Holds Woman's Account Hostage Until She Gets Her Brother To Reverse Chargeback

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 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.

Jenn: Sorry.

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 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.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Oh wow. Is that even legal?

  2. officeboy says:

    So yeah… Even talking to you, how would they know your not trying to place an order for your brother?
    Also anyone, any store, etc. has the right to refuse a customer. They never took your money so it’s not like they are ripping you off.

    Kick your brother for being lame, and get a memory card from any of the other 800,000 stores online.

    • Aisley says:


      Probably we all need to read the story again,because it looks like we’re not getting it.
      When Newegg called her after her complain to BBB, the CSR said that:
      “it had nothing to do with me or my brothers account. Someone … did something so horrible years ago that they have banned our address until the end of time.”

      So, her brother has nothing to do with this. He lives with her and she moved to that address three years ago! So we need to stop insulting people that have nothing to do with the matter

  3. BrookeCossus says:

    having worked with Newegg before, they are probably right, Newegg has
    one of the best customer service policies in relation to equipment
    out there and I have never in all my dealings (and at least 3 RMAs)
    had to even threaten a chargeback.

    While this doesnt absolve Newegg of the mistake of linking her
    account to her brothers, there is no doubt in my mind her brother is
    probably a douch who tried to scam them out of parts for his “leet
    system yo.”

  4. semanticantics says:

    If it was the brothers account that was the problem, I totally understand Newegg not wanting to ship to the same address. This alleged 3rd party situation is a bit hazier. The CSR’s didn’t exactly treat the situation correctly, but I can’t blame a company for not ever wanting to ship to an address that appears to have been the origin of fraud ever again. They are no doubt out-of-state and unable to ever know for sure who is using that address and for what.

  5. PinkBox says:

    “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.”

    So how was her brother able to order something in order to do a charge back in the first place?

  6. Maybe Newegg thought that Jenn and her brother were one person, trying to scheme them.

  7. Darascon says:

    I’m really sorry for that to have happened to her, especially since I shop newegg. But the idea of permanent ban from shipping is funny.

  8. B says:

    This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine got her boyfriend banned from the Chinese restaurant.

  9. rawsteak says:

    i think this would be similar to someone walking into a store with your friend/brother who is known to shoplift from the store (picture by the counter or something). They can refuse to sell you things because they banned that person and you’re trying to get around that (innocently or not). but newegg doesn’t know faces or family relationships, it only knows names and addresses, so it would make sense that they would deny selling things to you.

    i’ve personally bought lots of things from newegg and never had a problem with them, and they usually have pretty good customer service and good support when it comes to returning stuff that arrived DOA, so i’m sorry you had this bad experience.

  10. SkokieGuy says:

    @officeboy: Before blaming the OP, it’s courteous to at least make a vague attempt to read the posting.

    “….I say attempted because beyond running the financial transaction and holding my money hostage for a week….”

  11. ThunderRoad says:

    Change your address to “123A YourstreetName” and see if the system still catches it. :P

  12. DojiStar says:

    Newegg customer service is aces, as far as I’m concerned. Nothing beats them.

    Sounds like they are just protecting themselves from another chargeback. If they don’t want to sell to her, that is there prerogative. She can go elsewhere.

    Just goes to show you, no matter how good of a customer service dept you have, you can not please everyone all of the time.

  13. mythago says:

    I vote for the “making shit up” theory. If the address was banned from years and years ago, how did her brother get to place an order in the first place? If they’re concerned that she’s ordering items for her brother, then why didn’t they notice that she’s using an entirely separate account and billing information? And really, why lock her money for a week instead of voiding and reversing the transaction.

    I guess actually reading the facts isn’t as much fun as “STFU and we blame you OP!!!” though.

  14. Hanke says:

    But…but…I thought we LIKED Newegg…

  15. officeboy says:

    OH and for anyone worried about newegg leaking “personal information”. She is probably calling from the same phone number registered on her and her brothers account. Has the same address and probably the same last name. I think it’s reasonable for newegg to let her know the name of the person responsible for her being blacklisted.
    At least they gave her an idea of how she could clear the mess up.

    Also folks these aren’t medical records. Get over this silly fascination with “personal info”, it’s not that big a deal. You can get 100X the info just calling up your local tax assessor and getting info about your neighbors addresses, phone numbers, how much they paid for their house etc.

  16. Angryrider says:

    Woah… Newegg why must you hassle this women for her brother’s mistake? It’s not like she dishonored your family somehow.

  17. bravo369 says:

    that makes no sense. it’s a different person but the same address. in this case it was your brother but it shouldn’t matter. if it was a roommate that you hardly know, would they have banned you the same way just beacuse it was the same address?

  18. @ThunderRoad: Change your address to “123A YourstreetName” and see if the system still catches it. :P

    Then the delivery is sure to arrive!

  19. chucklebuck says:


    First, why would they care who she’s buying it for?

    Second, at least according to the summary, they did take her money – they gave it back after a week, but that’s too long if they never intended to ship things to her.

    Finally, you assume her brother is “lame” without knowing his reason for the chargeback or anything at all about his interaction with Newegg.

    People pick Newegg because they have the sweet-spot combination of price and customer service. She surely could buy her memory card someplace else, but it’s likely she went to Newegg because they were a known good quantity. Her interaction with them resulted in dissatisfaction and bad publicity, and it takes very little of that to undo a whole lot of good will.

    I think Newegg handled this badly, but I also think that they’ll probably make it right again, because they tend to do that.

  20. SkokieGuy says:

    I think a more reasonable debate would be for all of us to speculate on what unspeakable evil occured between New Egg and the previous owners of the house that causes a permanent lifetime ban on the the present and any future homeowners of that address?

  21. SkokieGuy says:


  22. MarcoVincenzo says:

    Well I vowed to stop buying from Newegg on June first when they started collecting (rather than vigorously fighting) New York state taxes. (I purchased an Asus EEE PC from a smaller vendor 2 days ago and didn’t have to pay the tax.) But, this is one more reason to shun Newegg until they clean up their act.

  23. Darkwish says:

    If you’re at the same address, especially with the same last name, how are they to know that the 2 accounts aren’t the same person just trying to get around the block/suspension and scam them? First thing she should have done was talk to her brother to find out what’s going on, but from the conversations posted above, they never even speak to each other even though they live in the same house.

    And as for giving the brother’s name, again, it’s obviously the same household and a relative (and for all they know, the same person), it’s not like they’re telling a complete stranger. Get over it.

    As for the thing about banning that address forever, I have no clue. I’d ask them about their policy about that and see if there is any way to prove they are not the other person. I am curious as to what the hell happened to get a permanent ban on an address.

  24. emis says:

    Is it just me, or did the bit at the end indicate that this really wasn’t related to the brother’s charge back?

    I also would really like to know why the brother has a charge back in the first place–maybe he did it because they took the money from his card and never shipped anything because of this mysterious ban on their address?

  25. officeboy says:

    Darn that newegg for following the law!

  26. Hogan1 says:

    @DojiStar: Agreed, If they have had continual problems with an address, they are *well* within their rights to take this type of action. If I had multiple accounts from a same address costing my business money with consistent charge backs and problems, I’d do the same thing. They could have notified her more quickly however.

    Newegg does have some of the best customer service around and I’ve been ordering from them for almost 5 years now.

  27. I don’t find it unreasonable for any vendor to freeze something being sent to the same address where they have a disputed transaction. They shouldn’t HOLD the money, but I’ve seen plenty of small businesses hurt by frivolous chargebacks by people trying to work the system who then use different names at the same location to pull it off again.

    It’s an annoyance and she should take her business elsewhere, but I won’t fault Newegg for holding up the process.

  28. Darkwish says:

    @mythago: They’ve obviously had an issue with billing and account information from that address and for all they know, they’ve stolen someone’s information or used a relative’s information without their permission, which would result in another chargeback.

    I would like to hear Newegg’s side of the story on this however.

  29. Veeber says:

    @MarcoVincenzo: Um is it really their responsibility to fight it? As a resident of NY if you don’t like the tax you should be fighting, not the corporation.

  30. Devidence says:

    She has to understand that even those she is a different person, using the same shipping/billing as an account that owes Newegg money is going to cause a problem. I would not have taken it this far.

  31. GMFish says:

    “First, here’s what happened to trigger the suspended account in the first place:”

    No, that was not what happened to trigger the suspended account in the first place. What apparently triggered the suspension was your brother’s chargeback. The fact that you refuse to tell us about that speaks volumes. I’m with others here, I’m guessing that your brother scammed Newegg and so Newegg is doing to reasonable thing by avoiding a second scam.

  32. sgodun says:

    Given the overwhelmingly positive reputation NewEgg has, I’m forced to take this one with a boulder-sized grain of salt. I’ll withhold further comment until we get NewEgg’s side of things.

  33. I’ll concur with the “Newegg gives good customer service”. The only problem I’ve ever had with them was actually through a friend of mine who was building me a new computer and honestly, it wasn’t even their fault necessarily, but they fixed it anyway.

    Mobo shows up DOA, but my friend didn’t discover it until after their return window was up (since he was building the complete system, waiting for all parts, etc.). Newegg initially refused to do an exchange…but changed their tune once they saw a scathing post of his on a consumer message board. Heh, oops.

    So even after a problem, Newegg still made good.

    This situation is just bizarre-sounding, though.

  34. mac-phisto says:

    that last part seems to indicate that some fraud may have occurred in the past with regards to her address. she should talk to her brother & find out his story.

    i don’t think they did a very good job explaining the reason for the block, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valid reason for denying service.

  35. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Well considering NewEgg changed their initial story, that automatically tells you they are full of crap. And the new story makes it even worse that they gave out all her brother’s information because now they claim that her brother’s transaction was unrelated. Plus if the ban was from a previous order, her brother should have never been able to place his original order that had to be charged back. So NewEgg is doing nothing but lying about the entire situation. I am not sure if the BBB cares or not, but I would hope they care when an organization flat out lies in a response to a complaint. And to those saying the information doesn’t matter because they are related in the same house, it is not inconceivable that up to 4 unrelated people can live at a single address all with separate leases.

  36. theblackdog says:

    @BrookeCossus: @officeboy: @semanticantics: RTFA, it had nothing to do with her brother’s account!

  37. theblackdog says:

    @mac-phisto: RTFA, it was not her brother!

    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.

  38. y2julio says:

    @Terd_Ferguson: Why would there even be a law for it? If a business does not want to deal with you, they have every right to do so.

  39. molin says:

    Newegg is lying with the new story. If they don’t ship or bill to her address, why was there a transaction that required a chargeback?

    I feel Newegg is completely in the right to tell her to fuck off if her brother did a chargeback from the same address. A business ought to have the right to not service customers they have a reason to suspect are just going to make them lose money.

  40. k-dawg2bad4u says:

    Truth is Newegg can sell to whoever the f### they want. They don’t owe her sh!t. The transaction is money for goods. If they dont want her money, she doesnt get the goods. Simple. Kick your weeny brothers ass and tell him to b!tch up and be man.

  41. FilthyHarry says:

    Seems to me the brother has grounds for a lawsuit if the sister can provide the transcripts showing that NewEgg is giving out his account info.

  42. linedpaper says:

    Wow, I’ve never had any troubles with newegg amongst the rma’s and many orders I have had with them. They have always resolved any issue I’ve had. I’m surprised that they took such a turn for the worse!

  43. mac-phisto says:

    @theblackdog: i did RTFA. i said, she should find out what her brother’s experience was – perhaps he knows more about why she can’t get the items shipped.

    jenn doesn’t tell us what her brother’s experience is, just that a csr told her it has nothing to do with his account. but does he have an active account? can he receive shipments? has he had any problems in the past? these are all questions that jenn could ask her brother to help shed light on why her account can’t be validated.

  44. Shannon says:

    Ouch that’s pretty harsh…

  45. apobull says:

    I’ve been buying from Newegg for years and never had as much as a minor glitch with them. In fact, they’ve gone above and beyond for me several times so this tidbit is quite surprising to hear. While I think Newegg is w/in its rights to decline shipping to a specific address, the CSR agent could have been a tad more polite along with Newegg possibly shedding some additional light on the real problem at hand.

  46. pauljunk says:

    Newegg is awesome.

  47. GrandizerGo says:

    Hmmm, I always ship to my work address since I am not at home during delivery hours, what keeps the person in question for using that as the shipping / billing address???
    I know many people I work with who have their CC statements sent to work as in the “older” days, online places wouldn’t ship EXCEPT to the billing address…
    Now, I have 2 addresses saved in my CC files that are checked, presumably, before shipments…
    Can someone say next door neighbor???

  48. dragonvpm says:

    @officeboy: Actually the annoyance comes from not fighting a new law that may or may not be legal (just because something is passed as a law doesn’t mean it’ll stand up to a court challenge).

    This is particularly dumb on their part since once all states decide to get in this, they’ll either have to lose some sales, or they’ll have to cut into their profit on their merchandise. Neither of which sounds like a great business strategy.

  49. joshthephenom says:

    Since many of the people here have had to deal with NewEgg’s customer service, does that mean that they mess up a lot of orders? Why would you have to talk to anyone in the first place? Shouldn’t it be as easy as: place order online, get charged, get product in mail?

  50. BoomerFive says:

    Newegg service has always been great for me. I bought 2 vid cards a while back and noticed 3 weeks later they had gone down $40 in price. I called newegg NOT expecting anything, but they refunded the difference!

    That said, their prices arent near as good any more. For example I was looking for an antec 1200 pc case. It was over $200 on newegg, $143 at microcenter. When a retailer is beating newegg’s prices by that much (and its not the only example I have found) then something is up.

  51. The OP has an interesting question about the blacklisting of a particular address by a business. I’m going to call my realator and ask if they’ve ever run into anything like that.

  52. dahlberg123 says:

    I have been an avid Newegg patron for years for both personal and business use($100,000(+) combined) and as of lately I have been less than adequate service. Don’t get me wrong, they still seem to be better than some of those other places but certainly not what they used to be.

  53. ryatziv says:

    Wow… I try to support Newegg, but unless they rebut this, I might have to stop buying from them. Sad.

  54. raisitup says:

    @theblackdog: we RTFA, but at the same time we CTFA (C = comprehend), try it!

    it’s obvious they realized the significant error in judgment of giving out ANY personal information from another account. the further communication about the mysterious 3rd account (grassy knoll?) was simply to muddy the waters. the 3rd account theory doesn’t make sense as has been already adequately expressed here since the brother’s order would not have been shipped to this infamous address were the address infamous previous to his order. i say call out the attack dogs and have the brother move forward with a claim against newegg for this breach of personal information.

  55. gjaluvka says:

    I can certainly sympathize with NewEgg for worrying about somebody at this address being party to another at that address who scammed them.

    But the other issue, if the chargeback is the problem (two stories, so we don’t really know) is what was the chargeback detail? Normally if the chargeback is invalid, the store has a reasonable opportunity to make their case or make it right. It’s unfair to automatically assume the chargeback was a fraud, though NewEgg may have a file of those where it is “strongly suspicious.”

  56. Mr. Gunn says:

    So one person says it has nothing to do with the brother, but two other people say her brother has a chargeback. Sounds like something is going on to me. Regardless, no business has to sell anything to anyone.

  57. ConsumerA says:

    I had a similar issue with my NewEgg account before Christmas last year. My account was suspended for 3 weeks. They claimed there was a chargeback on my credit card (when there was none). They claimed the credit card was stolen. They claimed that I wasn’t in the U.S. and that they only served U.S. customers, etc. I was given a different excuse every time I called or contacted them via chat or email. I was told that my account would be active within the hour and that someone would contact me to confirm. I never got a single call back or confirmation email. The REAL reason they suspended my account? I tried ordering an item from my computer at work. I work in the U.S. for a foreign company and my work IP address makes it look like I’m located there. In the 5 months before my account suspension, I spent $5000 with NewEgg with the same credit card and had the items shipped to the same address without any problems.

    BEWARE if you are ever on vacation and try ordering from NewEgg. They will suspend your account. If your IP makes it look like you aren’t in the U.S., they will suspend your account. If they’ve had problems with someone at your address (or claim to have had problems), they will suspend your account. I understand NewEgg needs to prevent fraud…but by immediately flagging and canceling orders in this manner, they are missing out on thousands in legitimate sales. What good is the Verified by Visa process that I went through if they still cancel orders and suspend accounts of legitimate users?

  58. Mr_Human says:

    If this were about Best Buy, people would be saying, “I can’t believe idiots still shop there.”

  59. GearheadGeek says:

    @GrandizerGo: Using the work address isn’t always convenient. For example, my “office address” is 262 miles from my house.

  60. FF_Mac says:

    I wonder why the OP would go through all this hassle to purchase from NewEgg? If a company doesn’t want my business this badly, there’s another that does want it.

    It’s newegg’s loss. Not the OP’s.

  61. digitalgimpus says:

    @k-dawg2bad4u: Right on. They aren’t obligated to sell to anyone.

    Stores often have a list of people they won’t let shop. Being online doesn’t change anything.

    The other option is to force them to be subject to fraud, and we all pay for it through higher prices. No thanks.

  62. cashmerewhore says:


    That’s been my entire experience with them, x5. For cameras, computer parts and a home thermostat. Most days, the cheap three day shipping arrives in two days.

  63. @Mr_Human: If this were about Best Buy, people would be saying, “I can’t believe idiots still shop there.”

    There is a big difference between constant stories of horrible shopping experiences (BB) and a very rare horrible shopping experience (NE).

  64. OletheaEurystheus says:

    Well the reason is VERY simple. Newegg sells computer parts for DIY
    computer systems. Sometimes motherboards dont fit cases the
    manufacture of the graphics card is crap, the cable is not long
    enough etc. Newegg has a very lenient policy of allowing you to
    return just about anything if there is some sort of defect or if
    parts dont work well together. In my case, the graphics card I bought
    for my wifes gaming machine crapped out in 2 weeks. I called them
    told them what happened and what errors I got, boxed the thing up,
    shipped it back and got the replacement 2 days later once they
    confirmed the card did indeed die.

    Given they deal with the casemodder/hacker/DIY computer sect that in
    my personal experience is full of punk ass kids who would have no
    problems scamming someone to get free parts, it would not surprise me
    at all if someone, or even her brother “bought” parts, then
    chargedback them to get them for free since a good bleeding edge
    graphics card could cost as much as 400-500 dollars.

  65. GrandizerGo says:

    No not everyone here has had problems with Newegg customer service…
    In fact as most have said it was due to the LACK of problems that people are touting.
    I call customer service at Newegg to verify information before a purchase.
    I have called them to see if they can add something to my order before it shipped.
    I have called them to return a hard drive that was DOA out of the box.
    In all cases I was treated professionally and was helped immensely.
    The ONLY thing I would wish for is to know whether the items are shipping from… I have paid NUMEROUS times for 2nd delivery and if it comes from the NJ location, I get it next day NO MATTER WHAT. However, sometimes it comes from somewhere else like CA… In my effort to save myself some money, I don’t order faster shipping thinking it would be here in a day from NJ, And then I find out that the items are coming from CA and I get it in 4-5 days instead…
    It is a crap shoot, but I am not complaining, just saying…

  66. evslin says:

    @Mr_Human: And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

  67. sondhead says:

    @Terd_Ferguson: Seriously? It’s a private business. They can sell or not sell to whoever they want for whatever reason (or lack thereof) they want.

    I don’t understand why the OP went to so much trouble to shop at the site. They clearly don’t want their business, so they should go elsewhere. It’s pretty easy to find other shops.

  68. whydidnt says:

    Wow, no matter Newegg’s concern over the address they still have zero right to give out her brother’s information. The fact that they held the OP’s money for a week is also troubling. If you don’t want to allow a shopper fine, but you can’t take their money then either.

    I used to buy a lot more from Newegg, but their prices aren’t near as good as they used to be. I suspect that they have lost a significant portion of their business as fewer and fewer people upgrade or build their own systems, due to the move to laptops. Tie that to the weaker economy and they probably are feeling a squeeze. I wonder when companies are going to learn that when you are feeling the squeeze, it’s NOT the time to start screwing with your potential customers. Target seems to be having a difficult time figuring this out as well.

  69. KhaiJB says:

    so… if the address was banned forever…

    why could she place an order in the first place? or her brother?

  70. spinachdip says:

    Apropos of very little, I hate it when people aplogize for an “inconvenience” or a “misunderstanding”. You’re saying you feel bad about the consequences, not your action (or inaction).

    I know they think they’re being polite, but it’s mildly disingenuous, barely step up from non-apologies like “sorry if anyone was offended” or any “sorry, but…”. It’s better to not apologize

  71. highmodulus says:

    That story seems pretty fishy. Notice all the “bad” details conveniently left out. I call Shenanigans. Get the brooms.

  72. bobfromboston says:

    Wow, what a bunch of Newegg apologists. Newegg is one of the sacred cows on Consumerist, so even when they pull something totally anti-consumer they get a free pass.

    Replace Newegg with BestBuy in her story and imagine the vitriol we’d be reading here.

  73. Breach says:

    Sounds totally unreasonable, though it is possible that they cannot trust that address ever again.

  74. allstarecho says:

    The conversation with Phoebe sounds like the conversations I have with outsourced India customer service from a dozen other companies. Customer service reps just can’t form complete sentences anymore. Go back and read that conversation but when you read Phoebe’s part, do so with an Asian or Indian accent. It is more entertaining that way.

  75. IrisMR says:

    that’s nonsense. There’s no way this can be legal.

  76. uncle_fluffy says:

    @BrookeCossus: Really, that’s your thought? They claim that they’ll NEVER EVER ship to that evil address, and you think that has nothing whatsoever to do with her brother’s chargeback? Come on now.

  77. @bobfromboston: Replace Newegg with BestBuy in her story and imagine the vitriol we’d be reading here.

    See evslin’s comments.

    @spinachdip: Apropos of very little, I hate it when people aplogize for an “inconvenience” or a “misunderstanding”. You’re saying you feel bad about the consequences, not your action (or inaction).

    I use semantics like this all the time, quite intentionally. There are often times that I am not apologetic for my actions/inactions, but not thrilled with the consequences. I’ve said things like, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ while still not being sorry for what I did/didn’t do. Sometimes it worth it to me to stand up for what I believe in, even if it’s at the cost of someone else’s feelings.

  78. Sudonum says:

    The part I’m having a hard time with is the first story about the chargeback. CC companies don’t do a chargeback just because you say you were screwed. I’ve had chargebacks denied before because I misunderstood the terms and conditions of the transaction. If her brothers bank sided with him and upheld the chargeback then Newegg really has no recourse.

    The second story about the address being permanently banned sounds like BS, either from Newegg or the OP.

    And yes, as a private company, Newegg can choose to do business with whomever they want, as long as they don’t discriminate.

  79. So, did she talk to her brother?

    If there’s really a chargeback related to her brother, I’m with Newegg that they have a right to refuse shipping to the same address. I could invent a person named Sally Belisle and say it’s my estranged sister who lives downstairs. How would Newegg know?

    @bravo369: if it was a roommate that you hardly know, would they have banned you the same way just beacuse it was the same address?

    Yes. How do they know what the relationship between you and other members of your household is? I could also invent a person named Dirk Gently and get him a credit card. Again, how would Newegg know?

  80. eben56 says:


  81. warf0x0r says:

    I know that with fedex and there were some huge scams in the millions of dollars over time. Something to do with Fedex packages being re-labeled and shipped to houses where people were waiting for them to resell. It wouldn’t suprise me if their house was one of those places.

    Can she specify a business address? Thats what I do for all purchase over 200 dollars.

  82. keith4298 says:

    Give the same address, apt. 2 and see if they will ship to you then.

  83. Sudonum says:

    @Michael Belisle:
    Because the CC she used to try and make the purchase is in her name. That would pretty much clinch it there, unless Newegg thinks the issuing CC company is a party to the scam, or that identity theft might be involved.

  84. ninabi says:

    If her brother did a chargeback, that means there was a problem. Yet, she wished to do business with newegg.

    It would help to clarify the story to learn more about that chargeback.

  85. sirillium says:

    Having the delivery shipped to another address requires that you inform your credit card company of the new shipping address. This will result in the Credit reporting agencies believing you have moved, and may affect your credit score.

  86. Gokuhouse says:

    Not that I want to just jump on board with Newegg….but I’ve done lots of dealings with them and had 1 RMA…I can’t say I’ve ever been more than just a tiny bit disappointed with them.

    Simple solution: Have them ship your items to another house, someone you trust…..Or your work.

  87. macinjosh says:


    “This reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine got her boyfriend banned from the Chinese restaurant. “

    She named names!!!

  88. @Sudonum: You can order a second card for anyone you want, even Michael Jackson. The name on the card is only as honest as the person who signed up for it.

  89. @NameGoesHere

    “So how was her brother able to order something in order to do a charge back in the first place?”

    Exactly what I was thinking when I got to that part. Sounds like NewEgg billing is really cheesed at the brother, and the billing dept won’t cooperate with the CSR. I’d be the whole “3rd party” is something the CSR made up.

  90. Osi says:

    This could arguably be called identity fraud. They are trying to say you are another person. Response is simple, lawyer time.

  91. witeowl says:

    Putting aside the unforgivable act of holding her money, I’ve had something similar happen.

    I ordered (rather, tried to order) a gift by phone for my stepfather. He lived in CA, I lived in NV. I wanted it shipped to him but billed to my credit card (duh).

    They took the order, but it later became clear that they couldn’t process the order because of the shipping address. A chargeback had occurred with an account there, so they wouldn’t ship there.

    Me: But I’ve never ordered from you before.
    CS: Right. It’s not you, it’s his address.
    Me: But I live here.
    CS: I know, but his address is blocked.
    Me: But you’re using my credit card, here in NV.
    CS: Sorry.
    Me: But there would be no problem if I had it shipped here?
    CS: Correct. Would you like to place that order?
    Me: No, thanks.

    Their loss, really. I wasn’t going to pay shipping twice (once to me, then once to him), so I went to a local store and found a similar item. When I told him the story, he wasn’t surprised, as his CC information had been stolen and abused in the past. So much for not punishing the victim.

  92. witeowl says:

    @witeowl: Seriously, what’s with the extra lines? I triple-checked to make sure I had no trailing blanks or trailing lines, and there they are in my post. Weird.

  93. larry_y says:

    How is it a breach of privacy when they give the other names and account numbers currently at that address, if Newegg confirmed that the person is who they say they are? Personally, I want to know who else is using my address, and it should match up.

    To me, it sounds like the address was blacklisted, with customer service and the billing people not on the same page. And quite frankly, matching billing and shipping addresses is one of the best security mechanisms out there. I’m guessing the original poster ran afoul of that.

  94. iluvhatemail says:

    based on the facts present and her testimony, Newegg was completely in the wrong here. If there was a true issue, they should have notified the customer immediately instead of letter her wait a week and get some BS excuse which they ended up changing.

    They might have a history of excellent service but any company can change overnight. I would hope they will respond with their side so we can get all the facts here.

  95. Sudonum says:

    @Michael Belisle:
    Point taken

  96. bobfromboston says:

    @heavylee-again: Clever response from a Newegg apologist.

    I’ve got nothing against Newegg, but if they screw up (and they clearly did here) have the sack to say so.

  97. Nick1693 says:

    @officeboy: In my town, you can do that online.

  98. KarmaChameleon says:

    @bobfromboston: Seriously. Even the most awesome companies eff up royally from time to time. Why it’s so freaking painful for fanboys to admit that is beyond me. I love Newegg more than chocolate bunnies and order all my Mac stuff from them, but they were clearly in the wrong this time.

  99. Without the facts, but only one side of this account, I won’t speculate as to the true story.

    But we see an interesting phenomenon here: that NewEgg, which has a stellar record for customer service, can engender passionate defense by its customers when such a story is presented. NewEgg isn’t Apple or some other company with a cult of personality or a corporate identity that appeals to legions of fanboys. It’s just a cheap, quick-to-ship parts retailer, and has differentiated itself from its competitors based upon price, selection, and excellent service and support. That these attributes can create such loyalty in a customer base is a lesson for retailers everywhere. Wonder whether the guys at Best Buy will ever understand this?

  100. godlyfrog says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: Agreed. As someone else mentioned, we’d be seeing a ton of vitriol were this Best Buy or another outfit regardless of the story. Instead, we have an unhappy customer who couldn’t place an order due to some sort of problem with the address, and very few people are blaming the company.

    For myself, I see this as the company trying to protect itself from fraud, and while they’re losing a customer over this, she doesn’t seem to be a repeat customer, as Newegg never checks my addresses anymore due to my being a repeat customer. I don’t blame the OP, but this sounds exactly like the OP is buying parts for the brother who can’t order them himself due to whatever this chargeback is. Why do I think this? Because I highly doubt anyone who orders a “memory card” really knows what it is they’re ordering.

  101. Grive says:

    @SkokieGuy: So they didn’t actually charge her? The week is the time credit transactions get held before they’re finally approved if Newegg doesn’t present anything. If a place swipes the card twice, but only produces one voucher, for example, you get two charges held, but only one goes through. That’s the bank’s issue. Newegg didn’t actually “hold” any money at any time.

    @IrisMR: Pray tell, on which grounds is it illegal to refuse service, especially when nothing was actually charged?

    @eben56: It’s not the OPs fault… nor is it really newegg’s. Newegg has a banned address. Payment verification was before the shipping process was initiated, which is when the blacklist came through.

    There’s something fishy with that address as far as newegg knows (if it’s true or not, it’s irrelevant). They have all the right to refuse service on suspision of a possible fraud.

    It sucks, but thems the breaks. Nobody is really in the wrong here, except for the privacy breach. For that, do unleash the dogs of war, please.

  102. stinerman says:


    Yes. You can refuse to do business with anyone for any reason except those specifically outlined by various civil rights acts passed by Congress.

    As far as I know, refusing service to someone because they live at a certain address is legal.

  103. smokinfoo says:

    I have to say I will not be purchasing anything from newegg now that I’ve read this. I do a lot of purchasing for the IT department of my company as well. Too bad for newegg.

  104. TheDude06 says:

    Shooting first and asking questions later is nice and cheap. and effective!

    I thought CC merchants had some sort of rule against punishing people for chargebacks?

  105. Metropolis says:

    Wow. This is hte first black mark I have ever seen against NewEgg. I usually have complete faith in thier customer service but this is really bad. The worst part is they willing gave out her brothers personal information. I really hope someone from NewEgg responds to this. Please, dont let this be first in the downfall of NewEgg.

  106. INTPLibrarian says:

    @cashmerewhore: Last item I ordered from them, with the three day shipping, came after five days. Not including the weekend. Not really relevant to the story here, but just posted to point out that Newegg isn’t *perfect* like some people seem to think. Good, yes. Perfect, no.

  107. vagabond99 says:

    I have used Newegg for a few years now. ANY issue I have had with them has been handled quickly and professionally. They have always been funny about addresses.

    But having a business, sometimes you just need to say “no, we really don’t need you as a customer”. Sometimes it’s valid. And sometimes it’s not, but you need to protect yourself.

  108. dbg1970 says:

    as a rebuttal to a previous comment, I have repeatedly ordered from newegg & had them ship to my office, which is not listed on my credit card. The first time, they called me to verify, since then, no problems at all.

  109. capnjack says:

    The business has every right to deny service and sales to any customer they want.

    That said, the CSRs didn’t make it any better, but it seems like they were just confused about why the account was locked. They could have handled it better.

    But, it’s still the store’s perogative if they don’t want to do business with her because they have had problems at that address before. Many businesses flag new orders that have banned or red-flagged addresses. It’s a standard practice for a lot of companies.

  110. RandomZero says:

    Newegg handled this atrociously, but this sounds like a legitimate fraud concern to me. A scammer can and will say ANYTHING to achoieve their desired result; saying “Oh, that’s my brother, we’re unconnected” or “Oh, we bought this house recently” is just the tip of the iceberg. They have absolutely no way to verify this claim (are they really supposed to spend CSR time checking land deeds or sales records?), so they block all traffic to a known scammer’s (maybe former, maybe not) drop address. It’s also entirely plausible that they took the brother’s order because they were still fishing for the scammer; note, however, that nobody really has any details on that beyond that there was allegedly a chargeback.

  111. TwoScoopsRice says:

    This reminds me of a recent Consumerist post about the business that asked the dad if he’d like to pay off his son’s bill. Seems to me that merchants should hold themselves to a standard of keeping account-holders’ information private. After all, a credit card company won’t talk with a subsidiary card holder about specific details without getting written/verbal clearance from the primary card holder.

    I’m not pointing the finger at either the merchant or the OP (we don’t have enough information for this, IMO). I am saying that if the merchant did have a concern about shipping to that address, should it not have been proactive enough to have contacted the customer to advise that it was canceling the order?

    And let’s just say there’s a grain of truth to something horrible having happened at that address in the past. Jenn may well benefit from pulling a free credit report just to make sure something weird isn’t going on.

  112. JasonPI says:

    Hello Consumerist Readers!

    I just wanted to set the record straight and let everyone know where Newegg stands in this situation.

    Newegg’s policy is to not service accounts with a shipping address coinciding with an account with a credit card charge back or outstanding balance.

    In this case, the customer has stated her brother has had account with fraudulent charges. That is enough to consider her address “blacklisted.” In order for this address ‘ban’ to be lifted, Newegg would have to review and determine whether previously blocked customer is of any relation to new customer (Jenn). If records and/or customer information correlate, Jenn would most certainly need for her brother to resolve any outstanding balance in order to order from Newegg.

    If Newegg were to determine it plausible that the previously blocked customer is of no relation to Jenn, Newegg would likely reinstate her account and possibly remove her address from the “black list.”

    Newegg’s fraud preventive actions ultimately help Newegg offer the most competitive prices in the industry.

    I invite Jenn to contact Newegg’s PI Team in order to sort this out. Newegg takes huge pride in ensuring its customers’ issues are answered and resolved with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.

    Note: Dissemination of another customer’s information is considered a violation of Newegg’s Privacy Policies and will be internally investigated.

    Newegg PI

  113. coren says:

    I don’t know, the conversation with the CSR Phoebe reads like it was with someone not natively speaking English, as already pointed out.

    Here’s the thing – I’ve never had that experience with Newegg CSRs. They all seem to speak English well, as if it were their first language. Which leads me to wonder if this was an actual conversation…plus every time I talk to a CSR, I talk to Ruby. Without fail, the online chat pairs me with her, assuming it’s not just a general name everyone uses.