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Great support

by mwilner / March 15, 2005 10:20 PM PST

Three years after purchase and ABS Computer still provides incredible phone support - totally knowledgeable, courteous, and no heavily accented english to try to decipher! The best! Why I ever get suckered into the Dell nightmare, I don't know!

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Great support
by jcrobso / March 16, 2005 12:49 AM PST
In reply to: Great support

It's nice to hear a good report. John

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ABS Computers
by timtankkiller / March 18, 2005 7:06 AM PST
In reply to: Great support

Hey - I bought my ABS system several years back....I had it built and I could not be more happy. I am a hard core gamer and after reading alienware threads I am glad I bought ABS.

Today my box is down. Even after all these years they still work with me. BUT troubleshooting a beeping box is a nightmare. I replace the m/b, the CPU, power supply....you get the idea....still the box is down.

I am going to buy another ABS Computer. Buy with confidence.....ABS is not a "me too" company - Alienware is!

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Thanks for the info!
by culture_of_one / March 21, 2005 1:10 PM PST
In reply to: Great support

If everyone keeps passing around their good and bad experiences, we can help the good companies and (Aw, hell...I'll just delete it myself and save CNET the trouble!) the bad! Wink

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What is ABS?
by dagger906 / March 21, 2005 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks for the info!

What is ABS? How much does it cost?

The best option is still building your own computer. It's just the cheapest and most reliable option. My 400Mhz p2 from about 6 or 7 years ago still works fine. None of the computers I assembled ever had any major problems. Even the cheapest standard/generic parts are better than what Dell and other big companies use. Their custom BIOS that puts a big logo on the screen at startup... what is the use for that anyway? Where are the useful information? I only see the big logo. If it breaks and you take it to a repair shop, they can't even work on it because everything is different.

Anything that doesn't use standard parts is bad. It's best to just build the machine yourself.

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Think about it...
by Willy / March 21, 2005 11:57 PM PST
In reply to: What is ABS?

Are you going to run and complain on "yourself" what a lousy job you did if it poops-out? Probably not, but consider the fact, if a computer co. sold 1mil. systems and 10k crapped out, period. Another co. sold 10k and 100 crapped out, which co. do you think gets the most complaints and which by the numbers has the most satisfied customers. Not to build Dell up, but they have alot of satisfied customers and others that got problems. I don't know of any co. that didn't have problems. I just wish they've kept support in the USA to lessen that side of support issues. Now, as for ABS, they make good systems, but they don't necessarily sell bottom-end system and they start out in the mid-range pricing. I think alot of problems for users are those that seem to dwell at the low and expect too much or upgrade too quickly. Low-end system tend not to be able to upgrade and support all those goodies with the meger p/s some have, oh well. Yet, generic DIY systems do quite well, but at least the builder has an idea what to fix and is willing to correct on own and generally puts decent componets or tested used in a system that can take it. off soapbox -----Willy

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Hmmm...
by culture_of_one / March 22, 2005 12:47 AM PST
In reply to: Think about it...

I'm a management/marketing consultant with quite a few high-tech clients (great technicians/poor business people) and I can tell you without a doubt that companies cannot afford to say, "Well, we make so many units--problems are bound to crop up!" Neither can they afford to say, "Sorry, we can't help you with that!" or "You bought it, you own it!"

Consumers are the cruelest animals in the jungle...and they don't give a flying F*** about "YOUR" problems. You can make 10,000 perfect units and 1 turkey, and the guy who bought the turkey is ready to file a lawsuit against you. You must resolve his issue quickly, efficiently, courteously, and completely. (What I call "QECC".) Any company that fails to do so is in for a major financial beating...and possible extinction. And believe me...they ALL learn, or go out of business.

A larger company that produces more units is in a better position to help the consumer--because they have resources available to them which smaller firms do not. Furthermore, especially in commodity industries like PC hardware, it is the "repeat customers" that bring in the most money.

Now, I could go into why all the "bad stuff" happens, but it would be way beyond the scope of this forum. Suffice to say that the companies in question believe they are being "cost conscious" and don't realize that their internal systems are "seriously flawed". (Consultant's terms for "cheap" and "fubar".) The only important thing to remember is that they cannot get away with it for long.

Passing soapbox back to Willy--;)

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Alot of ifs, ands, & buts, as usual...
by Willy / March 22, 2005 9:02 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmm...

Dell has heard it all or a large chuck of it. It doesn't matter if they build the best unit in the world, as you noted one pived consumer would be the buzz. Let's face it, by the numbers they can make problems and they do try to resolve them, but they'll always have problems because of the numbers they make and any other co. out there, crap happens wether we like it out. Quality control is better handled when the numbers are far less and more easily within the scope of the manufacturing process under the smallest number of roofs as possible. Let's get one thing clear, I don't stand-up for Dell or similar co. but see thier plight. Smaller companies can seem to do alot better if only because they can in a shorter "turn-around" and it hits them harder when they drop the ball, thus they have the incentive to be more adaptive and/or responsive to consumers. Its not to say, Dell or others can't, its because they're so dang big they don't feel the pain as quickly. But, when the problem(s) get large enough, they address it and hopefully head off similar issues. As for "qulaity", it usually the first victim when the numbers need to be out there and that's a sad fact. Maybe less for some companies but too often it does get whacked pretty good until a real problem crops up and needs attention. -----Willy Sad

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I hear what you're saying...
by culture_of_one / March 22, 2005 1:28 PM PST

and I know where you're coming from. No one is accusing you of stumping for Dell.

Dell is suffering from what I like to call "Big Company Syndrome"...no doubt about that. (We can also see it in companies like Lucent, Nortel, Bayer, etc.) And while "Six-Sigma" is what Dell really needs, they still have the money and resources to do a much better job of fixing their screw-ups. The upshot is that their present approach is actually costing them tons of money in lost business and additional advertising costs. (And now in legal fees, too!)

It costs, on average, five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an old one. And "repeat business" is the real bread and butter of any firm. (When people facetiously mention "funeral parlors", I counter by saying that the aim of any good funeral parlor is to bury "the whole family".) To top it off, the average "satisfied" customer tells 1-3 people about the experience, while the average "dissatisfied" customer tells 7-10 people. No company can afford to ignore these numbers for very long.

Did you think the people at Nordstrom were all philanthropists or something? No, they understand the way the game really works...as do the people at Falcon Northwest. And that's what I teach my clients...how to play the real game...and how to win. I like the results (everyone's happy, everyone wins), but that's beside the point. There's nothing really "touchy-feely" about it--it's just the way to win! Wink

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And no...
by culture_of_one / March 22, 2005 1:55 PM PST

it doesn't come naturally to most of my clients. This kind of customer-centered approach is hard for most people to wrap their heads around, because it seems to fly in the face of "generally accepted accounting principles"...and indeed it does! Silly

In fact, I usually only choose to work with firms that are in serious financial trouble...on the verge of bankruptcy is preferred...because it's easier to get their full cooperation in making drastic changes.

First I pull them out of the fire, then I put their feet right back in the fire. Then we go over just what I've been telling you guys (and Dell and Alienware--but they won't listen). And I do this not because it's the "right" thing to do, or the "ethical" thing to do...but because it's what really works! (The nice thing for me is that it also coincides with what's right and ethical.)

(BTW, I've also been working with a lot of new ventures lately...and I must say that it's kind of nice to start with a clean slate!)

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The best option
by mackman / March 22, 2005 12:11 AM PST
In reply to: What is ABS?

There will always be a market for the Dell HP etc. Think about it, there are millions that neither want to or have the inclination/knowledge to build a box. If there was not a market for these companies and their product was not satisfactory they wouldn't exist.
For those of us who build and would have it no other way should not condemn the others

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I agree that building...
by culture_of_one / March 22, 2005 12:56 AM PST
In reply to: The best option

is the best way. However, it's not for everyone. Most people don't have the time, energy, and inclination to do it right. (I have friends who've had the parts lying around for years--literally.) I believe that the vast majority of people are better off buying from a reliable maker...and it's forums like this that help them to do that. Wink

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ABS versus home grown
by timtankkiller / March 22, 2005 8:27 AM PST

I do not promote ABS, my ABS just burned up....however I priced their system specifications on pricewatch and for less than $100 more ABS would build, support, ship and burn my system. I think that every DELL, HP, Alienware and Falcon system can be priced out.

I get a build sheet and do my own "build" and I compare what services I would receive for that extra cash.

Building systems is great, but giving a company a bone or two to do this for you is priceless??

Price an Alienware ? or DELL for that fact?..you will be surprised at the profit that is built into a system.

By the way I gutted my ABS and put in a new SLI set-up?it cost $1000?.but I did not need a new O/S, H/D, drives or RAM, case etc??.Not bad to have a pimp gaming rig?..

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Thanks!
by culture_of_one / March 22, 2005 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: ABS versus home grown

Thanks for the valuable comments, Tim! Wink

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