Newegg: Refund Issued for RTX 4090 Box Filled With Metal Weights

An RTX 4090 box with two pieces of metal in it
(Image credit: Reddit: Nuclear Innards Beep)

A Newegg representative told Tom's Hardware via email that it refunded a customer who claimed to have received blocks of metal instead of an Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090. The company also says banning customer accounts is a "normal" part of the fraud investigation process.

"The customer sent a claim to Newegg that his package did not contain the new 4090 graphics card he ordered but instead weights in the photo he sent us," Eric Wein, head of public relations and partnerships at Newegg, told Tom's Hardware.

"We suspended his account, which is our normal protocol when investigating fraud cases, for a few days so we could investigate. (This protects the customer in case someone else has access to their account.)"

The ban was a part of Reddit user u/NuclearInnardsBeep's initial complaint, who had written at the time that "Newegg seems to have locked my account instead of responding, so that's cool."

Wein went on to say that Newegg was "unable to determine the source of the theft," and that it issued a refund while the customer was suspended and then reinstated their account.

"The package was weighed both at Newegg and by the carrier. Its weight was the same and standard in both measurements for that 4090 graphics card, Wein wrote. He added that this "has been the only fraud case like this" and that "Newegg considers this a resolved customer case."

Tom's Hardware reached out over Reddit to ask u/NuclearInnardsBeep about the refund, but didn't hear back before publication. We'll update this story if we get any new details.

The initial post of the RTX 4090 box was met with a mix of displeasure from the PC building community, including some users who expressed issues with Newegg's customer service, and surprise, as some onlookers thought the whole thing might be a gag for upvotes on Reddit. A number of Redditors suggested pushing for a chargeback from the customer's bank, while Gamers Nexus' Steve Burke offered to pay full price for the box and weights.

We have been unable to verify much about this story, and details of the weights that rocked the PC gaming community have been shrouded in mystery. There has been some anger towards Newegg recently, especially after the PC parts vendor had to make changes to its open-box return policy back in February after Burke posted a scathing video about his experiences attempting to return a motherboard. Additionally, the Newegg Shuffle, which bundled hard-to-find graphics cards with other components in a raffle system during the peak of the mining boom and COVID-19 pandemic, was criticized for making desperate people buy extra items they didn't want.

This wouldn't be the first time someone claimed to have received a missing or replaced item. A quick search pulls up someone who claimed to buy a MacBook (opens in new tab) from Best Buy in June, only to receive an empty box.

This incident, regardless of its veracity, has stoked the fires of a community looking for parts vendors to trust.

Wein's full email is reprinted in full below:

The customer sent a claim to Newegg that his package did not contain the new 4090 graphics card he ordered but instead weights in the photo he sent us. We suspended his account, which is our normal protocol when investigating fraud cases, for a few days so we could investigate. (This protects the customer in case someone else has access to their account.)

We were unable to determine the source of the theft. Given that, during the suspension period, we issued a refund and reinstated his account.

The package was weighed both at Newegg and by the carrier. Its weight was the same and standard in both measurements for that 4090 graphics card.

This has been the only fraud case like this.

Newegg considers this a resolved customer case.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • tennis2
    I doubt this was newegg's fault, and the GPU box would've been shipped inside a brown newegg box so the carrier wouldn't have known what was inside either.

    I think this person made out like a bandit because of the publicity. Newegg just took it on the chin to save face.
    Reply
  • Heat_Fan89
    tennis2 said:
    I think this person made out like a bandit because of the publicity. Newegg just took it on the chin to save face.

    That is entirely possible but Newegg put themselves in that position when they got into a tussle with Gamers Nexus. I seriously doubt Newegg knowingly did that unless a rogue employee stole the GPU. Someone had to know what was inside.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    Heat_Fan89 said:
    That is entirely possible but Newegg put themselves in that position when they got into a tussle with Gamers Nexus. I seriously doubt Newegg knowingly did that unless a rogue employee stole the GPU. Someone had to know what was inside.
    The Gamers Nexus issue and this one aren't comparable. Gamer's Nexus knowingly bought an open box product whereas this person bought a new product. There are far more avenues to do something unscrupulous with an open box product than a brand new one. The unfortunate Gamers Nexus issue was basically incompetence and laziness on Newegg's part not outright malice that would benefit the employee that did it. I find it highly unlikely a Newegg employee stole a brand new 4090 and put two pieces of metal in the box and shipped it out.
    Reply
  • LORDPrometheus
    Newegg's awesome refund policy does leave them open to this sort of scam but honestly it just means people know they can trust Newegg.
    Reply
  • LBSure
    Admin said:
    Newegg claims it gave a user who says that they received weighs instead of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 a refund, and that this was an isolated incident.

    Newegg: Refund Issued for RTX 4090 Box Filled With Metal Weights : Read more
    What happened with this customer is entirely possible. Newegg probably keeps these more expensive video cards under lock and key. Any employee that walks by is wondering "Why those cards are locked up? After that word of mouth takes over. If they didn't arrive that way from the manufacturers, any one that would have access and the time to do this is probably the culprit or knows something. The old switcharoo trick...
    Reply
  • PlaneInTheSky
    It's kind of silly to say store X has a good return policy and store Y does not without knowing who the customer is.

    From my experience, it has a lot to do with how long you have been a customer.

    When a customer rep has to decide if you get a refud or not, they will look at your purchase history, which shows how many things you bought in the past, and how many you returned.

    If you're a new customer, buying your first item, and you claim that it was "stolen" or "replaced" with a brick...good luck. If you're a customer who has been buying from them for years, they probably refund you easily.

    This also explains why you can have 2 people argue with each other, one claiming the return policy sucks, and the other claiming they never had a problem.
    Reply
  • A Stoner
    Isolated up until now. Now that people know they can scam them, look for more events.
    Reply
  • tennis2
    LBSure said:
    What happened with this customer is entirely possible. Newegg probably keeps these more expensive video cards under lock and key. Any employee that walks by is wondering "Why those cards are locked up? After that word of mouth takes over. If they didn't arrive that way from the manufacturers, any one that would have access and the time to do this is probably the culprit or knows something. The old switcharoo trick...
    Maybe it's my engineering/fabricating background talking, but is anybody talking about those sus hunks of metal? It's highly unlikely newegg or any carrier has chunks of stock like that laying around for a switcharoo. I can only fathom that those came from a machine shop.

    Also would hope these are aluminum pieces (not going to scale the photo to calc steel/aluminum) so we don't also have to talk about the complete lack of rust on the plates.
    Reply
  • ThatMouse
    NewEgg took longer than 20 seconds to issue a return OMG let's write articles and make YouTubes about it!
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Whomever stole the card is an idiot. Newegg and the box itself will track the serial number which in written into each card. The second they run nvidias drivers the IP address will be revealed of the thief.

    When a pallet of cards were stolen from a card mfg during the mining crisis, this is what they did.
    Reply