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Alienware Is a Big Disappointment
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It took Alienware two weeks after my order was paid for to tell me they had no cases on hand for this featured laptop model. When it was finally shipped from the factory, two of the three boxes were missing; the laptop arrived but the software and peripherals did not. FedEx never took possession of them, this was confirmed over the phone. But it took another week to get Alienware to admit this.

When I finally received the rest of the order I get everything set up and connected and turn on my new laptop for the first time. I had been waiting for the Norton security software, Works Suite, and the mouse, bluetooth adapter, external floppy drive, things like that. So it would be done right and all together.

Well, the drivers for the internal hardware were not installed, in fact a lot of the drivers were not installed. The wireless card would not connect, even though I had a very good signal on my WiFi Finder. And both of the installed CD/DVD drives would not open -- the light would flash and I could hear something but the doors wouldn't open on either one of them. That's just what I've found wrong so far. Not much I can do with it if I can't install from CD or get on the Internet.

Alienware brags about being based in Florida and having all of their computers built on-site in Miami. Well, their tech support is in India -- but they won't tell you that. These guys all gave American names but I could hardly understand what they were saying. Never did get the wireless to work, that guy just passed me off onto some other department to deal with the drive bays problem. This new guy wanted me to turn the laptop over and open it up, at which point I was supposed to remove the drive bays and do something to them. I didn't understand what he was expecting me to do, I couldn't even figure out which panel I was supposed to remove. And besides, I didn't have a screwdriver to fit those tiny little Philips head screws.

See, I'm in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down, and I can only use one hand at a time because I need one in my lap to support myself so I can sit up straight. It was very hard to turn this laptop over, it weighs like a slab of lead. I told the tech on the phone, I'm going to need on-site service for this, and why I can't do this. And I do have an on-site contract with them. But I was told that's not possible. In fact, I've been told not to call them again unless I have someone here with me that knows how to work on this thing.

I am a disabled veteran on a disability pension. I never should have financed something so expensive just so I can have something to do. I know now that I could have bought two Dell XPS gaming laptops and got change back for what I've committed to for this thing... this thing that I have yet to even use. Don't make the mistake I did, don't buy from Alienware. You'll only be sorry you did.
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viperpa33s on 2006-04-22:
I want to thank you for your service to this country. Alienware taking advantage of a disabled vet is sickening. Alienware has to be the worst computer company. You pay $4,000 to $5,000 and they sell you garbage. Owning a Yugo was better than owning a Alienware. There tech support stinks and they don't honor there warranties. You pay to have in house support but they make you take apart your own machine. If you work on your computer and it breaks, the warranty is VOIDED!!! Dell owns Alienware now so you may want to contact Dell's corporate office. Get your money back anyway you can. Contact your state attorney general, BBB, even your local news.
viperpa33s on 2006-04-22:
One thing more which I forgot to say cause it got me so riled up. I hope you paid by credit card cause then you can dispute it since they sent you a faulty computer.
tawanda on 2006-04-22:
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for your service to our County and for protecting my freedom. Although we are sometimes remiss in our gratitude for our service men and women, we should always remember that freedom isn't free.
tawanda on 2006-04-22:
It wasn't too terribly long ago that 60 Minutes did an expose on Publisher's Clearinghouse. PCH was intentionally targeting the retirement community duping them into spending thousands of dollars to better their chances of winning. As I recall the government went after them for their conduct...
I mention PCH to get to this point - I can't imagine our government, let alone our nation to tolerate such treatment of even one veteran. Maybe by forwarding your complaint to 60 Minutes or Dateline and, as Viper so aptly points out, naming Dell as the parent company, you might be able to receive the refund (and then some) that you quite rightfully deserve. :)
I know to each their own, but I've never worked on a bad Micron...
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Alienware/Dell is Finally Stepping it Up!
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
I first contacted Alienware sales support through the online chat thing. I built my setup, and spoke with James Williams on the chat. This happened on Tuesday, 07/17/2012. I received a quote via email, but told him I had to think about it. On Friday 07/20/2012, I decided I would purchase, so I emailed James directly, and he responded INSTANTLY and said the quote is still good, and would have a financing person contact me in one hour. Got AMAZING deals with the $100 off and the Dell Advantage program with free 2nd day shipping.

Just before an hour passed, I got a call FROM AN AMERICAN SALES person to process my order. I got the confirmation email and my order was already passed the processing stage, and into the production stage THE SAME DAY!

Again, I purchased a customized Alienware M14X R2 on Friday, 07/20/2012 with custom nameplate and everything. It is now Wednesday, 07/25 and my M14X is already halfway here! Fedex estimates it will arrive tomorrow, 07/26. From order date of Friday, 07/20 with a delivery date of 07/26 for a customized M14X with custom nameplate all within ONE week!?!?

Alienware/Dell is FINALLY stepping it up!

I still have my M15X, and it is still running STRONG! I can't WAIT to play with my M14X R2 tomorrow after work! I will keep this updated, but with my experience with Alienware/Dell so far, I have never had a down moment yet!
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Horrible Horrible Horrible!!!
Posted by on
So I've always wanted an Alienware laptop because I heard they were the best So! I bought an m15x for 1 they messed up the hardrive size and gave me a 250 when I paid for a 500 I called in about that they said they could do nothing so I basically said whatever so 4 months later a week after my warranty runs out I go to turn on my Alienware and nothing happened the lights turn on then the screen doesn't come on and all the num lock keys caps and scroll blink non stop so I suspect a messed up motherboard. so I call them and this is what they say they tell me I HAVE TO SPEND 600 DOLLARS JUST FOR SOMEONE TO LOOK AT IT!?!?!?! 600 DOLLARS? YOU KIDDING ME THAT'S NOT INCLUDING THE REPAIR! they said the repair could be up to 400-1000 dollars!? WHAT? come on! and also they said IF I RENEW MY WARRANTY THE MOTHERBOARD IS NOT THERE ISSUE SO IT WILL STILL COST AROUND 1600 DOLLARS TO FIX WHAT KIND OF COMPANY IS ALIENWARE/DELL! A HORRIBLE COMPANY. with HORRIBLE CUSTOMER CARE!
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drugdoc121 on 2011-07-22:
I learned a long time ago (the hard way) that Alienware is expensive crap.
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Alienware: Blows
Posted by on
SOUTH CAROLINA -- My name is Grant Culbertson. My communication is to inform All of the troubles I have encountered while dealing with the company Alienware. I purchased an ALX computer for the sole purpose of owning a top of the line gaming computer for over $7,600. What I received was a faulty and malfunctioning device. We started having problems from the moment I removed it from the box. I then contacted the Alienware support staff to solve these problems. The issues were hardware. They sent me several new pieces of hardware. I even purchased more memory from Alienware in attempt to solve the issues. After I had made over 40 support calls the company finally agreed to have the computer sent back to Alienware to have it repaired. They took a week to repair the computer and sent it back to me. However, the PC was not fixed. I experienced the same problems as before. More support calls and again the company asked me send to the computer back in to have it repaired a second time. I told the company that fixing this computer was pointless. It was a lemon.

We requested from Alienware either provide a new computer of equal value or a full refund of the $7,600 I spent to buy the computer. The company has sense refused to provide me with a either request and has been very uncooperative, rude, and unprofessional. The first contact person I spoke to was a [snip] at the phone number 1-305-251-9797 ext. 2016. [snip] superior’s number is [snip] at 1-305-251-9797 ext. 2014. I tried to file a complaint with the company but, was directed back to [snip]. His superior allegedly is the CEO of the company who can only be reached by E-Mail (

If there is anyone out there looking to get a high-end gaming computer I would suggest to go anywhere but Alienware. BEWARE OF ALIENWARE. May I suggest you do an internet search of problems with Alienware BEFORE you purchase any products from this vendor. Now, I am left out to dry after spending over $7,600, days of time with their technical support / staff and have no computer.

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Soaring Consumer on 2009-04-17:
This is definitely Dell Hell.

I suggest that you contact the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs at
garyculb on 2009-04-17:
Thanks, we have contacted the SE BBB, Consumer protection agencies in FL & SC.
BokiBean on 2009-04-18:
gary, I hope you get some resolution from them, that is a heck of a lot to pay for a comp.
garyculb on 2009-04-18:
You better believe it. I bought the PC for my son. He researched and determined this was the best gaming computer out there. Unfortunately he did not check on complaints and problems. I am a MAC USER. He refused to go with what old dad had been using for decades. Live and learn.
BokiBean on 2009-04-18:
That's a hard lesson to learn! I had always heard that Alienware was the best too, but that was years ago and now I'm starting to hear complaints. Stay on them. :)
garyculb on 2009-04-23:
To bring everyone up to date here is what has transpired. Several phone calls and E-Mails. Alienware stated they would replace our PC. Here is how they purpose to do it. They will utilize the same frame work of the lemon they sold us and add new components. Cash value of $6,300. They state there are several components that we purchased that are no longer available. Alienware refuses to provide a store credit for the full value of what was purchased. If anyone is considering a gaming PC- STAY AWAY FROM ALIENWARE!!! It is a consumers nightmare.
The Ant on 2011-09-10:
Do yourself a favor - do research on a new computer - build it - contemplate your sales experience - remember what was advertised and promised to you.

Build a complaint based upon what was advertised at time of purchase, and what you have not received. Forward your complaint to the Division of Consumer Protection in your state; and the state where Dell/Alienware is based: Florida.

If you don't receive a favorable response, send a professional letter to both the Governor and Attorney General in your state asking for assistance.

We, as consumers, can make a difference.
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Don't Ever Buy Alienware From Anyone
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- A few years back I had gotten a high end Alienware laptop from a friend. Used it as my home computer, with no problems. Three weeks ago I went to turn it on and the screen got funky and the system would not get to the user log on screen. Well things happen, so I called the Alienware Tech support and explained the problem. Tech's immediate question was to ask for my Account number. I explained that I hadn't purchased it, I got from a friend, however was more than willing to pay to have it repaired. I was told that Alienware could not touch it since I did not have a registered Account with them (read: I hadn't sacrificed any money directly to them).

OK, Mr. Tech dude, tell me where your authorized dealers are, I'll take it there. The response? They can not work on it either. Seems the authorized dealers are not authorized to work on a system that does not have an Alienware account. I asked repeatedly how this was customer support and was told over and over again, in order for them to answer anything, I had to have an Account. I asked several times to have him explain what happens to people who do not buy their product direct. Each time his only answer was: I'm trying to explain. Finally I asked to speak to a stupidvisor, oops, supervisor, who might make it more clear. I was told that although he had just spent the last 6 minutes explaining the company policy, he'd look for someone. I spent the next 5 minutes listening to canned music before I lost the connection.

Although I was impressed with the capabilites and capacity of this laptop (and was willing to recommend it), I am now extremely dis-enchanted with Alienware and am finding every site or blog I can to vent. These guys are a rip-off.
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Anonymous on 2009-03-24:
They are not a ripoff. Alienware was purchased by DHell a couple of years ago. That alone should explain the poor (read non-existent) tech support you got. Take the laptop to a local repair place, not Geek Squad, and have them take a look. The laptop you have is most likely a much better quality than any laptop DHell puts out under the Alienware name these days.
The Ant on 2011-09-10:
Don't blog on sites - it is effective for other consumers to know they are not alone . . . however, this is just ineffective venting.

Review what happened - think about the sales experience. What were you promised?

If you purchased an In-Home/On-Site warranty that has never been delivered as advertised (or similar complaint) . . . professionally edit, document . . . then send to the Division of Consumer Protection in you state; and to the state of Florida - where Dell/Alienware is based.

Wait for a response.

If the response is not favorable, suggest writing a letter to the governor and state attorney general asking why this company can continue to do business in this manner; and why Consumer Protection is not enforcing.

Good luck
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Alienware Sucks
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CHEYENNE, WYOMING -- Last Oct purchased a 3000 dollar system from them. waited over a month to receive the system. When I finally received it I was so excited took it out of the box set it up and received 15 error messages having to do with the video card. called them that night. spent 3 hours on the phone with them trying to get it to work . we found out the XP disks they sent me were corrupt. so had to put in an RMA number for new XP disks. Finally got them two weeks later. put them in and somehow they corrupted my whole system. got it to load fine and dandy then the next morning went to start putting my games on it and both my disk drives were messed up . ( They had worked the first night ) called them again telling them I was done and wanted a full refund. They told me they needed to make every effort possible to fix it. and if they couldn't a full refund would be issued. so I got another RMA number and sent my system off to them. A month later received it back. worked fine for a few months. Then just recently went to start up the system and windows would not load. so I did a reinstall of windows. Worked for a day then had the same problem. so I called them wanting a full refund the guy told me it was passed their 30 day refund date. I told them that the last guy I talked to said they would make every effort possible to fix it and if they couldn't a refund would be issued.

Well they tried and did not succeed. the guy in fact hung up on me. so I called tech support they obviously couldn't fix it over the phone. So now I have to send it back again. I have had it less than a year and had to send it back 2 times. and couldn't even use it the first month. Talk about a crappy company.
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-02:
That is Dell Hell for you.

That's right. I said Dell Hell. Dell bought out Alienware a few years back and this type of situation is common.

You definitely deserve a refund, this computer was a lemon out of the box. They promised you a refund if they couldn't fix it, and they didn't fix it.

Contact your state's Office of the Attorney General.
AWSUCKS on 2009-03-02:
what could my state office do about . I'm in Wyoming they are in cali
Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-02:
Dell has lost a number of class action suits against it for lemon products and fraudulent billing, warranty, and return policy practices. Just search Dell Class Action on Google, there have been so many issues with this company.

The state's Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to protecting the consumers of the state. They should be able to help you, and if they can't they should be able to give you the proper channels for a resolution. The phone number for their consumer protection division is 1-800-438-5799.
AWSUCKS on 2009-03-06:
update : emailed the president of Alienware and received a response back today stating that their critical response team was dealing with me . and that I was valuable ( lol ). I'm emailing them back now telling him I want a full refund. Well see where it goes
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Don't Waste Your Money
Posted by on
This computer was the worst purchase I have ever made, I wanted an Alienware laptop for several years after seeing them on display when Best Buy used to sale them. I started DJing my sophomore year of college and needed a computer that was powerful enough to run the software that my mixer uses. I took out a 3000 dollar loan to by what I thought would be a very nice laptop. I read reviews about Alienware which were mostly negative and but figured like anything else, the people that have bad experiences are the ones that write reviews so I chose to ignore the reviews.

I ordered my Mj12 7700i loaded with a 3.2 gig Pentium 4 processor with HT technology, 3 gig of RAM, and dual 80 gig processors in raid 0 format. (at the time this was very impressive) the computer ran great for about 8 months. When I hooked any type of audio device up to my laptop I heard a lot of background noise. Alienware said I could send it back to them and they could fix it, but I decided to just clean it up by adjusting my mixer. After the first 8 months I started having problems with my laptop cutting off after about 5 minutes. I worked with Aleinware trying to reinstall different things and get it working.

It was eventually determined that I needed to send the computer back to Alienware and pay 500 dollars to have it fixed. After receiving it back 2 months later I tried to use the Laptop and it did not work, I was told the motherboard had to be replaced. To make a long story short after sending the computer back and forth with Alienware 4 more times I finally complained to the BBB and was contacted and told I could send the laptop to their VIP repairs at my own expense since I originally sent the laptop to them over a month ago, after pointing out that I have also sent it back 4 other times I was told I could send it to them and they would repair it for free. I sent the computer to them and got it back. It worked great! For 1 month, then the same thing happened. I opened the computer up and got a first hand look at their repairs, the original motherboard was still in there and wires had been taped to the motherboard with Electrical tape.

So I now have a 3500 dollar paperweight, that is out of date and I got a total of 8 months of use out of. I would never recommend anyone buy a computer from this company, you will be better off buying a 300 dollar e-machine computer from Walmart.
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Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
Ever since DHell purchased Alienware a few years ago the quality went rapidly downhill.
Anonymous on 2008-08-06:
Alienware has always had very poor customer service while trying to sell top of the line $3,000.00+ computers. DELL let's them run on their own but uses the DELL supply chain. Alienware is just another problem for DELL service in what has become a never ending long list of problems.
been there on 2013-02-05:
Paid 5k for what was almost the top of the line version of this system. 1 month after getting it, the heat sinks failed and fried the mobo. Sent it back under warranty. It took them 2months to fix and get back to me. 1 week after getting it, the piece of crap overheated again, this time frying the mobo and both HDs... Told them I wanted a replacement, since the system was obviously a lemon. Took 1month arguing with them, and writing to the CEO of Alienware, for them to finally agree to the replacement. Then the spent another 2 months playing games with me. Randomly changing the configuration or outright canceling the replacement, and instead trying to slip a repair order in on my original. 8 months after I originally bought the system, I finally got the replacement (only had a working system in my possession for 2 of those months). 1 month after I got the replacement, the dam heatsinks on it failed.. This time frying the MoBo and video card. AGAIN, I had to send it in for repairs under the warranty. When I got it back, it worked for 2 months before the same dam problem happened again. Heatsinks failed, mobo, sata connectors and both HDs were toast. However when I called them, they told me my warranty from original purchase had expired, and I would of had to pay them an additional 1500 s and h for them the fix it. I tried pointing out that in the 1year the warranty covered, they had possession of the system for repairs, more than I had for use... They didn't care and told me I could pay for the repairs, pay 500 to extend the warranty (yet still have to pay for the repairs), or just deal with a busted system. Had a lawyer investigating a case against them for this (since at the time so many people had the same exact problem with this system it could have been a class action suit), however Dell bought em out, and made all of those complaints/legal actions, disappear.
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Alienware Area 51m 7700 laptop is a faulty product, Alienware will not acknowledge this
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In May 2006 I ordered and received an Alienware Area 51m 7700 notebook computer from for a total of $3,912.00. The computer ran incredibly hot from the beginning, which eventually led to a failure of the motherboard in November 2006. I was frustrated at the time, because I've never had this problem in any (not to mention much less expensive) computer I've ever owned. "These things happen" I told myself, and fortunately the system was still covered under warranty, so I sent it in for repair.
When I got the computer back, it was at least operational, but the overheating issues continued. This eventually led to the failure of the motherboard from overheating again in June of 2007. The only difference now is that the warranty was up, and boy did Alienware like to hide behind the "your warranty has expired" angle. Yes, I understand that my warranty is one month out, but the same issue has occurred again. This clearly points out to me that they did not properly diagnose and repair the issue the first time around. I was told that they would gladly look at the computer as long as I paid for all shipping/labor/parts, which all totaled could end up costing me a quarter of the computers worth, and this thing is barely a year old.
I did some research online and found an alarming amount of Alienware customers have had the same issues with the model Area 51m 7700. I brought this up to their customer support but they denied it, even though I found talk of a class-action lawsuit due to the failure rate of this model.
This company knows nothing of customer retention, customer loyalty (this was my second Alienware computer), customer satisfaction, and only seems to care about their profits. Please do yourself a favor and avoid them at all costs. It will save you so much frustration and anguish in the end.
From now on I will do my homework more thoroughly and make sure a company has some pride and accountability in their product before making such an expensive purchase.
For now, all I have is a $4,000, year old paperweight.
-Kody Belshe
AlienID 299759
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Paks on 2007-06-30:
Alienware is now owned by Dell.....nuff said
Starlord on 2007-06-30:
I have heard Alienware pc's do not have adequated ventilation, and the heat can kill it. For about, I don't know, $8? you can buy a pancake fan and install it in the pc to increase ventilation and help keep it cool. true, I think it is Dell's job to think of this, but hey, I am going to do all I can to protect a big investment, and if it gets so hot, I will not run it until I know why.
dfields on 2007-06-30:
you can't blame Dell. Alienware, was having known problems long before Dell bought 'em. I use a laptop fan (has 2) for my inspiron. I purchased it at Target for $32! did you think to do this? most laptop's do not have proper ventilation and will run hot, therefore, if the system is for say, gaming--it is going to get a lot hotter.

I agree with you starlord! people need to start using their BRAINS. consumers will get screwed no matter the product or from whom. its everywhere, nowadays!
spider1981 on 2007-06-30:
just to follow up with you, I did have a fan "plate" thing that plugged into the USB port and blew air onto the underneath, but it didn't do much good (obviously)
dfields on 2007-07-01:
no matter the situation...u stated the laptop ran hot from the beginning. you should have returned it for a complete refund or an exchange. companies will d**k people around, just to get them passed the refund period! it sucks, but that's how it is.
spider1981 on 2007-07-03:
Wow, everyone's an expert. (sorry) This machine is a desktop replacement and a gaming machine with a desktop processor. It is expected to run hot, but I guess it ran too hot, and I'm sorry I didn't know exactly how hot was too hot.
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Poor Quality, Technical Support and Customer Service
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NEW JERSEY -- On May 9th, 2005 I ordered an Area 51 7700 5.2G system. It arrived on May 19th, 2005. Between May 19th and 20th, the system was turned on for a total of 2 hours during which time it crashed repeatedly, i.e., repeated blue screens and memory dumps. On May 20th, I spent over 1 hour, over several phone calls, with Alienware technical support.

Technical Support
The quality of the technical support was poor at best. The first recommendation was that I forward the error to Microsoft and wait for them to respond. That made no sense to me. The support specialist then had me download drivers and recommended that I wait a day or two and if the problem came up again to call back. I requested a call back and was told that it was not possible. After the call ended, the system crashed 2 minutes later and again I was on the phone with Technical support. Another set of solutions was suggested. None worked.

The final recommendation was that I complete running the Windows diagnostics myself because technical support could not stay on the phone with me. At that point I decided that I was not interested in keeping a machine only 2 days old, that repeatedly crashed and poor technical support. I paid for a high quality system. I did not receive a functioning system. At no point did anyone suggest onsite service.

Customer Support
Upon informing Customer Support that I would be returning the system, I was told that a 15% restocking fee would apply as per the warranty. The warranty states that the fee "may" apply and "not" will apply.

Dealing with customer support was not a good experience. I was given several different dates as to when the refund would be processed. I was given different amounts to be refunded. The final insult was being told that I would be charged for Windows XP, even though the software was returned and NEVER activated.

I am now turning to regulatory agencies to get the rest of my refund.
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vindog on 2006-08-29:
I bought the most expensive computer they made, an MJ12 with dual processors, 4gb ram, RAID, dual 20″ monitors, the works for $5.5k. The intent was to make it be one solid fast machine to do photography workflow, graphic design, and office/email all on one computer which would replace three others. It has been the worst computer buying mistake EVER, and it’s still not over.

After a nightmare of logistics because they wouldn’t ship to my business address at the UPS store, I received the computer in late May. Well, most of it….it was missing the entire set of cables, powersupply and software for one of the BenQ monitors. The other monitor didn’t have the BenQ software either (Pivot software so you can rotate the monitor, and monitor profiles.) Called them and they said they’d ship the power supply and cables rather than RMA the entire monitor. Also, there was almost no “manufacturer” documentation for the components like the Windows license, video card manual, and typical stuff you see bundled with a PC. It came with a folder with Alienware nonsense, a spec sheet, a card to call support with an ID and phone number you can barely read.

Then, as I was trying to set up and install the software, I realized they hadn’t installed Windows XP Pro on the “system drive” but instead installed on the mirrored pair of “work drives” (with an unformatted fast drive just sitting there.) Apparently a few of the 230+points of QA inspection weren’t done here. So, I called their tech support to ask about this and they began vigorously inserting their thumbs up their behinds. I gave up, and broke the RAID, rebuilt the RAID, reinstalled the OS from their recovery disk on the proper system drive and began the rest of my journey. Naturally, this is the point where I messed up; instead of returning the whole thing right then I figured I’d deal with one little set-back. I am naive.

The recovery disk and support disk did not include any but one driver that pertained to my system; so I spent hours trying to figure out why the raid controller driver wouldn’t install, why the audio drivers wouldn’t install, etc. Luckily the network card driver was the right one so I eventually went to the website and found all the proper drivers. But, if they send a Driver CD fresh from the factory, you don’t question whether they sent the right stuff there…

Once the requisite apps were installed, Office and Photoshop, I noticed that the system reported only 2gb of the 4gb that I installed. I called them again and asked “is this expected for this machine?” and they said (mumble in Spanish) “kinda”. As I was waiting for the power supply before I blew a gasket, I didn’t push this, but their explanation of “it’s there, Windows doesn’t report it properly”. I ran some utility within windows they told me to download and it showed 4gb. The bios showed 4gb, so I gave up.

Weeks go by, and they send me a POWER CORD. Not a power supply, but a cord that typically plugs into the back of the PC for 110V from the wall. I call them and scream. In the meantime, the system began just simply crashing without notice, and then not being able to reboot. When I say not rebooting, I mean not even seeing the BIOS, forget about getting the hard drives to spin.

We have another 4 hours of troubleshooting with the legendary Alienware all-hispanic help desk resetting the CMOS, video, ram tests. They say I need to reinstall Windows again. WHAT???!!! I scream again. I tell them that this motherboard is bad and they should send me a new one or take this thing and RMA it for a new system and let THEM troubleshoot it. They say they can do that, but it would be over a month before I’d ever see my computer again. And they’d needlessly format and reinstall Windows again. I was certain it would come back in worse shape than it left while they held it hostage for a month.

In the meantime, they send me another power cord instead of the BenQ powersupply and dvi cables. I scream again. And waste another few hours of support call.

So, by now with all the stalling on their end, the system cannot be returned per “clearly posted policies”.

Two months later, they finally agreed they don’t know what they’re talking about, and RMA the entire monitor…but I have to charge this up front $500 and receive the chargeback once they get the returned unit.

Back to the rebooting problem; they have me run a series of extremely long tests on the RAM (2 hrs each X4) and then they say “it’s the gell on the heatsinks of the processor”. So, they send me a kit of two complete heat sinks instead of “gell”, and schedule an onsite tech to replace them.

Two weeks later, that job is done, and the reboot problem still lives. I call them again, and we spend another 4 hours troubleshooting (doing the same stuff I had already done.) Oh, and when you call these people, you have one guy who starts of with “can I please have your Alienware id number” then “verify your email address” and then “verify your phone number” and then “is this regarding a previous incident” then you have to explain EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EVER TALKED ABOUT TO THE LAST GUY. Then, he passes you to a SECOND GUY who does the exact same thing (id, email, phone, previous incident, explain every single f’ing thing you ever talked about with the previous last guy.)

We move memory around from one slot to another, different pair combinations, run a second set of RAM tests that take 2 hours each, etc. and prove that the system board (as I told them from the beginning) is bad.

I estimate about 50 hours of MY troubleshooting time, phone calls, waiting, being asked redundant questions, tests that proved nothing. 23 phone calls, 23 different “technicians”, 22 overall BS sessions designed to make me go kill myself and go away rather than actually help me. Several of these calls I just hung up because I became dangerously close to becoming homicidal. This is probably how you feel after you’ve taken a prison full of Bubbas and want pay-back.

As of today I finally have the order for a new system board, and a onsite tech will be installing that. BUT, I had to put the new board on my credit card pending the return of the bad one.

8/16 UPDATE: board was installed, but memory only reports 2gb still. Alienware still cannot explain this except to “reinstall Windows” from scratch which would take another full day of work for me. Also, periodically the machine will sit at a blank screen once restarted (no bios messages, nothing.) Let it cool down a bit and it starts just fine.

Word of advice: don’t ever buy Alienware systems, and tell everybody you know to stay away.
kat0506 on 2007-06-28:
I have read so many bad reviews now on Alienware I cannot even question their truthfulness, maybe I got lucky, I don't know, but customer service was always nice, and helpful, and maybe my friend got lucky too, she has had 2 Alienware laptops, and loves both of them, wait loved both of them, she left one on for a week on high performance mode in vista without turning it off and she well... fried it, but she loved it enough that she bought another one, and I don't blame her, I love my desktop from Alienware too.
kat0506 on 2007-06-28:
oh and also all of the reviews I have read are at least 1 to 2 years old maybe Alienware changed since then, other than being bought by dell
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Billing Run-around
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For the first time, I had decided to buy a built computer, and not build my own. This decision was made due to time constraints, and the need for an actual warranty for the entire system. Before I would have to contact each vendor individually if a problem occurred. I had been looking into several companies such as VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Monarch, Alienware, and others. I settled on Alienware due to their use of parts I would use, and wiring quality. I knew ahead of time that I was paying a premium to get a computer that was built right, but I was willing. The problem occurred when it came to actually PAYING the bill. Was it due to lack of funds? No, it was due to some internal problem between the three blind men of Alienware; Sales, Financing, and Billing. Like the three blind men trying to describe an elephant, all three parties were apt to blame the issue of not receiving payment on the other. The problem first happened when I noticed that my order was in stasis at phase one. Phase one is a phase that means they basically have done nothing yet, but have received my order. After asking them, they told me the average wait was two days. Two days to take my money from the ALIENWARE credit card? Keep in mind, they had received my paperwork for the card on the 25th of March. There's a reason for me mentioning the date. After two business days, and no results, I called. I transferred between departments until they basically told me in corporate speak that they had no idea where on God's green earth my paperwork was, and that I should call THEM in 24-hours. My ire was raised, but I remained polite, as no doubt their recorded for training purposes phone system must note. I called the next day after, and was told that FINANCING e-mailed an "agent" to tell them that they had found the paperwork. They told me to wait 24-hours. I called the next day (exactly 23hours later), and was told it wasn't 24-hours next. Apparently while losing paperwork is common, they are punctual with customer service failures to a T. I called one hour later, and was told that they'd send ANOTHER e-mail to some "agent". The NEXT day I called, and was now becoming livid, but restraining my anger. This time... they told me... to wait... another 24-hours. It was now the 30th, and after having had my paperwork for over a week, and then taking five days to try to accept payment from THEIR credit card, I had enough. I told them that I wanted assurance that I would see a resolution in 24-hours this time. I was also strained to my wits trying to remain calm, and I know the poor girl at billing knew it. As of the 1st of the next month, they have finally accepted payment from their card. I understand delays in building, shipping, whatever. I run a busniess as well. But delays in taking my money is ludicrous. After such a downer after I had felt so good about ordering an Alienware system, I'm still half-tempted to cancel. How can one run a business and make it so hard to take payment? I'd hate to see what happens with REAL problems such as a faulty system.
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TXRoadTrip on 2005-04-07:
They have had complaints on here before. Build your own machine!
IintheSky on 2005-05-06:
Build you own machine?? Does the person who made that statement really think that they can build to the Alienware specs for anywhere near the same amount of money?

Where are the things such as warranty in a system which one has built for them?
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