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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Forget politics for this post....

No matter what you do, no matter what the deal you may have found, no matter what the little voice in your ear says: NEVER BUY A COMPUTER FROM GATEWAY.!

I have a real job, but I also do adjunct teaching at the college level in criminal justice. Since school has started, there is already competition for the two computers we have in the house. A couple months ago my wife bought a laptop for work mostly, but there still isn't enough room for everyone who needs it.

So three weeks ago, August 6th to be exact, I opened my Sunday Best Buy sales paper to see what deals might be offered. The added bonus was that it was tax free weekend for school stuff, so I got about $200 off a Gateway notebook plus saving about 7% in taxes. A conservative's dream, right?

5 days later, and after having only used the laptop for 3 days, something is corrupted and programs keep terminating. So, figuring I did something wrong, and since I had little one it, I attempted the system restore function with the restore CD that was included with my notebook. It as corrupt, and now Windows won't load.

I call tech support, which provided none, and decided I would swap it at Best Buy for another one. Well, Best Buy - and follow this logic - wouldn't take it back. They won't take it because the operating system was corrupt. I said, "I know, because it is the one you sold me." He said, "I can't take it back without an operating system." I said, "If it had an OS, I wouldn't need to bring it back." He said, "Get it fixed and we will accept it." I said, "Moron, if I could fix it I wouldn't be bringing it back." So, They sold me something that was broken, but wouldn't take it back because it was broken.

Now, I called Gateway to get a new restore disk set. They said it would be here in 2-3 business days. Four days pass, no CDs. So I get tech support again, and the guy said that there was a goof, and he would ship it immediately, and I would get it in 1-2 business days. That was Saturday. I was thinking it would get shipped overnight because of the problem. NOPE. Today is the 2nd business day, and when I got tech support they told me that it had not been shipped yet. A supervisor had to waive the replacement fee because it was under warranty.

So, after spending $800, using my computer for 3 days, I have been waiting 11 days for a disk set that shouldn't have been necessary in the first place and now have to wait another 5 days.

Anything but Gateway, people. I was warned about their poor customer service and poor tech support, but I didn't listen. The economic conservative in me said that it was a good deal, it was a good warranty, and it was a reputable company. GUESS AGAIN. Go with Toshiba, or HP. My wife got a Toshiba, and it is a beautiful notebook and hums along like nothing I have ever seen. TRUST ME, avoid Gateway like the plaque.

6 Posts From Readers:

betmo said...

wow! that really stinks. my husband has a dell laptop- and we haven't had any problems with it- knock on wood. we haven't had any issues with the battery- so i am not sending it back. i use the cord anyway.

Robert said...

Welcome Betmo...Please drop in often, and if you can, post in the heroes topic below. I am really interested in this one.

Dell...another reputable firm. I have a laptop from work that is a Dell, and I like it, I have had no problems, but thought I had a great deal here. So much for that....I wish I could run my house like the government runs teh treasury. I would just but a new one, and maybe a spare one jsut in case.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I'm sorry to hear of your misfortune. I have a Dell Desktop, new last christmas. The "DVD that does it all" has failed twice. I have a 24 hour onsite service contract. The first failure (after I called India for three hours), it took four days to see a service person. The second time (again after I called India), it took nearly ten days to see a service person. When I raged and ranted, nobody could tell me "why." The computer does run great - when it runs!:) And......I'm still fighting to get a restore disk which never shipped with my machine. The latest from India now is "Since this a a request for a replacement, you will be required to pay $65 plus shipping." So, that's in the hands of a shark. Bottom line? Dell is no better. The school my wife teaches at is all Gateway; they swear by them!

About the only fix I've been able to figure out is spend a couple hundred more, and have it built by the geek store down the street. At least you'll have somebody to stangle.:) As with all "service" in this country, I don't ever see it getting better.....

The Beltway B@stard said...

I have my own Gateway horror stories. All I can say is use that credit card customer protection/dispute option you should have. Best Buy, by law, should be replacing your rig with something that works, or your credit card company should be refunding you until the issue is resolved - one way or the other.

TM said...

It seems to me that BestBuy, not Gateway, is the real problem here.

Robert said...

Yes, I am going to do the credit card thing....I ususally never use cards. I hate them, and hate paying interest, and hate being in debt. So normally if we dont have cash, we dont buy it.

This time I got too impatient...I have a paycheck coming in about 2 weeks for a class I taught, so I went ahead and charged it knowing I could pay for it before it hit the credit card. Now, I am glad I did because I have some recourse.

Gateway customer service is my main problem, but Best Buy isnt escaping either. I have already talked to them, but they seem like they don't care anyway.

We might be a service economy, but it sure isn't good service.

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