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Australians: don't buy from NewEgg. Just don't do it.

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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nickt

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This is a cautionary tale for any Australians out there planning a FreeNAS system and considering buying parts from NewEgg. Don't do it. They'll initially refuse to provide warranty support if anything ever goes wrong, and you'll find them breathtakingly difficult (and slow) to work with should you ask that they honour their consumer guarantee obligations under Australian consumer law.

When I was planning my system, two of the components I wanted couldn't be found in Australia. They were the AS Rock C2750 D4I board and a Seasonic 360 W power supply - both motivated by wanting to build a low energy system. Australians will be familiar with the frustration of trying to source computer parts from local businesses - all too often the part can't be found, or perhaps it can but far more expensive than in the US.

So I decided to give NewEgg a try. They had what I needed, they advertise directly to Australians, they display Australian prices / shipping details on their website and they are reasonably priced.

Great - they took my money and supplied my parts pronto. All good.

But then it wasn't. My Seasonic power supply died in less than 1 year (it was advertised with a 5 year warranty). NewEgg fobbed me off to the US Seasonic distributor, who wouldn't help me as they only provide support to US customers. Seasonic global refused to help me as I had bought from a US retailer (NewEgg). Ten emails and two months later, NewEgg refunded me the cost of the power supply.

This was annoying, but not terrible - I was able to buy a replacement from the local bricks and mortar shop nearby - not as energy efficient, but I'm still on air.

A few months later, and my AS Rock board died. If you're interested, you can read about that saga on this thread. Same story. NewEgg declined to help me as it had passed their return policy (15 days!!! - never mind that the product has a 3 year global warranty). 16 emails and 60 days later, I finally received a replacement board by RMA.

This was a whole different level of annoying. No dropping down to the local shop to get a temporary alternative this time. My FreeNAS system off the air for 60 days and absolutely nothing I could do about it.

In both cases, I had to repeatedly remind NewEgg about their legal obligations under Australian consumer law when retailing directly to Australians. In the end, threatening to initiate proceedings against NewEgg with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (multiple times) was what it took to get a result.

In both cases, NewEgg reluctantly agreed to provide support as "an exception". They obviously have no plans to operate legally in Australia on a permanent full-time basis...

So my advice to Australians considering buying from NewEgg is don't do it. Just don't. It's not worth it.

As a post-script, I would speculate that this tale may also have relevance elsewhere in the world. Many European countries, for example, have similar consumer law protections (often stronger than Australia). I don't know...
 

Dice

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@Stux do you got any similar stories...?
huva...
 

Ericloewe

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Many European countries, for example, have similar consumer law protections (often stronger than Australia). I don't know...
Fortunately, it's fairly easy to get most components here. A dedicated retailer like Newegg (or even better, Microcenter) would be awesome, though.
 

Jailer

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Ok I'm going to be the devils advocate here. Why would you expect a retailer, or etailer, to replace an item that you bought around a year ago? It's the manufacturers responsibility to provide warranty service. I think it's a bit unreasonable to expect a retailer to service a manufactures warranty. An exception to this would of course be if they have a pre existing arrangement with the manufacturer to service their warranty claims but that is highly unusual.

Many products you buy today say explicitly that if there is a problem that you are not to contact the retailer but the manufacturer directly for assistance. Personally it sounds to me that Newegg went above and beyond what should be expected from them as a retailer and did you a solid by replacing your power supply.
 

Ericloewe

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Why would you expect a retailer, or etailer, to replace an item that you bought around a year ago?
Not sure how close Australian consumer protection law is to EU law, but, around here, the retailer is responsible for the warranty - that means at least two years on anything (naturally, manufacturers are free to provide their own, possibly longer, warranties). If they want to, retailers can take the matter up with whoever sold them the defective products, but that's not the consumer's problem.

If Newegg is operating in Australia, they'd have to follow local laws to the letter. This raises the important question of whether they are operating there - I'm not particularly informed on the matter, but it sounds like they go beyond just shipping to Australia if you ask nicely.
 

SweetAndLow

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Ok I'm going to be the devils advocate here. Why would you expect a retailer, or etailer, to replace an item that you bought around a year ago? It's the manufacturers responsibility to provide warranty service. I think it's a bit unreasonable to expect a retailer to service a manufactures warranty. An exception to this would of course be if they have a pre existing arrangement with the manufacturer to service their warranty claims but that is highly unusual.

Many products you buy today say explicitly that if there is a problem that you are not to contact the retailer but the manufacturer directly for assistance. Personally it sounds to me that Newegg went above and beyond what should be expected from them as a retailer and did you a solid by replacing your power supply.
I agree with this. The retailer has nothing to do with the warranty. If you're outside the return window you have to go to the manufacturer. It sounds like you did that with both products and the motherboard got replace but the PSU was a little more complicated and that is seasonics fault.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

Jailer

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Not sure how close Australian consumer protection law is to EU law, but, around here, the retailer is responsible for the warranty - that means at least two years on anything (naturally, manufacturers are free to provide their own, possibly longer, warranties). If they want to, retailers can take the matter up with whoever sold them the defective products, but that's not the consumer's problem.

If Newegg is operating in Australia, they'd have to follow local laws to the letter. This raises the important question of whether they are operating there - I'm not particularly informed on the matter, but it sounds like they go beyond just shipping to Australia if you ask nicely.

Wow. I would not want to be a retailer under those circumstances. All it would take is one manufacturer with a crap product to put you out of business.
 

Ericloewe

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Wow. I would not want to be a retailer under those circumstances. All it would take is one manufacturer with a crap product to put you out of business.
No, you go after the manufacturer for selling you crap that's not as described (up to x% failure rate). Or if you got it from a back alley in Shenzhen, you brought it upon yourself
 

Jailer

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It would make you vet your products a bit better but what if your on the hook for a crap product that you have to honor a warranty on and the manufacturer shuts their doors? Or file for bankruptcy protection? I just don't think a retailer should be on the hook to that extent for the products they sell. Now if it's a "house brand" that they contract a manufacturer to produce for them, then yes they should be. But me as a retailer being on the hook for HP's crappy laptops, no way. (picking on HP because I have one and it's crap).
 

Stux

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I agree with this. The retailer has nothing to do with the warranty. If you're outside the return window you have to go to the manufacturer. It sounds like you did that with both products and the motherboard got replace but the PSU was a little more complicated and that is seasonics fault.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

In Australia, it is the retailers responsibility, and newegg is breaking the law.

They may whine that they're not operating in australia, but they have a .com.au specific website, charging in aud and targeting Australians. The ACCC has already taken other companies up on this, and new egg would lose.

The OP should contact the ACCC anyway.
 

nickt

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Stux has it. Australian consumer law offers stronger protections towards consumers when dealing with the retailer than the manufacturer. Importantly, a consumer can seek warranty support from either, but the retailer is not allowed to decline support by referring to the manufacturer.

It wasn't my intention to debate the logic behind this, but it works for me: if you sell a product, you back it. You sell crap, you face the consequences. Manufacturers don't get off: if they supply crap, they can expect heat from their retailers.

I do plan to contact the ACCC. NewEgg is a very big retailer, and they need to be called out.
 
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