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Beware of Alienware
Posted by Gene-O on 05/16/2010
Beware of the provocative alluring website. In August of 08 I spent just over $4000 for "the ultimate gaming machine". 30 days later the hard drive crashed. They sent me a new one but you know the pain of re-loading all the software and files. Exactly 1.5 years later the laptop is running slowly so I had it diagnosed and guess what? The Samsung 500G hard drive failed again! So I called "customer support" (more like customer torture) and they said "well you should know that hard drives crash all the time". Gee I which they had printed that above the "purchase" button before they sucked $4,000 out of me. Unbelievable customer response. I will never ever buy another Alienware product. Since they have been purchased by Dell they have been brainwashed into customer indifference.

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Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-05-16:
Alienware is basically a pimped-out Dell. Dell owns Alienware, and Dell machines aren't exactly the best reliability-wise, especially with the heavy-duty demands of gamers.
Posted by MacOSXpert on 2010-05-16:
What Nerd said, You're way better off gaming on a Mac using Wine as a Windows program Emulator!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-16:
Wine can't handle everything. I constantly run into roadblocks using it to run windows games on my Ubuntu systems.

Posted by druuzil on 2012-01-31:
You do realize that Samsung made that hard drive.. not Alienware.. right? You cannot always blame Alienware because of the failure rate of internal components. I don't agree with many of their policies, and their CS is certainly crap, but the hard drive failing is not their fault.
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Alienware Has No Honor! Do not buy from Alienware
Posted by Phaldun Empire on 02/24/2010
Dead pixles again after Alienware so called repaired my system.
Dead pixles again after Alienware so called repaired my system.
Aloha, I purchased this very expensive $5,000.00 computer from Alienware in 2007. It has been a nonstop battle with them over the phone with tech support and sending the laptop back and fourth to them through the mail. The warranty will run out in April of 2010.

I have been wronged greatly by Alienware. It has never worked properly and all I have done for the last three years is trouble-shoot it with them over the phone. I have had to send it back to them at least 10 times. Every single time it has come back, there is either something new wrong with it, or they actually made the computer worse. A constant problem of dead pixels is one problem. No matter how many times they replace the LCD screen, more dead pixles seem to pop up only a week after I get it back. One time they actually replaced the LCD screen with dead pixles with another LCD screen that already had dead pixles in it. Another time they returned the computer with the hard-drive wiped out. They accidentally erased my whole computer and I had very valuable pictures of the first year of my daughter's life on it. Yes I know I should have backed up my files, but the DVD drive on this computer has always had a problem with it and Nero will not work. It errors out most of the time when I try to burn to a DVD using windows. I have always told them of this, but time and time again they forget to replace the part. They never ever completely fix it and there is always more problems.

Even after all of their mistakes and bungles, they refuse to build me a new system. I even told them I would accept a desktop tower. It would be less expensive than the $5,000.00 I paid for the laptop. It probably would also be easier to repair. They have also told me that a refund of my hard earned money is out of the question as well.

What can I do? This is so unfair to me and I deserve better customer service that I have received. They sold me a very crappy computer and they have the additute of not really caring or trying to do what is right. I have sent the computer back to them about 10 times. It is obvious that this is a very defective computer at the core and cannot be fixed, unless they have tech repair people that absolutly do not know what they are doing. I don't know what I can do.

I am currently researching Falcon Northwest computers and I am already impressed. I have not been able to find any significant bad reports about them. Is there hope in the battle for a nice computer that works like it should in the world now?
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-25:
Wow....a 5k usd laptop?? I didn't know they existed. Anyway, it doesn't say where you are located but using the word, Aloha, gonna guess the U.S. Since they don't seem to be fixing the computer or giving you a new one that you have asked for, I suggest a small claims lawsuit. Gather all your documentation and contacts with the company and file a claim for the 5k you are out.
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2010-02-26:
Alienware is owned by Dell and this is definitely a bad case of Dell Hell, voted helpful. I don't know how well Dell will respond to a small claims suit because they are so big but it is worth a try.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-26:
This may exceed the amount you can file for in small claim court, but more importantly, you have to be able to serve them. And if you can serve them, you have no way to force them to court. And if they default, you have no way to enforce the judgement. SmallCliam Court really works best when it is between you and a local merchant, but still, it is not a o lot of money to file, and you never know.
Posted by The Ant on 2011-09-10:
Most states have a Division of Consumer Service - if you are in Hawaii, it should be: http://hawaii.gov/dcca.ocp. Figure out what the company promises online, and if they have misadvertised any thing - you have a complaint. Clearly document your complaint with consumer protection. If they can't/won't help, then escalate your complaint to the State Attorney General and/or Governor.
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Poor communication/customer service
Posted by Sakoncar on 09/04/2009
Alienware does a terrible job of customer service, which may not be a surprise to some since they are owned by DELL.

I had a part backordered, which they never informed me of. Once I discovered that the holdup was indeed this backordered part, I was never able to get straight answers out of anyone in their customer service department. I was denied the request to talk to a supervisor, and when I was finally connected to one, he did not think my circumstances (three weeks wait, plus considerable difficulty in being a law student without a laptop) warranted any compensation.

My advice is purchasing from them, is STAY ON TOP OF THEM! Check daily to ensure that your order is proceeding through the steps, and if the customer service representative doesn't have the answers, DEMAND a supervisor.
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$5000 POS
Posted by MIS Director on 06/04/2009
FLORIDA -- December 2008, I purchase an Alienware M17 laptop with all the bells and whistles costing right at $5000. The machine arrives two weeks later and seems fine.

We moved and a couples weeks later I start to play with it more. I find that the visual recognition software has stopped working and is asking for a license key. I call tech support and explain the problem and the tech has no idea. After spending three hours on the phone and multiple re-installs of the software I find that it works fine until you log in using the finger print reader at which time it stops working. The tech tells me he has to research it and get back to me. To this day I have not received a call back.

The next issue starts mid January. The machine has two hard drives in a RAID 0 stripe. Upon boot one of the drives does not appear in the RAID array. After rebooting the drive shows up but the array is not accessible. After rebooting a second time the computer will find the OS.

I call tech support, which tells me I need to back up all my data because we have to break the array to test the drives. I get the chance to do this and call them back a month later. We spend four more hours on the phone while he has me test the drives and he figures out that one is bad, so he sends one to me, but I have to pay to have it shipped in advance to me. After receiving the drive I open the box to find it is a refurbished drive they sent out for my three month old computer.

I install the drive and install the data back and guess what, upon reboot it does the same thing. I call them back and I am now told that I have to send the computer back. Oh and I did pay extra for the on site warranty. After waiting three weeks for a shipping box and two additional calls to get it sent to me, I ship it back.

I get a call from a woman telling me she works directly for the CEO of the company and that she will be handling my case from now on and that she will ensure me that my laptop will be repaired correctly and come to me like new. I told her that I wanted a new hard drive put in to replace the refurbished one they had sent and she told me no problem.

Two weeks later she calls and tells me that my computer was shipped and will be to me in a couple days. I asked her if they replace the hard drive and she told me yes they did.

It arrives and I turn it on, WOW it fails to find the hard drive in the RAID array. Rebooting it finds the drive but no OS, rebooting again and the computer boots. (sound familiar?)

The computer boots to Windows and low and behold the OS was not a new install (which was one of the reasons they said it had to be sent back and they promised to replace the hard drive which would require a re-install)

I shut the computer down and pulled out the hard drive bay that I had installed the replacement drive in and guess what the refurbished drive was still there. I know because I marked it with a sharpie.

I called her back and told her what was going on, she told me that she wanted me to send it in to her and that she would personally repair it. I told her that I wanted it replaced since it was only six months old and it had not worked for four of those months. She told me she would send me two new hard drives and if that did not fix it that I needed to send it to them for repair that they would not replace it.

Buyer beware do not by Alienware.

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Posted by The Ant on 2011-09-10:
Have you considered filing a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection in your state?

The first step is figuring out what the company has advertised.

Then document it.

If all of the complaints posted online were forwarded to an organization with some regulatory oversight, then I imagine the poor behavior that you have described would soon stop.

Best wishes.
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Alienware: Blows
Posted by Garyculb on 04/17/2009
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 (ceo@alienware.com).

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

I suggest that you contact the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs at http://www.scconsumer.gov/
Posted by garyculb on 2009-04-17:
Thanks, we have contacted the SE BBB, Consumer protection agencies in FL & SC.
Posted by 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.
Posted by 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.
Posted by 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. :)
Posted by 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.
Posted by 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 Afannie on 03/24/2009
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 explaning 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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Posted by 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.
Posted by 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 = Defective Laptops
Posted by CM Frank on 03/20/2009
LEVITTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA -- My husband purchased the Alienware m9750 in February 2008 as a gift for me. The system worked fine for a few months, but then began having problems keeping time. We contacted Alienware and they sent us a CMOS battery to replace. That did not fix the problem so October 2008 it was sent into their repair depot. After 2 months in the repair depot we stop receiving communication about the status of our system. We were unable to get a response for a month. It was returned to us January 14, 2009 and were told that the Motherboard, Hard drive, Wireless Card, and TV tuner card were all defective and replaced. However we received it back with all the same hardware issues as before the repair plus the optical drive no longer worked. On January 16, 2008 we were contacted by a representative on behalf of Alienwares CEO. She informed us that they shipped a new optical drive and to let her know if it fixed the problem. It did not of course since the motherboard was defective.

On January 26, 2009 she issued a cancellation of our system and told me to pick out a new system which matched the cost of our original since she could not issue us a refund. Which is what we requested. We ordered the Alienware m15x. Which we were forced into as none of their other systems came with windows XP which is what we had originally and wanted. That system was delivered on March 6, 2009. Immediately open using the brand new system it had hardware problems. It was locking up, crashing and overheating. It was also not shipped with correct specs. It was supposed to have an upgraded LCD and did not. I contacted the representative and explained the situation.

She was extremely apologetic and though extremely hesitant, I agreed to have it returned to the repair depot. She guaranteed me she would personally test the system to ensure it was functioning perfectly and that the LCD would be replaced with the correct one. And that if I had any problems she would do everything in her power to get us a refund. The system was returned to us on March 14, 2009. On March 18, 2009 the system began turning itself off immediately upon going to battery and the system was getting red hot to the touch. I sent the representative an Email about the situation and also left her a message on March 19, 2009.

I was in contact with her on March 20, 2009 where she once again despite her earlier promise wanted it shipped back to the repair depot. I told her that this was simply unacceptable as the system was just returned to me and should not have been sent to me in this condition. I requested she keep her promise and issue us a refund. She told me it was not an option. All she could offer me was to ship it back to repair depot and upgrade my memory. This has been an ongoing matter that seemingly has no resolution. We have been trying desperately to work with the representative to get our money back since we cannot get a working laptop from this company and to no avail. This system is under warranty until February 2011 and I am getting the impression that all I will be doing until the end of warranty is sending it back and forth to the repair depot and still not have a working system. This laptop has been at the repair depot more than it has been in my possession. This is a $3,666.95 laptop that has not worked properly since its purchase.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-20:
Alienware = Dell, and Dell = hell. And this is a perfect example of Dell Hell.

At this point, I recommend suing them in small claims court. I think this has gone long enough.
Posted by CM Frank on 2009-03-20:
Thanks. It certainly is! Yeah that is my next step. Small claims action against Alienware and Dell. I sent a message to he CEO's of both to that effect and I'm waiting for the BBB to contact them as well. I also filed a complaint with the Attorney General Consumer Protection. I was hoping to get somewhere w/o having to take legal action, but obviously I'm not.
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Horrible Customer Service
Posted by Maxxx69 on 03/03/2009
This is by far the worst company to deal with when it comes to customer support. They are rude, non-understanding and outright crooks. I will never ever buy another product from them and you would do yourself a favor too by staying away from theses guys. Purchased a $4500 machine around Christmas 2006 at Christmas time 2006 the machine went dead - sent it back they said it was 2 days out of warranty. (I never got a notice the warranty had expired or to extend the warranty which they told me would be done when I purchased the product) Needless to say they wanted $325 to just look at the machine for shipping and handling. Then after several weeks they called to say the motherboard was shot and it would cost another $300 so a total of $ 625 after one year.

I wish I would have found this site before I purchased this computer cause I would have never done so! Next time DELL only!!!!

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Posted by AWSUCKS on 2009-03-03:
the sad thing is Dell owns these crooks
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-03:
What you went through WAS Dell Hell.

They bought out Alienware a few years ago, and now Alienware is as sleazy as Dell. Avoid them at all costs.

Is your machine working at this point?
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Alienware Sucks
Posted by AWSUCKS on 03/02/2009
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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Posted by 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.
Posted by AWSUCKS on 2009-03-02:
what could my state office do about . im in wyoming they are in cali
Posted by 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.
Posted by AWSUCKS on 2009-03-06:
update : emailed the president of alienware and recieved a response back today stating that thier critical response team was dealing with me . and that i was valuable ( lol ). im emailing them back now telling him i want a full refund. Well see where it goes
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Has Not Worked Fully From Day One
Posted by Frank9000 on 02/22/2009
HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS -- Hanger 18 has not fully worked from day one. I can not complain about the telephone support people, they have tried but it seems like no one fully understands the system. I have sent it back to Alienware twice, and the had a tech. come to my house once to replace the video card.

None of the inputs work, analog or optical. and tech. support is not sure why.

Is there anyone else out there who has one? The stopped selling them before the end of 2008.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-02-22:
Have they tried to replace the motherboard?
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-02-22:
Very helpful post. I always thought Alienware was top of the line and wanted one so bad!
Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-02-22:
Ever since Alienware was bought out by Dell it is very likely to just end up with an expensive paperweight.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-02-22:
Ooooo no wonder! Thanks for the info.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-22:
Soaring Consumer, best answewr, well helpful anyway since the Man has taken best answer option away from us.
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