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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop 518

Posted by timothy
from the au-contrair-mon-frere dept.
Rick Zeman writes "According to the normally geek-friendly online store Newegg , installing Linux Mint is tantamount to breaking your new Lenovo laptop. Is it the purchaser's fault for not restoring the laptop to its original state of Windows-y goodness, or is NewEgg being too dogmatic trying to enforce a term that doesn't seem to exist?"
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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:16PM (#40296779)

    In their reply they said "Unit cannot be accepted or resold as received." Did she make it clear in her initial call that she was returning it for a hardware defect, and not just a general "I'm unsatisfied with it" return? I'm pretty sure that ANY hardware defective computer, with original OS or not, cannot be "resold as received." It sounds like the RMA may have mistakenly been issued as if it were a general return when it should have listed it as a hardware defect return.

    • by alen (225700) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:20PM (#40296837)

      was it really a hardware defect or maybe the linux drivers don't work as well?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:22PM (#40296895)

        was it really a hardware defect or maybe the linux drivers don't work as well?

        If you read the article, you'd know the answer!

      • by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:22PM (#40297925) Homepage Journal

        Having to deal with E520's (the E525's are the AMD Variants), It's the PC.

        Now of course, the E525 is a bit different than the E520, but the Minute I read buzzing, MB immediately came to mind. We had no less than 20 of our E520 lot buzz over this past year. Most of them were the MB, but a few of them were the NIC/Power Board. In one case, the NIC/Power board actually melted and was smoking due to a Bad MB. Surprised one hasn't caught on fire yet.

        The other thing that goes bad is the LCD panels, which shows horizontal lines on them. I believe this is due to the way the LCD Panel is connected to the board. In many cases just flexing the case was enough to cause this to occur.

        The other big failure that they have is Fan Errors. apparently a small sticker on the case gets sucked in the fan which stops it. pretty much have to take the whole thing apart to get at it too.

        All I can say is that Lenovo is not IBM when it comes to Laptop build quality and leave it at that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BenSchuarmer (922752)
      Even if there weren't a hardware defect, shouldn't they wipe the disk and reinstall the OS from scratch (to protect the second buyer from the possibility that the first buyer got some malware).
      • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:35PM (#40297105)

        Even if there weren't a hardware defect, shouldn't they wipe the disk and reinstall the OS from scratch (to protect the second buyer from the possibility that the first buyer got some malware).

        Sounds like a good way to do identity theft - buy a laptop, install your favorite malware (infecting the Windows recovery partition to make it permanent just in case they do a recovery), then return it and let Bestbuy resell it to an unsuspecting customer. Use that user's stolen credit card/bank account details to repeat the process with another batch of laptops.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I agree, they should wipe the disk. However, what if in the course of installing Linux, she removed the hidden Windows recovery partition (something I did way back when I installed Linux on my Thinkpad R31)? If Lenovo don't ship recovery disks with their computers (no idea, I havent ever bought a Lenovo) then NewEgg might have a point in that the system she is returning is not similar to the system she received.

        • by TheCarp (96830)

          What? You mean you think they should "wipe the disk" but then use the "recovery partition"...on the disk? Doesn't that still leave the first purchaser the ability to trojan the recovery partition?

          No, using that is not good enough to protect the customer.

        • by iamwahoo2 (594922)

          I guess if that were written in the warranty agreement, then keeping the recovery partition intact could be a stipulation, but since it was not in writing, then I would be inclined to side with the user in saying that it is not their responsibility to use up their hard drive space to protect the vendors interest. It was afterall the manufacturers decision to go the ultracheap route of putting the recovery system on the end users hard drive rather than providing an actual disk with useable license key.

    • by frovingslosh (582462) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:48PM (#40297343)

      Of course not. And it doesn't represent Newegg well that they would try to resell any returned computer rather than returning it to the manufacturer for "refurbishment".

      Couldn't you say the same for any computer with installed software, even just some Windows applications? Should I expect to buy a computer from Newegg (even one marked as "open box") and find that it had some software that I object to installed on it? Or maybe kiddy porn or spyware or other junk?

      Of course, some might say that the original purchaser should have restored the software to Windows. But that involves making the recovery discs, since computers no longer ship with an actual copy of Windows on optical media. And, at least on the computers that I have made these reinstall discs on, you can only make the restore discs once. So just making the restore discs would put the computer in a condition that should make it unresellable, since the new owner would not be able to make restoration discs!

      The real problem is that Windows is bundled with computers, and that resellers like Newegg accept this and don't do anything to get the manufacturers to give buyers options without the Microsoft tax or to get them physical recovery media. I guess they could try to blame the buyer for trying to install software on his purchase, but I doubt that they can claim that they never expect any buyers to install software on their purchases. Maybe there was indeed some driver issue that brought about the return, but resellers have helped create the environment where this can happen, and they need to share the responsibility.

  • Unsurprisingly, even Newegg can't afford super competent folks for their RMA service. So let me help anyone out who things that Newegg left this guy high and dry with some tips. Whenever I buy something, it seems like there's no way to get it without Windows. This means that I am paying for something I don't want. Sucks, right? Well, there's something you can do to monetize this if you want. Sometimes they have stickers with Windows keys on them but if they don't there's a way around this. Boot into windows and download some crappy tool that tells you what your Windows key is (I'm not going to plug any of these tools, most come with adware but who cares, you're about to blow that partition away). Go to My Computer and right click for properties and find where it tells you what version this is. Example: Windows 7 64 bit Professional. Write all that information down or e-mail it to yourself.

    Now, you're free to wipe the whole machine and install whatever the hell you want. If something goes wrong and you need to RMA, you're in luck. You just torrent the ISO for that particular windows and burn it (or use Netbootin in the case of no optical drive) and reinstall it with your key and ship it back. Although this sounds like a lot of work, it actually can be quite useful when a relative or friend needs a copy of Windows. You make them a disc and transfer that heavily subsidized key to them. Sure, it might be illegal in the eyes of someone but it's worked for me and I keep it down to one use per key that I was extorted into buying. Personally, this sort of second sale doesn't feel morally wrong to me but if it does to you, you can always just hold on to your info and consider it an "asset" in your software library.
    • by Z00L00K (682162) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:24PM (#40296947) Homepage

      Or the first thing you do when you plan to install linux - replace the hard disk with a fresh one. Then put the original one on a shelf until you either run out of warranty or return the computer.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:35PM (#40297107)

        its often less effort to open the machine, remove its drive, put drive on shelf (before first ever boot) and put your own laptop drive in (maybe even an ssd) and do whatever you need to.

        I have not stepped on a shipped os, probably ever. drives are cheap and I'll get a 2nd one to use for my own stuff. its exactly like this situation that you keep the original o/s and for me, the original drive sits unused.

        time is what I don't have lots of and doing an image backup then verify then restore later on is 3 steps I'd rather not do. yank the drive, do your stuff on your and if hardware craps out, shove the old drive back in and return it for fixing/warr work.

        plus, you NEVER have any of you files on that drive. no sector scan will EVER have your stuff on it. ever. that's nice, too!

      • by INeededALogin (771371) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:40PM (#40297185) Journal

        Or the first thing you do when you plan to install linux - replace the hard disk with a fresh one. Then put the original one on a shelf until you either run out of warranty or return the computer.

        This approach undermines the entire principle of Linux. The thing to do is exactly what this girl did... fight it.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Chances are that you want to put a bigger/faster one in there anyways.

      • by hazem (472289)

        If you don't want to use a whole hard drive, you can also use something like Clonezilla to make a complete backup of the original drive onto an external or network drive.

        Then you can also almost as easily restore it back to its original state if you have to send it back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Opening it voids the warranty though so that would be a dumb idea.
      • Or the first thing you do when you plan to install linux - replace the hard disk with a fresh one. Then put the original one on a shelf until you either run out of warranty or return the computer.

        If you RTFA you would notice that NewEgg's return policy states: 'The following conditions are not acceptable for return, and will result in the merchandise being returned to you: Any desktop PC, notebook or tablet PC that has been opened....'. So removing the drive breaks their returns policy.

    • by Nkwe (604125) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:35PM (#40297117)
      Or you could just build a set of recovery disks like the manufacturer tells you to (you know, RTM...) If you have a problem, then you can use the recovery disks to restore to factory settings and then return the thing.
      • by painandgreed (692585) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:10PM (#40298617)

        Or you could just build a set of recovery disks like the manufacturer tells you to (you know, RTM...) If you have a problem, then you can use the recovery disks to restore to factory settings and then return the thing.

        Easier said than done sometimes. I do corporate desktop support and use our own image/build on lots of different types of laptops from Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, etc but still create those disk just in case of something like this. FIrst off, sometimes there is no manual to read. If you're lucky, there's a link on the desktop to make the backup disks. Other times, they hide that feature buried in some other software with no guide as to how to get to it. Once, I just had it fail to create the disks straight out of the box (but luckily, I had two of the same model and the other one worked). That is to say, i do it professionally and I sometimes find it hard, confusing, or even impossible to do, so I can only imagine what a normal user would normally go through.

    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:38PM (#40297151) Journal

      Whenever I buy something, it seems like there's no way to get it without Windows. This means that I am paying for something I don't want.

      The Windows EULA requires the vendor to refund the cost of the license if you decline the agreement.

    • by Githaron (2462596)
      Wouldn't it be easier to just create an image using Clonezila [clonezilla.org]?
    • by tixxit (1107127)
      I was under the impression that the product key you get with your computer only works with special OEM-specific versions of Windows. Things may have changed since I last used Windows though (XP).
    • by SpzToid (869795)

      If the hardware was sold with an OEM license then the sticker taking notice of your license number is probably still on the hardware. So please look for it and take notice.
      This article takes pains to elaborate on the Microsoft 'process' of owning a license and acrtually getting it to function on your current machine; perhaps via replaced media as required; too bad Microsoft isn't more helpful here but you always have choicesc (even it means a boycott) FYI. http://arstechnica.com/features/2012/06/blowing-awa [arstechnica.com]

    • by teridon (139550)

      Why torrent an ISO when you can download official ISOs from Microsoft?
      See:

      http://arstechnica.com/features/2012/06/blowing-away-bloatware-a-guide-to-reinstalling-windows-on-a-new-pc/ [arstechnica.com]

      Some alternate languages here:
      http://www.mydigitallife.info/download-windows-7-iso-official-32-bit-and-64-bit-direct-download-links/ [mydigitallife.info]

  • by null etc. (524767) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:20PM (#40296833)

    Time for RMS to add a "NewEggization" clause to GPL4.

  • by RenHoek (101570) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:21PM (#40296875) Homepage

    If I were to buy a laptop with Windows (heavens forbid), then I'd expect installation media to go with it. I can understand NewEgg not fielding support questions on every flavor of Unix, but my grandmother should be able to restore the laptop to mint (pun intended) condition by inserting a DVD.

    If NewEgg fails to deliver that, then there's the problem, not a user installing something else.

    • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:28PM (#40296999)

      Virtually no vendors these days include a restore CD. Instead they include a junkware riddled "restore partition." Microsoft stopped letting them include clean OEM install CDs years ago.

      • by tixxit (1107127)
        I've never understood this decision. What's the most obvious reason that I'd need to reinstall Windows? Because the HD got borked and I had to get a new one. Oops.
        • by jimicus (737525)

          The way it used to be done (haven't actually tested this in a long time) was that they included a restore partition and software that would build a restore CD based on the restore partition.

          That way you could create a restore CD months after you first used the computer and it'd still give you a clean install.

          Why? A CD is a few pence; putting a slightly different image on the hard disk is zero.

          It's a side-effect of the desperate race to the bottom PCs have become.

      • Virtually no vendors these days include a restore CD. Instead they include a junkware riddled "restore partition." Microsoft stopped letting them include clean OEM install CDs years ago.

        Just one more bar in the jail called Windows Hell[tm]. Well, it will all start to become a fading memory when BYOD fills first the corporate world with Android and Apple devices, then the domestic world. The writing on the wall says that Microsoft's desktop business is due to wither to smaller than their console business over the next 5 years. And without the desktop monopoly to create the tie in Microsoft's server business will start to wither too. After a while Microsoft will be a console vendor of a stat

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by i.r.id10t (595143)

        Funny, the Dell I bought December 2011 came with restore disk - and none of that crapware that was installed on the system comes with the restore. And the Dell I got in March 2012 was the same way... but maybe the difference is I'm buying as a "small/home office" as opposed to a "home user" ? I do this anyway for the better warranty and better quality hardware...

    • by hendridm (302246)

      Do any PCs come with installation media anymore? As far as I've seen, you have to burn it yourself from a partition.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Do any PCs come with installation media anymore? As far as I've seen, you have to burn it yourself from a partition.

        Hell, Apple doesn't anymore, and they were one of the last to do so (even putting it on a thumbdrive - the pre-Lion OS X MacBook Airs had a restore thumbdrive).

        The only thing Apple does now is internet restore - connect your Mac to an internet connection and it'll download and restore for you, kinda inconvenient.

    • by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:30PM (#40297045)

      If I were to buy a laptop with Windows (heavens forbid), then I'd expect installation media to go with it. I can understand NewEgg not fielding support questions on every flavor of Unix, but my grandmother should be able to restore the laptop to mint (pun intended) condition by inserting a DVD.

      If NewEgg fails to deliver that, then there's the problem, not a user installing something else.

      You haven't bought any laptops in a while, have you? I haven't seen installation media coming with hardware in years. At best, you got a disc that would blow away the entire drive and re-image it...but these days there isn't enough room on a disc to do that, so laptops come with "recovery" partitions. Also, there are the inevitable manufacturer-specific utilities that come with the machine, and you usually need specific drivers in the course of the installation, so just including a Windows 7 install disc doesn't cut the mustard either.

    • by nomadic (141991)
      Newegg is not a manufacturer, they're a retailer. They shouldn't be responsible for restoration media, particularly because that would likely require them to actually buy a license for it.
    • Lenovos come with special utilities to create "installation" disks, do backups and other very useful stuff (as well as a ton of trashware).

      However, they generally run Ubuntu considerably better than they run Windows. I have four Lenovos, and other emmbers of the family ahve two. The (windows) wireless drivers are very flakey and you cant scroll with two fingers.

    • by ISoldat53 (977164)
      Ars had a good story about de-crapping your WIN install (http://arstechnica.com/features/2012/06/blowing-away-bloatware-a-guide-to-reinstalling-windows-on-a-new-pc/). It includes a url to download images of WIN7 and instructions on how to activate it.
  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:24PM (#40296935) Journal

    NewEgg long ago stopped being the go-to site for tech stuff and went full on commercial.

    • Re:NewEgg (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:26PM (#40296987)

      So what is the go-to site for tech stuff?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Best Buy obviously. DUH!!!

      • by alen (225700)

        if you want a good laptop, but apple

        it's ^nix and you can do almost everything to fool around like in linux

      • by Bigby (659157)

        Go in person to MicroCenter.

        • by 0racle (667029)
          Welcome to the Internet. You're obviously new here so let me introduce you to one of the neat things about it. You're able to converse with people from all over the world, not just your local neighborhood or town.
    • by ElBeano (570883)
      Wish I could mod you up. I did tens of thousands of business with Newegg over a period of 3 years. Now I go more often to Amazon. Newegg tried to be Amazon and failed. Amazon is now better at doing what Newegg used to do than Newegg is today. It is easier to find what you need and the reviews are better.
  • Thank you. (Score:2, Troll)

    by loconet (415875)

    Thank you, now I know to never buy absolutely anything from this company and never recommend it to anyone, as a matter of fact warning people about buying anything from them would be the responsible thing to do.

    • Re:Thank you. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:33PM (#40297093) Homepage
      I have been buying from newegg for the past 12 years and in all that time I have never, ever had a problem with them. A single story on slashdot is not going to change that.
    • Re:Thank you. (Score:5, Informative)

      by spicate (667270) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:34PM (#40297095)
      Out of their millions of customers, one had a bad experience. You could find the same with any company. I've returned numerous products to NewEgg without a problem, and they typically have excellent prices and top-quality service. This may be a sign of things to come, but it's a little bit of an overreaction to write them off so quickly.
    • by Nkwe (604125)

      Thank you, now I know to never buy absolutely anything from this company and never recommend it to anyone, as a matter of fact warning people about buying anything from them would be the responsible thing to do.

      Personally, I continue to shop with them. They have a good selection, reasonable prices, and they ship quickly. Returns have never been a problem for me. In the original posters case, if he had restored the machine to factory settings (returned the product in the state it was shipped), he would have had no problems. Most (all?) machines shipping with Windows ship with a recovery partition that you can boot into to restore the machine to the way you got it. If you want to blow away the recovery partition, th

  • I had issues too (Score:5, Informative)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:30PM (#40297041)

    I bought a refurb laptop from Newegg a couple of months ago and received it with an obvious screen defect. The CSR was very nice and helpful and got me an RMA and a UPS label and all that lickety split, no hassle. I sent it in and got an email update a few days later that there was nothing wrong and they were sending it back. So I called in again and this CSR was very helpful too and got me the refund with very little hassle again.

    I don't know what's going on in their laptop repair department.... a manager that doesn't care?

    Any time I've had to interact with a Newegg CSR, this time and others, things have been splendid and I've never had an issue getting a problem resolved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:32PM (#40297073)

    This is probably just a garden-variety fuckup.

    This is why you only buy high-dollar value items on a credit card. Call the card issuer and tell them the merchant refused to accept the product.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:35PM (#40297109)

    (2) Wait 30 days, then file a credit card dispute saying "I returned this broken item, and newegg accepted it (Delivery Confirmation Number: 279279490242), but they have failed to refund the money.

    (3) Done. These stores sign a contract with a credit card company & it states they will accept returns of broken items. It's the credit company's form of a warranty. (If stores don't like it, then they can refuse to sign the contract.)

    And before some fool says this is "stealing" or whatever..... you're right! It is stealing. Newegg stole from a citizen by selling JUNK and not honoring the warranty. IMHO they should have their license of incorporation revoked by the government. But a refund on the broken item is good too. Consumer protection law sides with the customer not the jackassmegacorp.

  • by Pollux (102520) <speter AT tedata DOT net DOT eg> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:39PM (#40297169) Journal

    While I'm not saying that NewEgg's failing to provide the customer service they've been known for, the following does need to be made clear: Installing Linux in no way voids the manufacturer's warranty. If you RTFA, you'll clearly see in the NewEgg letter the following sentence:

    "If you are still unsatisfied with this product or experience further issues, we recommend contacting the manufacturer directly for support."

    Clearly the hardware failed. Clearly the owner can have the laptop repaired / replaced by contacting Lenovo. NewEgg's just not willing to facilitate the process.

  • by bhlowe (1803290) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:48PM (#40297325)
    This isn't because NewEgg doesn't like Linux.. Its because merchants don't like returns. Each return costs money--from credit card charges, to inspecting and shipping it back to the factory, and tracking the return through the system. I'm guessing they will take it back if you complain a little (or a lot, in the case of slashdot).

    With any low-cost reseller, you trade low prices for some types of restrictions. If you want a merchant who will take back anything without restriction (such as Nordstroms) you need to spend more for the privilege. There are thousands of small businesses that would give you unlimited support and take your system back--but they charge a more.

    Its not like they are sticking you with a dead product--they are just making you go through the standard factory service to get it repaired.
  • by TeddyR (4176) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:08PM (#40297703) Homepage Journal

    Old news. This has been Neweggs policy for a while now...

    http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/97248/index.html [lxer.com]

    http://parrot-farm.net/Newegg/Newegg.com%20Horror%20Story.html [parrot-farm.net]

    I stopped buying computers from them in 2007 as well. (still get the occasinal HD or videocard)...

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:19PM (#40297891) Homepage

    I think the appearance of this story on Slashdot will raise enough of a stink within NewEgg to make them reconsider their position on this and similar issues. Their RMA techs need to be able to address HARDWARE issues when the issue is hardware. The OS is irrelevant. (mostly)

    But we all know the risk of using an "other than Windows OS." But for the past... oh, I don't know... 10 years or more it seems like? I have always made it my practice to buy a new hard drive for any computer I buy. I remove the original HDD, slip it into an anti-static bag, label it and store it. THEN I begin installing my new OS... usually Linux.

    This way, when/if I get an issue with hardware, I can pop the Windows drive back in and deal with the moronic tech support on the other end.

    You can fight the system all day long, but it will have to take a lot more influence than I can muster to make things change.

    I'm grateful that this story has made it to Slashdot. A lot of NewEgg customers will reconsider certain types of purchases from them or at least whether or not to buy it with a new HDD to drop into it.

    I can definitely see things from NewEgg's perspective. They need to use cheap techs. Cheap techs aren't great techs. Also, they need to be able to process things in a timely manner. And if they don't happen to understand what they are looking at, it causes delay. Delay costs money. There could be more to it than that but I don't think Microsoft has played any role in this one.

  • by PerlJedi (2406408) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:19PM (#40297895) Homepage Journal
    This very same problem befell me about 1 year ago. I complained very loudly, including on a consumer review website. Within 24 hours of posting my detailed (and scathing) review I received a call from a newegg customer care representative, who assured me they would make it right. They did in fact allow me to exchange the laptop for a new one, and actually gave me a $100 gift card to make up for the trouble.
    While I clearly can't say everyone will get that response, I personally feel that it is important that those of us who run Linux stand up and make it known that we cannot be ignored just because we are not giving our money to either Microsoft or Apple.
  • by Analog Penguin (550933) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:23PM (#40299601)

    Newegg's RMA department seems to be a little crazy. I once received a scanner with a damaged box from them. When I opened the box, it was obvious that the power adapter had fallen out of the hole in the box sometime during shipping. Since neither they nor Epson could just send me a replacement adapter, I had to RMA the whole thing. The RMA was initially denied because I hadn't included all parts that shipped with the scanner.

    A phone call cleared things up, but really? They didn't even read the RMA closely enough to see that the missing part was the entire point of the RMA?

  • Newegg is cracked (Score:4, Informative)

    by RoboRay (735839) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:33PM (#40299749)

    Newegg is not the company it once was.

    I used Newegg for virtually every parts purchase for nine years (and I make or "guide" a lot of purchases, amounting to many thousands of dollars over that period), in part because they were among the first willing to ship internet orders to FPO/APO addresses of military personnel located overseas. I kept using Newegg at home, even when they weren't the cheapest, because of that courtesy when others (like Tiger) simply refused. Newegg also had excellent customer service on those rare occasions when I needed to return an item.

    Last year, when upgrading a system, Newegg sent me a defective DDR3 stick. The twin-pack was, I think $23. I swapped the stick to another machine to verify that it was indeed defective. I submitted an RMA request to Newegg, and was shocked when I was told there would be a $2 restocking fee on the return.

    Restocking fees are to cover the cost of inventorying and repackaging an item for resale. You can't resell a confirmed-defective item. There is no such thing as a valid restocking fee on a defective-item return. I went back and forth with Newegg for a couple of weeks on this, and they insisted that I would be charged a restocking fee for returning a defective item. I sent in the RMA, and they did indeed charge me for it.

    I hope Newegg found that $2 worthwhile. It's the last they have gotten or ever will get from me or the many friends/family/colleagues that come to me for advice. I do find their website makes a great front-end for finding what I want to buy from Amazon or elsewhere, though.

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