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Online computer purchasing

Thinking of buying from an online company instead of your local comptuer shop? Then you might want to read this..

I just spent $760 purchasing components to build a computer from TigerDirect. I ordered from their online website. The base of the purchase was a barebones system with case, motherboard and cpu.

My old computer had begun acting flaky and requiring numerous reboots throughout each day, so we anxiously watched the online tracking and waited for the delivery. Four days later (Mar 23), it came - all except the case.

Now for those who've never built a computer allow me to explain that it is impossible without a power supply and those generally come with the case.

I got online and filled out one of their support tickets. I promptly got an auto-reply saying how much they appreciate my business and how a human (I presume) would be contacting me within the millenium.

By the next afternoon there was still no email from a human, so we telephoned their "Support" people whereby we were told that because we had upgraded the cpu, we do not get the case.

The cpu we upgraded to was one 'suggested' by the TigerDirect web page we purchased from. At no time does the form tell you that you will not get a case. It DOES charge what seems to be the right amount of extra money for the upgrade however, but there is absolutely nothing to signify that the case has been dropped off the order.

Totally unsatisified with TigerDirect's "Support" person's answer, I contacted friends within the industry who directed me to an individual within the TigerDirect company. This person looked into the matter and told me that I should have indeed received a case and that it was a problem with their system.

He then told me he would get back to me but he did not. I emailed again and this time he told me he would ship a case if I picked one out from the TigerDirect online catalog. So I did and I emailed him the part#. Nothing. The next day I emailed again. So far - nothing.

We live way out in the sticks and it takes a two hour drive to go into Tulsa to buy a computer case. We are planning to take the trip tomorrow. I just called a "mom & pop" small computer shop in Tulsa to check on case availability and out of curiosity they asked to give a price on the components I bought at TigerDirect so I gave them the part descriptions (but not the prices) Their total came out to be $739

That's $21 less than TigerDirect AND no shipping charges!!! Not to mention the fact that I just might have noticed if they failed to give me a case.

At this point I would have gladly paid $100 MORE just to have avoided all this hassle and to have been using the new computer for the past three days.

I strongly urge everyone to deal with their local computer stores (I wish we had one) and whatever they do - DO NOT BUY FROM TIGERDIRECT!

..to be fair, I just (finally) got another reply. I'll post it here:

Quote:
.....................

-----Original Message-----
From: Lonny Paul [mailto:Lonny.Paul@tigerdirect.com]
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2004 8:09 AM
To: 'hank@compusolver.com'
Subject: RE: Order # was E6017573 (Hank / CompuSolver / RS-Kit.com)

Hank,

Sorry for the delay, however I sometimes do take up to 72 hours to respond based upon time constraints - I do have to take care of a rather large operation.

I can have a case to you Monday.

Is that acceptable?
.....................

Oh, I see. I shouldn't get my shorts in a twist over a $760 order that I haven't been able to do anything with in four days because HE has to take care of a "large operation".

What's more - it appears they still aren't going to ship the case unless I reply (twice, as usual?) that this is "acceptable". Well, "NO" it is not acceptable. Not at this point. I'll drive to Tulsa, thank you. I'll send instructions as to what you can do with your case, seperately. Wink

Lonny - to be fair to the public, this is what you should post on every page of your online catalog:

.....................
TigerDirect Customers Note:

We DO sometimes leave off an item or two from your shipment. No biggie. Keep in mind that I sometimes do take up to 72 hours to respond based upon time constraints - I do have to take care of a rather large operation.
.....................

Now, on to the newsgroups..

- Hank Castello
CompuSolver.com

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Beautiful. I feel your pain, been there done that. Local, local, local, local. -NT

In reply to: Online computer purchasing

.

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Re:Online computer purchasing

In reply to: Online computer purchasing

I purchase at Best Buy. Over the years I have forged a "friendship" with the manager. I have known her since birth and know everything about her. And if she PSsssssses me off I will tell. Hope you get it all fixed soon. Good Luck!!!

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Best Buy my favorite. CompUSA and Circuit City close seconds ..

In reply to: Re:Online computer purchasing

.
I also have found that quite often, after all is considered, the prices at these places are as good or better than online. The thing about the internet you have more of a selection and the ability to shop dozens of places without leaving your comfy chair.

However, something to consider, like the poster, are people that live a long distance from a town large enough to have the items they need. In that case buying online seems more desirable. Too bad they often get ripped off. I hope Hank gets a refund on that case he didn't get with his order.

BTW, Hank, if possible plug in the power supply that comes with the case at the store before you buy it so you see how loud it is. I bought a nice case for a very good price locally that included a power supply (3.5 W) and it's loud enough to hear clear across the house! LOL Kept it anyway, it houses a back up however I could never put up with that if it was my main computer.

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Re: Best Buy and CompUSA

Hi, Rosalie.

Sorry, but I completely disagree about these two (no experience with CC for such things). Best Buy has unbelieveably strict return requirements -- I had to go all the way to corporate to get authorization to return a "bargain" tape drive I bought there that turned out not to support my OS. This was back in the days when there were mutliple versions of Win 95 and Win 98; I had the most recent version of Win 98, but the drivers for the original Win 98 didn't work and the company (Seagate) had replaced that drive with a newer version, and so weren't providing updated drivers. Even though the package listed Windows 98 as a supported OS, the local BB manager refused to take it back, saying it was my responsibility to know whether that drive would work on my system! I finally got my money back, but haven't bought computer-related stuff from BB since. As for CUSa, their prices are now exactly list on all but advertised specials, and their proprietary systems don't rate well in the PC Magazine Service and Reliability survey.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re:Re: Best Buy and CompUSA

In reply to: Re: Best Buy and CompUSA

I got burned by CompUSA too. I bought a SyQuest drive from them once, and it died 3 weeks later. I tried to return it and they said their return policy on hardware was 14 days and I had to contact SyQuest. I did and they told me to return it to the store. After I finally managed to convince them that the store was really refusing to take it back, they agreed to have me send the drive to them. A few weeks later they filed for bankruptcy and I was out $300.

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BustBuy, ChumpUSA, and

In reply to: Re:Re: Best Buy and CompUSA

CircuitShitty are dreadful places to shop for computers/parts. If you know exactly what you need and it is a boxed piece, you might find what you're looking for. Their weekly sale items are pretty good value, but you need to bide your time until the piece you want comes on sale. But don't make the mistake of thinking you can ask the salespeople for any help - they can point to things on the shelf but generally have no idea what it's for or which one you should choose.

On the other hand, it is pure entertainment on Saturday afternoon to just hang out in the computer aisle and eavesdrop on the other customers telling their wives/girlfriends or each other why they think this one or that one is the best one based on the bold GHz and MB and GB numbers on the shelf tags...

dw

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Re:BustBuy, ChumpUSA, and

In reply to: BustBuy, ChumpUSA, and

I agree, the key to shopping in a place like that is to do your research first (the tech forums here can be a big help), know exactly what you want and have a good idea what it should cost, and then go get it or order it. I wouldn't trust the "advice" any of their employees provide. Either it will just be bad, or they'll "advise" you to buy whatever the store manager told them to push that day.

I sure realized I'd noticed the 14-day return policy; I wouldn't have bought the drive. Almost every business in New Jersey has a 30-day return policy. Turned out that drive was a real POS and a lot of buyers ended up returning them. The ones who were lucky enough to have their drives go south before SyQuest did got their money back. $300 is a lot to lose.

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I limit my online computer purchases to three companies:

In reply to: Online computer purchasing

1. Dell
2. Dell
3. Dell

Been dealing with them exclusively for around 8 years and I've never been disappointed.

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my three...

In reply to: I limit my online computer purchases to three companies:

Dell makes fine computers, but you need to know what you want in that computer and what you are going to do with that computer before you buy it from Dell and then buy it with all those needs already built into the machine. If you subsequently discover that you need some new feature or upgrade, you'll need to buy a new Dell with the new feature. You can't adapt the old one and simply add the upgrade without introducing huge uncertainties as to whether the new idea will peacefully coexist with the highly customized original configuration. JMO based on some practical experience with them.

I tend to build my own, not because it might be cheaper (it isn't) but because I can control the quality and standardization of the parts I choose to go into it. My personal favorites for vendors are, in order of preference, NewEgg, Computers4Sure, and PCConnection. Good prices and inventory and reasonable shipping from the first two; retail prices from the third but if you order as late as 2am, it will be delivered when the sun comes up (which saved my bacon on more than one occasion....). And btw, I had a very similar experience with TigerDirect as in the story at the beginning of the thread. Never again!

as always YMMV,
dw

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Re:my three...

In reply to: my three...

I think it depends on which product line you buy. If you go for their basic systems then what you say about upgrades is largely true, since things like sound & video are integrated into the motherboards. If you can afford a higher-level system, you can upgrade most parts in much the same way as with other PCs.

Dan has a point about their customer service though. Since they started outsourcing a lot of their support to India, it's not as good as it used to be, but it's nowhere near as bad as the Tiger Direct story or some of the things I've heard about Compaq or HP.

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I'm like you,Josh..............

In reply to: I limit my online computer purchases to three companies:

haven't had a complaint in over 6yrs.

Hank should go further than just emailing "Lonny boy".

TigerDirect, Inc. (TIGERDIRECT-DOM)
7795 W FLAGLER ST STE 35
MIAMI, FL 33144-2367
US

Domain Name: TIGERDIRECT.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Amato, Peter (PA242Cool peter.amato@tigerdirect.com
amatosfl.com
16140 South Post Rd
101
Weston, FL 33331
US
305-415-2351 fax: 305-415-2352

I would:
(1) dispute the charge with the cc company
(2) devote a page to it on my website detailing my experience and title it TigerDirect so it shows on search engines.
(3) call them and tell them the page comes down when I get my money back.
(4) send the parts back along with a separately packaged economy size of KY-Jelly labled "open this first". Wink

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I've bought dozens of Dell pcs

In reply to: I limit my online computer purchases to three companies:

Their hardware is good, but their support has gone way down hill over the last three years.

Dan

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Re: I've bought dozens of Dell pcs

In reply to: I've bought dozens of Dell pcs

Hi, Dan.

Our (outsourced but US-based) computer support company only uses Dells. If they ever change, it may be a warning sign about my Dell stock (purchased 1989, cost basis now about 0.09 per share after the splits...)

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re:Re: I've bought dozens of Dell pcs

In reply to: Re: I've bought dozens of Dell pcs

It's a shame, really. The Dell techs used to be genuinely helpful and interested in solving the problems. Now, if it's not a parts replacement they tell you to reinstall windows. That's not a lot of help. And they waste my time going through a checklist just to do what I told them at the start of the call. They're not comfortable with the technology so they can't tell when someone knows what they're talking about.

Oh, well.

Dan

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Best Buy of the year IMO (pun intended)....

In reply to: I limit my online computer purchases to three companies:

Did any of you guys stumble over these posts about this guy's recent purchase with Dell on line:

Dell Dimension 8300 with Pent4, 3.0 GHz,
800 Mhz FSB w/Hyper-Threading Technology
- 1024MB RAM at 400 Mhz
- 120 GB Serial ATA HD at 7200 RPM
- NVidia GeForce FX 5200 (128MB)graphics card
- Dual drives: 16x DVD-ROM and 8x DVD+R/RW/CD-RW
- Sound Blaster Live 5.1 sound card

$849.00 (without a $99.00 17" monitor)

http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-7586-0.html?forumID=68&threadID=13333&messageID=153212

Dell changes their set up and prices on purchases almost every week and also juggles around on shipping free

The previous posts conerning this purchase:
http://reviews.cnet.com/5208-7586-0.html?forumID=68&threadID=13204&messageID=150222

I purchased a Dell about 5 years ago... Pent III, 500MHZ, 128MB RAM, for $2475. Returned it the next day as it didn't have the video card I expected for gaming. They took it back without any type of squawk, even sent a truck to my door for pickup and returned every cent.

Purchased a Dell for my brother just 4 months ago. A few days after the order they reduced the advertised price by $125. Had to talk to 4 different people, but they reduced my purchase price.

I like to get on line computer parts from newegg.com
Purchased a power supply and video card from them. They have been recommended by many people.

Sales? Gotta watch for them every Sunday and get there fast. From OfficeMax a few weeks ago bought a new in box 80GB Western Digital 7200RPM Hard Drive for $19.95 after rebates; a Micro Advantage 52X-32X-52X CD-RW (IDE Internal) new in box for $9.95 after rebate. Holding for replacements when needed.

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Spam . . . . . . . . . . . I have posted a request to have it removed . . . . . . . . NT

In reply to: Online computer purchasing

NT

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Re: Spam . . . . . . . . . . . I have posted a request to have it removed . . . . . . . . NT

Hi, Steve.

I post this openly only because you did. There's no history of Spamming the boards by this company, and they're not a competitor of Tiger Direct, so it's not an obvious case of bad-mouthing the competition. Further, there's no obvious pitch to "buy our services" or even touting how great they are. Finally, the post has generated an interesting thread that we'd hate to decapitate, so after much discussion your request is respectfully denied. If a pattern of behavior were to develop, the decision would doubtless be different.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Just to get the record straight

He gave his service web site at the end - nothing to do with tiger direct which may not even exist.

http://www.compusolver.com/

The guy gave some advice, none of which can be verified probably, and then his compusolver.com web site name. It is spam so don't try and tell me that it is anything else, but if it's acceptable to Cnet then so be it.

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Re:Just to get the record straight

In reply to: Just to get the record straight

Steve, I can assure you TigerDirect www.tigerdirect.com exists and in my one experience with them, they are every bit as bad as he describes. The compusolver company seems to be a website design company, with not much to do with hardware which is what the guy is posting about here. My guess is he is so steamed at Tiger that this seemed like a good place to wreak some vengenance by telling people how bad they are.

dw

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Re:Re:Just to get the record straight

In reply to: Re:Just to get the record straight

Just keeping it straight, I have bought much from TigerDirect over the years and have only had one small problem and it was actually a result of my not reading the fine print of the ad.

TigerDirect is pretty much like every other company out there--they have happy customers and unhappy ones and the unhappy ones tend to be loudest and posting negative things. Happy shoppers tend to be doing other things as they are happy with their purchases and not delving on their happiness as the unhappy ones do on their bitterness.

Take a look at this page before thinking that Hank isn't interested in selling components. Look at the "hidden text" for search engines too:
http://compusolver.com/pcPricer/

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Re:Re:Re:Just to get the record straight

In reply to: Re:Re:Just to get the record straight

Well Ed, with your additional research into this guy's site, I'm coming around to your and Steve's view. I had not paid any attention to his site as I considered it as merely incidental to his main topic of dissatisfaction with TigerDirect. I didn't go his site and now that you've found the hidden stuff, I'm not interested in driving his "hit count" any higher, so I'll stay away completely.

As for TigerDirect, I bought a couple of things from them a long time ago. The retail boxed stuff was, well, retail boxed stuff. If you knew what you wanted, their warehouse was as good a source as anybody else's. Their systems, though, are complete crap. The one I bought was advertised as leading technology of the time and the price was a steal. When it came, the CD drive was DOA and the CPU had a faulty cache which made it crash if you did anything beyond booting to DOS. After days and days of hours-long (mostly on hold) calls to support, they agreed to service it, which took another six weeks for them to return it, and then only after I wrote to the BBB. I subsequently learned as I tried to upgrade it that the motherboard was a ver0.x early production series with limited functionality and chipset/BIOS bugs that they probably picked up for pennies as OEM inventory clearance. The video card, though having a namebrand chip and advertised as having seemingly advanced capabilities, was actually another whitebox unsupported OEM cast-off. The catalog fine print doesn't address these kinds of things, so I just don't shop there anymore.

My opinions only, YMMV
dw

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Re:Just to get the record straight

In reply to: Just to get the record straight

Steve,

1. As **** notes, Tiger Direct is a real company - with a real bad reputation.

2. The company the original poster runs does programming support and website consulting. It does not make or sell PC's or other hardware. I fail to see the problem here...

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Re:i agree with Steve, i see it this way

In reply to: Re:Just to get the record straight

the poster has an axe to grind, he also has a site?
the last post on his site was in 2003, if he wanted to reach an audience, why not post on HIS site, then post a LINK here?

jonah

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I too agree with Steve ...

In reply to: Re:i agree with Steve, i see it this way

... but your solution gets at my problem which is the mention of his site at all. The inclusion of his website is what is SPAM about it. If this guy wants to complain about TigerDirect, he can do that w/o including the information about his website/company on a CNet message board. It would "spread the word" about TD's problems w/o plugging his website.

Evie Happy

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Yep! Thanks Evie - That is exactly my beef about his post - Chucks he doesn't even offer any freebees :) NT

In reply to: I too agree with Steve ...

NT

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Linking out to anything other than items to collaborate what we are saying is probably against the toss anyway Jonah - just a thought - perhaps a moderator will clarify the position NT

In reply to: Re:i agree with Steve, i see it this way

NT

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Steve -- an unrelated request :-)

There are a few others who do this, so please don't take this as a criticism or picking on you. It's just twice in one thread so I thought I'ld mention it. I think it would be better to put the long posts into a message body instead of the long NT. The lengthy subject line plays havoc with the tree display. Just a thought Happy

Evie Happy

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Point taken and accepted Evie -

In reply to: Steve -- an unrelated request :-)

agree, the tree does get a bit splattered - sorry about that Sad

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(NT) No problem ... Thanks! :-)

In reply to: Point taken and accepted Evie -

.

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Re: i agree with Steve, i see it this way

In reply to: Re:i agree with Steve, i see it this way

Hi, Jonah.

>>the last post on his site was in 2003, if he wanted to reach an audience, why not post on HIS site, then post a LINK here?<<
As a Moderator, those facts would make me more likely to pull the message with the link than the one he actually posted. I'd view it as trolling for members, which is banned by our TOS.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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