Monday, March 8th 2010

Intel Steps into Alleged Counterfeit Core i7 920 Sale Issue

After last week's report on some of Newegg.com's customers receiving what the store calls "demo boxes" that it described to have been accidentally shipped by one of its "long term partners", Intel stepped in with a clarification on how it looks at these anomalies. In a statement to HardOCP.com, Intel's Dan Snyder said "Intel has been made aware of the potential for counterfeit i7 920 packages in the marketplace and is working to how many and/or where they are being sold. The examples we have seen are not Intel products but are counterfeits. Buyers should contact their place of purchase for a replacement and/or should contact their local law enforcement agency if the place of purchase refuses to help."

The "examples" Intel is referring to in the statement are these so-called "demo boxes", apparently 300 of them, which could be out on the loose. Meanwhile, Newegg.com is making efforts to get in touch with each of the affected customers and rush-delivering genuine merchandise or providing 100% refund, depending on what the customer chooses. While the whole episode seems to have taken a toll on Newegg's image as one of the most reliable, efficient, and competitive online retailers which it built over years, in the line of fire seems to be its "long term partner", a certain distributor in charge of these Intel processors. The same company sent cease and desist letters to some online publications to withdraw their reports on this issue, blaming them for publishing "untrue statements" about it. However Intel's statement adds clarity to the issue. Indeed some customers may have received "counterfeits", and indeed there are no such things as "demo boxes", at least as far as Intel is concerned. That said, whoever is behind these "demo boxes" still stands to face the law for infringement and imitation of Intel's product design, and trying to profit from it.
Sources: HardOCP.com, TechEYE.net
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104 Comments on Intel Steps into Alleged Counterfeit Core i7 920 Sale Issue

#26
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
btarunr
That's like saying you paid $500,000 on a house and your builder promised to give it to you in "a guaranteed" one year, and ends up taking two years to do that, and that your knowing the truth behind the delay is an "undeserved entitlement".

Besides, we're missing the point. According to Intel, these are certainly not "demo boxes". So one of these: Newegg or its supplier, is in for trouble...part of what's making news.:)
$500,000 is a little more than $300, and dealing with a time contract is different then purely goods sales.

In the end, when you buy goods, the only thing you are entitled to is the goods. If you get something different, all the seller is responsible for is making sure you get what you paid for. They are not responsible for giving reasons behinds mix-ups. It would be nice to know what really happened and why, and a good gesture on newegg's part to give a true* explaination, but they buyer is not entitled to an explaination.

*By true, I mean true as far as newegg knows. As I stated before, if D&H told newegg they were demo boxes, newegg had no way of knowing otherwise.
Posted on Reply
#27
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
newtekie1
$500,000 is a little more than $300, and dealing with a time contract is different then purely goods sales.

In the end, when you buy goods, the only thing you are entitled to is the goods. If you get something different, all the seller is responsible for is making sure you get what you paid for. They are not responsible for giving reasons behinds mix-ups. It would be nice to know what really happened and why, and a good gesture on newegg's part to give a true* explaination, but they buyer is not entitled to an explaination.

*By true, I mean true as far as newegg knows. As I stated before, if D&H told newegg they were demo boxes, newegg had no way of knowing otherwise.
When those mixups affects you, then the issue is different. Think system builders, think company IT departments - people for whom this ≥1 week delay deserves a little more than free replacement or full refund as compensation.

And regardless of Newegg not knowing if these were "counterfeit merchandise" or "demo boxes", it's Newegg and not its supplier that's liable for this mess, to the customer.
Posted on Reply
#28
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I agree with newtekie1 as Newegg is really hands down the best. Sure, there are others who have better deals and cheaper shipping at times, but by far, Newegg is the best. Also, ADVANCED RMA means they ship the product to you, usually at a greater cost than shipping you may have paid, and most times, its either overnight or maybe 2 day air. I think this was a good move on their part after noticing the error or being told about it and as always, their customer service has come through. However, of course, continue to bash them as you do not deal with them. they are doing the best they can with what they have and I highly doubt they sold any "fake" or "counterfeit" products to its customers. It is unfortunate what happened, but it has happened and they were quick to get it fixed.

Also, Id like to applaud Intel for stepping in to clarify what was being said and also being a good business in general. Well done Intel and Newegg.
Posted on Reply
#29
Kei
Get 'em Intel! There are some seriously greedy people on this earth....it makes me sad. :(

I'll still gladly shop at newegg anyway without hesitation. :toast:

Kei
Posted on Reply
#30
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
btarunr
When those mixups affects you, then the issue is different. Think system builders, think company IT departments - people for whom this ≥1 week delay deserves a little more than free replacement or full refund as compensation.
Greater than 1 week delay? You sure about that? From what I've read, the issue was discovered by the customers Thursday(3-4), and newegg was overnighting replacement Friday so they would arrive Monday(3-8), if not sending them out Monday arriving Tuesday. That isn't exactly a 1 week delay...:laugh:

And again, they are not entitled to an explaination. They might want one, and ask for one, and newegg might give one, but the customer certainly is not entitled to an explaination in any way.
Posted on Reply
#31
DannibusX
Let’s not forget that it appears that Newegg has also been defrauded. They’re taking all appropriate steps to ensure that their customers receive what they paid for.

There will likely not be an explanation from Newegg on this, at least not for some time. The amount of money involved and the fact that the fraud crossed state lines means the FBI will be investigating what happened.

I ordered a new CPU and ram from them this morning, I have no doubt I will receive what I ordered. Newegg’s customer service has gone above and beyond my expectations when I have dealt with them.
Posted on Reply
#32
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Me too Kei. So I followed up more on the HardOCP links posted by Ford and some others. I didn't realize D&H was so bent out of shape over their name being mentioned like only once or twice and very late on the posting. To me this screams coverup or something fishy. I don't fault newegg too much, but they really need to enhance their QA/QC of checking stuff like that. Question, does anyone know if the boxes felt the same (meaning weight wise) or different (eg. lighter) than a normal proc box?
Posted on Reply
#33
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
newtekie1
Greater than 1 week delay? You sure about that? From what I've read, the issue was discovered by the customers Thursday(3-4), and newegg was overnighting replacement Friday so they would arrive Monday(3-8), if not sending them out Monday arriving Tuesday. That isn't exactly a 1 week delay...:laugh:
No, customers may have placed orders originally on last Monday (to get this "demo box" delivered to them) on Wednesday or Thursday. Newegg gave out its statement acknowledging this on Friday, it got in touch with customers on that day. Then comes weekend (nobody delivers either ways), and then customers opting for replacement send their "demo boxes" back to Newegg. Then typically Newegg takes a working day to process even advanced RMA, and sends back its merchandise via overnight.

So let's see:
  • Saturday 2/27/2010 (original order placed) or
  • Monday 3/1/2010 (original order placed)
  • Tuesday customers who opted for overnight deliveries get this "demo box", complain, compaints start pouring in.
  • Wednesday or Thursday (they receive this "demo box", if they'd used a standard 3 business day shipping, same day they complain, sizable number of complaints are built and at Newegg, a "one off issue" turns into a large scale problem
  • Regardless of when the original order fetched "demo boxes" to customers, On Friday, Newegg makes these public statements, and sends emails to affected customers
  • Probably the same day or Monday, customers choosing replacement or refund send their "demo box" back to Newegg
  • Weekend (nobody delivers the "demo chip" to newegg)
  • Monday - 1 calendar week has already elapsed, tentatively Newegg receives and processes the "demo box", processes Advanced RMA
  • Monday or Tuesday, Newegg, upon successful verification of the "demo box" puts a Core i7 920 on overnight delivery
  • Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the above), customer finally gets what he paid for.
Posted on Reply
#34
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Fedex ships on Saturdays, UPS does not. So there is a company that ships on the weekends (not Sunday that I know of).
Posted on Reply
#35
bat
I think you're dead wrong btarunr.

There any many situations and scenarios that could have happened. The bottom line is they are taking care of their customer to the best of their ability! They are proactively sending out emails instead of waiting to hear from customers first. They are providing free overnight shipping or refunds depending on what customers prefer. How could they take care of their customers any better reasonably?

For all we know the distributor gave them that excuse and before they got a chance to investigate it fully (maybe because they wanted to take care of their customers) they went with that story. Would you rather wait while they investigate it to find out exactly what happened before they took care of their customers? We're not entitled to know EVERYTHING that might have impacted our order timing.

The truth is probably not so picture perfect but I bet its a far cry from how evil you're making them sound for telling either a white lie or what they believed to be the truth.

In the end they're taking care of their customers and there's not much else you could ask for.
Posted on Reply
#36
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
bat
I think you're dead wrong btarunr.

There any many situations and scenarios that could have happened. The bottom line is they are taking care of their customer to the best of their ability! They are proactively sending out emails instead of waiting to hear from customers first. They are providing free overnight shipping or refunds depending on what customers prefer. How could they take care of their customers any better reasonably?

For all we know they distributor gave them that excuse and before they got a chance to investigate it fully (maybe because they wanted to take care of their customers) they went with that story. Would you rather wait while they investigate it to find out exactly what happened before they took care of their customers? We're not entitled to know EVERYTHING that might have impacted our order timing.

The truth is probably not so picture perfect but I bet its a far cry from how evil you're making them sound for telling either a white lie or what they believed to be the truth.

In the end their taking care of their customers and there's not much else you could ask for.
Nobody is giving them discredit for that. If you read the article, there's nothing that maligns Newegg, at least nothing that isn't backed by citations.

The truth is Newegg told its customers they got "demo boxes". Press alleged it's a cover up (many in the older news thread did, too) and in response, instead of coming out to clarify, Newegg's suppliers sent cease and desist orders to the press. Then the press called in Intel and asked for its take. Intel said that no, those parts aren't demo boxes, they're counterfeits. Meanwhile Newegg is resolving the issue with customers. So regardless of who came up with the "tell them they're demo boxes" idea, Newegg lied to its customers.

Now, is there really something you couldn't understand from the news? There's no need to be defensive about Newegg in the whole discussion. I myself am a Newegg customer, I know their standards.
Posted on Reply
#37
bat
'And regardless of Newegg not knowing if these were "counterfeit merchandise" or "demo boxes", it's Newegg and not its supplier that's liable for this mess, to the customer.'

They're responsible so they're responsibly taking care of their customers.

Also why are you holding them responsible for their supplier sending out cease and desist orders?

If an employee is drunk and puts the wrong item in your box and you have to exchange it are you entitled to know an employee was drunk on the job and got fired? No they'll apologize for the mix-up and correct it the best they can.
Posted on Reply
#38
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
bat
Also why are you holding them responsible for their supplier sending out cease and desist orders?
I didn't. That's where you're wrong :)
Posted on Reply
#39
n-ster
Newegg, I think, is dealing well with this mess... and it kind of protects their name by saying demo boxes instead of counterfeit... They could, however, offer a small compensation at least
Posted on Reply
#40
DannibusX
Honestly, I don't see how Newegg "lied" to their customers. That email went out on Saturday and their supplier could have told them that they were demo units. Was it just this morning that Intel reported that they don't have demo versions of their products?
Posted on Reply
#41
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
DannibusX
Honestly, I don't see how Newegg "lied" to their customers. That email went out on Saturday and their supplier could have told them that they were demo units. Was it just this morning that Intel reported that they don't have demo versions of their products?
Newegg told them they're "demo boxes", keeping Newegg's reputation in mind, press sought to tackle Newegg's supplier, and not Newegg. Press got whacked with C&Ds. Press proved its point through Intel's intervention that there's no such thing as "demo boxes", and these are counterfeits to the T. Newegg maintains that these are "demo versions" (earlier "demo boxes"), in their latest communications, and didn't clarify. Therefore, Newegg is lying to its customers. Yes, as long as you get your chip, and are satisfied with Newegg's way of making it up to you, you shouldn't care. But the scope of this report and several like it is not that.
Posted on Reply
#42
bat
'The truth is Newegg told its customers they got "demo boxes". Press alleged it's a cover up (many in the older news thread did, too) and in response, instead of coming out to clarify, Newegg's suppliers sent cease and desist orders to the press. Then the press called in Intel and asked for its take. Intel said that no, those parts aren't demo boxes, they're counterfeits. Meanwhile Newegg is resolving the issue with customers. So regardless of who came up with the "tell them they're demo boxes" idea, Newegg lied to its customers.'

Gotta go to work so last post from me.

You saying they 'lied' indicates they knew exactly what happened before they sent out any statements. It also portrays newegg in a sinister and damning light which is why I took a defensive tone on their behalf since I think they're a great company. Also including their distributors actions in the same statement you're criticizing newegg in it seems like you're grouping them together.

So you say I'm wrong, I'll agree to disagree.
Posted on Reply
#43
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
bat
'The truth is Newegg told its customers they got "demo boxes". Press alleged it's a cover up (many in the older news thread did, too) and in response, instead of coming out to clarify, Newegg's suppliers sent cease and desist orders to the press. Then the press called in Intel and asked for its take. Intel said that no, those parts aren't demo boxes, they're counterfeits. Meanwhile Newegg is resolving the issue with customers. So regardless of who came up with the "tell them they're demo boxes" idea, Newegg lied to its customers.'

Gotta go to work so last post from me.

You saying they 'lied' indicates they knew exactly what happened before they sent out any statements. It also portrays newegg in a sinister and damning light which is why I took a defensive tone on their behalf since I think they're a great company. Also including their distributors actions in the same statement you're criticizing newegg in it seems like you're grouping them together.

So you say I'm wrong, I'll agree to disagree.
The communication is between Newegg and its customer. Newegg by now, or at least by Friday, knew that calling them "demo boxes" is factually incorrect, and could also invite action from Intel (for retailing non-Intel goods with Intel's product design, brand name, and not later acknowledging that those were counterfeit). As long as Newegg maintains the stand that those were "Demo boxes" or "demo version" (300-odd in number), it's lying to its customers, period.

Once again let me reiterate that the scope of the news article (and even this discussion) is not to talk about Newegg. In the article, Newegg is but a small component of the issue. There's no need to be so defensive about Newegg. Yes Newegg did a great job dealing with its customers, but that's not central to the issue.
Posted on Reply
#44
mikek75
newtekie1
You do realize that it is far more likely that D&H told newegg they were demo boxes shipped on accident, and newegg just passed the story on, right?

Besides that, the only way they could have shot themselves in the foot would be to not take care of the customers, and they did that very quickly. They can say whatever story they want.
Utter crap. The statement came out way after the story broke on the forums, which included pictures of all the grammatical and spelling mistakes pointed out. If they were "demo" boxes they wouldn't have had such errors.

Of course they've shot themselves in the foot, its a PR disaster. Yeah, they can say what they like, but saying the first thing that came into their head without the facts, instead of admitting they'd been caught out, is disingenuous. Or is that how YOU carry out your business?
Posted on Reply
#45
Pickles24
In reality, What demo is a piece of clay/mold with a fan sticker and a chip made of metal with a sticker instead of actual pins. I think Newegg reacted with the "demo version" to cover their own tails.. As they should. I still plan on ordering form them, just like the last 5 years or so. Someone made off with $80k street value.. I wonder if they can trace the chips missing by serial?
Posted on Reply
#46
n-ster
I think they lied... but TBH, for the average buyer, newegg's name does not get hurt as much by demo boxes than by counterfeit products...
Posted on Reply
#47
TIGR
Not that I think they were, but this doesn't prove they weren't "demo boxes"—or that they weren't intended by Newegg to be used as demo boxes as newtekie said. It just proves they weren't demo boxes made by Intel. Realize that not all demo products out there are authorized/manufactured/sourced by the manufacturer of the actual item, anyway.
Posted on Reply
#48
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
btarunr
No, customers may have placed orders originally on last Monday (to get this "demo box" delivered to them) on Wednesday or Thursday. Newegg gave out its statement acknowledging this on Friday, it got in touch with customers on that day. Then comes weekend (nobody delivers either ways), and then customers opting for replacement send their "demo boxes" back to Newegg. Then typically Newegg takes a working day to process even advanced RMA, and sends back its merchandise via overnight.

So let's see:
  • Saturday 2/27/2010 (original order placed) or
  • Monday 3/1/2010 (original order placed)
  • Tuesday customers who opted for overnight deliveries get this "demo box", complain, compaints start pouring in.
  • Wednesday or Thursday (they receive this "demo box", if they'd used a standard 3 business day shipping, same day they complain, sizable number of complaints are built and at Newegg, a "one off issue" turns into a large scale problem
  • Regardless of when the original order fetched "demo boxes" to customers, On Friday, Newegg makes these public statements, and sends emails to affected customers
  • Probably the same day or Monday, customers choosing replacement or refund send their "demo box" back to Newegg
  • Weekend (nobody delivers the "demo chip" to newegg)
  • Monday - 1 calendar week has already elapsed, tentatively Newegg receives and processes the "demo box", processes Advanced RMA
  • Monday or Tuesday, Newegg, upon successful verification of the "demo box" puts a Core i7 920 on overnight delivery
  • Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on the above), customer finally gets what he paid for.

So worst case, assuming the initially paid for overnight shipping and recieved the "demo box" on Tuesday it is a 1 week delay. I'm guess when they complained to newegg on Tuesday, the process was started to replace the item. Though do we have any reports from people earlier than Thursday about the issue?

And again, from what I have read customers are not having to ship the demo box back before newegg ships them a proper item. Just pictures of the demo box emailed to newegg customer service, and newegg overnights the new item.
Posted on Reply
#49
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
mikek75
Utter crap. The statement came out way after the story broke on the forums, which included pictures of all the grammatical and spelling mistakes pointed out. If they were "demo" boxes they wouldn't have had such errors.

Of course they've shot themselves in the foot, its a PR disaster. Yeah, they can say what they like, but saying the first thing that came into their head without the facts, instead of admitting they'd been caught out, is disingenuous. Or is that how YOU carry out your business?
So you are saying it is impossible that D&H told newegg they were demo boxes, for whatever reason, and newegg simply passed the story on?

But instead it is far more likely that newegg came up with a lie about the issue and falsely blamed it on specifically one of their major suppliers without reason. Yeah, that makes business sense right there.:rolleyes: I wonder which is more plausable...

And the statement didn't come out "way after" the story broke on the forums. The story hit the forums at about 8PM Thursday, and the statement came out less than 24 hours later at 5PM Friday. I've dealt with suppliers, and I can tell you when I call them for something that isn't related to buying product, it can take a while to get a response. That is a reasonable amount of time really, you call them up and wait for them to respond, and it probably took D&H a while to figure out the issue and respond also.

And it actually isn't a PR disaster, if anything it helps their reputation, because they are handling the issue so quickly, and making the situation with their customers right as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Posted on Reply
#50
TIGR
You can't easily put a price on these delays. If I were Newegg, in addition to replacing the fakes as promptly as reasonable (overnight shipping), I'd toss each affected customer a $10 or $20 Newegg gift code. Anyone who felt reparations had not been adequately made would be welcome to GTFO and shop elsewhere.
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