Newegg generally has a good reputation with the technology
community. The company rose to prominence around the turn of the century for
its lightning-quick FedEx Super Saver shipping and its excellent customer
Over the past few years, the company has done much to maintain its
reputation with enthusiasts and still manages to hold on to a Reseller Rating of 9.90.
However, Newegg has found itself embroiled in a testy
dispute over a promotion it offered on Cyber Monday. The promotion was held in
conjunction than with everyone's favorite whipping boy: PayPal.
On Monday, Newegg offered a promotion where customers who
purchased merchandise from the site using PayPal would receive 20 percent cash
back. The promotion was to start on Monday, November 26 and end on November
28. Under the terms of the promotion,
Newegg stated that "The cash back payment will be deposited into your
PayPal account by January 31, 2008."
According to Newegg's terms and conditions for the
promotion, the 20 percent cash back was limited to a maximum of $50 USD. No
other limits were stipulated for the promotion.
A previous promotion that Newegg and PayPal sponsored
together in April offered the following wording in the terms and conditions:
prices and/or promo codes are valid till 04/15/2007 or until 500 orders per
corresponding product has been reached; whichever comes first. Once end date is
reached or redemption limit has been met discounted prices and/or promo codes
will no longer be valid. After this date and/or redemption limit, standard
prices will resume and are subject to change without notice.
Monday's promotion contained no such wording.
Shortly after the promotion started, buyers started asking questions on Newegg's EggXpert forum to clarify if the 20 percent
discount would apply to all purchases made on the site. One poster, andydepr,
used Newegg's online chat to talk to a representative.
"The promotion would only apply to the specific items
shown on [the] email," replied Steve, the Newegg online representative.
A Newegg staffer by the name of RoddyR asked posters on the EggXpert
forums to bear with him as he received confirmation from higher ups. "I’m
waiting for a confirmation email from another department. Looks like this promo might be for ALL ITEMS
on Newegg.com. I’ll have an update for
you shortly," added RoddyR.
RoddyR returned within ten minutes to report,
"Confirmed ... PayPal promo good for all items on Newegg."
So all is well, right? Wrong. About two and a half hours after
RoddyR gave the go ahead for customers to go crazy with purchases using PayPal,
he came back with the following nugget of information: "The promotional
funds that PayPal allotted for Newegg has been depleted due to the large amount
of traffic today. The promotion has now
And thus the mass confusion began. Customers began inquiring
if their order made the cut and if they would be receiving their 20 percent
"Please kindly note that we have been informed by PayPal
at noon that the promotion has been ended since the money they used to run this
promotion has been depleted," said Newegg online representative Venson to a
customer. "In addition, we [don’t] know the exact order number is the
ending of the promotion. For more information, please call PayPal at
At this point in time, the original banners advertising the
20 percent promotion were still proudly displayed on Newegg's site and within
the email newsletter.
Another online specialist, Coco, added the following:
"I do apologize that promotion has ended. It is no longer valid. PayPal
provided us with a set dollar amount, and once that amount was reached, the
promotion ended. Under the Terms and
Conditions it also states Offer was available for a limited time only."
The website was altered to reflect that the promotion
"Expires 11/26/2007" later in the afternoon and the banner in the
original email newsletter sent to customers was also changed to reflect the
termination of the program.
Newegg sent out the following email to customers who
inquired about the ended promotion:
you for your inquiry about our PayPal promotion.
the promotion has ended before noon on 11/26/2007. This promotion was sponsored by PayPal which
a set amount of funds were provided for the promotion, and all orders must be
placed while supplies lasts. Please know
that the cash back is not provided through Newegg, nor does Newegg have any
control over the promotion.
are currently working with PayPal to see if a list could be provided for all of
the orders that qualified and was placed in time for the promotion. If you are
not sure if your order was qualified or not, please contact us within a few
days for more information. We do
apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
feel free to contact us for any further questions or concerns.
Service from Newegg
So it appears that Newegg is working hard with PayPal to
determine who actually made the cut-off point for the promotion before it
The thread over at the EggXpert forum with confused, angry
and information-seeking Newegg customers and conflicting information from
Newegg employees can be found here. It is
also in this thread where an EggXpert moderator, Jason, posted
"As Roddy said, we will definitely keep you posted once
the final results are in. Meanwhile, please don't forget to PM with your Newegg
login (email) and I will be happy to send you a free Newegg.com gift. I
apologize for not being able to respond to everyone's inquiries via PM,
however, I will send you a free gift if I get your login"
So it appears that the least that Cyber Monday Newegg
customers will get is a free gift from Newegg (in addition to the original
orders). However, most are simply looking for their 20 percent cash back from
quote: I suspect the former, not the latter