Thursday, February 5, 2009

Letter to AlienWare computer company sent Sunday, Feb 1, 2009

To: Alienware Computer people
Subject: I wish I was playing WOW on my new laptop right now...

Let me start by saying that I am an accountant by profession. I am also a little OCD about my budget. I do not spend money without fretting. The decision to buy this computer was a painful one for me. It took weeks of thoughtful consideration to decide to purchase one at all, and several additional weeks to decide which computer to buy. When I saw the Alienware computer, I felt better about my decision. This computer is the perfect size, has the video card I wanted, and is really cool to boot. But! After I specced the thing, it was $3,000. THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS. That is a LOT of money. That is WAY more than I spent on my current desktop (this was to be a replacement). WAY more than even my husband spent on his uber-gaming machine. Way more, actually, than anyone I know has ever spent on a laptop.

But my decision was finally made, and I felt good about it. My husband was happy about it because Dell owns the company and we assumed that we would get the same kind of service and support that we expect from Dell. He made sure I bought the 3 year on-site service warranty to make sure that we got top-notch help if something went wrong. I was so excited about this computer! I had already facebooked about this new computer! I blogged about it on my blog which is read by TENS of people!

Imagine my anticipation when I got the e-mail that my order had been shipped! I was out of town on business. The order was to arrive on Friday (January 30, 2009) just before I got home. Which it did. My husband tried to resist the urge to open the box (he was very excited too), but I told him to go ahead and get it set up for me so I could start using it as soon as I got home.

Well, as I am sure you can see by your tech support notes, my husband proceeded to spend the next 20 hours on the phone with your techs. I am not even kidding. TWENTY HOURS. The screen keeps blacking out. They reinstalled windows. They flashed bios. They installed new drivers. They stripped old drivers. They finally, in the wee hours of the morning, performed major surgery to make sure all the components were seated properly.

It’s still blacking out.

So now, your techs are telling us that we need to talk to customer support, which is fair enough. However, they are telling us that our options are #1, send it in for repair, which will take 2-6 weeks, or #2, return it and pay a $450 restocking fee. Now considering that this problem happened the MINUTE my husband unpacked the thing and he was immediately on the phone with your tech support, and considering that my husband, a computer tech. himself spent about $1000 of his own TIME to try to fix this problem, I’m sure you will agree that neither one of these is an acceptable solution.

What I am expecting is that you will send me a new, working computer, with an image on it that does not have drivers from March of 2008, and a recovery disc that is not scratched, at no additional cost to me, within the next week. At least waiving the cost of the recovery disc from my original purchase and maybe a cool T-shirt (size XXL) wouldn’t hurt our feelings either.

I am also expecting that your customer service will call me first thing in the AM on Monday morning as I think we have spent MORE than our share of time on the phone with your company already and I am not really interested in waiting on hold for a customer service rep.

Your technical support staff people were very helpful, patient, and professional, which we do appreciate. I am anticipating that your customer service staff will be just as amicable and that we can resolve this issue in an expedient manner.

Looking forward to hearing from you Monday morning,


Sarah said...

Good grief! I do hope it gets fixed and you get that t-shirt. Sorry to hear about such a nightmare of a problem. Ugh!

justGplease said...

My recommendation: TURN IT IN! I bought an Alienware (after much thought) like you about 8 months ago. It has never fully worked since I purchased it and even though everyone there is friendly I consistently get the same answer to every problem (reinstall software, it's the hardware, send it in, reload windows) - well you know how long it takes to load WOW... DAYS!!! I fully regret the purchase. As I write I'm getting mail it back in for work. Bottom line, it's totally worth the investment when it works but it doesn't work so often that it makes it not worth the bucks. Go Dell.