Newegg Sticks with "demo boxes" - Intel Counters

You bought what? And you got what? Oh, no problem, that is just an Intel "demo box," oops, our goof. Newegg continues to lie to its customers.

Newegg Insists Demo Versions

I really thought that by this morning, we would be somewhere else on this issue. I figured everyone would buck up and embrace the truth and stop misinforming, lying, whatever you want to call it. We figured that the companies with legal threats and bullying tactics would step back and think, "Hey, these computer hardware enthusiast guys are serious about their community and how it is treated. Let's figure out who is responsible for what and make it right." That is not what is happening though.

If you are not aware of what we are talking about, we are talking about Newegg Selling Fake Intel CPUs. I don't think Newegg meant to do this in any way, shape, or form, but Newegg is being left with some egg on its face because of the way it is handling the situation. As reported by HardForum users that purchased bogus Intel processors from Newegg, here is what they are being told today.

Dear Valued Customer,

It's been brought to our attention that you may have received a Demo Version of the Intel Core i7 Processor you recently purchased. We would like to first and foremost apologize for any confusion this may have caused you. Please take a moment to examine the product you received thoroughly to determine if you in fact received the wrong product. The Demo Version of these CPUs were purchased between March 1, 2010 through March 4, 2010 and will have FPO/BATCH# 3938B006 printed on the product's packaging. Additionally, the Part Number on the heat sink will read CNFN936612 and there will be no wiring on the heat sink itself. If you have determined that you received the wrong product, please except(sic) our deepest apologies. To resolve this matter immediately, simply forward this email to both Aaron.A.Aragonez@newegg.com and Scott.A.Renwick@newegg.com and state which of the two following options best suit you: Full Refund - We are more than willing to issue an RMA for a full and complete Refund. Replacement for the Correct Product - If you are still interested in the product, we will issue an Advanced Replacement RMA to get the product to you immediately. We would like to once again extend our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Kindest Regards.

Once You Know, You Newegg.

Your Newegg.com Customer Service Team

Newegg has been a great company to most of our readers for quite a while. And Newegg seems to taking good care of the people that bought these bogus CPUs. Make sure you check any recent purchases immediately! But why oh why does Newegg keep telling us these are "Demo Version" parts? A bit different from "demo boxes" previously, but still the same vein.

This is what Intel's Dan Snyder has passed along this morning:

Intel is getting samples to inspect and until then we can say that everything in the package appears fake. Some of the photos of the processor look like it is a casting and not even a real processor of any kind. Newegg has moved quickly to replace the suspect units.

Then Intel came back to me 5 minutes later with a message that was a bit more of a hardened position.

Also, to be 100% clear, these are not any type of Intel demo unit or sample and we never saw or had anything to do with them until they surfaced in web photos.

The Bottom Line

It has been reported to us that Newegg was shipped these counterfeit CPUs from D&H Distributing. (D&H are the guys that have sent us Cease and Desist letters on this topic which you can read more about here.) As per Intel's input, the CPUs are not "demo units" or anything else but counterfeit processors. So the question left is, where did these CPUs enter the supply chain? Given the amount of hush-hush, BS, and C&Ds flying around we are likely to never know. All we ask is that everyone tell us the truth. Newegg is ultimately responsible for this goof-up to its customers. Newegg you have been a great company for enthusiasts for a long time. Please don't throw our trust out the window while thinking you are saving face.

Update 03/08/2010 - 6:45PM CST:

This is a press release made by Newegg today via the company’s Facebook page on Monday March 8th. Contrary to the information we received through an inside source claiming that D&H Distributing supplied the fake CPUs, Newegg states the following:

Newegg is currently conducting a thorough investigation surrounding recent shipments of questionable Intel Core i7-920 CPUs purchased from Newegg.com. Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us "demo units." We have since come to discover the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier. Contrary to any speculation, D&H Distributing is not the vendor that supplied us with the Intel Core i7-920 CPUs in question.

Newegg’s top priority is to proactively reach out to all customers who may have been affected to ensure their absolute satisfaction. We have already sent out a number of replacement units and are doing everything in our power to resolve the matter promptly and with the least amount of inconvenience to our customers. We have always taken pride in providing an exceptional experience for each customer, and we apologize for any inconvenience to our valued customers. We take matters like this extremely seriously, and are working in close cooperation with Intel and the appropriate law enforcement authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident.

Ongoing Discussion