I admit it up front. I want to take $399 out of the
hide of Newegg.com. Here's why:
I purchased a refurbished Asus K50 Series K50IJ-RX05 laptop from
Newegg 4 weeks ago, for -- you guessed it -- $399. The laptop
arrived three days later, and I installed Kubuntu 9.10 on it. No
muss, no fuss, no hitches. Everything worked, right out of the box:
wireless, graphics, the whole shebang.
Well, apparently everything worked. The laptop was a
birthday present for my wife, you see. So the first thing she asked
for was for me to install Skype on it so she could make video calls
to her daughter.
No problem, says I. Presto, Skype got installed. Oops, the
picture is upside down. This laptop was manufactured/assembled with
the webcam installed 180 degrees out of whack!
Well, ok. I guess. There's a Video For Linux patch just for this
situation. So I installed the patch (a library to pre-load prior to
running apps that use webcam). Alrighty, the webcam video is no
longer upside down in Skype. I handed the laptop back to my
Day two: the wife says, "My laptop locked up." I asked her what
she had been doing at the time. "Moving the mouse."
Oh, oh, this isn't right. The Asus K50 is running an Intel T4200
dual-core processor and the Intel 4500 graphics chipset. The Linux
Intel graphics drivers are pretty solid. In fact, I've installed
Kubuntu 9.10 on several nearly identical Acer T4200 laptops with
the 4500 chipset, and they are all rock solid under some pretty
So, I installed the very latest Kubuntu update, which brought
the kernel and modules up to version 2.6.31-19, and handed the
laptop back to my wife. Again.
No go. Three - four times a day the machine just locked up.
Randomly. Hard. Power cycle required to reboot.
So now I go to the intertubes to do some research (I know, I
know) and discover [careful, big surprise coming] that the Asus K50
Series K50IJ-RX05 machines had the webcam installed upside down at
the factory. Oh, and they randomly lock up several times a day.
Linux, Vista, XP. Whatever. They lock up. There's a reason that so
many "refurbished" units of this model are up for sale.
Clearly an unsatisfactory situation. So I contacted Newegg and
explained that I was unhappy with the defective laptop they had
sold me. After a brief consultation with her supervisor, the nice
lady approved my RMA refund request and sent me a free UPS return
label for me to use to ship the laptop back.
Not too shabby, I thought. This kind of service is why I have
been a good Newegg customer for the past 7 years. Spending about
$2,000 - $3,000 per year. For seven years. At Newegg.
Oops, not so fast. [I bet some of you saw this coming.] See the
email I just received from Newegg:
Dear Valued Customer,
Thanks again for shopping at Newegg.com.
We recently received your RMA and your return was then
sent to our Inspections Department for closer
User changed OS to Linux Kubuntu
System has been modified/altered original manufacturers operating
system has been removed cannot access restore partition, this voids
Newegg warranty. Unit cannot be accepted or resold as
RMA denied return to customer
Because Newegg would be facing a loss if we were to
replace this item, we are returning the product to you and
recommending that you contact the manufacturer directly to request
that they repair or replace the item under your manufacturer's
warranty. Please visit the following link to view a listing of all
the manufacturers whose products we carry:
RMA Inspections Department
This email was sent from Newegg's Automated Email System so
please do not reply.
That's right: I installed Linux on the laptop, and therefore
Newegg is not going to honor my refund.
Need I say more? Newegg is now on record as a vendor from whom
you purchase at your own risk. They have demonstrated that they
will knowingly sell defective hardware, and not honor refund
requests on same.
A very good way to go out of business, in my opinion.