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by tecdirect / March 5, 2005 2:00 AM PST

Please read before purchasing from Alienware

I am the owner /operator of a laptop repair facility in Rhode Island. One of our customers came to us with a problem with her laptop in which she had spilled milk into the keyboard. In diagnosing the extent of damage we have found it to be contained to the keyboard only. She expressed her desire to get it repaired as soon as possible. In which we contacted Alienware for the replacement keyboard.
The first call I spent twenty minutes on hold until I spoke with Technical Support. They informed me to contact customer service and gave me the price of the keyboard. I got approval from our customer and then called Alienware Customer Service and waited Twenty minutes on hold again. I was then quoted a higher price that was higher price than original estimate. I was then informed I cannot order the part without a customer number.
I then called the customer got their ?Customer Number? called Alienware Customers Service waited fifteen minutes on hold and then ordered the keyboard. A had past week and no keyboard was received, yet my credit card was charged on the date of ordering. I then called your accounting department at Alienware. I was put on hold for fifteen minutes; I was then told I was being transferred back to customer service department. I asked if there was a problem with the stock of the keyboard. The Alienware customer service representative said that they had plenty of that model keyboard in stock. I then asked why was my credit card charged and the keyboard was not shipped, and was told they would investigate why the order was not completed.
At this point I requested to speak with a supervisor or manager. The customer service representative informed me that , because I was not the original customer who purchased the laptop I could not speak with them and receive information about the laptop. Yet Alienware charged my credit card so that does not qualify me as a customer. I gave my email and telephone to the most unhelpful customer service representative to contact me with information about my order and my status as an Alienware customer.
I did not hear from anyone at Alienware in over six hours and decided to call customer service and ask about the status of my order. They still did know and I was told the person who knew about my status was in a meeting. I then requested if that person could call me back before the close of business day. They said yes they would have them contact me before 7:00 PM.
Needless to say no call was received, not even an email response. I then called back again the next day on my order only to be informed that the part was not available for another 1-3 weeks. I was told by the customer service representative that Alienware bills your credit card on ordering not when it?s shipped. Then the owner of the laptop informed me Alienware voided her warranty on the laptop because she did not want them to replace the keyboard because they were charging her a labor cost $70 per hour for two hours to replace the keyboard plus the price of the part and return shipping cost.
At this point the customer is totally dissatisfied at which I explained that this is the result of buying a no name laptop in which only one company controls parts. With a support service that does not return phone calls or email. On Online Web forums nothing but negative comments were posted about Alienware products and customer service.
This Company is set up to discourage the consumer to and make them purchase a new product instead of fixing an easily repairable problem. And If you don?t believe it check out the web.
I have been in the computer service industry for over 30 years and it is my personnel opinion that Alienware support is the worst I have encountered. We are always looking out for our customers and their best interest in giving them quality service and support. It is a pity that Alienware does not do the same.

Gary Di Casparro
Tec Direct, Inc.

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by mccoy007 / March 5, 2005 3:05 PM PST

Thanks for this passage, one of my friends want to buy a notebook computer of Alienware. He asked me for advices, i think after i read this passage, i won't recommand him to buy this company's computer. I have already read other passages about Alienware, I think it is time that this company should consider their poor service

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Sad but true
by Tom Thompson / August 10, 2005 5:16 AM PDT

I wish I had done my homework on Alienware. I only read the hype from some industry magazines and forgot that the tripe found in many mags' are press releases and basicaly, unpaid advertising.

Per my suggestion, my son ordered one of Alienwares top of the line notebooks. With excitement, we waited for the notebook to arrive. Upon receipt, we hastenly glanced over the quickstart and had the notebook up and running. Everything looked good except.... the was no optical drive showing....
I rebooted into the bios and low and behold.... no drive showed up in the bios.... I told my son, ''No problem, just call tech support''. 5 hours later and having removed many components of the machine mutiple times the tech stated ''The optical drive is bad''. I am not sure that I agree with him, I think it might be the bus, but what can you do... you have to play Alienware's game. I said thats fine... just have one (a drive) to me tomorrow. I was then told it would be at least four days before they could get it to me. I complained that would be to long (which entailed most of the 5 hours of being on the phone) and then was assured they would get it out in 2 days. We are waiting now. I have my doubts that it is the optical drive and that we will have it in 2 days.

I guess my problem is that we purchased the flagship product from Alienware. We were told it would under go extensive testing before being sent. If this machine had been tested it would've failed. (side note: The shipping carton looked pristine. The cartons showed none of the usual signs of being dropped kicked and slid 100 yds. I really doubt there was damage from shipping.) Had I purchased this machine from several other companies, I would have had a drive within 24 hours. I know, I've had this happen over the course of consulting folks on buying computers for many years.

When you spend over $3600.00 for a notebook to play games on you expect it to work on arrrival. If it doesn't work, you expect the company to be falling over themselves to make the situation right. I had a very frustrating 5 hours with Alienware customer service and would rate them as one of the worst that I've dealt with.

I won't refer people to Alienware for a computer. I get and average of 1 to 5 people a month asking me about what computer to buy. Now, those aren't huge numbers but, every person who is unhappy with a product typicaly tells 30 people about the problem. While a happy customer typicaly tells 10 people. (I am working on memory here from many years ago when I was involved in a ''Cost of Quality'' study within AT&T These are the numbers that come to mind but should not be stated as fact without checking with a SME)

I wish I would've done the search on peoples experiance with Alienware. We wouldn't be waiting for a part. We wouldn't be paying for a dead horse. We'd be playing games on another companies notebook.

Tom Thompson

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 10, 2005 5:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Sad but true

I do not have access to your BIOS menus, but another owner found the second IDE channel was disabled in the BIOS. You can also try the BIOS defaults.

If it does fix that, and the CDRW does not show in Windows, try removing the keys noted at then reboot.

best of luck,


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by Tom Thompson / August 10, 2005 8:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Try...

Good idea but a no go.... I checked it yeaterday (resonably sure I did Wink ). The optical drives are on a IDE bus that is labeled as optical and the HD's are on a SATA bus in ATA mode instead of raid. Both are active in the bios as far as I can see. The IDE drives should come up as O_IDE M and O_IDE L from the text on the BIOS screen. The pair are on ''AUTO'' and grayed out when you drill down to change PIO or UDMA modes or any of that fun stuff.

This BIOS is much diferent then any I've delt with. There really aren't many features to change.
The machines not in front of me at the moment. I'll recheck it again tonight just to make sure. I find it's always the littlest things that cause the biggest problems. (Conversations with my fatherlaw... "now, you really did check to see if the printer powercord is plugged in right?"... and it never is but we have to diagnose the whole system for 2 hours before he will really look)

Thanks for the idea.

Tom T

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Here's a thought. Paid with credit card?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 10, 2005 8:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

If the unit was DOA (dead on arrival) then it may be time to call your credit card company and see if they will go to bat for you.

-> I would seek a total refund and return the machine.

Without apology I would suggest readily available machines from gamer to nice to have such as the Compaq R4000 with the 128M or larger ATI video card, the LiveStrong models and the Compaq v2312us. Keep in mind I noted this in order from gamer to nice to have.

Since it was DOA, you never received your product. I'd stick with that story with the card company.


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by Tom Thompson / August 10, 2005 9:22 AM PDT

Thats been my thoughts all along. The trouble is I'm dealing with a 24 y/o thats mightly impressed with this bright shiny very cool looking laptop. I'm trying to save him from himself but, when did we ever listen to our parents advise if it meant being pratical.

Tom T

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by AntiAW / August 15, 2005 10:55 AM PDT
In reply to: agree

im 19 and my shiny junk gone stale, just follow through my horror story and youll feel much better bout sending it back.. and never ever ever ever agree to the 15% restocking fee, they CANNOT impose it on you if its DOA, they have no right to take 15% on a faulty product and any court in the land will slam the book at them... i dont mean to sound crazy or anything but im furious at how many people are being literalry ripped off by AW like i was, take action and take your hard earned money to people who wont give you the finger once your check clears, happy computing

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I agree
by rich669 / February 27, 2007 2:38 AM PST

I was wounded in Iraq for the US Army and while waiting on their help I bought a 3400 dollar desktop to have something to do. First unit was doa so I thought no big deal and sent it back. Repaired unit died within 2 days. I called them for a refund and all I am getting is a pwer supply coming and a tech to install it. I really didnt need this stress right now and will never buy even a mouse pad from them again. Although I have been all over the world I cannot half understand the folks they make me talk to with CS as their english is terrible. I just thought I had left a nightmare.....

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by jimmiexjames / October 2, 2009 4:00 AM PDT

I was getting a new videocard for my alienware computer....the gt 295....i was getting it from new egg (a great website) when i called alienware and told them....they said i lose my they said i can buy it from them for the same price and keep my warrenty but i have to send it in to get it done there(BIG MISTAKE). That was probably the worst mistake i have ever made in my life....So i sent it in on september 8th (they said if i would be back at my house by the 16th. It got to alienware workshop in florda on the 11th and it said being worked on... On the 14th i called to see how it was going and if it shipped back...they said it had just started to be worked on because they didnt have the videocard there...(witch they told me they had it in stock the day i placed the order). They said to expect it comming back by the 20th the latest...So i called them on the 20th very excited and they said that it was still being worked on and it hadent shipped...boy was i angry... i said get it done and fix it or just send it back to me and i do it like i planned from the beggining...So i was assured it will be ready by the 25th it will be at my house THE LATEST they said with a smirk ( like i was the one who was being unreasonable) So here we are on the 2nd of october....i just got off the phone with a rep about 5 min ago....It still hasnt been shipped!!!!!! I told them to stop lieing to there customers!!! NEVER GO THREW WHAT I DID....BE SMART ABOUT THIS...READ THE REVIEWS ABOUT THERE CUSTOMER SERVICE ONLINE....WHAT A PILE OF ****...WHY IS IT TAKING THESE IDIOTS A MONTH TO DO WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE IN 20MIN...


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