Monday, June 04, 2007

How Alienware wastes my time and money.

Let me just start out by saying...buying an Alienware on site service contract is complete bullshit. It doesn't exist.

This is what happened. Yesterday Mr. Snarkolepsy and I were out putting up our LED solar numbers. I come back in and my machine is not responding. I reboot it. Still nothing. It looks like my motherboard has died.

This is a 6 month old machine. Which has already needed a graphics board replacement. Blogged about it here. Did I mention its only 6 months old? Oh yeah.... I did - it's right there.

It is now about 9:30pm, and I figure I might as well call support. I get to a tech in about 5 minutes. We start through the diagnosis phase. Re-seat memory, graphics board, and the motherboard battery. Nothing works. Pretty clear case of motherboard failure since the fans are still running.

It was then the tech told me I needed to pack my machine up, and send it to them in Florida so they can work on it. I'm in California.

This is where I hit the roof. "Oh no" I say - I paid for on-site support. The tech tells me they only provide onsite support after they know what the problem is. Which is complete bullshit because when my graphics board was only half functional I asked for on-site support as well. They wouldn't send a tech. They sent me a new graphics board via FedEX.

Now I am faced with being without my almost brand new machine for a month - if I'm lucky. What fucking company on the planet does this? They claim it will be 2-3 weeks turn around after they get it. Which I doubt very highly. Alienware chronically misses shipping dates, so why would I believe them on this?

They also tell me they may or may not wipe all the data from my disk drive. How great is that? I don't know why I even need to send them the machine with a drive anyway. They must have a master drive they can plug right in.

I predict Alienware will be out of business in 2 years. This isn't bitterness. Even with the "oh-so-cool" mark-up for these machines, I can not see a business model that makes this company profitable. The company never improves. Evidenced by how many hits I get on my blog from customers waiting for their machines, or having problems with Alienware support.

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