Who Is To Blame When Newegg Sends The Wrong Power Cord For Your Refurb Laptop?

Buying a refurbished computer can be a way to save a significant amount of money off the retail price. But as one Consumerist reader found out when he bought a refurbed ASUS gaming laptop from Newegg, a small problem can earn you a seat on the customer service terror-go-round, with no one really wanting to take responsibility.

Earlier this month, Consumerist reader Reese saw a refurbished ASUS G75VW-BBK5 gaming laptop available for about $600 below MSRP on Newegg. Having had positive experiences with previous ASUS laptops and having heard mostly good things about the website, Reese decided to snap up the bargain.

Forget the fact that the package came later than the rush shipping he paid extra for, or that Reese says his laptop was poorly packed and arrived in a UPS box that looked to have been put through the wringer. At least he finally got his order and it appeared to be in working order.

But when he pulled out the power cord, he noticed something was not right about the power cord.

Writes Reese:

The Asus G73/G74/G75s are all incredibly large laptops. They are designed as “desktop replacements,” and not really as portable computers. My previous Asus G73 had a 150-watt/7.9A AC adapter with a massive power brick and cord. What I received with my Asus G75 from Newegg appears to be either a 90W or 65W/3.4A AC adapter. I immediately knew there was no way this tiny adapter could draw enough juice from the wall to power the hulking G75 while running a demanding full-screen game.

His suspicions were confirmed later that day when after about 20 minutes of playing a game on the new laptop, Reese began receiving a notification that the computer had switched to battery power, even though it was plugged into the wall with the AC adapter, followed shortly by another message telling him the computer had been plugged back in.

Figuring the likely culprit was the AC adapter, Reese contacted ASUS support:

Asus informed me that yes indeed the issue described, with the context of receiving the small AC adapter, was most likely because Newegg had sent me the wrong adapter. Asus informed me that since the machine itself was functioning “as intended” I would have to contact the point of sale, in this case Newegg.

So then he called Newegg, where a customer service rep said she would forward Reese’s information to an internal review team and that he would be contacted by e-mail.

Two days later, he finally received that e-mail, asking for my permission to release my contact information to the ASUS.

“Whether I would be sent a new charger or not was never on the table for discussion,” writes Reese. “I agreed and filled out the customer release form and was told I would be contacted in 3 days.”

After not hearing anything by that third day, Reese called Newegg again, only to be told that “unfortunately the whole system is down” and that the rep would “write down my information and e-mail me with any updates or resolutions.”

Later that day, Newegg e-mailed Reese telling him he’d need to contact a company referred to as MetroPC (not MetroPCS, the phone people) if he wanted to get his issue resolved. He’d never heard of this company before and received no explanation what role it played in his order.

And so then Reese contacted a third company (reminder: all to replace an AC adapter; something that should have been resolved with a single phone call).

Luckily for Reese, the Metro rep was responsive, replying with a request for the laptop’s serial number and the Newegg invoice.

“After only a few minutes I receive an e-mail stating that the MetroPC rep will be ordering me a new charger from Asus,” Reese tells Consumerist, “but that ‘for future reference, you have a 90 day warranty with Asus.’ Hold the phone, we’re back to Asus support? I thanked the rep for her help but explained to her that this entire mess STARTED with Asus support, who referred me back to Newegg, and finally to MetroPC.”

Reese has asked the rep for confirmation that he will be receiving the correct AC adapter and not just another one of the wrong adapter, but has yet to get a reply.

“I just wanted to vent a little and share my (yet unfinished) story with other Consumerist readers,” he writes. “Thanks for letting me blow off some steam.”

We’re reaching out to Newegg to see why a simple AC adapter replacement would take this long — and what role this Metro company plays in the whole process.

Have any of you been forced to run the Newegg/Metro gauntlet? Tell us about it in the comments or write to us at tips@consumerist.com

Comments

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  1. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    If it was a refurb, it was most likely refurbished by MetroPC.

    I’d be willing to wager that NewEgg had all sorts of terms and conditions and information about the refurb purchase, and that the OP just sailed right past them.

    • dullard says:

      I doubt that the terms and conditions would cover Newegg’s error in sending the wrong power adapter. OP purchased an item which is supposed to include the correct power adapter. He did not received what he purchased. The responsibility lies with Newegg.

      • George4478 says:

        From the Newegg TOS: “NewEgg is not responsible if we send you something other than what you ordered. No refunds per our TooBad-SoSad policy.”

        /not really in the TOS.
        //then again I didn’t read the TOS so maybe it is
        //but probably not

      • and_another_thing says:

        Exactly. Newegg is the face on the sale and must be held accountable.

      • Jawaka says:

        It was probably shipped to the customer directly from Metro PC.

        Some of the items on New Egg are sold by third parties (and advertised as such) just like some things on Amazon.com aren’t being sold and shipped directly from Amazon.com.

        As others have said, I’m guessing that the OP either missed or ignored this fact when he placed his order.

  2. Charles Edward Winthrop III, Esquire, Investigator of the Unknown Music says:

    I used to shop at NewEgg exclusively. But the last few orders from them have been getting slower (why pay for “guaranteed” 3 day shipping when it still takes 9 days to get here?), and either the wrong parts, or missing parts. Too bad there’s so few reputable suppliers nowadays.

    • benson304 says:

      Amazon or bust. Just too hard to not give them my money.

      • SirWired says:

        While Amazon is superior for electronics, they simply cannot hold a candle to NewEgg when it comes to computer parts. NewEgg’s selection is far superior, their prices often better, and their website about 20x easier to use, at least when it comes to searching for specific computer parts.

        Amazon’s search results are polluted with shady 3rd-party sellers, unreliable search sorting, and the complete and utter lack of any ability whatsoever similar to NewEgg’s Advanced or Power search.

        • psm321 says:

          So for the search just take the “Best Buy as a showroom” one step further and use NewEgg as a showroom for Amazon :-P

    • Chuft-Captain says:

      I’m starting to suspect the issue is not Newegg as a whole, but perhaps certain distribution centers they have. For example, I placed an order yesterday, without Rush shipping service, using 2-day guaranteed shipping. It shipped the same day, and this is my normal experience.

    • Jawaka says:

      I’ve been buying from NewEgg for years now and never had a problem. I guess you’ve just been unlucky. Also 3 day shipping means that they’ll ship it to you via 3 day shipping (which is handled by UPS or Fedex). It doesn’t mean you’ll have it in three days. It may take a day or so to process the order before it even ships.

  3. Lyn Torden says:

    A while back I ordered multiple refurbished netbooks from Newegg. One of them had the wrong power adapter (wrong number of pins on the connector, but otherwise it looked the same, so apparently for a different model). There was also one dead netbook. The dead netbook was returned for a refund (they didn’t have any replacements remaining). So I just made sure the dead one included that wrong adapter in the return box (with all the other stuff that came with that one). The refund went through OK.

    I don’t know if Newegg or ASUS was doing the refurb work. But whoever it is, they clearly are using bottom of the barrel staffing.

  4. SirWired says:

    MetroPC is probably the rebuilder contracted by Asus to sell refurbs. But Asus should have sent the OP directly to MetroPC, not NewEgg.

    I suspect that Asus was expecting NewEgg to act like, say, BestBuy, where if you have any issues within the 2-4 week “return for any reason” window, you just drop the thing off and get your refund… but neither NewEgg nor any other discount online electronics/computer outlet works that way.

  5. ReverendTed says:

    Sounds like MetroPC is the refurbisher who sells through Newegg. (I’ve had good experiences with Newegg so far, FWIW.)
    If my understanding of most refurb shops is correct, laptops and adapters are probably refurbished separately and they probably just checked to make sure that A) The plug fit and B) The voltage was correct, which is typically all you need for “compatibility”, without checking for adequate amperage to power the unit.

  6. sparc says:

    Wouldn’t there be warranty information within the package from MetroPC since they probably refurbished the product?

    I imagine that this is not an Asus warrantied product anymore and Newegg customer service doesn’t realize where these products were picked up from.

  7. thisusedtobemoreinterestingandhelpful says:

    While I have only heard good things about Newegg I have never experienced nothing but trouble. Maybe at one time their price and selection may have been great but the customer service I receive elsewhere negates the one or two dollars I save by shopping there. Never again.

  8. ThinkingBrian says:

    I hate to say this, but I think while Newegg and/or MetroPC is responsible for the new power supply. The OP should get the parts number and order a new one online like Amazon or go to a box store like Walmart and buy one right now (money out of pocket). If anything, the OP would have a spare if this issue is ever resolved. But in the mean time, he could at least use his Asus gaming computer.

  9. Bryan Price says:

    I’ve had issues with Newegg before. I will be doing my mailorder from either Microcenter or Fry’s or Amazon. And if I lived in Columbus, I’d just deal with Microcenter brick and mortar and be done with it to start with.

    • NorthAlabama says:

      All Hail MicroCenter! I loved them when I lived in north Atlanta suburbs, and still shop there today. Their stores and staff are the greatest (even though they are few and far between), and they stand behind every sale.

      Glad to see MicroCenter getting a good mention on the Consumerist!

    • Gary says:

      Frys? FRYS?!?!
      I spent, for example, $40k at Newegg last year. Probably 100 different orders.
      Neweggs pricing may not be the lowest on everything, but it averages out. IMHO, their service is wonderful.
      If it comes out of one of their Ca. warehouses, I get it overnight to my Hanford, Ca. store for no additional charge.
      I have never received a wrong item. Ever. DOA stuff, sure, but that’s not Newegg’s fault. Stuff that takes 9 days to arrive? Only a few times, and only when UPS decides to play games. Again, not Newegg’s fault. We made them aware of the problem however, and they gave us a $20 refund, who can complain?
      I have placed 3 orders with Fry’s. Had a problem with each one. Twice, the issue was Fry’s (wrong item, and wrong address).
      Now, this MicroCenter I need to check out. I’ve also had VERY limited, but good experiences with Directron.

  10. Newegg says:

    Dear OP,

    We apologize for the inconvenience this issue has caused you. We would like to investigate this issue further. Please send us an email to PublicImage@Newegg.com with your order information at your earliest convenience. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention and we look forward to your email.

    Best Regards,

    Newegg Support

  11. shayden says:

    Regardless of what company is responsible for replacing the adapter, Newegg could show a better effort in customer service. Don’t get me wrong, I love Newegg, I still use them to this day for almost everything, however; the last couple of years I have noticed a pretty significant decline in their customer service. They used to go out of their way 100% to ensure the happiness of a customer. Within the last year or so I have worked with customer service representatives that have had been rude and given attitude. I have also submitted emails that to this day have gone UN-returned.

    So overall in this situation, I don’t think that the writers complaint is getting the wrong power adapter, although that is annoying, the complaint is about customer service and how he had to be bounced around, talking to 3 companies before getting resolution. In the old days, Newegg would have assured the customer that they would take care of the issue, and then they would have contacted the third party company to get a new adapter sent to the customer.

    • CapZap says:

      I have to relate my experience with newegg. I started shopping with them in mid to late 2000. Order Monday, receive product Wednesday. Always good price, always well packed and just what I ordered. At that time, it was taking me two to three weeks to get books and CD’s after ordering from Amazon. So long, in fact, that I quit buying from Amazon online for several years.

      Newegg set the standard for customer service, quick shipping and low pricing. I have spent many thousands with them since and still order every electronic item I can from newegg. I just ordered and received a kitchen faucet this past week — a great buy.

      Because of the newegg model and their resulting popularity, they reformed the online retail business and everyone had to at least approximate newegg’s service to get ahead. Newegg set the standard.

      I’ve had RMA’s and customer service needs with newegg and I come out trusting them more than any retailer I use, online or brick and mortar.

      Of course, nothing stays the same forever. Today, I order on Monday and receive product on Thursday. That it takes longer doesn’t bother me because I know the package will arrive, that it will be well wrapped and will be just what I ordered.

      Newegg’s bound to have a few flubs and nothing ever stays the same but at this point in time they are the best online retailer, bar none.