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Company says account ban was part of a "normal" fraud process. Light Housing
A Newegg representative told Tom's Hardware via email that it refunded a customer who claimed to have received blocks of metal instead of an Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090. The company also says banning customer accounts is a "normal" part of the fraud investigation process. "The customer sent a claim to Newegg that his package did not contain the new 4090 graphics card he ordered but instead weights in the photo he sent us," Eric Wein, head of public relations and partnerships at Newegg, told Tom's Hardware. "We suspended his account, which is our normal protocol when investigating fraud cases, for a few days so we could investigate. (This protects the customer in case someone else has access to their account.)"
The ban was a part of Reddit user u/NuclearInnardsBeep's initial complaint, who had written at the time that "Newegg seems to have locked my account instead of responding, so that's cool."
Wein went on to say that Newegg was "unable to determine the source of the theft," and that it issued a refund while the customer was suspended and then reinstated their account. "The package was weighed both at Newegg and by the carrier. Its weight was the same and standard in both measurements for that 4090 graphics card, Wein wrote. He added that this "has been the only fraud case like this" and that "Newegg considers this a resolved customer case."
Tom's Hardware reached out over Reddit to ask u/NuclearInnardsBeep about the refund, but didn't hear back before publication. We'll update this story if we get any new details. The initial post of the RTX 4090 box was met with a mix of displeasure from the PC building community, including some users who expressed issues with Newegg's customer service, and surprise, as some onlookers thought the whole thing might be a gag for upvotes on Reddit. A number of Redditors suggested pushing for a chargeback from the customer's bank, while Gamers Nexus' Steve Burke offered to pay full price for the box and weights. We have been unable to verify much about this story, and details of the weights that rocked the PC gaming community have been shrouded in mystery. There has been some anger towards Newegg recently, especially after the PC parts vendor had to make changes to its open-box return policy back in February after Burke posted a scathing video about his experiences attempting to return a motherboard. Additionally, the Newegg Shuffle, which bundled hard-to-find graphics cards with other components in a raffle system during the peak of the mining boom and COVID-19 pandemic, was criticized for making desperate people buy extra items they didn't want. This wouldn't be the first time someone claimed to have received a missing or replaced item. A quick search pulls up someone who claimed to buy a MacBook (opens in new tab) from Best Buy in June, only to receive an empty box. This incident, regardless of its veracity, has stoked the fires of a community looking for parts vendors to trust. Wein's full email is reprinted in full below: The customer sent a claim to Newegg that his package did not contain the new 4090 graphics card he ordered but instead weights in the photo he sent us. We suspended his account, which is our normal protocol when investigating fraud cases, for a few days so we could investigate. (This protects the customer in case someone else has access to their account.)
We were unable to determine the source of the theft. Given that, during the suspension period, we issued a refund and reinstated his account.
The package was weighed both at Newegg and by the carrier. Its weight was the same and standard in both measurements for that 4090 graphics card.
This has been the only fraud case like this.
Newegg considers this a resolved customer case.
Metal Making Factory Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE