Newegg, why you gotta break my heart like this?

By | January 25, 2020

On Thursday night of last week, my Synology DS415+ NAS died. It turns out that there was a CPU defect in this NAS which prompted Synology to extend its warranty from two to four years for people who ran into the defect, but alas my NAS decided to wait until it was five years old to trigger the defect so it was out of warranty.

I didn’t know any of this Friday morning when I woke up and discovered that the NAS was dead. I power-cycled it and it came back up, so I thought everything was fine. However, when it crashed again later that day and this time power-cycling it didn’t help, I did some googling and learned about the defect, then called Synology’s product support, and they confirmed that’s what had happened and told me that since I was out of warranty all I could do was buy a new NAS.

That’s unfortunate, but I get it, and new Synology NASes are far more performant than five-year-old models, so I resigned myself to buying a new NAS. There aren’t any retailers near me that sell them, so online was the only option.

Since I bought the old NAS from Newegg and I prefer Newegg to Amazon in general, I went and looked on the Newegg again, and there was the NAS I was looking for, available for next-day delivery. Not only that, but when I put the NAS in my shopping cart and went to check out, the site offered me rush processing for $2.99 and Saturday delivery for an additional $12 charge.

That was perfect, because that meant I would be able to rebuild the new NAS over the weekend. Otherwise because I couldn’t wait another whole week to regain access to the files on my hard drives, I would either have to miss work to accept the delivery, and then either miss more work to rebuild the NAS or stay up until all hours of the night and stick my wife with other household chores so I could rebuild the NAS outside work hours. I therefore happily paid not only for next-day delivery, but $14.99 more for rush processing and Saturday delivery.

However, when Newegg finally sent me the tracking number for my order on Friday evening and I looked it up on the UPS web site, it said the package wasn’t going to be delivered until Monday. It also said the package was shipped via “UPS Next Day Air Saver,” which, according to the UPS web site, does not offer Saturday delivery as an option. It appeared that, despite charging me $12 for Saturday delivery, Newegg did not actually tell UPS to deliver the package on Saturday or pay them to do so.

I called UPS, and they said nope, no Saturday delivery, and nope, I couldn’t come to the warehouse where the package was a few miles from my house and pick it up, because it’s sealed in a pallet that isn’t even going to be broken open until Monday morning.

Next, I tried to contact Newegg for assistance. As far as I could tell, their web site does not offer the option of emailing them; you can communicate with them by text message or live chat or have them call you back. Supposedly they start responding to text messages and start accepting live chat requests at 8:30am PST on Saturday. I sent them several text messages before then, explaining what had happened and asking for an explanation. By 9:00am PST they had not responded so I texted them again and asked if they were going to respond. It’s now 9:42am PST and they still haven’t responded to my texts.

I gave up on the text messages and tried their live chat. The representative who communicated with me on the live chat first claimed that Newegg does not offer Saturday delivery as an option, a claim which is contradicted by their own web site and which, as I explained to her, is also contradicted by the fact that their web site offered it to me as an option when I was placing my order and I selected and paid for that option.

It turns out that apparently, part of the reason why there was an initial miscommunication between her and me is because she never received the first message I sent in the live chat stream. Here’s the whole story that I sent:

This is about order number [elided]. When I placed the order, I requested Saturday delivery and you charged me (quite a bit, over $12, as I recall) for Saturday delivery.
And yet, the UPS web site says that the package is going to be delivered Monday, not today, even though it’s currently at a warehouse a few miles from my house.
I called UPS and asked why, and they said the shipper did not request Saturday delivery on the package.
So you charged me for Saturday delivery and then didn’t pay UPS for it.
The order is for a replacement NAS because my old NAS died. I desperately need to get to the files on the hard drives of the NAS, for which I need the replacement. Furthermore, I ordered the NAS to arrive today so I could set it up over the weekend and not have to miss work while waiting for delivery or setting it up.
Now I have to wait until at least Monday to be able to access my files, AND I have to miss work on Monday to stay home and wait for the delivery, AND I have to either stay up all night setting up the new NAS or miss work hours to set it up because I can’t afford to wait until next weekend to access the files.
So I have been significantly harmed here not only by the cost of paying for a service that you did not provide, but also by the delay in delivery which should not have occurred.
Do you have any explanation to offer?

The first four paragraphs were all sent by me in the first message I sent, but that message was lost, so what she saw started with the fifth paragraph, “The order is for a replacement…

So, for those who are keeping score, there have now been five problems:

  1. I ordered and paid for Saturday delivery and they failed to provide it.
  2. They don’t allow customers to obtain customer service via email.
  3. They claim to respond to text messages but never responded to mine.
  4. Their crappy live chat cut off the beginning of the conversation so important information was lost.
  5. The representative I chatted with was apparently unaware that Newegg offers Saturday delivery as an option for some products.

After I explained to the representative that I had been offered the option of Saturday delivery and had selected and paid for that option, she said looked up the invoice and was unable to see anything about Saturday delivery on it, and as far as I can tell from the invoice I sent, she is correct: the Saturday delivery fee I was charged is lumped into “shipping” on the invoice and not separately listed. It’s bad enough that that’s the case for the invoice I sent; if it’s also true that Newegg employees can’t even see that Saturday delivery was requested and paid for in their internal systems, then that’s a larger problem.

Then the representative informed me that I should contact Newegg again after the shipment arrived and they would open an investigation into the delay. Here, again, is a misunderstanding caused by the fact that the beginning of my live chat messages got cut off: I had explained that UPS said the package wasn’t shipped for Saturday delivery, so the error was clearly on Newegg’s part, not UPS’s, so there was no justification for waiting until the package arrived before initiating an investigation. I explained this and the representative agreed to open the investigation today rather than waiting until Monday.

A half hour after all this went down, and an hour and a half after Newegg claims to start responding to text messages in the morning, someone finally responded to my text messages, apologized for the shipping error, and immediately initiated a claim for the shipping delay. In other words, the representative who helped me via text message did everything that the representative on live chat should have done, just an hour and a half later than they should have done it.

This whole experience was rather disappointing and makes me question whether I want to continue using Newegg as my preferred vendor in the future.

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