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My first Alienware experience with AW17R2/Dell Customer Serv

by bnosam / March 2, 2015 8:08 AM PST

My experience with this company:

I am an electrical engineering student and I enjoy the kinda geek culture look a bit so I wanted an Alienware, kinda makes sense right? They look cool to me and they're good computers (so I thought). All in all I spent about $2500 on the laptop.


I went through hell trying to buy the laptop, sales people refused to call me to help me order it, denied they had phones. I had to go into chat every day for a week, spending hours a day talking to agents. Some even told me they don't have phone numbers (this was a lie). Eventually I connected to a guy and we haggled and I bought it. He told me the matte screen was as good as a glossy screen since I told him glossy screens hurt my eyes because I strain focusing them (they aren't as clear and defined compared to glossy). He guaranteed this wouldn't happen to me. Also told me I would have the laptop before the 10th of Feb (I ordered it Jan 23rd).

So I bought it and then I got e-mails from him giving me forms related to the purchase. I e-mailed him multiple times asking him what they were for and he told me he'd call me. He never called me. So I went into chat the next few days to talk to him, he would avoid me. So I got agents to connect me to him and he said he would arrange a call soon. So he got someone else to call me. I asked the agent to get me the other guy and he told me he wasn't available. So eventually trying, I got a hold of him and we got this straightened out (he never replied to any more of my e-mails).

So my order was in "Order processing" for almost a week. I called asking why it took so long after 3 days and they told me they were verifying payment. I told them I paid and it went through, she told me it was a glitch in their system and they'd call me back to escalate the issue. So over the next 3 days I talked to 5-6 agents who each told me it wasn't escalated and they'd escalate it for me. Eventually I got sick of it and told them to fix it or I'm canceling. So they said they'd fix it for me and call me back. 1 hour later it was in pre-processing and I had a call back saying it was a glitch in the system and it got pushed through.

So it came to about Feb 1st and I chatted with them seeing what was taking so long to go anywhere. I made this call at least 10 times, all guaranteeing to expedite it (even had a few managers say this) and I asked on each call if it was expedited and they told me no, but they would submit it. Each time I was told they'd give me a call back to let me know what was going on and said I would get a text message when the laptop shipped (I never received a message when it shipped.)

So I had two parts to the order, the laptop and a mouse. The mouse shipped first and it was scheduled to be delivered. It got marked by the service as "Wrong address". Somehow, they got the address I wrote to them wrong. Turns out the agent left off the apartment number. I made 10+ calls to fix this, nothing was changed in the system, it still has this error. So when I have a parcel from them I have to call the shipping company, who then notifies Dell, then I have to call Dell and tell them to call the shipping company. Sounds not so bad, but I have to literally call Dell 4 times to get an agent who will actually call them NOW.


The laptop was still in production on the 5th, so I called alienware again and talked to a bunch of agents. I was told everything from "it's in the final stages and it's going to ship tomorrow" to "it'll ship next week." etc. I eventually got it on the 11th. I played around with it and used it, it was good but it rattled like there was something loose inside. But it messed up, it was shutting down on me for no reason randomly. Found out that there was a break in the mother board, and pieces were rattling around in it.

So I called tech support who helped diagnose and told me it is overheating. I told him it was a break in the motherboard, he told me it sounds more like overheating. I told him the temperatures didn't go over 50 Celsius. He told me oh that's strange. I told him "I don't mean to be rude, but I'm not an idiot when it comes to computers and electricity, I'm an electrical engineering student, I know how to take apart computers and look at circuits, THE BOARD is BROKEN". He said ok then told me he would get a replacement built and sent to me but I have to send the machine I have no back to them before they do anything. I told him to wait and I wasn't going to confirm anything until I talked to someone else (another agent who helped me prior).

He said ok and that he wouldn't send anything and he would call me back the next night. He never called me back, instead he sent the ticket. I got multiple e-mails saying the laptop has to be sent back and they're going to build me a new one. The agent I had help me before told me he would tell them I can keep the half functional laptop I have now and send it back when I get a new one.

So the lady with the "Dispute Expert Team" told me she would have me a new machine built and it would take 2-3 weeks. I told them I was mad because i should have a working machine and now I have to wait for a new one to be built. She asked me if i wanted a new one built and I said I'm not sure yet, why should I give you a second chance? She gave me an answer and told me they would make it right. I told her to make it right at this point, I would need more than what ws given to me. She offered an upgrade. She offered me the glossy screen and RAM upgrade since my eyes strained from the Matte screen. So I said I didn't need the RAM because I have my own in my other laptop. I suggested the CPU upgrade and she said she would send the request.

A few hours later she replied saying my request was approved so I asked her about the screen since I was more concerned about that because of my eyes. She told me she would look into it. She emailed me back a few hours later saying the CPU was denied but she made a mistake so I wasn't getting it. She told me she would try another request for the screen + RAM but I'd have to wait 3 days because of the weekend. So I said ok since she said she'd e-mail me at the beginning of her day. (Before this I talked to her on the phone a bit too about other things).

She didn't reply, so I sent her an e-mail during the last 30 mins of her shift and she told me "oh I was just going to write you now!" I said "cool what news do you have? She told me the upgrade was not approved and that the laptop was already built with the same specs and was going to be shipped. I was furious, I told her I did NOT confirm I wanted the build, I told you multiple times NOT to rebuild because I wasn't going to be available if it shipped soon. I was going to confirm a build ONLY if I could have it delivered AFTER my vacation. She got very rude with me telling me I should be happy with the resolution or I can get a refund. I was told a refund would take 3-4 weeks because of having to send laptops back, plus the new one to come in the mail etc.

I told her she dropped the ball because I was dissatisfied. She told me they had no obligation to give me anything more than a spec-for-spec replacement and that she was pleased that I got the replacement and that I should be happy. She offered me the RAM again saying she would have it sent to me. I asked to speak to her manager. She ignored me and replied telling me that "Well if you are so unhappy with the product, you should just get a refund." I told her in another e-mail "Send me your manager's details I want to speak to them or have them contact me." She never replied and no manager contacted me.


Round 2:


I contacted the facebook support. They basically told me the same thing, they have a policy not to do upgrades for replacements (you know this is a lie because you have a lot of stories on the forum to the contrary). I asked to speak with a manager. A manager called me and was VERY rude to me. He said "You have two options, take the replacement or get a refund. You will not get anything more from anyone, we have no obligation to you now, you will not get anything more, it doesn't matter." I got firm back at him and he told me basically if I wasn't happy then he can't do anything and then he said good bye and hung up.

Honestly, these aren't the only people I've talked to, I've talked to A LOT more and had the same crap happen. I just left it out to be brief (I know this is a long message, still).

So after all of this crap, I talked to more people got nowhere. (BTW the shipment for the spec for spec replacement is on its way, the address is wrong and I won't even be here to receive it, so that's kinda funny).

I got a random PM on the forum from a member here who said he knows I was having issues with Alienware. He gave me the e-mail of the president of Dell Canada. I sent the president an e-mail saying (just re-iterating the above, feel free to skip reading the e-mail):


[QUOTE]

Dear Mr. Peesker,


I've been having some issues with my recent Alienware purchase. I'm going to reiterate what my whole experience has been, it's a little lengthy, so I apologize, but it needs to be said. To be blunt, it has been a train wreck. Again, I apologize for the length.


On January 23rd I ordered the AW17R2 with the upgraded 980m GPU laptop. It was exciting to think of receiving such a power laptop for gaming. I was ecstatic waiting for it but I ran into a lot of trouble that made the whole experience severely disappointing, overshadowing my excitement.

To place my order I talked to a sales rep on chat, who called me to help me through the sale. Later on he sent me details that I was unsure about, but he said he would call me to explain it. So I e-mailed him asking for the call and he sent me more documents. I dialed his extension and left a message. He never called me back. I went into the chat and found him online; he said he would call me. He never did. So, the next day I went and dialed his extension again, no answer and I left voicemail again. I tried chat, another agent told me he was on break and he would call me back in 20 minutes. Instead of him calling, he had another agent call me on his behalf. This agent wanted me to explain everything all over again. I refused and requested the other agent call me back, he said he would call me in 15 minutes. Hours went by, no call. I went into chat again and told him if he didn't call me I was canceling me order, guess what? He called me in 2 minutes, told me he never called me because their "systems were down". Then why would another agent be of use if the systems were down? I see this as him trying to pawn me off on someone else since he already had the sale.

After this, my order got stuck in order processing for 4 days. Every time I tried to call, I would get transferred left and right saying it's an issue with the system. The first agent I talked to told me it's a good thing I called because it was "stuck and they wouldn't have noticed." Everyone promised to call me back, nobody ever did. I connected to supervisors, by that point I was angry enough to lose it with one of the managers enough that they agreed to fix it for me. He called me back an hour later and wow, surprise my order moved out of processing.

After a day in production, I was concerned with the date of arrival of the product (I was told I would definitely have it by February 10th by the sales staff), I contacted customer support who said they would expedite it. So, he sent off that request. The next day I called to see if it was expedited, the agent told me it wasn't, so he would send it off. So, I figured this was fine and everything.

Basically, my order was comprised of two parts, the laptop itself and a mouse. The mouse shipped first and was due to arrive Jan. 29th. The sales employee made a mistake and didn't include my full address on the parcel, so I had to connect with Dell to correct it. In the meantime, speaking with the rep, he did correct it, but even better he kept calling me by the wrong name, using 3 different names each time he talked to me (calling me Robert, Wendy etc.) Ignoring this, I remembered about the expediting of my order and asked him if my build was expedited, he said he would send the request down for me since it doesn't look it was.

The order was significantly corrected to my liking now, as far as I was concerned but I had enough of it at this point and I asked for his manager to call me. His manager called me back and told me they would fix the shipping error for me and that the expedite request was indeed submitted and accepted. He also promised me compensation for my issues after I explained them to him and said he would e-mail me something for it. I never received an e-mail from him or further contact.

During the sales process experience I should have considered that encounter with your company to be a warning and decided to withdraw my order. While I find foreign call centre staff can be good at their jobs and be satisfactory most of the time as staff found in North America, I have heard contrary to this about the "Indian sales team" is rough to deal with at Dell sometimes, I took that as normal for most companies' horror stories and ignored it (pardon my generalizations regarding Indian call centre staff stereotypes).

I honestly feel like this entire time I'm following you guys around trying to tell you your mistakes. It's still happening every time I talk to the company, I don't think anyone cares to actually update my information or listen to me. I was severely disappointed from this, I don't feel like my business was valued at all.

So past that reiteration of my early issues, more issues came up during the shipping phase of my laptop. I received my tracking number and I called the shipping company who told me the address Dell provided was incomplete (they were missing my Unit # again. I called on this issue over 10 times, each time being told it would be updated in the system. It still hasn't been fixed.) I had to call support 4 times to get it corrected. The shipping company told me only one person called to correct it.

So it was corrected! I finally have the delivery man give me my laptop, all is well! I open the laptop case and I'm so excited. The laptop looks pretty cool and stylish to me. I open it; it looks so clean and sleek. I love the design and feel of it. It FEELS like a premium product. So I pick it out of the case and I heard a rattle. That didn't sound good...but I said it was maybe just a screw that fell in or something.

I turn the laptop on, it runs fine and it's pretty neat but it shut off after about 30 mins of using it, to be honest the matte screen on it is lower quality than my older Asus laptop, and the matte is dark and causes me eye strain. I thought that was strange but said oh well. I took the rear cover off to replace the old drive with my SSD. When I removed the cover little bits of motherboard coloured particle fell out. The motherboard must have been damaged or something. I never put a new harddrive in because I didn't want to mess it up just in case. I put the cover back on and so on then booted it up again. It worked, and then blue screened then shut down immediately after showing the blue screen.

Later on, I ran diagnostics on it and it would shut off randomly no matter which test was running. So I thought ok. I left it off and I tried it a few hours later and it worked for 20 mins then I said ok maybe it was just a fluke. So I left it on again and it worked. So I took it to the gaming event that some students at school were having (like a little LAN party for other engineering students). Well after 15 minutes I was shutting off all the time again. So basically I never got to actually use it in the event, unfortunately.

So that night I called tech support, who had me go through a few processes and diagnostics. He told me I would have to send my laptop in to get looked at or get a new one built. I said I wasn't sure which I wanted because I wanted to contact another rep first (he helped me a bit earlier) to see what he thinks. The agent told me he would call me back the next day to see what my decision was, we agreed 10 PM Atlantic Time. At some point I talked to the other rep and he told me I would be allowed to keep the laptop until I got sent the replacement (I didn't want to leave the company with my money and not have anything physically in my possession after this point, regardless).

The next day I checked my inbox in my e-mail. I had 2 e-mails from a rep telling me to send my laptop in to replace it and to confirm with them to begin a new build. Then I had another e-mail from the shipping company. I was horribly confused because nobody told me about this. So, I waited for the night for the rep to contact me and tell me what was going on. He never ended up calling me back or e-mailing me any information. I'm super disappointed with the complete and utter disregard for communication with me.

The new rep that e-mailed me told me that he submitted a ticket to get a replacement (I never confirmed this with him yet). So they contacted me over the phone. During our exchange I told them I was unsure about the build because I would be going away for vacation and I'd be unable to receive it if it were shipped sooner. They told me it would take 2-3 weeks, so I never confirmed it until I knew my vacation time, they offered me a refund. I asked them, out of curiosity, why I should give Alienware a second chance. They told me because they will make it right for me.

I decided I'd let your company have a second chance, I explained briefly my troubles to them and asked if there could be anything done with them and they said they would request an upgrade for me. They suggested a screen upgrade (since Matte was hard on my eyes) and RAM. I told them I already had RAM for my laptop, so it wasn't necessary. We eventually settled on them sending the request down for a CPU upgrade.

After the request was sent, they contacted me a couple hours later saying it was a quick response back. They told me it was approved by the factory. At this point I wanted the screen more because it matte screens are harder on my eyes (I shouldn't have trusted the agent who told me it was a good matte screen). They then contacted me a couple hours later telling me my CPU request was actually denied. So I said ok, then just send down the screen and RAM request or whatever they could. They told me they would get in contact with me after the weekend.

After the weekend passed, they contacted me on Tuesday. They told me the request was never looked at because the CPU request was denied. They also told me the laptop was already consented to be built and it was shipped already, so I can't get anything from them. I was disappointed because the rep told me I would be able to get something and then turned extremely rude.

I told the rep that I felt they dropped the ball because they proceeded without my permission. So basically they told me I have no choice but to accept the laptop despite them telling me I would have received an upgrade for my troubles and issues, so I asked to speak with their supervisor. They responded with attitude telling me they have no obligation to give me anything or wait for me to confirm the build. They said they would send me the RAM, if necessary. At which point, I once again replied to asking only to speak to their manager. They never replied to my e-mails again. So I requested a manager twice from them.

So I contacted another agent, who told me I would not be receiving anything from them except the laptop. Then told me I can just be given a refund or accept the laptop. I told them the laptop will be refused because I won't be home to accept it and it'll sit at the depot then be sent back after a week because I won't be able to claim it. They told me then I can get a refund. I was told by a rep that it would take 10 business days plus shipping time for the laptops to be reprocessed by Alienware, then another few days for a refund. So basically I'd have to wait the time for this laptop to get here plus more time to get my refund. That's 3-4 weeks, Mr. Peesker.

The purpose of the laptop for me was for three things for me:


1)I bought it for the little gaming event since I wanted something flashy and cool. It was also supposed to come with me on break to play games and relax


2)It was supposed to be a birthday present to myself (Feb 21st is my birthday)


3)It was a reward for me, I weighed 220 lbs in September, my current weight now is 181 lbs. I felt like I deserved something cool for changing my life


So now points 1 & 2 are completely invalid and point 3 to some degree. My reward to myself turned into a nightmare of stress for me. I wouldn't have my funds cleared to me in time to buy a new laptop for break or my birthday.

So I contacted a supervisor who was very rude and unprofessional with me during the discussion. They told me regardless of what any agent told me; I would NOT be receiving anything but the laptop. They said I only have two options, the laptop or my money back, and it doesn't matter want I want. Reiterating they are under no obligation to give me anything else regardless of what was told to me or how bad my experience was with Alienware. He said they won't build another laptop since they already had one built. I asked him to then send the screen parts separately and it can be installed. He got snarky and basically said what amounted to "no".

So Mr.Peesker, I was told I could have AT LEAST some RAM by an agent. But the RAM doesn't really solve my main issue, the screen. The upgrade in RAM is $250 on your website, while the screen upgrade is only +$200. I honestly just want a screen that doesn't hurt my eyes, even though the RAM is more expensive, I'll take the lesser costing upgrade (screen) because it would add a lot to my overall experience. I just want this and I can be happy.

I want to share something a bit more personal about myself with you. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a mental disorder. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; I don't think many people truly understand what it is. But first of all, imagine dealing with all this frustration I have dealt with during midterm exam period at university as an engineering student. Life is already stressful enough in most situations, but anxiety adds a larger level of Hell on life. People with anxiety have panic attacks, some have days where they can barely leave the house because of it being so bad. I have days where I can barely function because of my anxiety being so bad. Before I had anxiety my stress level was lower, but now I have to function at a higher stress level baseline because of the disorder. I even get physical pains in my body from my anxiety. The best way to compare my life now and before anxiety is basically now I am 2-3x more stressed out or anxious because of things that would not bother me this much. I see a counselor regularly and she even told me I seem more on edge lately with my anxiety. I didn't really explain to her this situation.

Anxiety is a long hard path in life for people to try to get past, I've been at it a few years, some days I do see a lot of progress, other days it feels like I'm stuck at step 1. I've been really anxious at times dealing with this, Mr.Peesker.

I'm not trying to be rude or spiteful in this case, but up to this point, I can't recommend Alienware. I've been beyond disappointed with the level of service I've been provided. I do feel very conflicted because I do feel the product can be good, but ultimately I feel like I was totally failed by other people in the company and never experienced how great the product can be. Honestly, I didn't mention everything that went wrong in here because it isn't necessary. Honestly, I want this struggle to have a happy ending, so I can say you guys did me right and got your second chance and did well. But for now I can't, and it disappoints me.

I just wanted a screen that wouldn't hurt my eyes because if I wanted to start the whole process over again with a new order and go through all this again, I'm sure from my details above, you would know how it would go. I would be willing to have this resolved in quiet, if you wish I don't speak further about it, since I know you would prefer people not come to you about this or get the idea to give out free upgrades. Once I get what I'm happy with, I'm willing to do a full review of the system once it works well and I have a good grasp of it. From what little I experienced, I liked the system, but obviously the issues speak louder.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you [/QUOTE]


He actually replied back to me within 3 hours and said:

[QUOTE]

Hi Mason


Very sorry to read about the poor level of support you have had in ordering and then resolving a technical issue with your system. I am asking Bill Tyrrell who leads our Consumer business for Canada to intervene to provide appropriate coaching to our chat sales team and to engage with our tech support team to resolve the issue you are having with your system. I have heard only positive comments on the Alienware screen and most sales are of the Matt variety being preferred by gamers so I am not sure what has gone wrong there (I looked up several reviews on the AW17 and screen quality was all solid).. Bill will look into that as well.


I'm certain we'll get you up and gaming in the very near future.


Kevin

[/QUOTE]


So I ended up in contact with Bill, the Consumer Business for Canada!

He was really cool, gave me his phone number and said:


[QUOTE]

So sorry for your experience, the experience that your received is definitely not the experience Dell strives for. I am going to send your issue to our Executive Escalations team who are responsible for resolving these types of situations. You will receive a phone call from this team and I will be personally engaged with this team to ensure we resolve your issue to your satisfaction. I was able to get your customer number information from our sales system and will pass this along to the team. I have worked with them many times before and they have never let me down.


I will be on top of them to resolve but if you have any issues with response, please contact me and I can give them a nudge.

[/QUOTE]


So I was contacted by a lady who worked for Dell's Resolution Team. This seemed promising, she asked me a bunch of questions and took down what I was promised and said she would get info on this for me to see what they can do. I told her the best times to contact me. She confirmed that they should not have sent a laptop without my confirmation first, also. She told me to refuse the package from the company over the phone since I would not be available to receive it. She called me back the next day and said she needed to do more research, so she would call back the next day. She never called so I called and she wasn't available so a manager told me he would get her to call me. So she called me that night when I told her I was not available, she left a message saying she woudl call me back the next morning. I didn't get a call back so I called 4 hours after her shift began and was told she was busy so she would call me back by the end of the day. I told the guy that was not acceptable and she should call back sooner since I'm unavailable. He said she'd call in two hours or sooner. 3 hours later I called and got connected to her...


She told me they can't upgrade because it is a dell policy not to do upgrades for models in stock (another lie, they've done this before, credible people have said so on the forum they got upgrades). So I told her this wasn't true and the executives I talked to told me I would get what I asked for. She told me executives can't break policy so they can't do anything for me. She asked who I spoke to, so I gave her the names and she didn't know who they were. So I had to tell her they were the president of Dell Canada and Consumer Business Head. I asked for her manager and she refused. She told me I was her only point of contact at this point and I will have to talk to her from now on regardless. She told me there is nothing I can do because I have what I'm getting. I told her ok bye, I'll go talk to the executives again.


I sent Bill another e-mail telling him what happened, told him how I'm completely unsatisfied I am and how disappointing this has been. Bill hasn't replied to this e-mail. It has been about 5 days since I sent it.


I have issues with my anxiety disorder and depression and Alienware have made this a hell. I told him that too.


TIMELINE :


ORDER Jan 23rd

RECEIVED Feb 11th

CALLED TECH SUPPORT Feb 11th

EMAILED PRESIDENT FEB 20th

DEALT WITH RESOLUTION PEOPLE Feb 20th


This was a brief breakdown, the actually complete story Is longer than this with more horrific interactions, but this is the basis of my complaint. I wasn't going to go public with my story, I was going to give them some time to find a good resolution, however they don't appear at this point to be willing to even try. This experience has helped spawn the website in my signature.

So at this point I'm not sure where else to go, but I may speak with a lawyer to determine if I have a course of action.

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Collapse -
Tell them you
by itsdigger / March 2, 2015 8:57 AM PST

Want a refund.
Digger

Collapse -
Nod to refund.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 3, 2015 12:46 AM PST

Now you see what I go for preconfigured machines. No delays, and in decades, they come out of the box and just work.
Bob

Collapse -
You knew it had to happen
by Willy / March 5, 2015 6:16 AM PST

For all the problems and hassles just to order the Alienware PC, you should have taken a hint and NOT ordered. You're now not happy and never got what you wanted for that matter off to a good start, just return or demand a refund. Keep all your paperwork, emails, whatever to help you document the matter. I now leave you to roam...

tada -----Willy Happy

Collapse -
Resolved!
by bnosam / March 5, 2015 9:43 AM PST

Spoke with one of the executives on the phone yesterday when he called me. So basically this is now "resolved" very much to my liking.

Collapse -
(NT) Good to hear...
by Willy / March 9, 2015 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Resolved!
Collapse -
GL with your fixed computer.

Man... I'm hoping I don't have any of these quality issues. I was just given a brand new Alienware 15 as a gift for my birthday. Family member said it was an easy experience getting it. Took a few minutes to spec it out online and it went to "in production" status the next day and 9 busienss days later was at the house.

Imagine if you went with one of the smaller builders that's known to have non existent customer service! You would have been SOL day 1.

Looks like I'll be keeping my Asus around until I'm positive Alienware sent me a reliable piece of kit.

So far so good (its only day 2 though Grin )

Collapse -
Well ordering and shipping of my
by orlbuckeye / April 28, 2015 12:46 AM PDT

alienware was smooth and no issues. The only thing I experienced was when ordering they were giving a free Android tablet and I got confused with the price so I did a chat and was quoted a price. The guy asked if I wanted to order it then. I had a meeting here at working so I needed to go so I set a time for a call back. At first I said I would just order it later and he said well if i order on the call back I would get free overnight shipping. So i went to meeting and Dell called me back and i made the order end the price had changed to 200 more. Well I had saved the chat with the quotes for the price so the person I was talking with got the OK to honor the price. They gave me an estimated ship date of like a week but I got it a couple of days before that. I was very happy with the whole process and actually happy with Dell so far.

Now they discontinued my model with their 2015 Alienwares. I had selected Alienware because they were the only 18" screen laptop and now MSI has replaced them as the only 18" laptop for 2015. But I did see some nice Acer machines that will be released soon. Previously I own an Acer with an 18 screen.

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