Newegg ships counterfeit Intel Core i7 processors

By on March 8, 2010, 10:36 AM
It seems like 300 or so unlucky individuals got a really bad deal on a new Intel processor over the weekend. HardOCP is reporting that a number of Newegg.com customers have complained about receiving counterfeit Intel Core i7 920 parts, which looked genuine from the outside at first glance, but a closer look at some misspelled words on the box and the contents inside tells the real story.

The problem supposedly roots from the retailer's partnership with D&H Distributing, who issued 2,000 units to them -- 300 of which turned out to be bogus. The processor itself is actually a piece of metal with a real-looking heat spreader. The cooler looks like a solid piece of plastic with a sticker of a real Intel heatsink and fan on top, while the user manual is nothing but a few sheets of blank paper held together with a single staple.


Newegg has released a statement and an apology, saying they are aware of a shipping error of "demo boxes instead of functional units" and that their customer service team has already begun reaching out to the affected buyers. The statement doesn't clarify the purpose of these alleged "demo boxes" or how they slipped into stocks of real working processors without anyone noticing them -- seems like they are not being entirely forthcoming.

Furthermore, in a brief statement, Intel acknowledged the existence of the fake chip and said it was investigating, suggesting there is more to the story rather than just a mix-up of inventory. For its part, D&H Distributing is serving up several sites with cease and desist threats for reporting on the issue, demanding an immediate retraction and apology to make up for the "grave and irreparable damage" they have suffered as a result.




User Comments: 70

Got something to say? Post a comment
TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I would still buy from NewEgg in a heartbeat. Their customer service and pricing is tough to beat and this looks like a snafu from one of their distributors, nothing NewEgg did wrong.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Riiiiiiiight... Cease and desist reporting the truth, it's hurting our image. Just because we sent 400 bogus processors to Newegg to ship to customers, that doesn't mean people have to know about it, right?

Amazing how some companies do business, isn't it?

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Wow, I never would have thought Newegg could make such a mistake. I purchase nearly everything computer/electronics related from them. This won't change that, but it's a little disconcerting nonetheless. I hope they find out who's the culprit!

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been buying from Newegg since they opened. I'm not completely surprised by this but it won't change my buying from them.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This isn't necessarily Newegg's mistake. If you bought a lot of 2000 parts from a known vendor, those parts would sit on your shelves unopened until customers ordered them. You can't open and inspect the parts, many have tamper-tape sealing them to help identify returned vs. new merchandise (and prevent scamming product swappers).

So if the box looked right enough to not warrant closer inspection, you could easily miss some typos. And in a lot of 2000 units, it would be easy to lose 300 impostors.

isamuelson isamuelson said:

I don't think this is NewEgg's fault. And, it seems like D&H is quick to send out cease and desist memos.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Little early to know where the issue resides as no one is being completely forthright. If no one will come out and explain exactly what happened then all the parties get to share some of the blame - Newegg for covering for their supplier instead of their customer and D&H for poor QA.

fref said:

Just how can such a thing happen?!? Both NewEgg and D&H are reputable companies, so I'm sure neither of them did that on purpose. Now, where in the chain did these fake processors come from? NewEgg orders from D&H, and D&H orders from... Intel themselves? Or some other even bigger distributor? In either case, I don't see how fake processors could have been slipped in. I hope we'll hear more about this!...

Badfinger said:

Having worked with hardware a long time, 1 person probably goofed and that's all there is to it.

It's a PR nightmare for sure!

I am a long time Newegg customer, 20+ orders, not one screw up of any kind.

I have NOT been compensated for this positive statement. (at this time, ;p)

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if anybody tried to put this in their mobo and see if it would work

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Theres no way their trying to trick people into fake processors...?

Weird stuff, but seems irrelevant and will blow over soon enough due to Newegg's reputation.

pipopaz said:

Is hard to pinpoint the fault in here because of the long chain of distribution: Newegg orders from D&H, D&H orders from someone and that someone might order from china.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Eliminate the Middle Man....

Christ, isn't Newegg big enough to buy direct from Intel in the first place? Imagine how good the prices would be if we didn't have to pay some parasite for two-stepping the merchandise

Guest said:

Looks like someone either stole 300 or so processors and made fake boxes to replace the missing ones or a person could have wanted to hurt either companies reputation and put these in there to make somebody look bad.

Newegg has such good customer service that I have used for RMA's and they will always work with the customer to fix the issue so I don't see them trying to scam anyone with these fake processors.

poertner_1274 poertner_1274, secroF laicepS topShceT, said:

This is definitely an interesting read, but I don't see how this would tarnish Newegg's image at all.

I think it's funny how D&H has issued the cease and desist orders. They were the ones who provided the parts...

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I just chuckled at this. I mean if I was waiting on a CPU and got one of these I would be PISSED, but I didn't so it just kinda amusing. Won't slow me down from ordering from newegg again at all.

z71kris said:

Vrmithrax said:

This isn't necessarily Newegg's mistake. If you bought a lot of 2000 parts from a known vendor, those parts would sit on your shelves unopened until customers ordered them. You can't open and inspect the parts, many have tamper-tape sealing them to help identify returned vs. new merchandise (and prevent scamming product swappers).

So if the box looked right enough to not warrant closer inspection, you could easily miss some typos. And in a lot of 2000 units, it would be easy to lose 300 impostors.

I completely agree, we order stuff all time in bulk, there would be noway until we started using something to tell if it was no good, or counterfeit...this will have bearing on me ordering from newegg again!

klpowell said:

I use to manage a retail computer store and used D&H as a supplier, in all the years I worked with them I found them extermly professional and they always shipped good products. I find it hard to believe that the problem here is D&H. NewEgg often imports their own products instead of using a middle man, they are big enough to be able to do this. They proably just made a bad business decision thinking they could get a good price and it bit them and now they are passing the buck. These large distribs. are not going to be buying from anyone who is not the manufactor.

Puiu Puiu said:

Newegg is still one of the biggest retailers on the web. With so many people buying from them i don't think they'll have any image problems because of something that wasn't their fault. I for one won't be afraid to buy from them.

I also use Newegg to search for user reviews for the products i want to buy.

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

This is terrible!

.... and also pretty funny. I can't imagine the look on some people's faces.

Obviously not really NewEgg's fault. Like everybody's saying, I'll still buy all my stuff from them. :p

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Been using Newegg since 03/04 and don't plan on changing anytime soon. Mistakes happen especially to big companies, it's the way they react to it that's important and they seem to be doing the right thing by proactively contacting affected costumers. Where as D&H is sending journalists cease and desist letters...lol?

Anyway it is curious to see what really happened as Intel is calling them counterfeits but D&H says they are demo's.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"cease and desist threats for reporting on the issue, demanding an immediate retraction and apology to make up for the "grave and irreparable damage" they have suffered as a result"

Sorry D&H, but slander isn't slander when it is the truth. If someone at D&H wasn't trying to be slick and pass off phony processors in the first place, none of this would have happened and their reputation would still be intact.

I agree with everyone here that Newegg is not to blame. I will definitely continue doing business with them.

SweetIT said:

Accidents happen and even though unfortunate the company should not be criticized too severely for this mishap. Newegg is a great company. I shop there personally however I do wish that they would start accepting po's so that the college I work for can order from them! By them going ahead and working out a solution proves it was unintentional and that they will do whatever to make it right. They are leading by example and that is commendable

thatguyandrew92 said:

I love newegg. I've had some bad parts before and newegg has RMAs ready so fast to replace my itmes.

<3 newegg

DryIce said:

If it really was D&H's fault I agree that they got what they deserve. Even if it was an accident, somebody somewhere was not doing their job.

InsaneVr6 said:

Stuff happens. I always order parts from Newegg and they never let me down. Just because one of their distributors screwed up doesn't mean that Newegg should be bashed for it.

They were also only demo boxes, it's not like Newegg forged a product just to make profit, because that would be stupid.

EduardsN said:

And there is always someone wondering why the new cpu they purchased is not working.. lol

drasho said:

I wonder how many person that werent so good with pc that try to installed those =P

I used to buy on newegg and still will... this was probably just bad luck and newegg is making sure the customre are getting a real processor so atleast they do a follow up

kohtachi said:

I don't know whats going on with qc at newegg. i still buy from them but last time i bought hd drive from them, a batch of 10 hard drive. They were all bad and i needed to rma them with seagate.

seefizzle said:

In other news approximately 300 nerds completely lost their minds and went on rampages today. Local libraries and internet lounges were overwhelmed. No one was injured.

Deso said:

Hahahahahahahahahahah I have helped build a few friends computers and if I'd get to his place then open the cpu box and see that.... omfg I would laugh so hard, I'd get a heart attack, THIS IS EPIC !!!!

jjbeard926 said:

I've had nothing but great experiences from Newegg, with them even going far above and beyond what was required or expected of them when a product wasn't 'right'. I don't think there's any way that they had any knowledge of this before hand and I'm confident that they will make good for their customers affected by this mix-up. However, it is very possible that Newegg was duped by a supplier and this is most likely what has happened here.

I'll continue to shop at Newegg.

levar said:

hahaha that sucks both for the buyers and newegg btw if you'll haven't checked out the rest of the pictures over @ HardOCP you need to see this pic http://bit.ly/c7nrQP lol anyways I agree with em' "I am not buying that story." at all lol and to prove it "Newegg is moving forward telling its customers that counterfeit processors were "demo versions." Intel says that is not true." via http://bit.ly/bwR5Qm Go to tigerdirect :p still gonna buy from newegg anyways tbh ^^

Guest said:

Does not surprise me. You need to make sure you are dealing with a real IT company or this couls happen to you. So what if you get the 50 real units to replace the fake ones in the order? Your roll-out is not late, all because you wanted to save a point or 2 on an order.

Know who you are dealing with. Don't go with a box-pusher, go with a long-term partner. Would you drop them in a heartbeat over a couple points on an order? If the answer is yes, re-evaluate your partnership. Maybe it's not a partnership at all.

Guest said:

This can't happen if you buy from a distributer who gets the product from a manufacturer. Looks like someone at a factory somewhere pulled an all-nighter and stole 300 CPU's. Bet they weren't HP computers.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This can't happen if you buy from a distributer who gets the product from a manufacturer. Looks like someone at a factory somewhere pulled an all-nighter and stole 300 CPU's. Bet they weren't HP computers.

Well first, how many degrees of separation do you think there are between Newegg and Intel? Are you saying that you believe that D & H then buys from yet another intermediary...? I suppose it's possible, ridiculous, very highly unlikely, but possible

And for the other genius that says they "bought them from China, of course they did, they're mostly made in China.

Now for WTF earthly reason, would anybody need 300 "demo" processors?

Even if they were "demos", the box would likely be spelled correctly, and there would be a >>>DISCLAIMER <<< on the box, saying something like< "this is not a real CPU, if you would like to purchase this product, please see a sales associate.

I think both Newegg and D & H need to perform more thorough background checks on their staff. For me it's a given that neither one of these companies would risk committing commercial suicide over something as stupid as this.

If it is proved that a company of Newegg's size is forced to buy CPUs through a distributor such as D & H, then Newegg should probably sue both Intel and D & H. That would be Intel for stifling competition, and D & H for providing the counterfeit merchandise. Then Intel should sue D & H for trademark infringement.

And a good time would be had by one and all...!

Oh yeah, if you're forcing other distributors to by through a middleman, that's tantamount to price fixing. Wheee....another cause of action!

jhmc2009 said:

I think there should be some free processors sent out for this whole messup! It still don't change me from buying from newegg.

Vicenarian said:

But will it play Crysis?

Seriously though, what would be faster, a fake intel or a fake AMD chip?

selphiroth said:

To my disbelief, i can't imagine that newegg shipped counterfeit. They need to have more controls of what they have shipped...

Renegeek said:

even if these box's were some type of display box, or sample box from intel, maybe intel should make big lables stateing "DISPLAY ONLY" or something... but if they were real, then some one needs to find out who has access to the security tape to seal the boxes up. to make it look real... maybe intel should try a different method of sealing the boxes, to make them tamper prof.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ouch, makes you wonder who screwed up on the orders :P

tonylukac said:

Who the hell ever heard of D&H anyway? It will probably make no difference whether this occurred or not.

CodePhoeniX said:

it was not D&H; newegg released an official statement (why they did that on facebook is beyond me)

link

[link]

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Thanks for the update CodePhoeniX.

CMH, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Looks like someone either stole 300 or so processors and made fake boxes to replace the missing ones or a person could have wanted to hurt either companies reputation and put these in there to make somebody look bad.

Fully agreed.

And to all those people who said that all these processors were made in China..... check your CPUs. You'd be surprised....

mrtraver said:

Like most other posters, this won't affect my purchasing stuff from newegg. However, D&H give the appearance of trying to hide something when they send cease & desist orders rather than just following newegg's example and saying "oops, we screwed up, but we will help make it right with you." It is amazing to me that anyone these days thinks anything that has ever gone online can ever be completely removed. It's the classic Streisand Effect - all it does is call MORE unwanted attention to the even.

supyo said:

I'm amazed nobody at Newegg caught this. Do they have any quality control staff?

yorro said:

I wonder if human intention could have caused this, I mean they could have replaced a genuine i7 with a counterfeit so no one would have notice the quantity changing.

Newegg handled this issue in a professional manner as if the counterfeits were just defective products.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I wonder if human intention could have caused this, I mean they could have replaced a genuine i7 with a counterfeit so no one would have notice the quantity changing.
What does this even mean...?

Some disgruntled employee (at whichever of the three businesses involved) probably had the fakes made, then stole the 300 original CPUs. If you sold them for half price ($100.00), that would come to $30,000.00.

alexandrionel said:

I think that this was just a mistake and nobody had the intention to cheat on anyone.

Both newegg and D&H are big companies and I don't think that they would risk their image for just a few dollars.

As I see some people are already thinking of not buying from newegg.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.