Note: I am writing this report knowing nothing will probably happen.
Here's a play by play:
1. In June 2009, I purchased a Gateway Computer from Best Buy, it came with a 1-year manufacturer warranty, and I purchased the Black-Tie Protection from Geek Squad (located within Best Buy) for an additional $300.
2. In January of 2010, the computer kept failing to boot, restarting on its own, freezing up, etc. Initially, I thought it may be a virus, so I trouble-shooted and did what I could. I then took it to Geek Squad.
3. I received a phone call approximately 2 days after dropping off the computer from Geek Squad, stating that the issue was the hard drive and a recovery disk was required.
4. I went to Best Buy and asked a Geek Squad associate if he would take care of the recovery disk. He replied that the only way to get the recovery disk was for me to contact Gateway directly and have them mail it to me. I was also told that this was a covered item under their manufacturer's warranty, and they would send it free of charge.
5. I contacted Gateway and could not speak with a representative. The automated system stated that my warranty had expired. I then went to gateway.com and chatted with an associate who expressed that my warranty had expired. I told him when I purchased the computer (6/8/2009) and he advised me that, if in fact that was true, the recovery disk would be covered. He told me to fax a copy of the receipt showing proof of purchase along with the serial number.
6. I faxed the required information and contacted Gateway immediately (via chat). The associate advised that it takes 2 business takes to accept/process a fax. I waited 3 days (just to be safe), the chatted again, but no fax was received. I asked for an email so that I could email the fax. The associate provided a link and I emailed them a copy, waited 3 days, but no email was received (although I did not receive any "unable to send" emails).
7. Fast forward to February. I went into Best buy and spoke with another Geek Squad tech. He was really helpful. He attempted to help me register the computer (which we couldn't because it was out of warranty - according to gateway.com), he then contacted Gateway via chat and received the same response regarding the fax. He faxed the documents 2 times and received 2 confirmations that the fax was sent successfully. After contacting gateway AGAIN (3 days later) no fax was received.
8. I went home and contacted gateway about a week later via chat. The associate said that in order to receive and process faxes, the computer had to be registered. This didn't make sense to me because I couldn't REGISTER the computer because gateway.com kept saying it was out of warranty, EVEN THOUGH I had proof and was trying to accomplish this. He said he would register the computer (which he did) and then to resend the fax, that this would fix the problem.
9. I went into Best Buy again about 1 week later and advised them about my chat with gateway. We reattempted the fax and received a confirmation. After 3 days, I contacted gateway again, but they said no fax was received and they could not help me, that I would have to purchase the recovery disk.
10. Frustrated, I took a break from all this (about 1-2 weeks). I then contacted gateway, and asked for more information. They simply said to fax the proof of purchase along with the receipt. I did so yet AGAIN, did it all once again, and nothing was received.
11. I spoke with Geek Squad (who said gateway is by far their most frustrating company to deal with and that customers are more often upset than satisfied with their gateway purchase). He tried yet AGAIN. He told me to go home and he would call me.
12. When he called, he advised to just purchase the CD.
13. I purchased the CD, very angrily. And am now attempting to find a way to pursue legal action.
All of the above information requested by gateway was included in the fax, name, address, phone number, serial number, etc. The purchase date was circled. There was no excuse for this. Not to mention, it shouldn't matter. If they would have otherwise provided the disk anyway (withing warranty according to them), then why can't they do it now? It's a free disk whether or not you have a problem.
I will never buy a gateway again and am attempting to complain to anyone and everyone that will hear me. I know it's only 20 bucks, but it's 20 that I shouldn't have to pay, not to mention the unfairness and anguish that Gateway put me through.