Newegg and Microcenter Suck

or how the PC part supply industry has hijacked my time and blog

Update: In an effort of fairness and disclosure I should tell you a pcRUSH representative has since apologized and stated they have contacted their warehouse to “prevent re-occurrence of same issue”

Hi strangers, I’m Hal. I’m a programmer working in Dallas. I’ve been wanting to get working on an indie game and had this thought that making a blog about my experience would be fun and hey, if the title gets completed maybe it would help get some sales. I figured I could record the ups and downs of development, talk some tech, get some feedback, bring some attention to obscure and older games that have really inspired me, all that warm and fuzzy kind of shit. Seemed like a good plan.

There were just a few problems which have culminated in this rant, see until I got my programming job times were pretty rough so I had no PC at home to do work on. Yeah, I’m a computer less programmer… it’s a long story.

So anyway a few months ago I started picking up random pieces of used equipment from my coworkers. I still had some peripherals and cables and things, and by asking around I was able to pickup a monitor and decently sized TV for $40, and a barely used MSI mobo, PSU, RAM, and a little graphics card for $80. So at this point, about two weeks ago, I’m thinking great. All I need, in order of importance, is a CPU, hard drive, and a case.

So early on a Friday morning, I hop on Newegg, a site I hadn’t been on for a few years, since I was fixing people’s computers for side money in college. I find a cheap CPU that’ll fit and run on the MOBO and small hard drive because right I now I just want a functional setup, and in my experience it’s good to have some cheap stuff on hand for when your good stuff breaks.

I decided against ordering a case, and drove to Microcenter and tried to find a sales associate around th cases. No luck. Everyone is busy piling graphics cards on middle aged men with their disturbingly polo shirted teenagers. Fuckin’ Dallas. Right so after checking out all the cases I go and explore the other hardware. Then go and search for some of the cables I was missing. Now I don’t know if you’ve been to a Microcenter, but these stores are an IT nerds wet dream of a warehouse store. The only problem is it’s damn near impossible to find exactly what you are looking for since there are thousands of items on each aisle. So I’m searching these aisles for 20 minutes before I find everything. I’ve been in the store for a total of 40 minutes and still haven’t gotten the attention of anyone and still need a case.

So I go back to the case section and try to get some folks attention but they ignore me and walk on. So after 15 minutes, I just give up and set my shit down on a case in the middle of the showroom and start playing solitaire. It takes an hour, no shit an hour, for me to get a sales associate. At this point I’ve spent enough time with the cases that I’m down to two and just need pricing details. I get a case and get to the checkout and behold! The case is $12 more than the price I was told. The supervisor, says no it’s correct. After 2 hours in this store I’m just like fuck it. Just run the sale so I can go home. So when you figure in the drive, that’s 3 hours I had to sink just to get a goddamn case.

So not the worst experience I’ve ever had at a store, but it’s up there. Definitely fucked up my Sunday to lose three hours, but whatever I I’ll get over it. So Wednesday comes and I’m excited because my CPU is supposed to arrive. Which I can at least start using my setup in some limited fashion without a hard drive. Like I’m doing right now. Ten minutes before I leave work e-mail comes 3:50 PM delivered. Awesome! Get home check my door, my box, and with the office. Not here, check the tracking. 4:01 Undeliverable as addressed. Fuck…

Now USPS is not a great service. I know better than most, I used to work in shipping. But the truth is every carrier fucking sucks. USPS is the most likely to lose a package, but also the most likely to deliver it to the correct address, because they go there nearly everyday. FYI UPS is the most likely to run over your package with a forklift then deliver it and fight your claim when there are very distinct tire tracks on it. But anyway everyone knows USPS’s notorious reputation, but they’re in the right here, though their service is still shaky.

So Thursday, no package, I open an inquiry with USPS through their website, an important step I recommend doing before anything else, especially if you can’t get down there. and follow the tracking to figure which Post Office this thing should be at. Friday I start calling the Post Office. Busy signals or no answer. Post office calls me thanks to the inquiry and looks for the package, can’t find it, and takes steps toward putting me in touch with the carrier. So I send a message to the seller, called pcRUSH or Atman inc depending where you look, telling them what’s up and what I’ve been doing about it, again I used to work in shipping, and ask them for some help in finding this thing.

Their reply. 2 lines. Carrier confirms delivery (patently false), and call your post office.(yeah, been doing that)

So now, I’m a little upset. Because they used a multi carrier service, checked the first part like the second part didn’t exist. Then instructed me to contact the non-existent part of their delivery system despite me having told them I’ve been in contact. And basically just succeeded in pissing me off.

See there’s a few key things about this reply that’s alarming. None of them have to do with a lack of action.

  1. It’s not apologetic in tone. Instead it’s curt, which immediately makes me think you won’t correct the issue if it is your fault.
  2. The information is incomplete and incorrect, but sounds like good documentation if you are trying to convince Paypal, the bank, the credit card company, or judge that I received delivery.
  3. There’s no steps to cure. Apparently if your item disappears in shipping your only option is to do a charge back through the bank. Because we don’t have a protocol to help customers.

So Saturday, I’m finally able to get to the Post Office. Because, you know, I work full time. Like an adult. Finally, after quite a bit of searching, the Postal employees find it, sitting in the bin to be sent back. Why there? Because nothing on the shipping label was done correctly. It’s a bizarre incomprehensible mess of information. See there’s two formats for addresses. If you attended public school in the U.S. you were taught at least one of them.

They are:

  • Name
  • Steet
  • Box
  • City,State,Zip

or

  • Name
  • Street,Box
  • City,State,Zip

Easy right?

This package was:

  • Street
  • Name
  • Box blended with phone number

I’ve seen some dumb things get shipped. Like labels that literally said “Name, Address, City, State” instead of the customer’s information. But someone actually had to enter this information, and somehow thought this made sense. Which gets even weirder when I know USPS distributes software that holds your hand to enter addresses. And it will load from database files for convenience. Like this is bad enough that if you had brought this to them written on a letter they wouldn’t have taken it until it was fixed.

Which just pisses me off even more at this seller’s reply, since now I have the product after about 6 hours of work over 4 days on my end due to their error. Which if I was billing for time is about 4 times what the fucking chip is worth. And just to add a nice shit filled cherry to everything it was lazily packaged in a bubble envelope. The box was partially open from the usual shipping abuse, but everything thankfully works. For a company that markets itself for the PC market I sure as shit wouldn’t trust these people with something like a $500 graphics card.

So I sent them another message, telling them I received it. How it was their error and in response to their condescending reply to me sent them the Postal codes for what an address looks like. They replied with a “Thanks for the information!” and that my refund would process a week after it got back to the warehouse. Yeah go fuck yourself pcRUSH.

The seller of the hard drive didn’t process the order until the end of Wednesday, the day the CPU was supposed to arrive. Noon of Friday, one week from ordering, tracking still says awaiting shipment. Now USPS isn’t great about scanning things, but it will usually get scanned in sorting. So given it’s been a week I send a message to this seller, just to confirm it has been sent. Not to bitch, not for money, just want someone to make sure it’s not under a table in the warehouse. Maybe if anyone remembers sending this package. Again, worked in shipping for a warehouse. For some reason you tend to remember which packages are which during a shift and if it got in the bin and onto the truck. So of course, no reply.

Called Newegg, they said to wait till end of next week and they’ll work on it. You know, more than 11 business days, 15 human days, after ordering. So hopefully, it will just arrive without issue. But 4 business days to process a shipping order is pretty fucking bad. My old job’s target was to make sure that at a minimum all orders placed before noon shipped same day. 4 days would be more like if you had to build the fucking hard drive.

What a nightmare fucking industry. So this is my game development blog and in lieu of anything development related I’m fiddling with my hard drive less machine to bitch about PC part suppliers. Nothing else I’ve bought in recent years has been so infuriatingly painful as this. It’s pretty discouraging when the brick and mortars don’t even seem interested in rudimentary self preservation. Maybe that’s why there is only a few of them left. And it’s a shame to that Newegg seems obsessed with trying to be Amazon lite rather than ensuring it’s vendors are of any quality. I try not to use Amazon too much, I’ve worked with some of their former warehouse people and it sounds like the kind of job that leads to death by alcoholism. Some of their dev people have said things that suggest that’s how the entire corporate culture is. But shit, what else is a fella to do when they are damn near the only one willing to side with customers over vendors who seem to be increasingly predatory or incompetent. Giving money to either is a shitty proposition, but the stress of trying to get shit through these once reputable places is just too much of a time gamble. I’ve already spent 9 hours of my own time trying to get less than $100 worth of products. A lot of it my personally valuable weekend time. Just not worth it. If Amazon is some kind of modern digital version of the shopping mall, then Newegg is the equivalent of hanging in front of a liquor store trying to get the adults to buy you beer and hoping they don’t rob you. How is that one can have such an amazing sequence of shitty experiences in sequence? I should get my cigar supplier to start carrying PC parts. They’ve been horrifyingly reliable.

Sorry Newegg, we used to be great together, but you’ve changed in a way that now I don’t recognize you. You’re hanging around with a sketchy crowd, and I’ve got better things to do than spend my time writing sellers inquiries that go unanswered, and spending my days at the Post Office intercepting poorly labeled packages. I got code to write, games to play, a blog to dump experiences of shitty retailers on. I just don’t have the energy to deal with your issues and live my life anymore.

Well if it starts like this I can’t wait for what’s coming. Hopefully next week I’ll be setup with a hard drive, and will start playing with some new software and old games. If not, I’ll find something else to bitch about. Oh, and pcRUSH go fuck yourself.

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