I’ll never shop at NewEgg again.

I’ve been a customer of NewEgg for years, and I always had a great experience, having built many gaming rigs and bought various computer parts and peripherals from them — all told I’ve easily spent over $5,000.

That’s why I was shocked and dismayed at my recent customer service nightmare with them. What could have been a simple, quick fix has become a horror story that is all to telling of today’s large company customer service experiences; poorly trained and unempowered agents who couldn’t care less about my problem or if it even is resolved. Even contacting their leadership directly via LinkedIn yielded no results and what I can only describe as apathy.

So what’s the big problem? A typo in an address. You read that right. Something that could be so easily corrected without all the aggravation and needless contact on either sides. I placed an order and the next day when I got to work I noticed the address was off by one digit. I had made a typo in the address.

“Not to worry,” I thought. I checked the tracking information and the package hadn’t shipped. A label was created but it hadn’t been picked up.

I’ll just contact them and get this fixed real quick, and be on with the rest of my day.

Here’s where things start to get wonky. I first tried the online “contact us” chat feature while I was working so I wouldn’t have to be on a phone. I was told by the agent who came online that he couldn’t update the address — not even one digit, due to a restriction by PayPal. Surely, this has had to have happened before? The only solution he could offer was to cancel the order and refund my money.

So I decided to actually call someone, knowing that this person may be an outsourced representative, or maybe even a bot. So I called and spoke with a few more representatives who all claimed the same bizarre statement. Although they were speaking with me and could verify I was who I said I was, they still could not update the address by one single digit. The address I had typo’d was actually non-existent, but that didn’t matter.

Finally, I relented and cancelled the order and placed another, already irritated at this brilliant process and huge waste of time. I was told by the supervisor I was speaking with that the order would be cancelled, the package would be recalled, and I either wouldn’t be charged (the charge would fall of), or would be refunded my money.

None of that happened.

In fact, the package was sent all the way around my block until eventually (I assume) the driver didn’t the address and a “Delivery Exception” was triggered, resulting in the package being sent back to NewEgg.

Meanwhile, I correctly received the new order package, that I was forced to place because of the inability to change a single digit.

But here’s where the fun is just getting started!

Not only was the other order not cancelled and not re-called from the shipper, I was also still charged for it! The charge had fully posted to my account.

So I get back on the horn with NewEgg, frustrated as ever, but still calm enough to understand that I just need my money back and I’ll be on my way. I called and spoke again, and this time was told that I would be receiving a refund within 3–5 business days. Very frustrating, considering I know as a PayPal seller you just have to go in and click a button and the money is refunded instantly, or just send money via their interface. It’s not that hard that it takes 3–5 days, there’s no credit card or banks to deal with here.

But whatever, I can wait on my money, even though none of this should have happened, or be happening, and the insanity of it all is because of one single digit could have kicked off this entire mess, but here we are.

Fast forward to 3–5 business days. Actually, it was 5.

No refund.

Now, I’m actually starting to loose what little patience I have left. I thought perhaps communication via PayPal in this case would yield a better response, so I open a dispute on the transaction itself, marking it as “Item not received” (which is true, I never did receive it).

A day later and I receive the following response:

We apologize. The $553.49 refund was issued and cannot be processed due to the open case with PayPal. Please note that there is 15% restocking fee for non-defective and opened item return. Please confirm if $553.49 refund is acceptable. Thanks! Katherine

Excuse me? At this point, there is no open case on PayPal, as it has not been escalated to a claim. A company like NewEgg who conduct business on PayPal should understand the difference between a dispute and a claim. And to top it off, they want to charge me a 15% restocking fee on an “open item return”. I never even received the package in the first place to open it!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Having worked at LinkedIn in the past, I leverage my premium account and advanced search to find some probable NewEgg employees who might actually be able to do something. Maybe they are just using a really bad outsource customer service firm? Who knows.

So I contact a few and I get this back:

“That’s not how we normally role” (sic)

Well, maybe something will actually happen here. It was Friday, so I let the matter rest.

Fast forward to the end of next Tuesday. No contact from anyone at NewEgg, no refund, nothing. It’s now been over the 3–5 business days for the refund timeframe originally stated.

So I called NewEgg customer service once again, and was once again told about the 3–5 business days. Even though it already been over that time period, the rep just kept repeating the same thing over and over again. Incredibly, and he just kept saying “I understand” like some robot. I hang up the phone.

I decided, at this point, that I should escalate the matter with PayPal to an official claim, so I opened a PayPal case. I also reported the incident and chain of events to Google’s Trusted Stores program, which was advertised in a popup that I could enable some sort of protection from them. Fine.

There’s crickets on the PayPal claim, but the next day, I get this back from Google:

$75 new order credit? Like I’ll be shopping with you again…

Well, needless to say, I never was told anything or notified about any such credit towards a new purchase. And I have yet to receive $0.00 from them for ANY credit, “processed” on 3/24 or not.

This brings us up to present day, where I have yet to receive any credit and my PayPal case it still open, but hasn’t been replied to since 3/29. I realize this isn’t a huge amount of time, but based upon the speediness of reply on the other channels, as well as repeated promise of refund, I fully believe they are just stalling. It’s clear they won’t be able to provide the documentation to PayPal that I received the item — so I’m not too worried at this point I won’t get my money back.

It’s so hard to press the refund button.

This is more just a cautionary tale to not do business with NewEgg. If there is some kind of exception in your order, you could face the same problems I am having. It’s a huge waste of everyone’s time, and is highly unprofessional of such a company, and seems to possibility indicate a red flag that their business may be having trouble if they are unable to service basic customer service requests.

Caveat emptor.