Newegg ships counterfeit Intel i7 processors to customers

Reports from hardwarecanucks are telling a rather interesting story about Newegg shipping customers counterfeit processors.  The fake Intel i7 920 processors were delivered to customers, and reports began rolling in yesterday, with a total up to five separate incidents and nine customers in total so far.

The fake processors were shipped earlier in the week by Newegg, and possibly more customers maybe affected by this, but may have yet to receive or report the issue. 

The counterfeit processors that were shipped came with a clay heatsink, with a sticker of a fan on it, and with it, a piece of scrap metal as the processor.  To complement the fake processor and heatsink, it came in a box, which had a fake “factory sealed” sticker on it, that was actually printed on the box.  The box actually had spelling and grammar mistakes on it, such as "[...]processor ans a thermal solution designed for use ina Desktop PC[...]"  The instruction booklet that shipped with the fake Intel processors was just blank, with a single staple.

Newegg has confirmed that they did receive “incorrect inventory” and posted this statement:

Newegg is aware of a shipping error that occurred with certain recent orders of the Intel Core i7-920 CPU. After investigating the issue internally it appears one of our long term partners mistakenly shipped a small number of demo boxes instead of functional units. Our customer service team has already begun proactively reaching out to the affected customers. In line with our commitment to ensure total customer satisfaction, we are doing everything in our power to resolve the issue as soon as possible and with the least amount of inconvenience to our customers.

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How can they proactively reach to their affected customers? Them reaching to customers is a reaction to being aware of the shipping errors. Therefore, they are reactively reaching. If they can't even get the statement right, it's no wonder they've screwed up on this occasion.

New comment from Newegg:

Newegg is currently conducting a thorough investigation surrounding recent shipments of questionable Intel Core i7-920 CPUs purchased from Newegg.com.

Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us "demo units." We have since come to discover the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier. Contrary to any speculation, D&H Distributing is not the vendor that supplied us with the Intel Core i7-920 CPUs in question.

Newegg’s top priority is to proactively reach out to all customers who may have been affected to ensure their absolute satisfaction. We have already sent out a number of replacement units and are doing everything in our power to resolve the matter promptly and with the least amount of inconvenience to our customers.

We have always taken pride in providing an exceptional experience for each customer, and we apologize for any inconvenience to our valued customers. We take matters like this extremely seriously, and are working in close cooperation with Intel and the appropriate law enforcement authorities to thoroughly investigate this incident.

This is by the funniest thing i have seen or read all day!!! What idiot didnt realise this wasnt real when pakcing them up? A heatsink would weigh less than clay so it must weigh more than the origional to begin with.

i'm still crying from all that rofling and lmaoing. man, they really think THAT can pass a processor? such hubris!

now is it safe to say its better to go out and actually buy stuff?

Look those who said the warehouse should cop the rap for this for not checking them before they went out, obviously think that the staf have all the time in the world to individually check everything.

Even a QA team for a factory only check a percentage of items. Not ever single one.

That being said I agree that the warehouse dude should take the rap for this. But not for the reasons others have stated. It should be due to the fact that they guys have handle and shipped allot of i7's. Something that is fake would most likely be noticeably different in packaging, and be of different weight. They should have noticed something wasn't right when they handled the box.

My first instict is that we hear a lot of stories about people opening boxes of junk about the same weight - but the care and attention put in here (and the clearly forged boxes - demo boxes my ass ) AND the clay fans sort of reminds me of when Miniscribe started shipping boxes of bricks instead of harddrives to their vendors shortly before going bankrupt. (just hit wikipedia and search for Miniscribe - I kid you not - boxes of BRICKS)

Xepol said,
My first instict is that we hear a lot of stories about people opening boxes of junk about the same weight - but the care and attention put in here (and the clearly forged boxes - demo boxes my ass ) AND the clay fans sort of reminds me of when Miniscribe started shipping boxes of bricks instead of harddrives to their vendors shortly before going bankrupt. (just hit wikipedia and search for Miniscribe - I kid you not - boxes of BRICKS)

have you not read the comment a few lines up, these demo boxes are meant to simulate the look and weight of the packaging and its contents, so that the store can prepare to sell the real cpu's without having to buy a batch just to see if its going to fit on their shelves, or open a unit (breaking the seal and making it officially 'second hand') to see if the heatsinks fit on the display stands, etc etc...

carmatic said,

these demo boxes are meant to simulate the look and weight of the packaging and its contents, so that the store can prepare to sell the real cpu's without having to buy a batch just to see if its going to fit on their shelves

Riiight, you keep telling yourself that a clay mockup and fake CPU, and poor spelling is really required for that task. Oh wait, here's a thought - basic MATH skills.

It's not a demo ,it never said demo ,it was somebody getting over and they did ....period .they f uped ,glad I never have ordered anything from those idiots ,somebody got over on newegg ,and the people that do there inventory are too stupid to 1) care 2) don't no what one thing looks like another 3) are involved .....period ...no demo BS .

SirEvan said,
That's Awesome...score one for counterfiters... Wish I'd ordered one, i think it's hillarious
me2 me2, l so must fit in.. not!

I have one of those CLAY heatsinks and boy does it out-perform my old copper one any day! My temps went from 35'C to 4'C !!! It even came with the same BLANK instruction booklet as these i7's because basically the installation was self-explanatory.

PeterTHX said,
Irony is that when plugged in, these fake i7s still outperform AMD's latest...

I think these fake i7 boxes actually have more processing power than AMD's latest chips....

PeterTHX said,
Irony is that when plugged in, these fake i7s still outperform AMD's latest...

Ya intels newest creation......a POS as usual

This is the first problem Ive ever seen reported for Newegg, I've built many computers using their parts and never had any problems with the shipping, parts of customer service.

Actually, The definition seems to apply 100% here. The article never said it was a good counterfeit. A counterfeit doesn't need to actually work. It just needs to "take advantage of the established worth of the imitated product." The counterfeiters succeeded. Whats the problem?

Well, if it is really a demo product as Newegg says, then it doesn't.

I don't really see a reason why we shouldn't trust Newegg on this one.

I fail to see why everyone is saying these aren't demo boxes. Just because you've never seen a demo box, doesn't mean it's not real.

It IS a demo box, and I've seen many of them from different Intel processors.

And yes. I HAVE seen demo boxes with bad spelling and grammar. These are generally used to sell to a store, not to show a customer.

That way, the store who might purchase and stock them, can see how the box will look in their store, on display, with other product colours, size etc. And if they want to put the parts of the box on display somewhere, they have fake parts so they can check that too.

Why would a store want to play with hundreds of dollars worth of stick to setup a display, when they can use this?

Deadset. Everyone assumes on Neowin now days, and the rest follow along taking ever comment written as gospel.

Anyway.

Baaaaaa.

I highly doubt Newegg had any malcontempt.....I don't think they would risk destroying their business with something like this. Besides, there is no possible way they could have gotten away with it. I meean if they were WORKING counterfeits that would be one thing but these were made of sheet metal and fan was made of clay so it wouldn't take longer than 5 seconds to see they are fake. I also don't think these are demo units because of the fact that they come in boxes with the common Taiwan-fakes spelling errors on the box among other things. There is definite criminal activity here but I am 99.99% sure it did not come from Newegg.

Well that really sucks but how the hell did newegg even get these. I mean don't they check for this kind of stuff at the shipping center?!

AJC. said,
Well that really sucks but how the hell did newegg even get these. I mean don't they check for this kind of stuff at the shipping center?!

Can't open the package to check it when it has been sealed.

AJC. said,
Well that really sucks but how the hell did newegg even get these. I mean don't they check for this kind of stuff at the shipping center?!

As said above, you can't look inside - and they're only going to care about the outside if they have some reason to inspect it closely (and even then, only if they have time, which they probably don't).

Just ordered a Radeon HD 5750 series GPU and some Arctic Silver 5 compound. Everything got to me on time and working good. Don't think Newegg.com would do this on purpose not when all you have is your reputation. They got taken, happens to the best of us.

ATTN: YOU MUST READ THE ARTICLE TO COMMENT. I saw at least 3 post where people post obviously without reading the article.

Pixil Eyes said,
ATTN: YOU MUST READ THE ARTICLE TO COMMENT. I saw at least 3 post where people post obviously without reading the article.
Afraid the idiots cant help themselves.

There's a huge difference between "Fake" and "Counterfeit". The title of this story makes it sound like Newegg purposely tried to sell Processors that work, but are not genuine. This is incorrect. These would have never worked, because they are not even real product. So IMHO the title should be changed to "Newegg distributor causes mistaken demo product to be shipped"

I highly doubt Newegg would do this on purpose at the cost of their rep and millions they bring in each year.

Obviously this is a showcase/demo product of the packaging, not a "Counterfeit" processor..

Thanks Andrew for flipping the story and sensationalizing it into something it isn't....

rageagainstmachine said,
to be honesttt sounds like some angry employee getting revenge about something
Right on, though I think they would rather burn down the building?

OH wait, there is no spoon! ;)

Edited by war, Mar 7 2010, 9:32am :

Some people seem to be having trouble understanding the existence of fake units in the first place.

I imagine it has something to do with showcasing the packaging, maybe internally at some company. If all you're trying to do is communicate what the i7 retail package looks like, it would make sense just to have some filler inside.

who goes through that much trouble to make a fake processor? They could have just put the piece of clay in there and be done with it. Why the fake processor, it just doesn't make any sense :D

XerXis said,
who goes through that much trouble to make a fake processor? They could have just put the piece of clay in there and be done with it. Why the fake processor, it just doesn't make any sense :D

Well, as said in the article, these are allegedly demo units... So then it would make sense... An amusing mixup though.

dead.cell said,
Screw Activision! These CPUs aren't going to beat Apple's new refresh lined up for 2010!

Go Firefox!

Modern warfare, OS wars, and browser wars all in one quote! WIN!

dead.cell said,
Screw Activision! These CPUs aren't going to beat Apple's new refresh lined up for 2010!

Go Firefox!

Thanks for that buddy. Good to laugh! :D

APRIL FOOLS!!! LOL

Hmm... if anyone has one of these demo units, I'll buy one off of you Because of this incident, that demo unit MUST have risen in value eh? I'd like to have one :)

mikefarinha said,
Did they verify these were not genuine processors via CPU-Z?

Nono, read the article again. They aren't even processors. They were demo packages, made entirely out of plastic. It was an error on the company which provides the processors to Newegg. They are fixing it.

mikefarinha said,
Did they verify these were not genuine processors via CPU-Z?

Why does everyone add a comment without reading the articles, bugs me to death!!

mikefarinha said,
Did they verify these were not genuine processors via CPU-Z?

I think nobody caught the sarcasm, which I think there was some

murkurie said,

I think nobody caught the sarcasm, which I think there was some

Sarcasm mark was not used, therefore not sarcasm.

Udedenkz said,

Sarcasm mark was not used, therefore not sarcasm.

Intelligent rebuttal mark not used, therefore not intelligent or a rebuttal

Nightwind Hawk said,

Nono, read the article again. They aren't even processors. They were demo packages, made entirely out of plastic. It was an error on the company which provides the processors to Newegg. They are fixing it.

*facepalm*

im sure neweggs' packing robots can't tell the difference between real and counterfit..cmon guys..give newegg a break...they are a spectaculr company and i would not deal with any other company unless i had to

really? this is possibly the first time newegg has come under fire in what is probably millions upon millions of orders. they will fix it, probably get the authorities involved, and make good on all sales of these "fakes". newegg is as big as they are for a reason, and it's not shady practices.

lothodon said,
really? this is possibly the first time newegg has come under fire in what is probably millions upon millions of orders. they will fix it, probably get the authorities involved, and make good on all sales of these "fakes". newegg is as big as they are for a reason, and it's not shady practices.

Yeah, I haven't used them before, but I've never heard anything bad about them before. I'm sure it's a mixup, and hopefully they'll resolve it quickly...

lothodon said,
really? this is possibly the first time newegg has come under fire in what is probably millions upon millions of orders. they will fix it, probably get the authorities involved, and make good on all sales of these "fakes". newegg is as big as they are for a reason, and it's not shady practices.

Newegg for canada was the worst online shopping eexperiences ive ever had. And who ships with UPS...i dont know anyone that likes dealing with UPS.

Neoauld said,

Newegg for canada was the worst online shopping eexperiences ive ever had. And who ships with UPS...i dont know anyone that likes dealing with UPS.

Well seeing as UPS is the largest delivery company in the world, I would say a lot of people like UPS.

Neoauld said,

Newegg for canada was the worst online shopping eexperiences ive ever had. And who ships with UPS...i dont know anyone that likes dealing with UPS.

I'll prefer hands down UPS over FedEx. I actually prefer to ship out via UPS but the billing account might have something to do with it.

shinji257 said,

I'll prefer hands down UPS over FedEx. I actually prefer to ship out via UPS but the billing account might have something to do with it.

UPS never leaves my orders on the front porch like FedEx does. FedEx has left my Macbook Pro on my porch for 3 hours. UPS left a note telling me where to pick my Newegg order. UPS wins....

SputnikGamer said,

UPS never leaves my orders on the front porch like FedEx does. FedEx has left my Macbook Pro on my porch for 3 hours. UPS left a note telling me where to pick my Newegg order. UPS wins....

Dumb-asses in every company my friend. I would not be so quick to judge based on one experience. ;)

lol at least it's a genuine block of nothing not as bad as the old pentium 4s coming out of south east asia a few years back which were just overclocked and had model # sanded off and sold at a mark up with some random brand name on it instead

Digitalx said,
lol at least it's a genuine block of nothing not as bad as the old pentium 4s coming out of south east asia a few years back which were just overclocked and had model # sanded off and sold at a mark up with some random brand name on it instead

Oh yikes! I don't remember that, but boy is that bad...

Heads are going to roll on this, this is a huge blunder, Newegg just can't be relied upon.
After this I don't think i'll be ordering anything from Newegg again.

xpablo said,
Heads are going to roll on this, this is a huge blunder, Newegg just can't be relied upon.
After this I don't think i'll be ordering anything from Newegg again.

I never order anything from them. 9.75% tax is enough to drive me away.

xpablo said,
Heads are going to roll on this, this is a huge blunder, Newegg just can't be relied upon.
After this I don't think i'll be ordering anything from Newegg again.

You do know that Newegg is just a distributor, right? The supplier sent Newegg the wrong boxes and they shipped them thinking they were legit. You can't expect them to open and inspect every single inventory item, especially ones that are sealed.

I see no wrongdoing on newegg's side since it was the supplier's fault.

Sartoris said,

You do know that Newegg is just a distributor, right? The supplier sent Newegg the wrong boxes and they shipped them thinking they were legit. You can't expect them to open and inspect every single inventory item, especially ones that are sealed.

I see no wrongdoing on newegg's side since it was the supplier's fault.

Actually I can and do expect them to verify the goods they sell me. If they are easily duped with this how do I know the graphics card I ordered isn't a nicer looking fake?

NewEgg shipped the product so NewEgg is responsible. It is just that simple..

If NewEgg believes their supplier is at fault they can chase down the supplier, but that isn't my job. This isn't eBay.

Wanderermy said,

I never order anything from them. 9.75% tax is enough to drive me away.

I dread to imagine how you'd react to 17.5% tax :)

Frazell Thomas said,

Actually I can and do expect them to verify the goods they sell me. If they are easily duped with this how do I know the graphics card I ordered isn't a nicer looking fake?

How? No really, I mean, even hypothetically, how would you suggest verifying the product? Have you ever purchased a CPU before? They come in little, windowless boxes with stickers sealing them. Once the seal is broken, they can *not* be sold as 'new' anymore.

This is a whole business model followed by thousands of retailers--NewEgg can't verify the product any better than Best Buy, Fry's, or ZipZoomFly can. All they have to rely on is their supply partners and their reputations. In this particular case, it really is more likely that this was a freak error, and NewEgg is certainly not charging the affected customers anything to get these items replaced. That's the very definition of good customer service in the face of a mistake--or perhaps you think retailers should never, ever be allowed to ever make mistakes, ever?

Tim Dawg said,
Guess you must live in CA then. Luckily I'm out of state so I pay 0% tax.

The problem I have with it is that as large a distributor as Newegg is, the supplier should have been Intel. :(

GreyWolf said,

The problem I have with it is that as large a distributor as Newegg is, the supplier should have been Intel. :(

Somehow I doubt Intel ships the items directly but rather relies on it's distributors to get them out.

Frazell Thomas said,

Actually I can and do expect them to verify the goods they sell me. If they are easily duped with this how do I know the graphics card I ordered isn't a nicer looking fake?

NewEgg shipped the product so NewEgg is responsible. It is just that simple..

If NewEgg believes their supplier is at fault they can chase down the supplier, but that isn't my job. This isn't eBay.

I used to work in a warehouse receiving goods. If the package is sealed you can't verify the internal contents of the goods at all. The best you can do is check to make sure nothing is obviously wrong on the outside and count up your received quantity.

Joshie said,

How? No really, I mean, even hypothetically, how would you suggest verifying the product? Have you ever purchased a CPU before? They come in little, windowless boxes with stickers sealing them. Once the seal is broken, they can *not* be sold as 'new' anymore.

True, however there were telltale signs on the box that something wasn't right. I work in QC and the packaging inspection is just as important as what would be in the package. There also would probably be some weight difference in the order. Especially if the CPU was the only item shipped. I personally feel that this should had been caught by the order packer or some other warehouse employee. I also feel the Newegg is trying to make this right and, though a minor inconvenience to the customer, this won't hurt Newegg at all.

Also, can the title be changed? This is obviously not a counterfeit issue.

RangerLG said,

True, however there were telltale signs on the box that something wasn't right. I work in QC and the packaging inspection is just as important as what would be in the package. There also would probably be some weight difference in the order. Especially if the CPU was the only item shipped. I personally feel that this should had been caught by the order packer or some other warehouse employee. I also feel the Newegg is trying to make this right and, though a minor inconvenience to the customer, this won't hurt Newegg at all.

Also, can the title be changed? This is obviously not a counterfeit issue.

Somehow I doubt this is the first time they got stuff like this from a bogus supplier. Would be interesting to see how many times they have got stuff from the supplier like this vs the times it wasn't caught before it made it to the customer.

Sartoris said,

You do know that Newegg is just a distributor, right? The supplier sent Newegg the wrong boxes and they shipped them thinking they were legit. You can't expect them to open and inspect every single inventory item, especially ones that are sealed.

I see no wrongdoing on newegg's side since it was the supplier's fault.

No Newegg is a RETAILER, not a distributor, the distributor s the one who supplied Newegg with the fake Intel processors, now it's clear that Newegg has some morons working in their shipping dept, that don't know a processor from well an egg.
This is what you get when you hire cheap min wage workers to ship your order.

I'm sure this will all blow over and Newegg will carry on as normal, for now, but i sure the hell am not dealing with them, I had a bad experience with them when I purchased my Laptop that never arrived, it took over 3 weeks to get my money back.

Joshie said,

How? No really, I mean, even hypothetically, how would you suggest verifying the product? Have you ever purchased a CPU before? They come in little, windowless boxes with stickers sealing them. Once the seal is broken, they can *not* be sold as 'new' anymore.

This is a whole business model followed by thousands of retailers--NewEgg can't verify the product any better than Best Buy, Fry's, or ZipZoomFly can. All they have to rely on is their supply partners and their reputations. In this particular case, it really is more likely that this was a freak error, and NewEgg is certainly not charging the affected customers anything to get these items replaced. That's the very definition of good customer service in the face of a mistake--or perhaps you think retailers should never, ever be allowed to ever make mistakes, ever?

Also im sure newegg is insured for any loss so their gonna get their money back

cloaked said,
Someone at Newegg just crapped their pants.
No, more like wondering why they did not think of it before. ;)

doublea2 said,
is this a bad joke? how could that be a demo? lol
It's not a demo unit. That is simply what newegg is using for their cover story.

That's an embarassing mixup. They can't blame their suppliers, it's whoever works at their warehouse who should get the rap for that!

jamesyfx said,
That's an embarassing mixup. They can't blame their suppliers, it's whoever works at their warehouse who should get the rap for that!

If a supplier supplied me with counterfeit stuff I would definitely blame the suppliers. ;)

jelli said,

If a supplier supplied me with counterfeit stuff I would definitely blame the suppliers. ;)

Actually it should be both. The supplier for sending and receiving at the warehouse for not at least checking the product to look for any obvious issues (like spelling errors...).

shinji257 said,

Actually it should be both. The supplier for sending and receiving at the warehouse for not at least checking the product to look for any obvious issues (like spelling errors...).

You think someone who works at a warehouse keeping stock is going to check packaging for grammar and spelling errors? Realize, that a large % of their stock comes from Taiwan.

shinji257 said,

Actually it should be both. The supplier for sending and receiving at the warehouse for not at least checking the product to look for any obvious issues (like spelling errors...).

Good luck with that! You would be out of the job before you had it.

lol the processor look like crap.... how can they even ship such a crap processor even if it was a shipping error.

still1 said,
lol the processor look like crap.... how can they even ship such a crap processor even if it was a shipping error.

Do they actually open every product shipped to perform quality control?
Not that I"m condoning this, but at the same time this is an internet company and at least they are doing what can be done to alleviate the issue. When all said is done, if no one complains about service, than kudos on them.

Hopefully this is a single failure incident. I for one would lose all confidence in my number one supplier if this continues. But from what I've seen with this company is that they are decent in customer control. (for an internet company)

Yeah I can speak for their customer service. I've been purchasing from them for years and they've always had really fast, prompt, and courteous customer service. I'm not quite sure I believe this "demo box" nonsense. They probably don't want to look bad or get a bad rep going for sending out worthless boxes. It makes them look like they aren't watching things closely.

Hmm, if the info in the article is true, then Newegg is full of **** about them being demo products. They're better off coming clean.

boogerjones said,
Hmm, if the info in the article is true, then Newegg is full of **** about them being demo products. They're better off coming clean.

What I want to know is how they got these and who signed off on the shipment...If they are counterfeit then I don't seen Newegg getting their money back and that could be really bad. (?)

Looks to me like someone pulled quite a big switch-a-roony.

Probably a whole truck of processors replaced by these fakes.

boogerjones said,
Hmm, if the info in the article is true, then Newegg is full of **** about them being demo products. They're better off coming clean.

Who knows. At least newegg is taking the appropriate action. Shopped there for over 5 years. This incident doesn't really affect their track record.

boogerjones said,
Hmm, if the info in the article is true, then Newegg is full of **** about them being demo products. They're better off coming clean.

If they come clean, it probably be this:
"We got scammed by our supplier". And a big bout of LOL and embarrassment for them.