Let me just begin by stating that; my wife bought me a laptop for my birthday last year. A week before she presented me with a new Gateway MX6544 laptop, she hinted around by asking me what I thought about gateway computers. My immediate reacion was: "I used to be a computer technician, and I discovered that they used the cheapest crap when it came to peripherals used in their computers, and that they failed more than any other brand I had ever serviced in my ten years as a technician". She looked at me with a suppressed look of fear. I looked at her suspiciously and asked "why"? She brushed it off by saying, "nothing, a friend was asking me if they were any good or not", she quickly stated.
A few months before that I had complained that my existing laptop was too slow, and that I thought about getting a new MacBook Pro.
So, my birthday came and with it a shiny new Gateway MX6544 laptop. I looked as excited and as happy as I could, after all, my wife just layed down a big chunk of cashola for this. It was a beautiful thought for her to buy me a new laptop.
Then 3 months later, the mother board began to fail. I sent it in for repair and 10 days later had my laptop back working like new again.
Since the later part of June, 2007, I had noticed that the performance was beginning to become very slow, and I felt that it was time to make use of the system recovery/restore disc and bring the performance level back up again. Then I attempted to use the recovery/restore disc that came with the unit. After somewhere between five and seven attempts, and not having the cd in the unit while the restore process kept rebooting, restoring, rebooting restoring, I decided that this may not be good and I should call support.
Cut to today, August 1st, 2007, I spoke with level one support at gateway, exactly discovering that my hard drive is most likely failing and also 48 hours after the manufacturer's warranty expired. I asked if they could be just a little flexible and take my laptop in for repair. The uttered a quick "no" and "my hands are tied" excuse. I asked to speak with a level two supervisor, she said, sure, no problem. At this point I thought I might get somewhere if they have even a slight interest in maintaining good customer support. I thought they might just be an above-and-beyond customer service type of organization. So this woman also said the same thing, and then referred me to the corporate level (three). I spoke with a very rude, irate, and obviously very calloused and immune to the thought of good customer service. I informed her that I was going to record our conversation. She flipped out and started screaming at me "you do not have my permission to record this conversation!!!!". She said it over and over again. Me on the other hand began to find this situation rediculous and laughed at her as she screamed this over and over, until finally she screamed into her phone that she was going to hang up. Wow! Talk about a Seinfeld moment.
I then called back and spoke to a guy who calls himself "Guerin". He at least spoke with me in a civilized tone of voice. He supported Ericka's stance and basically told me "too bad". Then after he agreed that the hard drive was most likely failing, he offered suggestions of attempting to restore my hard drive in a way that was not mentioned in the manual, nor was it suggested by the support individual. Regardless, his suggestion was an attempt at helping me reload the operating system, not really providing any sort of example of extending his "level four" supervisor capabilities.
I asked "Guerin" why I was not permitted to record my conversation with Ericka, and said that "we simply do not allow it". Then I asked, then why do you record my coversation? He did not have an answer.
People, this is a company that looks forward to screwing you. This is a company that tells you on their "on-hold-message" while playing Don MacClean's "American Pie", that they are proud to be an American Company. While I listened to this message, I flipped over my laptop in search of a Made in China sticker. Low and behold I did not find a Made In China sticker, instead I found a "Assembled In China" sticker. This is a company that does not extend customer service, nor do they provide good phone supprt. What they do provide is a computer that will fail, in or out of warranty, lousy support, a nasty supervisor here and there.
In the conclusion of my conversation with "Guerin", I asked if they would at the very least swap out my hard drive. He said, "I'm sorry, I cannot do that, but I will be happy to charge you to fix your computer".
Avoid this same situation people, by a Dell, by anything other than a Gateway computer, because like my intuition and years as a computer technician, it is a computer made from the cheapest crap they can find.
Am I a little disgruntled, yes, but if I ever get another gateway for my birthday, I think I will come up with a really good excuse to keep my older and slower laptop instead. Perhaps I could've said "lets instead take a vacation to the carribean instead of giving me a complete piece of expensive crap. Yeah, my toes in the sand and the clear blue waters of Barbados for an entire week instead of dealing with a nutcase like Ericka.
Gateway = Crap = Two Thumbs Down, way down.
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