got sent back anyways

- you still got your money back in an extremely reasonable timeframe, and in fact you're making it clear they were _very_ fast with your refund

Of course now you'll inform us how you left out the part where the Newegg employees said they intentionally sent you the wrong label because they don't like you... right?

They got bought out by a foreign company some time ago. Newegg is not really the same company anymore - for the worse. They're not trying to learn lessons and improve.

That doesn't mean 95% of transactions with them won't still be the normal 'you pay the price and get the item.'

This is why consumer protection needs laws, but also laws that are effective.

It isn't just about laws existing: In this case, it sure ain't legal for Newegg to sell a broken motherboard as working, and then decline the RMA. However, a user that ain't Steve from Gamer's Nexus will have no legal recourse that is effective.

In the EU, this issue has been tackled explicitly: Within the first six month of a sale, the seller has to prove that the item was damaged by the customer. This burden of proof reversal essentially makes the law effective (in this instance).

So would we get by relying on reputation? As long as the chance of getting a damaged item isn't overwhelming, people will still buy (see Amazon, which sells a huge amount of fake items without losing customers). It's easy to see that there's an mixed-strategy equilibrium here, and this equilibrium includes sellers sending out a certain percentage of broken or fake items to maximize profits. Sellers trying to maximize customer satisfaction is likely not the equilibrium. In other places in this thread we learned that customers are now being tracked as to what they return. Perhaps right now, this is for fraud prevention, sure. But if the data is there, it would be trivial for any good Data Science/ Economics team to maximize profits from sending out some semi-broken or used items here and there.

All in all, we need effective customer protection. A similar argument holds for privacy. However, both the US and the EU have enacted consumer protection or privacy laws that are ineffective.

According to what European Union law?

I found the reference in Article 11

> 1. Any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within one year of the time when the goods were delivered shall be presumed to have existed at the time when the goods were delivered, unless proved otherwise or unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or with the nature of the lack of conformity. This paragraph shall also apply to goods with digital elements.


It is actually 1 year, not 6 months.

I believe it's this one:


codified in Germany as §477 BGB (other countries accordingly)

edit: Article 11

Burden of proof

1. Any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within one year of the time when the goods were delivered shall be presumed to have existed at the time when the goods were delivered, unless proved otherwise or unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or with the nature of the lack of conformity. This paragraph shall also apply to goods with digital elements.

2. Instead of the one-year period laid down in paragraph 1, Member States may maintain or introduce a period of two years from the time when the goods were delivered.

The law is stated here[0]. There is actually a required guarantee of 2 years, but within the first 6 months, any problems are assumed to have been there when you received the item.

After 6 months you may need to prove that the defect existed when you bought it.

[0] https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/gua....

For posterity, here's the actual Gamer's Nexus video about NewEgg:


They have made several follow up videos.

Newegg had stellar reputation until around 2011-2012 and was the go-to for my hardware purchases.

I think around that time they started doing shady things like what's described in the article, opened up a third-party marketplace of some kind (have to be careful not to order your stuff used from a 3rd party seller based in China), and generally went downhill as far as user-experience.

Apparently they were acquired by a Chinese company in 2016.

Their site also became much slower (why does it take 3 seconds for a sub-navigation to appear?) and now also sells a bunch of non-IT related crap.

From now on, I tend to buy things at Best-Buy or even ebay.

How has your eBay buying gone?

Newegg isn't alone in shipping broken/used as new and doesn't just happen in the US. I ordered a usb-c dock recently at a medium sized hardware online store, got a used part with seals broken and replaced with the yellow anti-static stickers which look officialish to the uninitiated (so no accident here).

After opening all protection plastic was missing as well as the usb-c cable. Fortunately for me this was in the EU and burden of proof is on them but shipping used/broken products off as new also happens here. One interesting thing is they also screwed up since they offered a discount to use the opened product after which my position was far stronger as I could reject any attempt to send me another product and I could just dissolve the purchase completely as it meant they had offered a compensation sum which I could rejectnif unreasonable and they always are. (There is a lot of difference in eu implementations per country about rights of dissolvement of purchase so watch out with your local laws.)

I cut back on purchasing from Amazon for the same reason. One four separate occasions, items I purchased "New" appeared to be repackaged. It did not appear that the items had been used, but they had been removed from their original packaged state, and then repackaged.

Compensation sums are not always unreasonable. I got €100 off a fridge because the delivery guys noticed a large scratch on the back.

True, but my experience is it usually is, they offered a 6% discount but wanted me to test the operation of the product as well which was impossible because of the missing cable and I had very little fate in it functioning as it should (which I why I called it unreasonable and they short of agreed). The customer service was quite good actually and they corrected it pretty nicely which is in stark contrast to the NewEgg example here.

Nice exceptions are always welcome and worth mentioning.

This just goes to show that the US needs better consumer laws. This shit wouldn't fly in Australia, the ACCC would be on their asses immediately.


This is one reason I’m happy I live near a Microcenter. I haven’t bought anything from Newegg since they changed owners a few years ago and don’t plan on buying anything from them now.

After waiting an abnormally long time for parts with them more than a decade ago I've preferred microcenter ever since. Microcenters guys aren't perfect but they're good enough to bounce ideas off of.

Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever had a negative experience at Micro Center, but I've only been to a couple of them.

Hmm. I bought my nephew some parts to build his own computer with for Christmas (entice kid with new gaming rig, secretly inculcate with tech skills).

The CPU/motherboard combo didn't work, so after much ado we returned the CPU, and Newegg said it was damaged and wouldn't accept the return. I just thought he might have accidentally damaged it. It never crossed my mind that it might be fraud.

Off topic, but I thought "inculcate" was a typo or something so I looked it up... that's a cool word I've never come across before, thanks.

* Minor quibble: Don't think the "with" is needed. You inculcate a skill or quality (active), or a skill is inculcated in someone (passive). So "secretly inculcate tech skills" reads more normally to me.

Believe it or not I checked the definition first to see whether I could use the word that way, because I wanted the symmetry of "with" in both clauses. It turned out that not only was 'with' valid, it seemed to be the only way to use the word in the sense that I meant it—at least according to this link, which I do not recommend clicking on without an ad blocker:


Today I learned! It's rare enough to read it, and I wasn't aware of the secondary definition, or the fact that the meaning was usually coupled with the preposition, if present. Thanks for the education!

Did you buy an open box combo?...

Newegg had an incredibly generous RMA program for a while. They even took back a water damaged laptop from me back in the day after a manufacturer refused to repair it.

They got hammered by people trying to force returns on parts of their GPU combos, but they still do pretty well even if they're a bit slow.


What happened here is tangential to what 99% of people are talking about, an open box product really was damaged...

It just wasn't damaged by GN. So Newegg clearly didn't inspect it well enough (probably not unrelated to the spike in RMAs they're likely dealing with)

Now Newegg is saying all open box products can be returned no questions asked, so even that's not an issue.

Also not sure about how I feel about GN's theatrics here.

They could have used their without games like "we're flying across the country to knock on your doorstep whether you like it or not!!!". Feels like a content-first, results-second approach.

> It just wasn't damaged by GN. So Newegg clearly didn't inspect it well enough (probably not unrelated to the spike in RMAs they're likely dealing with)

Newegg did inspect it when it was returned initially. They then sent it off to Gigabyte for RMA. Gigabyte quoted a repair fee which newegg declined, instead deciding to sell the product again to GN. The giant gigabyte RMA sticker could not have been missed when inspecting it again for GN's RMA.

So you're saying Newegg didn't inspect it well enough... but with more words.

"Giant gigabyte RMA sticker" wouldn't mean anything off to the someone reviewing an open-box RMA without a deeper inspection... in fact it likely gave them the false impression it had been repaired (which again explains why there was so much push back)


Everyone's using this as a springboard to harp on Newegg RMAs in general, but this is an issue with their open box program, not their RMA department.

RMA department could have dug deeper, but clearly they didn't expect a manufacturer RMA sticker to mean it was not already fixed...

But alas, apparently precious few people read the article all the way so now "Newegg RMAs are fraudulent" will be the new tune. I guess it doesn't really matter at the end of the day, but you'd expect better from this crowd.

Newegg RMA'd the board to Gigabyte, didn't pay the repair fee, got the broken board back and then put it back to sale. That's either a big fuck up, or fraud.

Gamers Nexus sent the board back without even opening it, Newegg didn't inspect the return to see that there was a giant RMA sticker between Newegg and Gigabyte where they clearly marked the board as broken, complete with inspection date. Again, that's a really big fuck up on Newegg's part, or just outright fraud.

Newegg also sent Gamers Nexus an email detailing how the board had "thermal pate" on it, "meaning that it was installed". And when Gamers Nexus got the board back, no thermal paste was found on the item, which was sold as an open box anyways. That sounds like outright fraud to me if they make false claims about the board's condition.

Your comment is just getting into plain dishonesty.

Like 5 seconds into looking they found the speck of thermal paste Newegg is talking about...

It's not much at all, but Newegg was (wrongly) under the impression someone was pulling a fast one on them, so it makes sense even that speck of thermal paste is a smoking gun that "no, you did use this thing"

Devils advocate

If the RMA department opens the box, sees a giant honking sticker that says "REPAIRED: YES [ ] NO [X]"

Your argument is that they'd simply see the sticker and assume it was repaired, without reading the contents of it?

My argument is no matter what they're going to assume they didn't send out a pre-physically damaged product...

So if they even pay attention to the sticker at all... they're going to assume you tried to get it repaired before they're going to assume they intentionally sent it out with a "this isn't fixed" sticker.

No one here is sitting in their RMA department which is why it's better to just say "they didn't inspect it well enough" than to start conjuring up specifics of their process... which is why I didn't bring up the sticker in the first place.

I didn't read the article at all. I got my information from the article's source: The GN videos. The sticker clearly states "DAMAGED BY USER CANNOT REPAIR" and "CPU SOCKET DAMAGED". Just to clarify my previous comment: This isn't a single inspection gone wrong. Given the many cracks this board had to fall through (and the many other complaints) this seems like more of a systemic issue.

It's not many cracks, it's one... open box. Which Newegg just sealed by removing conditions from open box returns. As mentioned in the original comment.

The RMA department kept going back to GN as the cause of damage because they didn't expect a damaged board to go out, the sticker wouldn't change that. They could just attribute the damage to the user instead.


My original comment doesn't even mention the sticker because unless you're realllly desperate to spill some dirt on Newegg (or get some views), it's pointless to try and read tea leaves on what happened in some room with thousands of RMAs...

From a higher level you can get some pretty plain insight though...

And that insight shows this is a simple case where both sides imagine the other is being fraudulent.

And open box returns being conditional is ripe for misunderstandings like that, so now the conditionals are going away.

It went through RMA 3 times. First they refused to have gigabyte repair it and have them ship it back (what for, it's broken?). Then they restock the known broken part, clearly without any further inspection. Then they fail to properly inspect it, missing the large label but apparently seeing the tiny spec of dust or thermal pate or whatever it is. Not to mention they only sent the board back to GN after their Twitter complaint.

Gigabyte isn't going to throw it out, they're going to return it... along with hundreds of other items that may or may not have been fixed.

You really think Newegg is making one claim at a time like a customer would?

It's so bizarre how some people are on trying to divine intimate details of what happened to paint this as malice or fraud when it's so painfully this is a basic problem with the type of open box program they were running.

It's a simple fundamental question: how do you prove use when the box was already open.

You'll never solve it perfectly, so now Newegg has given up on trying to solve it.

GN didn't do anything wrong imo, until they started with the theatrics about arriving at people's doorsteps uninvited.

Honestly the cringiest thing I've ever seen watching a grown man powertrip over a YT following.

I mean was he going to beat them up? Probably not despite the awkward pressure he was trying to imply by just... randomly showing up. But then the first plan was what, just stand there if they didn't let him in? Hunger strike?

> So you're saying Newegg didn't inspect it well enough... but with more words.

It means that even if it got sent out by complete accident, they could not have possibly done a good-faith, trained for the job inspection when it came back from GN. That's a level or two beyond "didn't inspect it well enough". And they didn't describe anything about stickers or papers in response to GN's claim of having never opened the box, which is not acceptable either.

No, it was a bunch of parts a la carte. It just seemed like an odd coincidence. Maybe just proximity bias or whatever that's called.

Here I thought Newegg was only guilty of wasting everyone's time by sending 10+ emails every time you ordered anything.

What are the best alternatives aside from Amazon to buy PC hardware?

B&H, Microcenter has some online presence. If you're really stuck, Bestbuy has some things (they're ~fine these days, their selection just sucks).

My new desktop build was assembled from components purchased from B&H, Amazon and BestBuy. My preference was to use B&H where possible, but had to turn to BestBuy to get a retail new GPU. At Amazon I will only buy products that are Ships from/Sold by Amazon.com. I do not live near a Microcenter so can't make much use of them.

For some other stuff I turn to the manufacturer directly, like I will typically buy Microsoft equipment directly from Microsoft. I also check Costco, but they have exceptionally limited options.

Walking into my local PC repair shop, I found knowledgeable staff but prices that couldn't compete with B&H.

> Walking into my local PC repair shop, I found knowledgeable staff but prices that couldn't compete with B&H.

Did you ask them to price match? My local store is willing to match, or if they can't fully match at least offer partial discount.

I didn't, but with the limited supply of GPUs available, I expect they weren't going to have issues keeping their prices where they were.

B&H is priced competitively and ships to the whole country (unlike microcenter)

I've never had an issue with B&H Photo Video

I built my last desktop with parts from Best Buy (except the SSDs which I was carrying over to the new one). They don't have a huge selection so you won't be able to build anything very high or low end but it was very competitively priced and I was able to get it all same day pickup. Their case selection is pretty much limited to the glass side panel/RGB LED stuff though.

This was in very early 2020 just right before everything got crazy so I'm not sure how it is now.

Last time I resorted to walking into John Lewis. I probably paid more than elsewhere, but life's too short to buy from somewhere that doesn't stand firmly behind their products.

Since you haven’t specified country, I have to assume you mean USA. From Ireland, I’ve had good experiences with Caseking DE, Scan Computers UK, and Computer Universe DE

Though, with Brexit, my purchasing from Scan has dropped - less hassle ordering from Germany.

why not amazon? you can return any SBA/FBA hardware no questions asked. cpus are not exactly at a high risk of counterfeits. microcenter is pretty good if there's one near you, but otherwise not worth ordering from online imo.

I know not everybody lives here, but in the Bay Area I always shop at Central Computer and have been for 20+ years.

In Australia we have PCCaseGear and MWave. (And a bunch of others but I tend to just compare those two)

In Australia we also have https://staticice.com.au/ which lets you find stockists, and quickly compare prices for, any piece of IT gear. Sadly it doesn't include postage, which can add $20 onto even the smallest / cheapest bit of kit.

Plus we've got our own local version of https://au.pcpartpicker.com/ though I've had mixed success with that the past few years. Supply chains are still really screwy domestically.

There's a bunch of highly dubious vendors in AU, no one quite knows how they stay in business. Best bet is to search whirlpool.net.au for horror stories if you're about to make your first transaction with a new vendor.

PCCG aren't spectacular to deal with. They sent me a Ryzen chip that had a single pin broken due to Auspost chucking it over the gate to my door (something I offered video evidence of!)

After threatening them with the ACCC (and CC'ing the ACCC IN the email to prove I was serious) they "generously" offered to send the CPU back to AMD to be "repaired"

Amazon. Also, Amazon. If that fails try Amazon.

Sometimes I wish companies could be executed. Under reasonable situations like this type of fraud. Three cases and everything is liquidated and sold. They don't deserve to live. Then again I'm also for removing LLC protections and throwing the stock holders in jail for this.

Could we do something about this general issue? Afaik after certain size, all companies only really care about your complaints either if you have enough followers/influence or if someone from HN/twitter can poke the "right" person within the organization.

I poked the right person at my bank and they promised to help and then my account was terminated for contacting employees outside the support system.

That's why I told "some from HN/twitter", someone who has influence over the organization and/or its employees. It's _very_ different if I hunt the name of Newegg employee from linkedin and message her vs. a friend of her is mentioning "hey this guy has a problem with the company you work for".

NewEgg tolerates serially fraudulent third party sellers. Until they clean that up, I won't be spending any more money on their site. At least I have a chance of recovering my money from Amazon (or a physical purchase from Best Buy).

I have ordered a number of computers directly from Apple and had them delivered without problem. My last big online Apple purchase (a new M1 MacBook Pro Max) was expensive and was scheduled for delivery weeks after I made the order. I followed it via the DHL tracking number online, and it finally showed up at local warehouse--it even showed it was scheduled for the next delivery cycle. I got a call in the evening from DHL asking me if I was satisfied with the delivery; I wasn't satisfied because it was never delivered.

They apologized and then for several days kept telling me that they would find it and deliver it. They again called me to ask how the delivery went, and again I pointed out that they hadn't delivered it and didn't have my signature confirming delivery nor did they have a photo or even any tracking record showing that the expensive laptop had made it to my house.

The happy ending is that Apple was great and canceled that order and simply put in a new order to replace it was delivered this time.

During this process, it was possible to reach customer support for both DHL and Apple without difficulty.

I wonder if Apple couldn't use it world-wide tracking network to track MacBooks that are in transit from China to mail order purchasers?

Handling returns is a huge PITA and expensive, but a company really has to just accept virtually any return in this day and age.

Big box stores and Amazon have made the return process so painless and unquestioned that basic questions like "why are you returning this" can sour a customer relationship permanently.

Even as a personal seller on ebay unquestioned refunds are the norm (and will be forced on upon you if you as a seller try to deny a return)

Is Newegg bad now? Historically heard good things, what happened? Private equity?

From Wikipedia:

"In 2016, Liaison Interactive, a Chinese technology company, acquired a majority stake in Newegg in an investment deal."

"In 2020, Newegg entered into a merger agreement with Lianlou Smart Limited wherein Newegg stockholders became majority owners of LLIT. Following the consummation of the merger, Newegg listed as a publicly traded company on Nasdaq in May 2021 as Newegg Commerce, Inc."

Don't know anything about it, but the timeline seems about right

Yeah right, that explains that then.

My strongest memory of Newegg is this, which is quite the opposite:


Newegg power search is good, but it does seem to have gone downhill in pretty much all other respects since Amazon became huge. I really want the power search but with a reputable vendor and don't really care if it isn't the cheapest option. Sadly I'm unaware of anywhere like that.

I recently had an experience where I specifically ordered a part from the US for fast shipping. Something like a week or two later there was no activity on the shipping label, turned out it was being shipped from China. I called customer support and was told they would give me a refund. So I bought a replacement under the assumption the refund would process. The part mysteriously showed up the next day even though the shipping label said it was still in china.

I eventually got my refund and returned the product to seller, but it took something like 4 hours of phone calls over 11 different calls and 3 weeks and threatening a charge back. I haven't shopped at newegg since then and have been using Amazon since. Not ideal but they are much more reasonable about returns.

Insanity. Hope this gets higher up so more people see it and never purchase from new egg again.

A major part of this is the initial return inspection. Apple has some problems right now with what seems like third party contractors claiming people are returning empty boxes, or damaged devices.

Customers are having to appeal to customer service repeatedly and often things are fixed with no explanation.

There’s a long thread on Mcarumors about the most recent iPhone upgrade program, for example.

I think it is a mix of crooked third party device inspection companies and outsized incentives to reject warranty claims.

In Europe you can return items bought for 14 days no question asked, if you buy them online, but not in physical shops. On the other hand i once had the issue of a broken item i bought online and the shop saying that for the warranty i had to deal with the manufacturer. So since then even if i get a broken item, i return it with no reason other than i don't need it and reorder it again fixed (hopefully)

But yeah i learned that shop always try to don't deal with stuff

The 14-day return period should actually be for all kinds of distance purchases, not just online purchases. For example, I agreed to purchase my car over the phone with a dealership and I got a 14-day return period for my car.

i gave up on newegg years ago when i had to call them dozens of times for a single order, because they kept shipping me the wrong thing, or things missing parts, and hanging up on me when i called them and asked them to please ship me what i actually paid for

it was months into the process that c level staff called me to apologize, and yet it continued for a month past that. the warehouse guy kept calling me over and over on my home phone in tones that i interpreted as threatening, sometimes five or six times in a row

they wouldn't speak to me properly until i had my bank claw the money back

i had been a customer of theirs for 15 years by then, and had never asked them for anything more serious than to check shipping availability. i guess that gets me no loyalty.

never again.

i had switched to them over price. a look at pc part picker shows that's no longer a good choice. every part i looked up had a better choice with a different vendor. live and learn.

Another video from a former NewEgg RMA inspector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADdxoewAdQw

They are also doing shit like this...


> PC retailer Newegg has found itself embroiled in a broad controversy, which could make you think twice before sending money to the company.

Is this good writing?

Parent company is a mainland Chinese. Does that help?

We're literally not allowed to buy any server level components from Newegg because of shenanigans* like this.

*getting RMAd drives sold as "new".

I always buy expensive computer hardware in person. CPU's, Mobo's, Processors, GPU's, ect. It it's over $200; I'm buying it in person. I have no problem with the "open-box" or "clearance" sections, I just find that you get much less grief when you do certain things in person.

Perhaps they hired a bunch of ex-Frys employees?

Nice connection! I remember walking through Fry's and seeing so many obviously damaged items sitting around waiting to be "sold", with no intact inventory in sight. Every display keyboard in the keyboard aisle was beat to shit and missing most of its keys. I'm sure everything looked fine in their inventory system, right up until it wasn't.

And the ambiance certainly wasn't helped by the exit line waiting to be treated as suspected criminals, or the dirty look the security guard would give you when you opted to skip it. Loss prevention (including return fraud) is a difficult problem, but companies that respond by taking it out on legitimate customers aren't long for this world.

A friend of mine purchased a $2500 pre-built PC in November, which was delivered to him DOA. I ended up helping him troubleshoot it as Newegg made him jump through a bunch of BS before agreeing to RMA it for a new one.

Disappointing if this is to become their standard operating procedure.

This is damning. They’ll never again have my business.

Buy locally. Stop supporting huge corporations. They are not your friends.

I don't know about that. Local shop price gauged me but Amazon refunded 100% me for each and every return I initiated (even when it was my mistake and I threw away the packaging).

I don't think I have a local option. I know one local PC repair shop that sells decade old prefabs for twice what they go for online. Maybe I could contact one of the few enterprise places, but I suspect I'd find a similar selection at a similar price or someone that would basically charge me more to buy off newegg.

Building your own PC is too niche to support businesses anywhere but major metropolitan areas. I'm stuck picking what I think is the less bad option.

> Gamers Nexus went public on his sizeable YouTube channel. As you might expect, this led to an immediate refund from Newegg

top kek

how predictable

This seems like a singular, shitty example of customer service, but I also don't really expect Newegg to manually verify every open box motherboard is functional before shipping it to customers. Not sure this paints a picture of a broader problem with Newegg, other than the usual problem of being in a race to the bottom with other big retailers.

It wasn’t just a defective board. Newegg tried to RMA it and was told it was damaged. They declined to fix it, took it back and then resold it, with the RMA service ticket from the manufacturer still on it. They knew it was damaged when the sold it.

Even if it had been a mixup and resold accidentally, they would’ve seen the RMA sticker when it was returned again, and they still tried to pin it on the 2nd buyer.

Not only that. If they had simply sold it by mistake it would be bad, but somewhat understandable as a simple mistake. The worst thing is they refused the return, even though they knew from the RMA sticker that it was broken at the time of (re)sale.

> I also don't really expect Newegg to manually verify every open box motherboard is functional before shipping it to customers

There is more to this story which strongly suggests that Newegg was told by Gigabyte that this motherboard was broken before they resold it as open box, but even if they didn't: you can't have the "don't manually verify every return before reselling it" policy AND the "refuse returns for open box purchases if they're broken" policy, yet they did.

I fully expect them to have properly done same inspection before they sell open box item that they do after receiving one back. Anything else is pure intentional fraud.

And for bonus, GN tells they never even opened either the product or shipping box.

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