GPU prices may have fallen drastically since their extreme heights a year ago, but they’re still often the most expensive part of a new gaming PC. So when Canadian gamer Matthew Legault ordered a brand-new ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti for his gaming rig and all he received was a piece of plastic, he was rightly pretty upset.
Matthew graduated high school last June and his parents agreed to honor his hard work with a new gaming rig. In a report from the CBC, Matthew said he ordered his new graphics card from Amazon for the low(ish) price of $690 CAD, but instead of getting a new GPU, he was mailed a plastic casing that was filled with a "putty-like substance to give it weight."
"It was actually a bit of a shock," he said. "Everything looked pretty official up to the point where I pulled it out and took a second look."
Amazon is usually known for taking returns without much hassle, but this time Amazon declined to refund after it received the fake graphics card. Matthew’s father, Francois Legault, was told by email that he’d need to send the "correct" item to get his money back.
"The box had obviously been tampered with," said Francois. "We kind of expected that Amazon would have better quality controls, better procedures to ensure that something like this doesn't happen."
What's worse, when Francois explained the situation, he was told by an Amazon rep that they'd already thrown out the fake GPU in order to "protect other employees."
"It was absurd," Francois told the CBC. "It's just a piece of plastic so I doubt there's any danger to their employees. And secondly … now they've destroyed the piece of evidence. They're basically saying that we're trying to defraud them. We've never had a pattern of returning things, or anything of that nature."
The CBC reached out to Amazon for a statement, and Amazon then apologized for the "unfortunate incident" and refunded Francois the $690.
A similar situation happened in Brazil when a gamer ordered a new RTX 3090 Ti and instead received a box of sand. Amazon eventually refunded that order too after a TikTok video gained over 5 million views.
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