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How much did you pay for your computer?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / July 21, 2005 2:37 AM PDT

How much did you pay for your computer?

Less than $500 (wow! any regrets?)
Between $500 and $750 (what kind is it?)
Between $751 and $1,000 (what kind is it?)
Between $1,001 and $1,500 (what kind is it?)
Between $1,501 and $2,000 (what kind is it?)
More than $2,000 (what kind is it?)
It was free (how did you pull that off?)

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parents got it 4.5 years ago
by angryfirelord / July 21, 2005 8:54 AM PDT

Dell Dimension 4100
Read my profile

With the monitor, $1000.

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How much did you pay for your computer?
by Stan Chambers / July 21, 2005 10:17 AM PDT

I built my first computer 4 yrs. ago for less than $300 bucks.
I had done my job using a computer for many years, but considered them to be more of nuisance than anything else.
One day a friend offered to give me an old pentium 133. I took it home and immediately began to tear it apart to see what it was made of.
About six months later I had order all my parts, piece by piece, always buying items that were on sale to save the most.
It became a challenge to see just how little I could spend and still have a decent computer.
I built it for a little less than $300. Monitor and OS not included. It is still running great for my son today.
I wouldn't take anything for the experience. I highly recommend to others to build their own.

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what kind of puter & how much did u pay?
by laurie290 / July 22, 2005 4:42 AM PDT

I bought my PC over the internet from Dell,& it was just under $ 900. I have been very pleased w/ it's performance & runs so much better than my last 1

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Between $500 and $750
by chaddy / July 22, 2005 8:24 AM PDT

Mine is a Pentium 4 / 1.70 GHz. Ive had it for 2 years now and I am very happy with it. How come so cheep? Got a mate in the business so I had it coustom built with cd burner, dvd burner 2x80 Gig H/D, 512 RAM, GeForce 2 MX 400 display etc etc etc.
I'm running Windows XP Pro, networked to 2 other pc's and on broadband. Yeah, I wonder sometimes why people pay so much for a pc nowadays.
Cheers
Chaddy

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what kind of puter & how much did u pay?
by JimmyCycle / July 22, 2005 11:40 AM PDT

I bought a Dell 4550 (on-Line)to replace a Compaqu MV 540.
I forget what I paid for the Compaq.
The Dell was $1136.00 and well worth it.
No comparison.

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(NT) bought it last nov.2004
by shakoi / July 25, 2005 11:08 AM PDT

i bought my HP pavillion a640n desktop for almost $900..specs...3400+,amd athlon64 processor, 512mb pc2700, 160gb 7200rpm..dvd+rw..cdrom drive 48x max speed..nvidia fx5200XT, AGP 8x graphics card 128mb ddr video mem card..did i buy this with a good price...SHAX

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Cost of computer
by pukstpr12 / August 25, 2005 10:40 PM PDT

I built a computer about 6 months ago for about $700.

Pentium 4 Prescott 3.2ghz
512mb ddr400 ram
ASUS P4-P800 Deluxe mobo
Maxtor 120gb hard drive
And some neon fans and lights

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It's an Alienware that cost almost $4,000. My experience
by Kiddpeat / July 21, 2005 1:55 PM PDT

has been a real disappointment. The speaker system and sound card were mismatched. You could not get 5.1 channel sound. A hard drive controller was included that did not support over 137 gig drives. Alienware was very reluctant to replace a Win XP Pro installation disk which was old & obsolete.

Next time, I think I will build it myself.

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Ouch
by Crom / July 22, 2005 12:45 AM PDT

Thats not what one would expect from Alienware. Glad I always build my own PC's.

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Beware Alienware!!!
by Stareye / July 22, 2005 3:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Ouch

I have also had a HORRIBLE experience with them on a 4300$ laptop. It was received DOA-I could not get an RMA (return authorization) until I went thru tech support trouble-shooting hell-17 hours of rebuilding raid, reformatting drives, reinstalling Windows and basically having it still not work. I live in the Miami area and they would not let me drop it off-they ONLY take returns by FedEx ground. FedEx then lost the laptop for 3 days and when >I< had to track it down (Alienware actually told me for 3 days that it was there and had not been entered into the repair queue yet-a BS line I guess?), it was returned to ME, FedEx claiming the address on their pre-pay was incorrect! At this point about 10 days had passed (of my 30 day money-back guarantee) and I still had to send it back again of course - I asked for a refund and after I was told by a cust. serv. rep ok, a supervisor (rudely) told me NO WAY, that they would charge me a 15% restocking fee approx 650.00$ >ON A COMPUTER I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO USE< it is now back in Miami and after 27 days I have yet to use it, have lost all faith in this company but my credit card has been charged. The best I could get out of the supervisor was that he would add 7 days to the 30 day guarantee...I wonder if it will work when I get it back...the story is not yet over...If you purchase from Alienware, you will be working for them as tech support, technician and customer service rep - I could maybe expect this kind of treatment from a fly-by-night company but this is a 4300.00 dollar machine!
I have completely documented all of the above-I would be interested in what you readers would do in this case as I guess being reasonable, patient and more than fair doesn't work with these guys - There is way more to this story but I am SO over it - BUYER BEWARE-STAY AWAY FROM ALIENWARE!!!

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Get A Refund From Your Credit Card Company!
by captainfuture_98337 / July 22, 2005 6:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

You known that when you get defective goods from a company, and they will not refund your money you can always dispute the charge!

I have had this happen a couple of times in the past. My bank requires that I try to resolve it first, if that doesn't work then you can dispute it. As long as you have proof that they have received the defective goods back. Most often only the name of the shipper, and a tracking number is required.

It sounds like you have gone the distance with them, and then some. It time to write it off as a bad experiance, and call your bank and dispute the charge. You will find that most banks will go out of your way to help you. As long as the goods have been sent back, and you have a Tracking Number you should be able to get your money back that way. Hope that this will help you!

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Try the BBB
by niksha / July 22, 2005 8:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

I had a big problem with Gateway once. My mom had sent her computer in for repairs, which were covered under her warranty. However, it had to be Fed-Ex'd, since Gateway stores no longer exist. They sent it back 10 days later with a tech's CD still in the drive, which was our first clue that maybe they didn't fix it. She turned it on and it worked fine until she shut it down, then she had the same problem she had in the first place. I called the tech line 3 times and was told the same thing over and over and over, that they had to go through some steps with me first to see what was wrong with it and that if we couldn't resolve it over the phone I would have to send it back for repairs. I kept telling them I wasn't going to pay to send it back again because it wasn't fixed the first time, and they kept telling me I'd have to. I was getting angrier and angrier by the minute. I tried email; same thing. I kept asking for a supervisor; they refused. Finally, I filed a complaint with The Better Business Bureau online. I got a response from a supervisor at Gateway within 24 hours of filing, who finally told me what I wanted to hear: she would reimburse ALL my shipping charges and also ensure it was fixed immediately. She kept her promise, too.

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My suggestion to your dilemma
by Urs / July 23, 2005 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

First and foremost, if you charged this on a credit card and did not get what you ordered i.e. a working computer....Call your credit card company and have them stop payment to Alienware. Tell them what happened, that it doesn't work and that is not what you ordered and paid for. I'm sure if you have a halfway decent credit card company they will be more than happy to take back their payment to Alienware. I'll bet that gets Alienware's attention.

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ALIENWARE RIP-OFF? Maybe...
by Stareye / July 24, 2005 10:31 AM PDT

I have called VISA and put a ''dispute'' on the charge. I am so tired of dealing with this (feel me here...) I have since searched Google for complaints against these guys and they are many and the same...
I blew it by not doing due diligence before I purchased.

I am also planning on contacting Dade County BBB and if necessary I will contact the Miami-Dade State's Attorney's Office.

I have time-I'm sitting at home watching my wife die of lymphoma-the reason I bought the laptop-so I could ''work at home for a while''. When I finally told the last customer support person on Friday afternoon past (Christa), she laughed and told me to have a good day or go to their feedback email page-I thought talking to a live person WAS feedback.

Thanks for the support.
Sad...

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That Alienware
by tallppl / July 25, 2005 2:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

try this website http://www.arb-forum.com/
if you still have gotten no where with alienware I would also send them a registered letter telling them that you feel their comapny has dealt in bad faith with you and if you are not refunded the entire sum forthwith you will in fact see them in court regarding the bad faith action.

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Alienware-an EXPENSIVE farce!
by Stareye / July 25, 2005 12:54 PM PDT
In reply to: That Alienware

I guess the price you pay for a computer (or anything these days) doesn't necessarily guarantee quality or courteous service.
I contacted VISA, put a dispute on the charge and called Alienware and told them I no longer wanted their computer (34 days and they have it still and I have yet to use a working Alienware laptop!)
They told me I would have to pay for all software and a 15% restocking fee which could amount to 700-800$ I'm guessing. Again, all for something I'll never have used. The customer service guy implied he would not issue an RMA for the return unless I agreed to these conditions which I didn't do. I told him to do what he needed to do but that I was disputing all charges to VISA so therefore they would not get paid anything until resolution anyway. He gave me an RMA.
BTW-ANOTHER TRICK they are up to-the respawn software that comes with the laptop is actually in part a copy of Norton Ghost Corporate Edition (which I didn't order) which they are now trying to get me to pay for also (along with a copy of Windows XP Pro OEM which I only opened on the instructions of their tech support because along the way I had to reinstall Windows...)
Thank you for the link to the arbitration site.
I will probably never buy another computer online or by mail for that matter, ever again, and will recommend the same to everyone I know. This whole thing has been brutal and is not over yet...

Peace to all.

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SIMILAR EXPERIENCE WITH DELL
by annhere / July 27, 2005 9:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

I almost had a heart attack after phoning India (Dell's tech support) for THREE MONTHS without success. I remember doing FIVE clean installs at their behest in TWO weeks. The Dell computer was useless from the start. Went through everything you described in your letter plus sent a registered letter to Head Office in Texas which was NEVER answered. To this day (1.5 years later) I am stuck with this $3,000. LEMON.

Three months ago I bought a Sony Vaio media center computer for CAN$2300. It works like a dream. But recently someone wrote to CNET complaining of his Sony Vaio which was a lemon. However, he was able to return it and get his money back.

I think every company probably has its share of lemons going out but it would be nice if they would take them back and send out a decent machine. I have three friends (one of whom lives on a different continent) who were contemplating buying a Dell but changed their minds when they heard about my experience. Those three friends have friends who buy computers and so it continues exponentially.

Is it worth it for these companies to behave so unprofessionally? I don't think so.

Ann.

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Same kind of problem with none other, than (TA DA) Dell.
by sysyphus / July 28, 2005 4:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

Paid just under $2500 for the thing, a bit over a year ago, and that's including a big flat screen monitor, CD and DVD drives, and a $125 printer thrown in. So, I can't complain about the listed price. All the hard ware worked great, problem was, it was my machine outside, and somebody else's inside.

Took two months of being routed all over the developing world for me to finally track down what the problem was (no thanks to Dell's quickly sinking, unsinkable customer service), only to find out that Dell won't exchange a machine without first receiving one in return, even when the problem was obviously their's, not mine. Once returned, they seemed to have forgotten to send the replacement. Then they sent it, but not to me. Next, they lost all trace of me, conveniently, since I got nowhere when I stopped payment on the Card I had charged it to. Another two months and the only thing Dell could offer was to send out a NEW machine, almost meeting my original specs, and 'permit' me to pay for it through a Dell credit account at half again as much interest.

Tell the truth, I understood just enough of the 5000 mile away, ultra polite, heavily accented, but smuggly clipped English of the technicians 'helping' me with my 'circumstances'; that I was only sure I was finally to get a computer, so I should quit complaining. By the time it came, I had already bought a better equiped HP to take its place in my three machine network.

The Dell now serves well for guests, and whenever I need a drone. I figure that, when everything was said and done, the Dell cost me about $1000 more than the asking price for lost time and productivity, additional interest, phone calls, and lost opportunity on the tied up funds. That doesn't include pain, suffering, and aggrevation, but Dell does not seem to understand these concepts any more. Nor does it understand 'negotiated settlement'; 'reasonable effort'; 'complaint investigation'; 'follow through'; 'good faith agreement'; or 'customer satisfaction'. Now they also seem to be having a hard time closing the paid-in-full credit account they 'permitted' me. Alien-ware may seem over priced to some, but its a bargain worth looking into, if you ask me.

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Re: Legal Recourse
by yawni / August 8, 2005 9:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

Have you contacted any local legal aid organizaztions or attorneys for ''free'' legal advice? Unfortunately, many private practice attorneys (in California) would tell you that $4000 in damages is too small an amount to interest them in taking your case on a contingency fee basis (percentage of recovery); however, most (let's say plaintiffs' attorneys) are sympathetic to your predicament and may have some good suggestions.

For example, the retail store or direct seller of the merchandise may have some liability, or responsibility, for your loss (damages). There may be a ''class action'' type of lawsuit filed against this company by a number of people suffering similar difficulties and you may be able to join as a member of that class of plaintiffs.

Maybe, you have a ''small claims'' court in Florida which would allow you to ''tell the judge'' your story without having to hire an attorney. Do not underestimate your own ability to represent yourself or the court's ability to understand the simple facts of your case.

You may be surprised to see a change in the attitude of the company after you file but don't count on it. Just take some time to relax and focus on the facts of your story in chronological order. Suppress your emotions until after the court orders judgment in your favor. Be courteous to your opponent, be unemotional and be organized.

After the defendant has answered the complaint you filed, give ''them'' a call and ask if Alienware would be interested in settling the case. They will ask what amount you had in mind, so be prepared to offer to settle, if they sent you a check for ''$2000'', or whatever. This amount is entirely up to you; however, I would not be willing to return the computer unless I received the full purchase price...and it goes without saying that you should not file any lawsuit unless, or until, you have the computer in your possession.

Your lawsuit, should you take this course of action, would be based, first, on the defendant's breach of contract. You write down a brief summary of the facts in the complaint (e.g. On, date, I paid def. $4000 for a new comuter which, did not operate as promised(examples... )and, as a result, I have lost $4000 and ask the court for recovery of this amount...)

You may have other ''causes of action'' against the defendant, such as for fraud, or negligence, so, check some local references, or books, on ''How to be your Own Attorney'' for help.

This is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute, therefore. It is meant to be encouragement for self-reliance and to inform you that your chances on prevailing could be as high as 90% rather than a hopeless one in ten (10%) once you have suppressed your own self doubts.

After you have given Alienware the opportunity to repair or replace the unit and it is clear that they have declined, or refused, then, if it is a desktop, you should strongly consider repairing that computer by taking it apart and replacing parts yourself: buy a new processor (cpu), motherboard, hard drive, and XP operating system (keep your old parts because in the process you will learn what they are worth and what to do with them, later). Keep asking questions; others will assist you. At some point, you will have to disregard all the goodwill and advice and make the leap to self-reliance.

One need not know the solution before starting the process. Go for it! -yawni-

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I had similar problem
by JOLSKI / March 20, 2006 2:04 AM PST
In reply to: Beware Alienware!!!

I have had the very same problem with Alienware. They sent me a defective computer which I have had to send back 3 times for repair. They tried to argue with me about the warranty date until I asked them to produce a copy of the Fed Ex receipt. They have now had me send the computer back for repair 3 times. The first time took 6 weeks. They have played games in an attempt to drag this out past the warranty date. I am hoping to join the class action lawsuit against this horrible company. I totally understand what you are going through and the frustrations Alienware has caused so many of us.

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Have to agree...
by chewdoggie / July 22, 2005 4:35 AM PDT

I bought an Alienware DHS-5 (Media PC) system for $3200 and I loved it until 7 months into it the PSU craps out. Only a mATX PSU fits in the HTPC case, rated at 270w. ATI recommends at least 300w in their manual. I had to go thru 90 minutes over the phone with the technical ''expert.'' He says its the motherboard...I argue its the PSU (and it was). I finally ship it back, takes 2 weeks and when I open the box to pull out my machine I hear metal on metal rattling. WTF! So I popped the lid (which was damaged) and find my HD cage rattling around with four loose screws. Tested? I doubt it. I tweak everything down and go to start it up and my display is all !@#$ed up. Another 90 minutes on the phone and they determine my Radeon 9800 Pro card is cooked. Tested?? Certainly not. So they offer to send me another for $400 so I can install it and ship back the defective product before they will credit me. Screw that...I am not your labor force, I paid $3200 for a high-end machine and the card doesn't cost $400 (its a Sapphire to boot). You guys messed up so you can pay the shipping to and from times two...idiots. So another 3 weeks go by...my machine (fan - silent ahanix) is louder than ever, they ''had to'' delete all my HD data as that is their ''policy'' and as far as I am concerned my system is compromised. They literally blamed me for the box cutter scratch on my lid (''the tech made a note of it'')...yeah, after he sliced the triple ply bubblewrap off the case. I packed it 10x better than they did. I asked for a new lid and was denied ($3200 cha-ching). I physically had dirt (not dust) in my machine the second shipment back...not wrapped in a poly bag or box completely sealed...just four foam corners and one piece of tape across the flap. Compromised! I ended up searching high and low for a mATX PSU rated over 350w and gutting all my cards. Paid for the new PSU out of my poceket -- thanks for the 2 year extended warranty Alienware! Cha-ching! I have written countless emails to them and get zero response...even when I asked for their president/CEOs name and direct address. Their customer service (post-purchase) SUCKS. Prepare yourself not to understand a word of English.

I just finished building the same system, sans the HTPC case with a 19'' LG Flatron monitor, Logitech LX700 keyboard/mouse and 5.1 530 kickin' speakers for $1700. Oh yeah, I got a Audigy ZS soundcard and faster processor too. Generally the same components with a few upgrades and I saved $1200. Yeah, the Alien case is cool, but you can't upgrade much due to poor ventilation on the case and that stock PSU holds you back.

I still ''love'' the machine, but it gives me headaches and in the end I would never do it again. Build your own...PC Maximum has a great book that walks you step-by-step if you are a newbie. In the end you'll expand your mind...and that is better than any overpriced cool-looking Alien head logo on your case.

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Alienware BAD BAD BAD
by Stareye / July 22, 2005 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Have to agree...

The language barrier was also definitely a problem here. The last service tech I spoke to before I sent my laptop back the first time actually told me he was in Costa Rica-his english wasn't actually that bad, but a couple of the guys (and girl) were very hard to understand and when you've been on the phone with them for literally hours, the word ''migraine'' takes on whole new levels of meaning. Also, be aware that some of the tech ''solutions'' require a >working machine< because I had to download specific hard drive tools AND a bios upgrade during my ordeal (neither of which helped).
I have learned this afternoon that the motherboard was defective, and there were fan ''problems''. Add the fact that one of the drives in the raid was bad when it was shipped originally (confirmed by tech support btw) and you have basically a boat anchor or door stop. As the last poster said, it didn't seem like this thing was tested at all and yes, the packing material was very lightweight for such an expensive piece of gear.
BUYER BEWARE

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i totally agree
by webboy9579 / August 3, 2005 11:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Alienware BAD BAD BAD

I have had the same prob, out of the box my alienware laptop had tons and tons of problems. The tech support was just useless and i couldnt even understand them, after a year of them saying no they finally let me send it in for repairs just to have them ship it back to the wrong person in some other state. i am currently waiting for it to get to me, if ever

i am an unhappy customer

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LOL AW SUPPORTLESS
by AntiAW / August 5, 2005 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: i totally agree

DISCLAIMER:
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Ahh in other words im unable to tell everyone that I personally have been scamed by your law machine... Ill keep that in mind

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alienware customers BAD BAD BAD
by mdmaxmc / September 24, 2006 8:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Alienware BAD BAD BAD

I can't say how often I hear an average and dull person complain of having an average and dull customer service experience. (fast-food) Nor can I say how often that I find arguments tinged and belaid with slight references to racism.

Just recently, I read an argument against Voodoo computers because the founder was "INDIAN." Wow America, you have proved that you are as patriotic as Hitler's party ever was. Think about that next time you complain about someone's ethnicity or a supposed language barrier. Personally, I find ESL much easier to understand than rural white american dialect any day; and I am a white American of European descent.

So you wanna go after Alienware do you? Well, the first thing that I can't understand about your argument is that your blaming them for another hardware manufacturer's problem. That is like saying that it is the car manufacturer's fault that the tires on a car are defective.

Alienware always chooses the highest rated parts for computers so you can't blame them for cutting corners because, obviously, they haven't.

The second thing is the language barrier. Since you have already stated that it wasn't a problem, then what is the proble?

Third, I am wondering if you have any knowledge of computers in the first place. For most of us that do, fixing the problem is within arms reach.

Now, I understand if you are talking of a motherboard problem. On the other hand, ask yourself what your favorite manufacturer would do at this point. The process would be, to exhaust any other scenario before expecting the worst. Sorry, this does take time. That is technology for you.

It is sad that we have turned into a blame you, blame the other guy, culture. Obviously, you got a bum deal from the top rated manufacturer of a motherboard. Just as anyone else irrationally does, you blame the first person at hand. Yet as if the argument is faulty or has no merit, it is touched with racism and resentment about the location of the support team because they weren't in America.
Give us a better reason not to buy Alienware.

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try working for 4 bucks,8 hrs a day
by sophyji / April 25, 2007 6:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Alienware BAD BAD BAD

i have to say i was looking for a job and suddenly i saw these coments which are very respectful, but nevertheless its in your right. but try working 8 hrs a day or more and get paid 4 bucks per hours depending on yours profesional education, because thats what the pay us in Costa Rica

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Screw Alienware and build it yourself for 1/4 of the price.
by Species8472 / July 25, 2005 3:52 PM PDT

Screw Alienware and build it yourself for 1/4 of the price. See My other post for details on my computer. Only cost 1800 Bucks and its better than Alienware.

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Tell Alienware that you have posted here
by carolina1 / December 11, 2005 3:24 AM PST

When dealing with these dishonest suppliers, I have found it very helpful to tell them how I have posted my complaints on CNET and others. I also tell them that I am going to continue to post similar message.

Guess what? I have had about half immediately rectify the situation after just telling them that I have made the posts. I even had the famous rebate company provide me with new rebates to cover the ones they "never recieved" and provide a 2 week express processing of my check.

If I was in sales at Alienware and saw this post. I'd be wondering how much advertising it would cost me to offset the bad press. After reading the notes here, I would need some good explanations and guarantees before I would even consider using their products.

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Software is the real money sink
by vandammej / July 21, 2005 10:08 PM PDT

...so I've spent $10 for software in the last 1-1/2 years, avoiding Microsoft in particular.

Got a $400 Compaq from Staples with multiple rebates, had one memory stick go bad (ten minutes after the warranty ran out), but no big regrets.

Also got an eMachines refurb from Tiger Direct, $300 w/o monitor, OK for college kid. Kind of noisy with a fan that runs continuously, but works OK.

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How much did you pay for your computer?
by Lee W / July 21, 2005 10:15 PM PDT

I paid $699 for a Medion Media Center from Aldi (a discount food chain store!)
and, so far, it is great.

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