--5/27/2005 - Called gateway at 2:01 PM and reached voice mail again. Left voice mail again at 2:05 PM with relevant service request number, tech rep badge number, and request for status update to be returned to home phone.
--5/27/2005 -7:04 PM - Andrew from Gateway - FL4647 called back. I was outside at the time and did not get to the phone in time. Andrew left a message indicating that the chassis order did not go through and that I would have to call back and reinitiate the
request. Again, he did not indicate why it did not go through or clarify any reason for the problem. I have this message on tape because I could not believe how little information it relayed, or believe the fact that after all this it was still being dumped on
me (remember me - the customer?) to attempt to resolve this without a lot of follow up on the part of Gateway.
I tried to call the number provided (800-846-2049, ext 24360) after listening to the message from Andrew, but it was a voice mail center and would not allow me to leave a message as the in box was full.
Called main tech support line and reached rep Tim - CA1412. I Asked to be transferred to the portable specialist group in Florida. Tim was reluctant to transfer me without knowing all the details of why I needed to speak to them. I spent a considerable
amount of time on the phone with Tim reiterating all pertinent information (and at this point some not so pleasant feelings I was developing about Gateway in general). I provided him with the service request number, serial number, name, etc. Tim forwarded me to Richard.
Richard - KT446 - x25552
Reiterated the entire story to Richard. After much discussion and telling him I was close to filing a complaint with my credit card company because I have a brand new laptop that I have been unable to use virtually since I received it, Richard agreed to
follow up on the matter personally and contact me personally with a status no later than 6:30 PM Tuesday evening (6/2/2005).
He promised to resubmit the chassis replacement request. He indicated the order was submitted by Frederick but was seemed not to have been keyed for action (basically it appears the request was not coded correctly to indicate an active status, which essentially causes it fall off the radar). Richard will hand it off to someone to follow up on it Tuesday during the day and is to call me back Tuesday evening by 6:30 PM.
--5/29/2005 - Received a voice message that the new chassis order was declined due to incorrect processing and lack of a credit card number (required for warranty replacements). I was Instructed to call them back again. Bear in mind getting through Gateway?s phone system is no small task, and yet it is still somehow the customer?s responsibility for doing all the follow up.
Personal observation: It does not seem that in any department at Gateway anyone is specifically assigned for ensuring resolution of a problem. Everyone does little pieces of tasks associated with an issue and then washes their hands of it. No appears to oversee
issues from start to finish or track issues for closure. From personal experience, I can tell you this sometimes leaves things unresolved and makes for really unhappy customers.
Called 800-846-2049 x24360 at 2:28 PM. A new glitch in Gateway's phone system connects you to extension 25912 directly when you call this number instead of getting you to anywhere you can dial an extension from. It is a personal voice mail, not a general mail box, and apparently the person at extension 25912 indicates he is out of the office on vacation. So - the number is useless and there is no help available from this avenue.
Subsequently called the 800-428-3929 (800-Gateway) and dialed ext. 24360 and left another message with the tech support at 2:33 PM. Gave them both the house and mobile phone number, the service request number, and a brief description of the problem with a request to read the notes in the service request because I have been trying to get the chassis replacement I was promised since the end of April.
--5/29/2005 - Service Request #4:
Gateway Call Back Unit returned my call at approx. 6:00 PM. Spoke to Royal - FL4450. Royal indicated that the cassis replacement would not be done no matter who submitted it because the call back unit had to approve it and he would not approve it without the unit being examined by a Gateway repair facility (slight superiority complex?). He was very specific about telling me that this was his call to make and when I asked to speak to someone above him on the matter he told me there was no one above him with more authority on the matter.
He indicated that the only choice for resolution I had per their policies was to send the unit back in to the Irving TX repair center for their evaluation.
An additional development occurred while I was on the phone with Royal that sheds some light on the symptoms with the random characters and unresponsive keyboard. I relayed to Royal that upon opening the laptop to remove the RAM modules before shipment (I did this as part of preparation for return shipment while I was on hold waiting for him to process the shipping box request) I found the restraining clip for the keyboard ribbon connector loose inside the laptop (laying on top of the mother board). The
assembly fitting that the restraining clip should have fit into was broken (left tab missing -
did not see it anywhere inside the laptop), so it cannot be reattached and the keyboard is essentially disconnected.
At the time that the on site service was performed the restraining clip was not detached and the component fitting was not broken, but the problem with the keyboard was evident right from having received the unit from Gateway (although at
that time the only visible sign of damage was the broken F5 key and the fact that the keyboard did not sit quite flat in the unit as was stated previously in the notes about the receipt condition). It is possible that the now broken component was cracked or
otherwise damaged from shipping (Maybe the dented box was indicative of mishandling?).
As it stands now Royal is sending a shipping box with no charge and has opened a new service request number (referenced above) for the repair for clarification purposes. He indicated I should have the box on Tuesday and that the repair should take about a week to 10 days. I have received an e-mail confirmation from Gateway for the order number associated with the repair this time (referenced above). The laptop is going to the Irving TX repair facility for motherboard replacement (the only alternative
for the problem I found). I am a little uncomfortable with this. I have not developed a sense of confidence with the Irving TX facility after the last repair, but I am hoping that this will be the end of it.
As a side note, initially when this whole thing started I may not have been any more comfortable sending the unit back to TX for repair than I am now but I would have complied if ''Jimmy'' (the original tech support rep I spoke to - badge # MT528) had not insisted that I pay the shipping charges again.
One more interesting side note. After all of this and compiling all of the details to track the repair process, I thought that Gateway customer service might be interested in the chain of events. They are eternally calling me and asking me to complete customer satisfaction surveys when I buy anything, so I contacted customer service today (5/31/2005) and asked them whom I could submit this transcript to and why I wanted to submit it to them (because I think they have some system issues that is impacting theier customers - I cannot be the only one that has had to go though this. I am just not paranoid enough to believe that). The concerned customer service rep told me to look for an e-mail link on the web site.
I did send them an e-mail from the general link asking for a more specific address to forward the info to, but they don't really seem to want it.