What’s Happening With The MSI Scalping Claims?
The PC Tech industry has recently been on full blast ever since the launch of RTX 30-series cards, and with Ryzen processors and Radeon graphics also coming to light this October, we can expect more hype to build up as their releases come to fruition. Undoubtedly, we can all agree that the second half of 2020 has been nothing short of excellence for tech enthusiasts and PC users worldwide.
However, not everything about them has been all sunshine and rainbows as we’ve seen bots and scalpers buy out units in seconds, paper launches due to limited inventory, and a slew of RTX 3000 series cards crashing. And to make matters worse, Micro-Start International (MSI), one of the well-established tech hardware companies, has found itself caught up in controversy with scalping allegations.
Yes, you read that right, an actual AIB board partner has been accused of scalping their own RTX 3080 cards.
Quick Rundown On What’s Happening
So, before you get carried away overthinking, here’s the quick rundown on what happened. Just yesterday, a Reddit user posted that MSI was scalping their own RTX 3080s under the name of Starlit Partner. And instead of selling them for their retail prices, the RTX 3080 was going for nearly double at a staggering cost of $1359.00.
Of course, MSI loyalists and diehard fans quickly labeled this as fake news and misleading information. Still, upon further inspection of the trademark, Starlit Partner is owned by MSI Computer Corp. And in addition to this shocking evidence, going through their store revealed that they only sold MSI parts and components, which only further strengthens the allegations.
This information caused outrage among the PC tech community as the trust had been broken. To think that a well-establish tech company would stoop so low to make more money on a limited supply product.
What Does MSI Say In Response?
The controversy spread like wildfire, and in response, MSI posted this statement:
“Starlit Partner is an individual sales subsidiary working under MSI. They carry excess inventory and refurbished items and would not be given newly released products such as the GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards. As such, we have conducted an investigation and found that an error allowed them to access inventory they were not permitted to handle.”
As you can see, this proves that MSI was scalping their own RTX 3080s; however, it was done through an individual sales subsidiary. They said that Starlit Partner was only allowed to sell excess and refurbished inventory, and they claim this was an error in the system.
“Starlit Partner has been instructed to contact the individual customers who purchased these graphic card products and offer two options – return the product and receive a full refund or a partial refund of the amount paid over MSI’s MSRP.”
In the act of damage control, MSI had instructed Starlit Partner to give refunds to customers who purchased the RTX 3080 cards, but we have no update on this matter.
“Moving forward, MSI will enforce a stricter policy to avoid situations like this happening again.”
And to add the icing on the cake, this last part instills zero confidence back into the customer and leaves us in the dark. A stricter policy is very vague, and you’d at least expect a sorry or something along those lines.
Crazy Controversy vs. Scary Reality
The worst part, there’s no telling if the extent of this MSI problem is just some crazy controversy or a scary reality that we will have to face. And while MSI did confirm that this was the doing of a sales subsidiary, who’s to say this isn’t a matter of being caught red-handed and trying to wash their hands clean? What if there were more victims of this scalping that we do not know about? And are there any more shady operations happening in other subsidiaries?
Of course, this is nothing but speculation on our part, so please take these with a massive grain of salt. However, we cannot deny that none of us can tell what happens behind the curtains. So, until MSI comes forward with a more formal statement apart from the Twitter post, we’re afraid the majority of us will stay in the dark for the meantime.
Conclusion: We Need Ethical Standards
Whether you’re a small-time restaurant franchise or big tech company like MSI, ethical standards need to be followed, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about this controversy is that a lot of unethical things can happen behind the background. Businesses should never risk compromising the trust and accountability of their brand over a small sum in the grand scheme of things.