Newegg seemed to think Jenn was responsible for her brother’s chargeback with them. When she tried to place an order using her own name and credit card number, but with the same shipping address as her brother, her account was suspended. Jenn figured she could resolve the problem with a conversation or two with Newegg’s customer service department, but as you’ll see from the transcript below, Newegg’s CSR blatantly says Jenn’s account won’t be approved until her brother reverses his chargeback.
First, here’s what happened to trigger the suspended account in the first place:
I attempted to order a memory card from Newegg.com. I say attempted because beyond running the financial transaction and holding my money hostage for a week, nothing else was processed. The only reason I became aware that there was an issue was due to wanting to check the status of my order and attempting to log in. They locked my account which was less than 24 hours old. So I played the customer service game.
First came the email I sent, “I do not understand why my account is suspended…. I just wanted to check my order status. I tried to log in for the first time and it is suspended. Help me understand please.”
Then the reply, “We apologize for the misunderstanding. However, we have an account that has a charge back with the same information you have provided. This is the reason we are unable to service you at this time. You will have to take care of this matter before we can further assist you.”
Jenn called Newegg to talk to someone about the matter, and was surprised when “they gave me the name on the other account without prompting. The privacy act does not seem to be in their training. The name was my brother’s, who lives at my house with me.”
Jenn asked the CSR directly, “So, does that meant I’m not allowed to have an account because my brother has an issue with you?” She was told they’d get back to her via email:
The next email they sent said, “Unfortunately, we are not able to re-open your account. Apparently, there is a 3rd account yours is linked to. I have no further information than this.I apologize for the inconvenience.”
Now annoyed, Jenn tried reasoning with Newegg via their live chat customer service, which is where the really shocking part of the story comes in—that Newegg is holding Jenn accountable for her brother’s actions:
In that chat they gave me my brothers full name and account number. This is making me nervous as that’s all private information that should not be released, I don’t really care if we live at the same house. They proceeded to tell me,
Phoebe: We have checked that your acct is related to account with customer number CENSORED That account has charge back record with us. so we block that account. The account holder name is CENSORED.
Jenn: Yeah, thats my brother.
Jenn: We have the same address.
Jenn: Shipping and billing, or do you mean credit card information.
Phoebe: Sorry for keep you waiting.
Jenn: Not a problem.
Phoebe: I have checked that you need to let your brother to reversed the charge back with his bank and provide us with proof that shows the reversal was successful done.
Phoebe: We will then be able to further assist you.
Jenn: in order to have an unrelated bank and account unlocked….
Phoebe: Yes, please send the proof of the reversal to [redacted].
Jenn: I have absolutely no idea what you mean by reversed charge either.
Jenn: Are you kidding….
Jenn: Seriously are you kidding?
Phoebe: It is the issue between your brother and the bank. He may have issue with bank.
Jenn: So you’re telling me, that I have to go to my brother, tell him that you guys gave me his personal information, tell him that unless he calls you, finds out what it is that you want done, takes care of it, emails you proof that its been taken care of, that I cannot order anything from you.
Jenn: My brother, who has nothing to do with my money and I have nothing to do with his.
Jenn: I just live in the same house.
Jenn: And this is the only way I am going to be able to order anything from you ever….
Phoebe: Sorry for all the inconvenience this may have caused you. I have checked with our related department that we will not unblock your account.
Jenn: Is there a reason why?
Jenn: Is there something I did that violated terms of service in any respect?
Jenn: Or is it simply that my account is related to my brothers account?
Jenn: And I still need to know if its banking information or credit card information thats related.
Jenn: Rather shipping and billing.
Phoebe: You brother’s account has charge back record with his bank. Your account is related to him since the address is the same.
Jenn: Gotcha, just so I have the facts straight..”
That was all strange enough, but then Jenn filed a complaint with the BBB and her story took a weird turn when a Newegg rep called her directly to explain why they would really never, ever, not in a million years, ship anything to her (emphasis ours):
Since going through their customer service did not get me the desired result, I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint. I was not happy about being used as a collection agency, the financial transaction being done before address verification, or the amount of information they were willing to release to me about someone who I have no legal bond to. Well, they got the BBB complaint, and they called. I answered and the woman on the other end of the phone seemed appalled and apologetic of the behavior of the customer service department and was totally utterly shocked. She requested all the emails and the chat logs to be emailed to her, so I did.
She called me back about 45 minutes after that conversation and said that it had nothing to do with me or my brothers account. Someone, who’s name I don’t recognize as they gave me that too, did something so horrible years ago that they have banned our address until the end of time. Absolutely no dealing with anyone at that shipping or billing address allowed. I politely said well that’s fine but we’ve only lived here for 3 years that person is no longer here. She said “Well I cant help you, it doesn’t matter that you haven’t been the owner of that house for very long, its a security issue and we will never ship to you.
I find it truly terrifying that a business can ban an address until the end of time. She also told me that I could still order from them if I got a new address, shipping and billing of course. Which is kind of funny. I have absolutely no intentions of moving or changing my billing, address so I can order things from Newegg.com. I wonder if that’s going to go along with Inspection reports when you buy a house from now on? Who will and will not do business with that address? I guess what bothers me more than anything is that I had to find this all out by chance. I was never contacted and told that due to security reasons my money was being refunded and my order was not going to be processed. They obviously don’t need the business or the money.
Was Jenn’s house the former site of a massive scam perpetrated against Newegg? Was the Newegg rep making up a story to put an end to the drama because the billing department refused to cooperate? We may never know, but it’s clear that even Newegg has its limits when it comes to making sure the customer is satisfied. Or is even a customer in the first place.