Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Monday, 02 May 2005

I decided to get a new video card for my computer at home. I thought I could get away with the 'built-in' video, with it's whopping 8mb of (shared) memory, but it's just not cutting it. I decided to go for an ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon 9600 with 128mb of RAM on (coincidentally, the same amount of system ram my first “killer gaming rig” had on it back in the day) I looked around online and decided to go with Newegg.com because I had purchased from them in the past and they had good prices.

I also didn't want to pay 20% customs duty on the purchase, and it wasn't a desperate need to have it within a few days, so I decided I would buy it and ship it to our Miami office and next time one of us was up there, they could pick it up and bring it back in under their customs allowance. I could also have shipped it to my US Link mailbox in Miami and they would have shipped it here in 48 hours from receiving it for the wee fee of $3/lb. The only problem with that is that I would pay 20% duty on the (pre-rebate) $249 for the card, the $5 super saver fedex shipping, and then the airfreight charge as well. 20% of $300 is $60, but the duty would be in Cayman Dollars, so it would be USD$72.50 on top of the $249. A bit too much.

My credit card billing address is my US Link mailbox: it's where my magazine subscriptions (”What am I going to do with 48 subscriptions to Vibe?”) credit card statements and credit card junkmail are delivered to. I even had my local debit card's address changed to that Miami address to facilitate online purchasing.

I went through the checkout routine at newegg, and they didn't have my name in their system anymore, so first I had to go through the “sign up for a new account” process, and validate that, and then go back, find my shopping cart again, and start the 'checkout' process again. I used my local debit card, who's billing address is in Miami, and specified “different shipping address” because I wanted shipped to my office rather than my mailbox. I clickety-clicked through it and thought it was done.

Fifteen minutes later I got an email response from newegg that my card was issued by a non-US bank, and my order was cancelled. OK, well I gave it a shot anyway, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking “There are 300 million potential customers in the US, but there are 6 BILLION potential customers outside the US and FedEx will deliver to every single one of them. What's the holdup?” so I went back, and found the video card again, put it in my shopping cart, went to checkout, logged in, changed my debit card to my US credit card which has the same Miami billing address and went through the whole thing again. I even used their newegg/fedex shipping address validator and made sure everything was filled out properly.

THIRTY minutes later this time, I get another email: unable to verify shipping address! Didn't I just click the validate address thing? The problem this time was that my shipping address and billing address didn't match up. DUH, I know that! I was the one who clicked “ship to another address”! so I contacted NewEgg's Customer Service number and they told me to have the shipping address assigned as a secondary address to my credit card. I called the credit card company, but due to high volume, their current estimated wait time on hold was 17 minutes. Have I mentioned that calling 800 numbers from the Cayman Islands results in regular overseas long-distance charges? plus the regular airtime charges for your mobile account? Thankfully I have ways around that. I didn't want to wait on hold for that long, so I put it off til the morning.

The next morning I called the credit card company and got through right away. I said I wanted to add a second address to my card because these jackasses wouldnt ship to anything other than the billing address. The nice lady told me that that wasn't possible. I could change my address, but I didn't want to do THAT. Then she told me I could make a temporary change of address which would “time out” and revert back to my normal address after X days. I decided to do that, gave her my “shipping” address and then that was done. I called Newegg back, but their call center is on the west coast (yet their order fulfillment warehouse is in New Jersey) so they were closed and please call back later. I was kinda pissed off at this point, it was a lot of running around just to order one simple little thing online. I waited until just after 9am local when the call center was to open and called them back. I gave them my order number, and said I had the address added to my credit card, so please go ahead and re-submit the order. At this time, I checked and there was a roughly $200 authorization on my card from newegg, so I thought everything was in order. Yeah, right.

Ten minutes later I get a NEW MAIL popup and I get the same goddamn form letter from Newegg telling me my shipping address could not be verified and to please have the address added to my credit card and call them to try again.

Nope. Fuck that noise. I DID log on to Newegg's site, but that was to cancel the order. I haven't gotten around to it yet, but they will be getting a nastier version of this website post in their customer service mailbox shortly. I clicked over to CompUSA's site, and five minutes later had an order confirmation in my mailbox, and then a quick check to FedEx this morning showed it was delivered on Friday. Then I got an email from someone I work with who was in the office in Miami this weekend and said she was bringing it back for me.

SO, Newegg, who suck donkey balls, can bite me. I won't be buying from them again.

Monday, 02 May 2005 05:42:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | Tech#
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