• Report:  #5536

Complaint Review: Gateway Computers - Des Moines Iowa

Reported By:
- Liverpool, NY,

Gateway Computers
PO Box 9025 Des Moines, 50368-9025 Iowa, U.S.A.
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About a year ago, I purchased a desktop from Gateway Computers. I was making my payments as agreed. This year (2001) in January, I decided to trade my desktop for a laptop. I spoke with a sales representative who of course was very helpful at the time. He told me sure, not a problem, you have plenty of credit available and we'll even send you a check for $300 for your trade-in. That was it, he left it at that. In May 2001, I receive a bill that stated I owed a minimum of $209 and I had many late dues. I called Gateway thinking I would get this straightened out without a problem.

What happened next will shock you. This so called helpful representative that sold me the laptop opened another account in my name without my approval. He failed to mention that to me, plus he also failed to mention that if I purchased the laptop, I would still be responsible for the payments of the desktop that I returned back to them.

When I called in May of 2001, they said they would do me a favor and let me return the laptop. What a favor! Thanks!!

I returned the laptop and I was left with no equipment (no desktop, no laptop). They promised me a full refund.

Here it is almost 7 months later of being bounced back and forth and I'm not even aware of what's going on with my credit.

I tried several times to refinance my car, but I was turned down due to my credit. I was absolutely appalled. I had never been late on a payment in my life and now I'm being turned down for a simple loan because I'm delinquent.

Yesterday (June 25, 2001), I called Gateway to try to get this mess straightened up. I straightened things up for my credit with Hurley State Bank (a very helpful and efficient bank that Gateway did my computer financing through).

Then I decided to call Gateway to receive a full refund on my desktop, which I'm still being billed for. I spoke with a customer service rep. And a manager. They both told me that I am still responsible for the desktop, which is not even in my possession. I was baffled. How can I be responsible for a payment of a piece of equipment that's not even in my possession? Can someone explain this ridiculous rule to me? Why in the world would I agree to such terms? Yeah, ok, I'll send the desktop back, but still make payments on it. Why wouldn't I just have kept the desktop and have two machines that I would pay on? I'm generous, but not that generous.

I explained to the manager that this rule was not explained to me and there is not way in the world I would even make an idiotic move like that. She didn't seem to care. According to their rules, I'm still responsible to pay for the desktop.

Again, I will remind everyone, I am left without a laptop or a desktop, but yet, I'm still responsible to pay $1500 for a desktop I don't even own anymore. Can someone please explain this to me? I'd like to know what I could do about this. I'm not one that can afford to give away free money.


Elena Dunn

2 Updates & Rebuttals


Consumer Comment

#2Consumer Suggestion

Wed, June 12, 2002

My experience wth Gateway has been satifactory with quite upfront financing arrangements by others(understand I have been around the block more than complaintant). I did have good support as this was my first computer while the few times I needed support I was quite satisfied with the ethics and assistance in resolving any issue and appreciate the professionalism shown to myself by all of my Gateway contacts. I would recommend the complaintant gain some business savvy, as any matter could have been solved or never occurred most likely had the complaintant basically read the fine print I am sure that was online. When dealing with entities such as fincial lenders, one must read the fine print. As I recall from my financing which was a learning experience for myself such as questioning the dickens out of the financial processor who probably only supplies a comsumer financing option to Gateway and is most likely affilliated(I hope)in no other way. I would recommend a Gateway machine to anyone and only regret buying a Dell too fast as 2 weeks later you gorgeous 500 series w/flat screen + 2gb processor was much cheeper than I paid for less machine. Same thing happenend a few weeks after my Gateway purchase - something like same system for 3-4 hundred less, oh well. To the young one I wish you well, just make sure before you agree to any credit obligation read the fine print, take the time to look for altrnative financing. Or really be smart and save your change daily and pay cash. The merchandise won't go away- it may even get cheaper while you check out what the true cost of the purchase and undestand clearly all that is expected of you even if you have to repeat word for word to the financing agent what you understand the agreement is you are signing your income away on.

do to your lack of knowledge your credit was harmed


Thu, August 09, 2001

This email is a rebuttal to RipOff #5536. It was sent by Jim Davis at [email protected]. Gateway Computers Rip-Off (#5536) They filed the following rebuttal to the above Rip-Off Report: Their email: [email protected] Their name: Jim Davis Their phone number: 8162205234 Their relationship to the company: Advocate Rebuttal: You got to remember that when you trade in your computer it is the same as trading in a car. If you take your car to the dealership and they say they can give you $1000 for it but you owe $3000 dollars on the car you will be left with a $2000 dollar bill. It is unfortunate that your salesperson did not explain the obvious to you, but that is just the brakes. And if you stop making payments on either of those 2 it is not Gateways problem, it is your problem, now it does sound like Gateway did take care of you but do to your lack of knowledge your credit was harmed.

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