Alienware Tech Support Run-Around
UNKNOWN -- I bought a M15x laptop June 2010 and roughly one year after I experienced an overheating problem, just the beginning of my problems I assure you. I called tech support, after all I had never had a laptop last me longer than 2 years; I expected a problem or two. After 2 hours on the phone I was assured that everything was fine. Even though the area around my mouse and keyboard was so hot it was burning me. I knew what was wrong it had happened to every other laptop I'd every used around the same time. Its fans were clogged with cat fur; I own two cats both long fur. Yet they refuse to listen to me and told me I just needed to get it air conditioning. I was deeply offended.
Over the course of the last year (2012) I experienced crashes, blue screens, unexpected shutdowns, overheating, problems with my internet connection (that were not modem related; every other connection in our house was fine), my screen would just suddenly go black and my battery wasn't charging. I didn't want to call tech support I was afraid I would get dismissed again. I considered going to another computer repair center but didn't want to break my warranty so reluctantly I called around January 2013.
They seemed friendly and helpful. Quickly diagnosing that my computer needed to come in for repair. They sent a box and pre-paid postage. However when the box got here I quickly discovered that my computer was too big for the box. I called and asked if they had a bigger box, they said no, that I should find one and send it as soon as I could as it was important for it to be sent in. I didn't have one and I didn't want to buy one (I'm a student and rely on my parents for money). It seemed kind of pointless for me to buy a box when they had sent me one. I managed to stuff it into the box they had sent to me. I shipped it all the while hoping it would be returned in relatively good shape.
I was expecting to be without my computer for around a week. That is what they told me after all. Alas, it was returned a couple days later. I couldn't help wonder if I had stuck the stickers on wrong and if it they were returning to sender. I checked the addresses and it had come from Alienware/Dell and was being returned to me. Wow, that was fast. I opened it, excited to have it back and working again. Well almost working, the battery still wasn't charging, but if that was my only problem I'd live with it.
A few days later while working on my laptop, it starts screeching at me and it pops up with a very familiar blue screen stating that my computer has crashed. I brush it off thinking that it was a fluke. Except it happens again the next day and again a few days later. A very familiar pattern emerges over the next several months and I get angrier and angrier. Weren't they supposed to have fixed this?
I call tech support and after a few test am told that I have to reinstall window 7. Alright I can do that and I don't have to send my computer away to do that, a plus. I'm handed off to a manager to do a survey. They say goodbye and I'm faced with reinstalling Windows.
I Google it and get started. I back up my system and follow the instructions I found on how to reinstall windows. The whole process takes me two days. I get frustrated. When it comes back the screen isn't the same, and the most important thing I can't control how bright my screen is. Having chronic migraines this is a big problem, my screen is to bright and I'm trying to figure how to adjust it.
Again I turn to the ever faithful Google. I'm no where after hours of trying and worse I've now triggered a migraine with the light.
I'm beyond frustrated. I shut the computer off and go to bed with a pounding headache. I've given up on adjusting the light for now. I think maybe reinstalling some of the Alienware software may provide the answer so I start reinstalling everything, Skype, Acrobe, Microsoft Office and everything else I could think of. Friday night I again have a migraine and am no closer. On top of everything else, the crashes have returned. I'm angry.
This shouldn't be happening, tech support assured me that reinstalling Windows would fix this problem. It should have been fixed four months ago when I sent it in.
I call tech support the morning of 4/20/13. After an hour wait I get a person and explain my problem. I'm asked how I reinstalled Windows and then told I did it wrong, that I was supposed to be walked through the process by a tech. I was told to restart my computer, then press F12. After I did that I was told to insert the re-installation disk and to select the option with CD/DVD/BD-rom.
I was not asked if I would like to back anything up before we started this process, and feeling rushed, didn't think to ask.
The first few steps were self explanatory, the tech asked me to tell them when I got to a certain page and I did. They then gave me a set of instructions I didn't understand, after asking them to repeat themselves several times they got very frustrated with me and I made a mistake with the instructions.
I am not great with computer and defiantly not good with computer terms. I felt very lost during this step and felt the tech was very frustrated and angry trying to explain it to me. When I made the mistake, I felt very harassed and just wanted to get off the phone with him as quickly as possible. We got to the end of the re-installation and I was told to call back when it was done.
About half an hour later my computer was back to its normal screen so I called, as instructed. I had a wait time of 45 minutes. I am told that they will call me in around an hour. I agree. I ask for an address so that I can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and am talked in circles, I never get an address.
I wait an hour and half before calling back. I'm told that they were just about to call me. I'm led through instruction on how to get aliencontact. I'm then passed from one tech on the phone to another tech online. Before hanging up with the phone tech I again ask for an address, and again I'm talked in circles but given an email address. I was passed to the online tech, who would be installing all the drivers.
They took control of my computer for about an hour and a half and when needed something asked. They reinstalled almost everything that came with my computer. They didn't reinstall Microsoft Office 2010. They called when done and disconnected. As of right now (an hour after) everything seems to be fixed. Well almost everything. The battery still doesn't charge correctly, and the screen does still go black if you touch the monitor, at all.