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

#51
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
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 them maybe a $10 or $20 Newegg gift code. Anyone who felt reparations had not been adequately made would be welcome to GTFO and shop elsewhere.
I can say with confidence, that if you push slightly hard, they probably would do exactly that. Hell, they gave me a $50 Gift Card simply because I complained that it took them a little too long to respond when I was asking for them to price match on a netbook...something they officially don't even do, but they did anyway...:rockout:
Posted on Reply
#52
TIGR
newtekie1
I can say with confidence, that if you push slightly hard, they probably would do exactly that. Hell, they gave me a $50 Gift Card simply because I complained that it took them a little too long to respond when I was asking for them to price match on a netbook...something they officially don't even do, but they did anyway...:rockout:
:laugh: I need to complain to Newegg more!
Posted on Reply
#53
moonlord
Error

A company with 2.1 billion revenue to do that? for a 280$, there is something weird here.
Posted on Reply
#54
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
moonlord
A company with 2.1 billion revenue to do that? for a 280$, there is something weird here.
I think we have all, at least the sane and rational of us, have come to the conclusion that newegg wasn't behind it. It might have been an employee of newegg acting on their own, but it certainly wasn't newegg purposely trying to screw customers with fake products.
Posted on Reply
#55
TIGR
moonlord
A company with 2.1 billion revenue to do that? for a 280$, there is something weird here.
Welcome to TPU!

That said, I don't really understand what you're getting at here. :confused:
Posted on Reply
#56
moonlord
Newegg doesn't have any reason to do that, maybe it was a sabotage.
Posted on Reply
#57
TIGR
moonlord
Newegg doesn't have any reason to do that, maybe it was a sabotage.
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, it wouldn't make sense considering the damage to their image.
Posted on Reply
#58
moonlord
If i see a prove i will believe this story, are you sure that box was shipped by newegg??
Posted on Reply
#59
mikek75
The point is, just passing on information from a third party (24 hours after the obvious errors in the packaging were pointed out) is at best incompetant. The fact that they are bending over backwards to sort the issue is mere damage limitation, they have no choice but to supply the goods which were advertised and purchased.

In a way is a bit like your Bill Clinton getting caught out with Monica, it wasn't necessarily the fact he was getting a blow job which did the damage. More the fact that he said he didn't when it was proved he did!
Posted on Reply
#60
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
mikek75
The point is, just passing on information from a third party (24 hours after the obvious errors in the packaging were pointed out) is at best incompetant. The fact that they are bending over backwards to sort the issue is mere damage limitation, they have no choice but to supply the goods which were advertised and purchased.

In a way is a bit like your Bill Clinton getting caught out with Monica, it wasn't necessarily the fact he was getting a blow job which did the damage. More the fact that he said he didn't when it was proved he did!
The spelling errors do not necessarily mean they weren't demo boxes, so newegg had no big reason to not believe D&H if that is what D&H told them. Demo boxes are thrown together to look close enough to real, that is it, they are not 100% accurate.

If there is an issue with something I sell, I go to my supplier and ask them why, and they give me a reason. If it is believeable I tell the customer. And in this case, demo boxes are pretty believeable, even with the spelling mistakes.

Them bending over backwards to sort the issues out is newegg being newegg. That is what they do, always, even with small issues that wouldn't publicly hurt their image.
Posted on Reply
#61
laszlo
there were no demo boxes someone clever change the real ones...

the cpu's can be traced....but i doubt someone will do that(every cpu has a unique signature in 1 system...)
Posted on Reply
#62
Nick89
This thread= People from foreign countries bashing an American company they have never had the pleasure of doing business with. Because even after this, Newegg is still the best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US.

If you have never used Newegg you don't have a say if they are a good company or not. In my experience Newegg is the best online E-tailer.
Posted on Reply
#63
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
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.

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.
say you went to a retail store like bestbuy and bought a CPU. you bring it home and unpack it and realize it isn't a CPU, but a model of a CPU. you bring the CPU back to bestbuy and either ask for a refund or a real unit. you cant demand to know why you received a model instead of the real thing because bestbuy probably wouldnt know at first, and second we have laws in the US against perjury, meaning you cant point fingers based on speculation and publish that speculation because it will hurt the wrongfully accused. so bestbuy couldnt even tell you if they wanted to UNTIL the people responsible are found guilty in a court of law. that is why you the purchaser of goods are not entitled to know.
Posted on Reply
#64
Yukikaze
Nick89
This thread= People from foreign countries bashing an American company they have never had the pleasure of doing business with. Because even after this, Newegg is still the best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US. They are jealous.

If you have never used Newegg you don't have a say if they are a good company or not. In my experience Newegg is the best online E-tailer.
I happen to be a person from a foreign country who bought many parts (over 1,000$ total) from Newegg on a couple of trips to the USA. They always shipped fast and have had good service when I needed it.

However, since a very quick examination of the box reveals spelling mistakes that are revealing as to the non-Intel origin of the boxes, reporting them as "Demo Boxes" was a bad move. It might have been a message from D&H they passed along (But should have verified, since they had a huge scandal developing on their hands and probably had a few of those boxes on-hand, as well), or it could've been an overzealous marketing representative who thought it was a clever way to try and minimize the damage (And failed miserably), but this is not the behavior expected from the "best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US".
Posted on Reply
#65
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Finally, Newegg uses the right term - counterfeit.

Here's a statement it gave to Overclockers.com editor IMOG:
Hi Matt,

We were notified of a batch of products from one of our suppliers which included counterfeit CPUs. Newegg would never intentionally stock nor sell counterfeit products and we have verified our remaining inventory is completely legitimate. Newegg is in the process of contacting all the customers who received these products and are offering a replacement with expedited shipping, or a full refund, whichever the customer is interested in.

Thank You,
Newegg Support
Posted on Reply
#66
Nick89
Yukikaze
I happen to be a person from a foreign country who bought many parts (over 1,000$ total) from Newegg on a couple of trips to the USA. They always shipped fast and have had good service when I needed it.

However, since a very quick examination of the box reveals spelling mistakes that are revealing as to the non-Intel origin of the boxes, reporting them as "Demo Boxes" was a bad move. It might have been a message from D&H they passed along (But should have verified, since they had a huge scandal developing on their hands and probably had a few of those boxes on-hand, as well), or it could've been an overzealous marketing representative who thought it was a clever way to try and minimize the damage (And failed miserably), but this is not the behavior expected from the "best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US".
You ever think that Newegg had to use the term "demo box's" while they investigated because its a neutral term and wouldn't get them sued by there supplier for slander? Like if they straight out said they were fake?

You guys seem to have no idea how business's work. When something like this happens you use a neutral term like "demo boxs" so not to immediately implicate wrong doing until it is certain of what has transpired.
Posted on Reply
#67
Yukikaze
Nick89
You ever think that Newegg had to use the term "demo box's" while they investigated because its a neutral term and wouldn't get them sued by there supplier for slander? Like if they straight out said they were fake?
When you do not know, you do not use ANY term to describe the situation. You say that you are investigating a problem with the shipping of said CPUs, but you don't go and say "demo boxes" when you have no idea what the heck happened. The first one is just as effective when you offer immediate treatment to your customers in the form of refunds and replacement, while the second leaves your ass hanging out in the middle of nowhere when the truth comes out.
Posted on Reply
#68
Bundy
I don't understand why someone would make a conterfeit and then attempt to pass them off through the Intel distribution chain. Criminals don't leave such obvious footsteps. Wouldn't there be a better chance flogging this via online auctions or dodgy web sites?

I still think they are demos, perhaps not formally approved by Intel, thus now gaining the term "counterfeit" from Intel's perpective. Originally I thought Intel themselves had procured these but now based on their statement, I suspect a mistake by a distributer. If I were Intel, I'd be sweeping this under the carpet, as they are doing.
Posted on Reply
#69
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Nick89
This thread= People from foreign countries bashing an American company they have never had the pleasure of doing business with.
Not me:


And it doesn't take a Newegg shopper to see something wrong, or that only Newegg shoppers are some special species that have the "moral right" to "speak about" Newegg.

Nick89
Because even after this, Newegg is still the best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US. They are jealous.
Since when is it an axiom that "the best" don't screw up? If anything, news of this nature should be encouraged, and not looked at as defamatory or maligning to the giant Pandora tree Newegg. For starters, Newegg could dump its suppliers for more competent ones, and that could benefit you. Where has "proactive thought" gone?
Posted on Reply
#70
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Yukikaze
However, since a very quick examination of the box reveals spelling mistakes that are revealing as to the non-Intel origin of the boxes, reporting them as "Demo Boxes" was a bad move. It might have been a message from D&H they passed along (But should have verified, since they had a huge scandal developing on their hands and probably had a few of those boxes on-hand, as well), or it could've been an overzealous marketing representative who thought it was a clever way to try and minimize the damage (And failed miserably), but this is not the behavior expected from the "best E-tailer to get computer parts from in the US".
Since when do demo boxes have to come from Intel?

It isn't entirely unheard of to get a 3rd party to make realistic looking demo products. You ever been in a store and seen those fake boxes on the shelves, with tags that say "bring box to counter for real product". I've seen plenty of very bad demo boxes.

And really, if D&H told newegg that they were demo boxes they had made up for another customer to display in their store, that is a plausable thing. I'd certainly accept it an move on, because there are bigger things to worry about.

Bundy
I don't understand why someone would make a conterfeit and then attempt to pass them off through the Intel distribution chain. Criminals don't leave such obvious footsteps. Wouldn't there be a better chance flogging this via online auctions or dodgy web sites?
Because if you replace what you steal with something that looks real, you are less likely to be caught instantly. Someone along the distribution chain likely swapped the fakes for the real products, and because they looked real enough, no one noticed.

I mean, do people really think the people shipping the processors, and packing them up in newegg's warehouse are reading the backs of the boxes looking for spelling mistakes before boxing the product up?
Posted on Reply
#71
Yukikaze
Bundy
I don't understand why someone would make a conterfeit and then attempt to pass them off through the Intel distribution chain. Criminals don't leave such obvious footsteps. Wouldn't there be a better chance flogging this via online auctions or dodgy web sites?
Because they forgot an important rule of scamming (I'm gonna paraphrase Mass Effect 2's Aria here, because it just fits):
The world of computers has no titled ruler and only one rule: Don't. Screw. With. Intel (Or any other very, very large company who would sue your ass off if you somehow threaten their good name - And with right and good reason).
Posted on Reply
#72
Nick89
btarunr
Not me:
http://img.techpowerup.org/100308/bta3lkhekm.jpg

And it doesn't take a Newegg shopper to see something wrong, or that only Newegg shoppers are some special species that have the "moral right" to "speak about" Newegg.



Since when is it an axiom that "the best" don't screw up? If anything, news of this nature should be encouraged, and not looked at as defamatory or maligning to the giant Pandora tree Newegg. For starters, Newegg could dump its suppliers for more competent ones, and that could benefit you. Where has "proactive thought" gone?
I'll agree with you btarunr
Posted on Reply
#73
Yukikaze
newtekie1
Since when do demo boxes have to come from Intel?

It isn't entirely unheard of to get a 3rd party to make realistic looking demo products. You ever been in a store and seen those fake boxes on the shelves, with tags that say "bring box to counter for real product". I've seen plenty of very bad demo boxes.

And really, if D&H told newegg that they were demo boxes they had made up for another customer to display in their store, that is a plausable thing. I'd certainly accept it an move on, because there are bigger things to worry about.
A good point, actually.
Posted on Reply
#74
DannibusX
No one really knows what happened other than Newegg, their partners and maybe some law enforcement. Speculating on what happened does no good. Arguing over it does no good either.

Newegg discovered the problem and their working to correct it, I don't think this will have any lasting effect on their reputation and I am sure steps will be taken to prevent something like this from happening again in the future.

They'll find out where these counterfeit/demo/non-functioning-paperweights were slipped into the supply chain. As long as their customers are taken care of, things will be alright.
Posted on Reply
#75
t77snapshot
Like I said before...you know someone out there tried to install that cpu and probably fried their board. :slap:
Posted on Reply
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