Newegg Refuses To Exchange Defective Laptop That Doesn’t Even Have Linux Installed

Gary’s friend’s laptop didn’t have a catastrophic flaw or anything. But its wireless Internet connection was slower than it should have been, indicating a possible problem with the wireless card. So he packed it up and sent it back to Newegg to exchange for a new one. Newegg’s RMA department decided there was nothing wrong with the machine and sent it right back. Gary advised his friend to initiate a chargeback on the transaction on his American Express card and refused to accept the laptop’s shipment back to him. Newegg responded by blocking his account, evidently not wanting his business anymore.

My friend has recently purchased a Dell laptop in new condition from Newegg.

Upon receipt of the laptop, I realized there may be some issues with the wireless network card as the connection speed was way slower than any laptop with a similar specification.

(The testing environment is both laptops were connected into the same network (2.4GHz N Network). All active/continuous network traffics, such as online movies, YouTube, were stopped to reduce any interference. Both laptops have the most updated firmware and drivers. By running a speed test using http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest, Dell laptop showed a speed significantly slower than the control laptop.)

Since it was a new laptop, I suggested my friend not to take any chances (based on my professional knowledge as a CompTIA A+ and MCITP, as well as a currently licensed electronic repairer by the BEAR of CA Department of Consumer Affairs) and asked for a replacement (it was never my friend’s initial attempt for a refund).

Newegg issued a RMA and the laptop shipped back to City of Industry, CA. However, Newegg simply claimed that it worked and shipped the original back.

Of course, as a consumer, no one wants a new laptop with defective parts. So I suggested (which he did) my friend to initiate a chargeback with American Express and refuse accepting the package. American Express had successfully charged back Newegg. And the package was properly refused.

Here is what gets interesting – my friend’s account was totally blocked by Newegg.

I am not here to trash Newegg. But if you image this situation with a different retailer, such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and even directly from Dell, they will kindly accept the return and provide you a replacement.

What my friend really wanted is a laptop. He ended up having his account blocked.

That’s Newegg, apparently: great selection and prices, crappy return policies.

RELATED:
Newegg: No, We’ll Totally Take Returns After You Install Linux
Newegg: Installing Linux On Your Computer Is Basically The Same As Breaking It

Comments

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  1. scoosdad says:

    Wow, has Sears been outsourcing their customer service department to other companies lately?

  2. Marlin says:

    Did they contact dell as well? The wireless card is usually a seperate card so it can be just pulled out and a new one put in.

    • kobresia says:

      Not just “usually”, I have yet to see a laptop that doesn’t have at least one mini or half-mini PCI bay for its various wireless cards. Out of dozens of different models I’ve worked on from all of the major manufacturers, I think it’s safe to say that ALL laptops have replaceable WiFi cards. The only ones that might not be are MacBook Airs.

      Depending on the model of laptop, though, it might not be a “good” wireless card. I’ve had excruciating experiences with cheap Broadcom & Atheros wireless NICs that tend to come in cheap AMD-based laptops. The Intel cards have the occasional bum models, but most are stable and offer the best performance.

      • frodolives35 says:

        The level of dis assembly required can differ. How much of a pain should he have to go through on a new purchase.

    • jimbo831 says:

      I wouldn’t bother. It’s brand new, exchange the whole thing. The problem could be with the wireless antenna as well or software related, or just a problem with this model. If you waste time troubleshooting, you find yourself outside the return period before you know it.

  3. Invader Zim says:

    Well they probably blocked his acct because (right or wrong) he did a charge back. At least he got his money back. Not really much of a story here, just saying. He probably could create a new acct using a different email and card.

    • homehome says:

      Yep, companies will cut you off for doing that.

    • MMD says:

      While things may have ended up ok financially, the real story is Newegg’s crappy return policy.

      • RedOryx says:

        RTFA again: He didn’t try to return it. He tried to replace it. He sent it to Newegg. Newegg said it was fine and sent it back. At this point, he had a computer that Newegg said was in working order so he could have tried to return it for a refund. Or he could have called Dell since it’s their computer.

        Instead he took his “expert” friend’s advice to issue a chargeback, which should be used as a last resort. In this case there were plenty of other options available.

        • MMD says:

          Oh, please. Semantics. *yawn*

          There’s a difference of opinion about the tech problem or lack thereof. Newegg should have discussed options with the customer rather than reject the exchange outright.

          • RedOryx says:

            Refund and replacement are two very different things. Especially when the OP says “and asked for a replacement (it was never my friend’s initial attempt for a refund).”

            And as for discussing options, the OP’s friend could have done the exact same thing when the original machine was returned to him.

            • MMD says:

              Newegg made a unilateral decision about how to handle the problem. They sent back a laptop that the customer was dissatisfied with. Why are you defending such poor communication and customer service?

        • who? says:

          Using a chargeback in this situation is like bringing a hand grenade to a knife fight. It creates a lot of collateral damage. He probably would have been better off accepting the shipment, then going through the Dell warranty process.

          I suspect, however, there may have been issues with their test methodology. Those speed test sites don’t always run at a consistent speed, especially when an ISP that’s trying to game the speed gets into the middle.

          • dangermike says:

            I agree. Most ISP’s have speed rates between 5 and 25 Mbit. Even a slow wifi connection should be able to saturate a fast ISP line. I suspect a misconfiguration of the router or the dell (or both).

    • Jawaka says:

      I’ve been saying this all along; that if you do a charge back don’t expect that company to want to do business with you any more.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Newegg, remember that slippery slopes start in this way, and once you
    get going downhill you usually don’t stop until you hit bottom and flame out.

  5. maxamus2 says:

    “I am not here to trash Newegg. But if you image this situation with a different retailer, such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and even directly from Dell, they will kindly accept the return and provide you a replacement.”

    I just vomited a little when I read this part.

    • KyBash says:

      I can’t speak of BestBuy or Dell (I’ll never do business with those companies), but I know Wal-Mart has a standing “it’s cheaper in the long run to refund on just about anything” policy.

  6. synimatik says:

    I’m not so sure I’d say the other retailers would “happily” accept a return no questions asked. That being said, newegg as of late has lost much credibility in my book.

    • rovingbandit says:

      I can attest to this at my local Best Buy. I purchased a laptop for my wife and brought it home.During the next week she noticed that the display was flickering and having other issues. Knowing this was either an issue with the display’s connection to the board or a problem with the display itself, I called up Best Buy and they informed me they would take the return. I had very little concern with returning this, BB would just end up RMAing the product to begin with back to the manufacturer. And sure enough, I showed up, customer service didn’t bat an eye and swapped it out for another machine. Another week goes by, same issue. Again, BB happily let me return the device, this time I swapped to another machine. Again, no questions asked.

      I can’t imagine what that situation would have been like dealing with an etailer.

  7. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Not seeing a problem with what Newegg did here. Seeing a problem with the need to specify the alphabet soup.

    • MMD says:

      Alphabet soup = technical proof of a problem. Newegg didn’t own up to selling a defective product. That’s a problem in my book.

  8. APCO25guy says:

    So with all your COMPTia and yadeh yadeh certifications, you didn’t bother to call Dell and simply have them do an in warranty parts swap on the mini PCI card? Check to see that the antenna cables were securely plugged in? What RF diagnostic software did you run to determine the wireless card is bad?

    Sorry but i’m siding on Newegg with this one. A so-called expert diagnosed a detailed problem with a very unscientific and inconclusive test, and failed to follow the manufacturers instructions to contact them for warranty and troubleshooting issues. Sorry but the OP sounds like one of those Geek Squad assholes who swear a motherboard is bad when someone unplugs a SATA cable and a box won’t boot.

    As far as the, blocking your account, what do you expect? You returned the merchandise and issued a chargeback, you want a new computer for free? I’d tell you to hit the road too.

    • TheUncleBob says:
    • tkmluv says:

      This! So much this!

      As someone with very similar certifications to Gary, I would have called Dell rather than just shipping it back to Newegg. Those wireless cards are so easy to replace and for what it sounds like, it could be as simple as the antenna cable not seated fully to the wireless card. Did he also verify it was working the same when hard wired? Maybe there is something else going on too?

      Lots of unknowns here and no real troubleshooting.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        On top of that, if could just need a driver update. It could be that the driver is set to Max Power Save. It could be any number of other settings.

        Never trust anyone with a “certification.”

        • tkmluv says:

          Exactly. There are so many variables here that calling the manufacture should have been the first step.

        • kobresia says:

          Eh, you can sometimes trust them if they’re not flaunting the certification as the basis for being an “expert”. Certs, if anything, are a baseline of knowledge, someone speaking of one is essentially telling you that they know only the textbook fundamentals enough to pass a test, but have no experience or practical knowledge to speak of. This story does seem to bear that out!

          It’s ALWAYS the people with the pathetic M$ certifications that think they know everything, when in reality, they are some of the most foolish fucks out there. As Mark Twain noted, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so,” and “Microsoft Certified ______” are always the people who know the most things “for sure” that just ain’t so. Anyone who touts that cert or hangs it on the wall, almost without fail, has no experience or practical knowledge about anything, but they took all the sales courses for telling people what M$ products the book recommends. Once they do gain actual experience, almost all are embarrassed by the lame, know-nothing cert and put it in a drawer, never to speak of it again.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Yeah, don’t expose yourself as an idiot by claiming that MS certs are the issue. *ALL* certs are the issue. I’ve had to fix just as much shit broken by Cisco-certified idiots as Microsoft- and CompTIA-certified idiots.

            • kobresia says:

              M$ certs are the core of the issue, because the people getting them have been sold on the notion that cert=”professional” or “engineer”=unquestionable expertise in everything.

              I’m pretty sure that other certs don’t pump themselves up like that. I would trust a Cisco-certified individual to have a clue about networks, they typically do. I also can’t recall ever having one of my CCNA-carrying colleagues or customers tell me they know more about my job because they have a network certification, most of them have sufficient intellect to know when their precious cert is actually relevant to the discussion.

              But if I had a nickel for every time I had a customer or colleague with an MC__ cert telling me they knew hardware better than me thanks to a basic software installation/configuration cert… This story is a classic case, citing an MCITP as part of the basis for expertise in troubleshooting a hardware problem is about like telling an auto mechanic that he’s wrong about what is ailing your car because you have a driver’s license and therefore know about cars.

              • who? says:

                I teach a couple of the more advanced CompTIA classes every year. Certs are useful for people with no work experience to get their foot in the door for an entry level job. I wouldn’t, however, trust someone with just a cert and no work experience to be able to properly diagnose a problem like this without help.

              • RvLeshrac says:

                Cisco certs push themselves as the END-ALL and BE-ALL of network certification. Do you have a CC*? Then hell, you INVENTED THE INTERNET. You are the FATHER OF ALL ROUTING, and should never listen to ANYONE or ANYTHING who disagrees with you on anything having to do with any network, anywhere. If something stops working, it can’t possibly have been the changes you just made, it MUST be the fault of the people on-site who have been maintaining the system for a decade.

                CompTIA wants every A+ holder to think they’re the Technology Messiah, come to cleanse your hardware of its sins. I’m surprised they don’t give holders a silk pillow to sit on while they do their work and constantly ask you the most idiotic questions about the simplest of tasks.

                • kobresia says:

                  Yes, **network certification**.

                  Like I said, I’ve never had a Cisco-Certified-* ever sass me when I’m repairing hardware or administering a server. They generally seem to know and respect the boundaries of their discipline.

                  Whatever else is wrong with them in their own field of “expertise” is not my concern since I do not wear the network engineer hat. I’m fine with them arguing amongst themselves about stuff, as long as they’re not blaming me for issues relating to their misconfigured networks. My knowledge covers all the stuff up to the jack in the wall and how to do all the appropriate troubleshooting on my end in such a way that I leave them no doubt the issue is on their end.

                  I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences with morons and gained a large chip on your shoulder. Certs are as certs do, and my only annoyance is with people who make them out to mean more than they do. Bad techs & engineers are bad techs & engineers, certs have little to do with that, aside from just making them slightly more pompous and incorrigible than they would otherwise be.

          • Jawaka says:

            That being said, if you know absolutely nothing else about a technician would you rather have a tech that’s A+ certified work on your equipment or one that’s not?

            • dangermike says:

              A+ is the name of the certification exam — not the grade achieved on it — and it covers system-neutral operation and troubleshooting.

            • kobresia says:

              Since A+ doesn’t teach anyone how to properly wield a screwdriver, nah, I wouldn’t put much faith in it.

              I have sufficient experience to be considered a senior technician, which means I have done a few stints of training and evaluating new hires’ skills. Let me just say that I have seen techs with no certs whatsoever who can do great work & that getting the A+ that most of my employers have required within a month would be cake for them, there are some who have an A+ cert who, if they were working on my own computer, I would tell them to put down their tools and step away from the system because it’s clear that they don’t know what they’re doing.

              Fortunately, most businesses have senior techs monitoring and checking the work of new hires, so while a new guy fresh out of the cert exam might screw things up royally, it’s not overly likely that the customer would see the disaster.

        • MMD says:

          What makes you qualified? At least a certification can be verified. You’re asking people to take your word because you said so.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        It doesn’t matter that it’s a trivial fix. It’s a fix that the customer shouldn’t have to do. The customer should also not have to deal with anyone but the reseller. Overcomplicating the situation from the point of view of the customer just seems like a sleazy way to discourage the customer from asserting their rights.

        It doesn’t matter if the product is genuinely broken or just crap.

    • comatose says:

      He shouldn’t HAVE TO do this. This is a new laptop and Dell and other mfgs are cranky about contacting them direct during the first 30 days and always ‘strongly prefer’ you deal with the distributor (New Egg) first.

      • kobresia says:

        Where did you get that bit of information?

        I worked for IBM & Dell as a field tech for years, and they generally preferred to have folks with non-DOA problems call in to tech support for troubleshooting and a parts dispatch if necessary, and only return the most serious problems which would likely necessitate a replacement or major overhaul to the retailer.

        A “not-even-dead” wireless card issue is just going to be a headache for everyone if it’s returned to the place of purchase when all that’s needed is possibly troubleshooting and maybe sending out a tiny, $20 part via next day FedEx.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        What? Most of the electronic items I buy nowadays includes a card telling you to NOT return the item to the store and to call their customer/tech service.

    • StarfishDiva says:

      I agree with your statement. I work as a “network engineer” and I hate it when people “pull rank” on me and start rambling about being an “expert” level engineer and having eleventy billion certs so they “know what they are doing.”

      Also, if you are running both laptops on the same wireless network, did you create separate SSIDS? Did you QoS both wireless networks to guarantee the same internet bandwidth to both? What if you do a peer-to-peer benchmark just based on the internal WLAN? Just because you know how to google “online speed test” does not mean you know more than the Newegg techs who review products for RMA.

      And my analysis is very top-level. I highly dislike working with wireless. I’ll take voice anyday.

    • billin says:

      Abso-freaking-lutely. The “test” Gary performed was hardly scientific, let alone conclusive, and based on that flimsy evidence he expected a replacement? A quick look through the comments shows any number of alternate possibilities as to why the laptop’s WiFi was not performing up to snuff. I’m not inclined to jump on the NewEgg bashing wagon based on this lousy example.

    • Tunnen says:

      I usually find that when people start pulling out their certificate stockpile for display, it usually indicates that they don’t know what they are talking about.

      Not always, but usually. =P

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      Bingo. I’m with you 100%. For someone claiming to have madskillz you’d think he’d realize that a.) just because a part performs poorly doesn’t mean it’s defective, and b.) wifi cards take all of 2 seconds to swap.

      And what did either of these geniuses think was gonna happen when a chargeback was issued?

      Bottom line: nothing I’ve read here proves to me the laptop in question was defective in any way. Newegg is absolutely in the right here. Sorry Charlie.

    • Dyscord says:

      Yeah, with all his certifications and he went “Oh, it’s running slow. Return!” Never mind that it could have been a TON of other problems. Maybe some incorrect settings..or even the access point itself.

      I’m with NewEgg…they tested it, saw it was working and sent it back.

  9. VintageLydia says:

    I don’t understand why he did a chargeback. Did he at least ask for a refund first? If he did and they refused, then chargeback away! But I’m not surprised Newegg blocked the account, deserved or not.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      “Newegg issued a RMA and the laptop shipped back to City of Industry, CA. However, Newegg simply claimed that it worked and shipped the original back.”

      • RedOryx says:

        So if it’s working perfectly fine as Newegg claims, why not just return it for a refund?

        • MMD says:

          And ship it back a second time?
          Why didn’t Newegg offer that option before shipping it back without permission?

  10. Akuma Matata says:

    I used to be a huge NewEgg fan and constant evangelizer, but there have been more and more stories recently of problems with their customer service (which used to be stellar) that I’m starting to question my loyalty.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      My thoughts exactly. I read consumer complaints on other sites as well and the past year or so, the Newegg complaints have skyrocketed. Makes me wonder if Brian Dunn was really fired for moonlighting with Newegg.

    • Rexy on a rampage says:

      There’s a comment on the other NewEgg articles about how Consumerist prints more negative stories than positive ones. So there could be 100 positive things submitted to Consumerist that praise Newegg, but instead, the one or two bad ones are being run.

  11. Admiral_John says:

    … why didn’t he just contact Dell? The card would probably have been replaced under warranty.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      He shouldn’t have to. If the product arrives faulty, it is the retailer’s obligation to make it right. Now if the parts failed 4 months after the purchase, I’d say call Dell.

      • Admiral_John says:

        All OP says is “recently” for a purchase date… since Newegg initially issued an RMA I assume it was within their timeframe for returning a laptop, but when Newegg said they couldn’t replicate the problem the next steps should have been to call Dell.

        There’s also no indication that, after Newegg returned the laptop, that OP ever contacted Newegg about the issue… they just blindly did a chargeback.

        So in this case, I can see fault in both parties, but I think a chargeback wasn’t warranted here.

  12. TuxMan says:

    How does the op know if it is connecting at 2.4 or 5ghz on wifi N, the op does not say if the “control” laptop is the same make and model and the op did not mention doing a wifi scan using Wigle wifi or other type of program. noob

  13. TuxMan says:

    How does the op know if it is connecting at 2.4 or 5ghz on wifi N, the op does not say if the “control” laptop is the same make and model and the op did not mention doing a wifi scan using Wigle wifi or other type of program. noob

  14. RvLeshrac says:

    About that A+ and MCITP: COOL STORY BRO, TOO BAD YOU DON’T KNOW HOW A FUCKING WIRELESS NETWORK WORKS.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Lowercase letters also make good friends.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Kinison-style. I forgot the AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH at the end.

    • MMD says:

      Enlighten us if you know better.

      Otherwise, the collective hivemind writes you off as a troll.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        There are hundreds of factors which can contribute to one system on a wireless network behaving differently than another, the *last* of which is hardware failure. Hell, *breathing* has been shown to dramatically alter WiFi signal quality.

        I’m here to comment on an article, not teach the douchebag with a bunch of worthless certs how to properly troubleshoot a notebook (that’s what SU is for), but perhaps he could start with plugging it in, rolling the driver back, and checking the advanced hardware settings.

  15. JonBoy470 says:

    It does seem that Newegg is having trouble in this “selling complete computers” endeavor. Perhaps they should stick to their forte of selling you parts to build your own ‘puter. That said I imagine that Newegg is getting pressure from their OEM partners (Dell, Gateway, Lenovo, etc) to be more stingy with returns.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      They lose a *FORTUNE* in cash each year because millions of consumers are constantly committing return-fraud. Every return costs them hundreds of dollars in shipping, processing, diagnostics, etc.

      If you were selling a product and people were constantly returning perfectly functioning units as “defective,” forcing you to then take a loss on having to sell them as “used,” you’d start being stingy with returns, too.

  16. GMFish says:

    A couple of year ago I bought a PS3 from Newegg for my family for Christmas. I had it set up the day before and everything worked. Christmas morning it did not. The kids were a bit disappointed. I immediately requested a RMA to get a replacement and mailed it out the next day.

    But I had an idea that I could buy a new PS3 locally from Best Buy and simply get a refund from Newegg. So my kids wouldn’t have to wait.

    I called Newegg expecting a fight, but they were perfectly fine with it. My kids got a new PS3 the day after Christmas (which still works to this day) and Newegg gave me a full refund on the defective one.

    • dangermike says:

      That’s consistent with my own experiences with newegg. Their service reps have never been anything but completely professional, courteous, and responsive. I don’t understand why there’s this sudden upcropping of newegg hate here. (perhaps there’s a competitor sponsoring stories?)

  17. HalOfBorg says:

    There is a big difference between “working” and “working correctly”.

    I bought new power supply from Newegg, and the fan made a lot of noise. Requesting RMA, the person on the chat wouldn’t give me one because it worked.

    “It is supposed to be silent.”
    “No it’s not.”
    “Your webpage says it is.”
    “No it doesn’t.”
    (send link)
    “But it DOES work, right??”

    Went around and around this loop, had to leave, let my son take over. He eventually wore them down and got the RMA.

    • GMFish says:

      I had the exact same situation with Newegg concerning a wireless mouse. It was not a bluetooth mouse. It was a RF mouse with a proprietary USB interface.

      The mouse was OEM which means it didn’t come in consumer packaging. It came taped up in bubble wrap. It also was missing the RF USB interface.

      I contacted via email a request to get the RF USB interface. I was told it didn’t come with one. I sent the link which clearly showed it did come with one.

      I was told it did come one and I should check again. I told them I immediately noticed it was missing and tore through the bubble wrap to find it. It was not there.

      They could not just send me the RF USB interface, they sent me a new mouse with the interface. I still have the other mouse sitting in a pile somewhere.

      • scoosdad says:

        The reason they couldn’t send you just the USB RF dongle because it probably isn’t available anywhere as a separately orderable item. The “OEM” mouse you received was probably an open box return, and the dongle wasn’t sent back with the mouse and they didn’t know that.

        If you were to reach out directly to the manufacturer and ask for a replacment USB dongle, you know what happens there if they decide to send you one? They open the complete package they got from their overseas factory (same as you buy in the store), pull out the dongle, send it to you, and toss the dongle-less mouse in a big pile for when someone is looking for just the mouse part of the system. “Spare parts” don’t exist anymore once the factories have all gone overseas. They just get complete units sent to them now. It’s cheaper than having spare pieces shipped to them and keeping them in inventory.

  18. Moniker Preferred says:

    Could easily be a range/sensitivity issue for the new laptop. Computers are all different when it comes to antenna sensitivity. When a computer has Wi-Fi communications problems, it turns down the speed automatically. Did anyone try moving the suspect computer closer to the Wi-Fi access point? How about running inSSIDer to see the signal strength? No? Did they call Dell? No?

    In that case, the return was premature. Gary needs a better technician.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      Crap performance is crap performance. Trying to “jiggle the rabbit ears” is not something that anyone should be expected to put up with.

      This kind of nonsense is why I tend to avoid wireless in general and recommend others do likewise.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        The laws of physics are the laws of physics. They don’t change just because you don’t like the performance of your device in a specific location. If you troubleshoot and STILL have issues, that’s a different story. In this case, it doesn’t sound like the OP bothered with basic troubleshooting.

        There’s a MASSIVE difference between “Defective” and “Reality does not bend to my will.”

  19. CrazyEyed says:

    This story reeks more of laziness than anything else. He didn’t bother contacting Dell about the part or the warranty? Instead he just sent it back and charged back. No wonder this “friend” essentially got banned.

  20. blinky says:

    Given its belief that the laptop is fine, newegg’s response – blocking the guy’s account – is perfectly reasonable. Next time he should probably buy his laptop at a high quality retailer like BestBuy or Sears.

  21. JMK from CT says:

    For those wondering why he just didnt swap the card under warranty, remember, he says he sent them the WHOLE laptop. Why couldnt they do a complete diagnostic of the card and then swap it? What did their diagnostics include? They probably just looked to see if the wifi light was on.

    • Moniker Preferred says:

      Gimme a break. Anybody with even moderate computer skills can do some basic diagnostics with their own computer on their own Wi-Fi network using free software and basic troubleshooting techniques.

      BTW, My high end Dell laptop (bought about a year ago) does not HAVE a Wi-Fi light.

    • wastedlife says:

      Newegg, being a retailer, would have run a simple connection test to make sure it connects to wifi, which does work. A supposed speed issue is going to require troubleshooting with Dell support to find any possible causes or conflicts.

      To counter, what diagnostics did the “expert” friend perform? A browser-based speed test to an internet server is all he mentions, which is not valid. There are thousands of factors to consider when troubleshooting network issues. Did he try driver updates, checking the “wireless N” chipsets to see if they both support 40 MHz bonding or if the new one is only using 20 Mhz? Did he use tools like inSSIDer to check signal strength and interference? Is the new one 2.4 GHz only and the other one connecting at 5 Ghz? Is all equipment running the final N spec or is it possible that the routers is a “draft N”, which could have incompatibilities with other chipsets (anyone with a Marvell-based router and a Broadcom-based client probably knows what I’m talking about). Real “experts” prove things with knowledge, skill, and experience, certs just help in finding jobs.

  22. nightshade74 says:

    Is it using the control laptop connecting on a 20MHZ channel or two 20MHZ channels?
    Assuming nothing is connecting on a 5GHZ channel….

  23. bullwinkle12 says:

    I’ve never had any problems with Newegg, even with RMAs. It’s sad to hear all these problems, though.

  24. chiieddy says:

    So – he sent it in for repair [they don’t replace immediately, remember]. They determined nothing was wrong. They sent it back. His buddy initiates a chargeback rather than discuss with NewEgg? Yeah, I’d block his account too.

  25. RogerX says:

    You gave your friend bad advice, and the large amount of qualifications you gave on why you think you know what you’re talking about out you as a “total dick.”

    Presuming it’s not just a cheap wireless card that doesn’t have the same chipset as better devices, it’s up to Dell to provide a warranty replacement if it’s broken. The laptop didn’t arrive defective, the laptop arrived with substandard parts from the manufacturer.

    (To my technical point, I had five devices connected fine to my cheap $15 wireless N router. I bought two new phones, whose connections dropped continuously. It turns out the phones were not the culprit – I replaced the wireless router with a Cisco and every device got faster, and the phones can connect fine now. To my social point, if your car gets 2MPG less than advertised on the way home from the dealer, do you leave the car at the side of the road and call your bank to stop payment on the cashier’s check?)

  26. chiieddy says:

    Here’s their return policy.

    Computer Standard Return Policy

    Return for refund within: 30 days (must be unopened)
    Return for replacement within: 30 days

    This is our Computer Return Policy. Items covered by this policy (those products for which Newegg states “This item may be returned for a replacement or refund within 30 days only”) must be returned to Newegg within 30 days of the invoice date for this policy to apply. “Return” constitutes receipt of the product by Newegg, and not the mere issuance of an RMA.

    The following conditions are not acceptable for return, and will result in the merchandise being returned to you:

    Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that has been opened
    Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that is free from defects in materials or workmanship
    Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that has physical damage due to abuse or improper use
    Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that is missing any accessories or packaging including, but not limited to, AC adapter, battery, pack, manuals, carrying case (if any)

    A defective Desktop PC, Notebook, or Tablet PC that is returned for a replacement may be repaired or replaced in Newegg’s sole discretion, unless otherwise required by law. While we strive to adhere to our own standard RMA processing times, we cannot guarantee that these times will be met, especially in situations where the item must be sent to the manufacturer for repair. If you have a question regarding returning a Desktop PC, Notebook, or Tablet PC, please contact our Customer Service Department.

    Some computer systems will require pre-authorization from the manufacturer technical support in order for an RMA to Newegg to be authorized.

    You should be certain in your decision to purchase a Desktop PC/Notebook/Tablet PC and must agree to this policy before completing your order. By confirming your order, you indicate your agreement to this policy.

  27. Tacojelly says:

    Come on Newegg… you’re better than this.

    • Here to ruin your groove says:

      You are giving far too much credit to the “expert” friend. Think about how they handled this situation with you being the business owner whose own experts couldn’t replicate the problem. You spent money having the laptop returned and to be looked at by your own people. You spent money returning the laptop. Customer initiates a chargeback costing you money on top of just losing the sale.

      I would fire this customer too. Sometimes customers cost more money than they are worth and need to be told to go elsewhere before causing more loss.

      • MMD says:

        You have no basis for discrediting the expert friend.
        Unless you work for Newegg.

        • RedOryx says:

          You have no basis for assuming the expert friend is right, considering the bad advice he gave.

          Unless you are the expert friend.

          • MMD says:

            You have in no way *demonstrated* that the advice was bad. I’m supposed to just believe you, random person on the internet?

            Evidence, or STFU.

            • jeb says:

              Nor have you *demonstrated* that Newegg was wrong, either. There are numerous comments with different potential sources of the problem other than a defective wireless card. To name a few:
              1. Connections not being fully plugged in.
              2. Bad antenna design
              3. The wireless card was on “power save” mode.
              4. The router couldn’t handle a new wireless device (too many already on it, which can be a problem.)

              • MMD says:

                I’m not the one making claims that any of the tech stuff is right or wrong. We also have no information about what Newegg actually did to evaluate the situation, so we don’t have any factual basis for defending or attacking them on that front.

                Newegg is absolutely in the wrong for unilaterally sending the laptop back without consulting the customer first, regardless of who’s right or wrong on the tech side of things.

  28. goober says:

    As a technical note on this, I wonder if the OP had tried them side by side with the power plugged in. Oftentimes, Dell laptops ship with a Windows setting enabled that throttled bandwidth to conserve power when the laptop isn’t plugged in. Usually this doesn’t result in poor performance and saves battery, but it can be noticeable, particularly if you’re not aware that it’s turned on.

    I ask only because it once caught me by surprise as a sysadmin when working at a company that used primarily Dell laptops. I was using a laptop to test our connection speed, couldn’t figure out why it was so low, and upon plugging the laptop in was able to see that it was actually the Windows power settings.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any cures for the Newegg issue, but in this case, if the OP gets the laptop back, they may want to check it with the power cord plugged in.

  29. goober says:

    As a technical note on this, I wonder if the OP had tried them side by side with the power plugged in. Oftentimes, Dell laptops ship with a Windows setting enabled that throttled bandwidth to conserve power when the laptop isn’t plugged in. Usually this doesn’t result in poor performance and saves battery, but it can be noticeable, particularly if you’re not aware that it’s turned on.

    I ask only because it once caught me by surprise as a sysadmin when working at a company that used primarily Dell laptops. I was using a laptop to test our connection speed, couldn’t figure out why it was so low, and upon plugging the laptop in was able to see that it was actually the Windows power settings.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any cures for the Newegg issue, but in this case, if the OP gets the laptop back, they may want to check it with the power cord plugged in.

  30. Here to ruin your groove says:

    “My friend who is a super duper computer guy with lots of certifications with long strings of letters told me the computer is bad. Gimme a new one.”
    We will issue you an RMA so our people can take a look at it.
    I’m sorry, we couldn’t replicate your issue and will be returning your laptop.
    “CHARGEBACK.”
    Obviously our service isn’t up to your liking as you decided to force a chargeback claim (which guess what? It costs us money no matter how the claim ends). Find a different company to do business with.
    “Waaah, Consumerist!!!!!!!!!”

    • Kavatar says:

      Pretty much.

      • MMD says:

        No.

        Under no circumstances should Newegg have just sent that computer back without discussing it with the customer first.

        • chiieddy says:

          Emphasis mine:

          The following conditions are not acceptable for return, and will result in the merchandise being returned to you:

          Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that has been opened
          ***** >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that is free from defects in materials or workmanship
          Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that has physical damage due to abuse or improper use
          Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that is missing any accessories or packaging including, but not limited to, AC adapter, battery, pack, manuals, carrying case (if any)

    • make7acs says:

      Yep, fully accurate.

      I love how people have come to the conclusion that they can just charge back whenever they dislike the outcome and feel as if there wouldn’t be any form of protest from the company.

      “Nah it’s cool, keep using our service. We love having customers that file a charge
      back each time they are unhappy. Not like charge backs cost us anything or are monitored
      by our processing company.”

  31. goober says:

    As a technical note on this, I wonder if the OP had tried them side by side with the power plugged in. Oftentimes, Dell laptops ship with a Windows setting enabled that throttled bandwidth to conserve power when the laptop isn’t plugged in. Usually this doesn’t result in poor performance and saves battery, but it can be noticeable, particularly if you’re not aware that it’s turned on.

    I ask only because it once caught me by surprise as a sysadmin when working at a company that used primarily Dell laptops. I was using a laptop to test our connection speed, couldn’t figure out why it was so low, and upon plugging the laptop in was able to see that it was actually the Windows power settings.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any cures for the Newegg issue, but in this case, if the OP gets the laptop back, they may want to check it with the power cord plugged in.

  32. scoutermac says:

    I did find it interesting that their web site says they do not price match. They say if you find it cheaper somewhere else, cancel your order.

  33. kathygnome says:

    The speed of an individual wireless connection will depend greatly on a number of things. Simply because it was “slower” doesn’t mean it was “broken.” It apparently connected at Wireless N speeds, just at a different speed from a different laptop. Chances that the chip was partially broken are unlikely. When electronic chips fail, they usually fail, not work slower. If one laptop connects slower than another chances are the antenna isn’t as good and it is stepping down the speed–that’s how 802.11 works. It’s even possible the antenna is just oriented differently and the speed difference is based on how the laptop is oriented physically.

    • Joe User says:

      Or one of the antenna wires was broken, loose or disconnected and he was only getting a degraded signal.

  34. DaveInIT says:

    I signed up just to post this: in my opinion, having certs means absolutely nothing if you can’t apply what you learned to real-world scenarios. Sometimes you learn more by tinkering and making something work rather than studying a book and passing a test. Yes, I have IT certs and I’ve worked in IT for years but, you know what? I still go to Google if I have a problem I’ve never seen before. In the end, the problem’s fixed, the customer and/or boss is happy, and I learned something.

    There’s lots of things you can check on the problem PC other than setting another “control” PC next to it and running a speed test. That, in itself, can cause RF issues that could degrade performance even further.

  35. GrandizerGo says:

    I don’t blame NewEgg at all on this.
    And Mr. Alphabet soup has Zero clue on how to properly test wireless speeds.
    I just installed a new Verizon wireless modem for my brother, his gf already has one as well.
    Turns out that many modems are set to use the same channels right out of the box. You can connect, you can transfer data, but you do NOT see the full speed on the newest device.
    2 seconds to change the channel in his modem and his speeds were the same as hers.

    • kathygnome says:

      The channel is set by the access point. It can sometimes be helpful to set the channel manually to use one that is not overlapping your neighbors. However, setting the channel on the laptop would not do anything. It will connect on the channel the access point is using.

  36. spittingangels says:

    Yes, because running an online speedtest definitely confirms hardware is bad.

    /sarcasm

    Maybe the OP should spend more time learning how to properly diagnose and troubleshoot problems instead of acquiring certifications and dispensing bad advice to his friends.

    FWIW, I’ve ordered tons of stuff from Newegg over the years and when something doesn’t work properly, I’ve never had and issue getting an RMA or exchange. Of course, I also have the benefit of knowing how to properly troubleshoot and isolate a defective component and explain exactly how the item is defective. Also, I’ve never pulled a douche-tastic move like refusing delivery and issuing a chargeback without exhausting the normal support options that are available, like requesting a refund.

    In this case, unless the control laptop was the exact same model, there’s no way to properly assess the wireless card is defective through a side by side comparison. For all we know, the OP’s friend bought a low-end Dell POS with a bad antenna design. You’d have to dig up the specs on the card (if Dell makes them available) and determine if signal strength is within the normal range for that card. If Dell does not have the specs, you can find places online where the data on average signal strength/performance may be crowd-sourced if a popular model of laptop.

    In case anyone is wondering, using an online speedtest is probably the worst possible way to diagnose a possible wireless hardware problem (it’s much more effective at determining if your ISP is throttling you or not delivering on advertised speeds). If the connection is super-slow (like dial up speeds), more likely and reasonable causes are:
    Bad driver on the laptop.
    Bad or incompatible firmware on the router.
    Loose antenna cable.
    Environmental interference (different antenna designs and even hardware chipsets handle this sort of issue differently)

    Can we strip the OP of his rank as a ‘certified’ professional?

  37. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Any merchant will block you if you do a charge back. It pisses them off and they can get fined by their cc company. A charge back is a strong arm action of last resort when you can’t get satisfaction, want your money back, and refuse to shop there any more. Too many consumers see it as a no hassle refund not realizing that it damages and/or terminates their relationship with that merchant.

  38. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “I am not here to trash Newegg. But if you image this situation with a different retailer, such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and even directly from Dell, they will kindly accept the return and provide you a replacement.”

    LOL. Geek Squad did their best not to give me replacement on a PC bought just a few hours earlier. The hard drive was giving off horrible grinding sounds. I could barely hear the geek over the store music and he claimed not to hear any noises. Wouldn’t turn down the music though. Only by turning into a stubborn mule, getting loud and annoying, and embarrassing my family did I get a replacement.

  39. incident_man says:

    I can speak from experience that getting a replacement even from Dell is not that “easy” either. For mine, it took 9 hours on the phone.

  40. Cicadymn says:

    Since personal stories apparently validate or invalidate a company then I’ll throw in mine.

    I’ve used Newegg for years. Built and upgraded multiple computers. I’ve only ever had to RMA a couple things, and it’s always been an exceedingly fast, easy, professional process. With their good prices and great shipping I wouldn’t choose anywhere else to order my parts online. I’ve recommended Newegg to many people who come asking me for advice and have always gotten back compliments on how well the site worked for them.

    So there. Now there’s another personal story that apparently means the company isn’t unraveling at the seams and killing babies for fun.

  41. spooky981 says:

    Having trouble taking the customer’s side here. The justification for return is pretty frivolous and subjective, furthermore it falls outside of NewEgg’s published return policy. NewEgg reacted in precisely the manner that their policy says they would. So many people abuse chargebacks for unreasonable purposes that the account locking was just for their protection. Not out of spite.

    There exists a popular opinion that all retailers are responsible for giving you 1000% satisfaction, and if they don’t you just steal your money back from them. This is wrong. There are dozens of reasons why the network card could be less efficient and the best start would be communicating thoroughly with NewEgg. Not instantly initiating a chargeback.

  42. Zclyh3 says:

    Honestly I never use the stock wireless card in most of my Dells. I usually go on eBay and get the higher end Intel cards for about $20-$25 then install them myself. In this case, it would have been money well spent instead of dealing with returns and this headache.

  43. The_IT_Crone says:

    So with all of those “impressive” qualifications, they didn’t do a simple hardware test on the card, or just get it warrantied by Del? I don’t blame NewEgg a bit on this one.

  44. evilpete says:

    Tazers work great for RMA’ing hardware with out leaving any marks

  45. ecuador says:

    Wow. Software engineer here. Speedtest is MOST DEFINITELY NOT a method for measuring the speed of the wireless card. Furthermore, defective wifi cards are either not connecting at all, or dropping connections, or doing severe slowdowns. Comparing them with another “control” wifi card and claiming “defect” if it seems slower is not right.
    Simply, the card was not defective. So, the buyer send it back, the store refused since it was not defective and then he initiated a chargeback. Yes, he rightly got banned. If he was so sure there was a defect he should have gone to the manufacturer.

  46. Newegg_Support says:

    Hello OP.

    We apologize for any misunderstanding and inconvenience this experience has caused you. We would like to look into this issue further and work with you toward a solution. Any time there is a question in regards to an RMA resolution, we encourage our customers to contact Newegg Customer Service so that we can take another look into the situation. Please email us directly to PublicImage@Newegg.com and we will be glad to open this case for you. We look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.

    Newegg Support

  47. Bionic Data Drop says:

    Any company that puts me in a position to go to the trouble of initiating a chargeback doesn’t need to worry about banning me as they will already be banned.

  48. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Oh Newegg, you are all but assuring I will never buy anything from you. Keep it up; maybe you’ll make it onto the WCIA bracket yet.

  49. luusyphre says:

    I can see why they would have thought that nothing was wrong. Having a slower connection speed can be difficult for your average returns processing agent to detect, without bringing out a similar laptop and running a side by side comparison. The agent probably just plugged it in, connected to a network, typed in google.com, the page loaded, and sent it on its way. The agent probably does this same procedure a thousand times a day. If you want special treatment for your laptop, you really need to push them or escalate the issue.

  50. daemonaquila says:

    Well, thanks for the warning. The sad part is that they’re probably doing him a favor by blocking his account. Go ahead, NewEgg – keep blocking anyone who receives defective products and bad service and doesn’t take it lying down, and see how well that works financially. I hear that sort of thing has been great for Sears, Worst Buy, Circuit City…

  51. make7acs says:

    You made a charge back….pretty any online system will block you after doing so. There is a system in place and you chose to go outside of it.

    Essentially, after Newegg told you that the computer couldn’t be RMA’d, you said “Fuck you Newegg, I’m taking my money back by force”, essentially ending your customer relationship.

    Chances are they saw a connection and didn’t care about the speed. To be honest, with how cheap wireless cards are, I probably would have just bought another one as opposed to
    going through the hassle.