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YouTubers expose Newegg, causing a returns policy change

The last few days must have been rough for the public relations department at Newegg. The company has found itself under fire due to a number of problems, publicized by YouTube PC tech outlet Gamer Nexus.

It all started when Gamer Nexus tried to return an unopened motherboard purchased from Newegg and was denied the refund, citing damages to the hardware that he hadn’t caused. Newegg has addressed the situation and changed its policies to prevent this from happening again.

Newegg is a massive retailer and a key player in the PC parts market in the U.S. as well as the source of some of the best motherboards, but it seems that even such a large company may have issues that, when exposed, truly put it in a bad light. What started as a fairly innocent attempt at returning a product ended in disaster, eventually leading to Newegg changing its return policies. What exactly happened? It’s a bit of a long story.

A popular YouTube channel, Gamer Nexus, ordered a Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Xtreme motherboard from Newegg. Steve Burke of Gamer Nexus said that the motherboard cost the team around $500. By the time the hardware arrived, it was no longer needed, so Burke himself attempted to return it without ever opening the box it arrived in.

Newegg’s customer service then told Burke that the motherboard was damaged and denied refunding Gamer Nexus. The company has also kept the motherboard, leaving Burke with no hardware and no refund. As the tech YouTube team never opened the motherboard, the claims about it being damaged were suspicious and made Gamer Nexus pursue the matter further.

Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts, Newegg hadn’t acted on this problem until Burke revealed himself as part of a YouTube channel with a large following (1.58 million subscribers) and made the entire matter public on the Gamer Nexus Twitter account. This led to Newegg immediately returning both the money Gamer Nexus paid and the motherboard itself.

Gamer Nexus inspected the motherboard and detailed the damage in another video. It was, indeed, broken, although the damage is not consistent with something that could have happened during shipping — it came with bent pins. Newegg sold the board as part of its open-box policy, meaning it had already been opened prior to being shipped to Gamer Nexus.

The Z490 Aorus Xtreme also came with a return material authorization (RMA) sticker from Gigabyte, the manufacturer of the board. This indicates that Newegg attempted to have it repaired. PCGamer notes that Gigabyte’s customer service rep revealed that Newegg declined the cost of the repair and that the board was sent back to Newegg’s warehouse, still broken.

Customer Service Update pic.twitter.com/qxAYjDCdCU

— Newegg (@Newegg) February 14, 2022

It seems that Gamer Nexus had discovered a potential flaw in Newegg’s policies. The motherboard was sold broken, refunds were refused based on the open-box policy, and the problem was only solved when the customer in question turned out to have a YouTube following. Many other customers spoke up as a result of the scandal, saying that similar things had happened to them. Of course, there is no way to verify the validity of these claims.

Newegg has since apologized to Gamer Nexus and released an official statement about the changes to its policies. The company has stated that this problem affected “a very small number of returns” which were not thoroughly inspected before being re-sold. Newegg has instated new policies to ensure that returning open box processors and motherboards should now be hassle-free.

It’s good to see Newegg took a stance and attempted to remedy the problem, and this could hopefully result in an easy shopping experience for future customers. However, if this is as common a problem as people claim, it’s a shame that it took a YouTube channel with a large following for this issue to be addressed.

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