In March 2003 I purchased a computer from a local Gateway store. Since that time, Gateway has closed its retail outlets. Included in the purchase was several hundred dollars for an extended 3 year warranty.
In October 2005 I began to have problems with screen freezes and a corrupted screen. I called Customer service who told me I needed additional memory so, I purchased this. There was no change. I was then sent another hard drive that I installed per phone instructions; little to no change.
By January 2006 there were overheating problems, black outs, system error messages, the CD was sticking, screen freezing and corrupting and, I was loosing power due to a faulty AC connection. I sent the computer to the factory and it was returned the following day but, not repaired. In fact, it was worse! The problems were not fixed and, the CD was now seriously out of alignment. I called them immediately and made arrangements to return this to the factory.
Initially, I had put a letter inside the computer describing the problems and was told upon return that the service department will not read them. The second time, I sent a certified letter to Gateway describing the problems.
Gateway tried to charge me a second time for shipping. I said, "no, the computer was not repaired and I will not pay repeated shipping charges when it is returned unrepaired". Customer Service agreed but, someone repeatedly cancelled the shipping box trying to charge me and it took a month to get the box. By this time the computer was hardly working at all.
The factory then kept the computer for an additional TWO MONTHS! Each week I was told that there was a mix-up on parts and was promised repairs the following week. At the end of March, Customer Service appologized endlessly and told me they could obtain no information whatsoever on when the parts would arrive. I was then given a number for the actual service department.
While Customer Service was almost always polite, the service department manager was rude and arrogant. He refused to give me any date whatsoever for repairs and told me that parts were ordered "periodically": I would get the computer when I get it.
I filed a complaint with the district attorney's office who wrote them a letter. I recieved one call from their corporate office but the woman was equally rude refusing to give me a date or, replace the computer due to inability to obtain parts. Her reply to the DA sounded like a sales pitch and did not give any date or offer a resolution. The DA told me that if they will not honor the warranty then purchase another and sue for breach of warranty with a request for refund of the original purchase price.
The woman at Gateway's corporate offices tried to bluff about the enforceability of a private arbiration clause in the warranty: WRONG! This is unfair to the consumer, too costly and unenforceable in the State of California; AT&T appealed this all the way to the Supreme Court without success. This and other unconscionable clauses in the warranty is likely to annoy the court as it is unlawful to put unconscionable clauses in consumer agreements per the state's Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
I sent 4 letters to Gateway giving them 6 weeks to repair the computer or replace it per the warranty. Gateway twice returned the computer unrepaired. I returned the computer for the final time under breach of warranty and replaced it through another company as promised in my letters.
In August I sent them the final demand letter to refund at cost if they wish to avoid court and legal fees. I received a call from Gateway's "Executive Response Team". The man was condescending, argumentative and insisted that Gateway had the right to keep the computer as long as they wish. I asked him if he had ever heard of the Song-Beverley Warranty Act; he ignored this and tried to return the computer to me.
When the delivery was rejected (as I told him it would be) he left a confrontative message asking me to call then stating, "I want to tell you what will happen since you will not accept the shipment".
Gateway has only provided one written response to the D.A.; none to me. They have also denied records of my calls and went as far as accusing me of not calling customer service when I have a stack of notes on calls to customer service.
End of phone calls; Gateway can say what they wish in writing but, short of a refund, what will happen is what the court says will happen.
If you can't get satisfaction with your Gateway problems, you may want to check out Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. It is tlpj. (com or net). They may take class action interest in so many complaints about one company.
U.S.A.Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on GatewayClick here to read about the finance company for Gateway Computers