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 wish 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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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 23 hours 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 business 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.
HOLYOKE, MASSACHUSETTS -- Hanger 18 has not fully worked from day one. I cannot 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 that 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? They stopped selling them before the end of 2008.
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.
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.
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.
TEXAS -- Purchased an Alienware Area51-m7700 along with the premium 3 year onsite warranty (about $3500 total) in March of 2005. After many delays, the 14 day turnaround turned into a month and I finally received at the end of April. Towards the end of summer, I started calling tech support about my screen occasionally fading in and out and flickering. After answering questions over the phone, I was told to download new drivers and it would fix the problem. I tried that, but the problem still happened randomly, I decided I just had to live with it.
This year it started getting worse, instead of happening occasionally, it started happening every time I used the computer. I decided to try tech support again. More questions over the phone, more of me trying to self diagnose the laptop and still no physical support from Alienware (even though I had the premium warranty) and I this time I was told that my video card was overheating. They sent out some thermal paste that I was to apply and that would fix the problem. Unfortunately, that did not work either. Now the computer has started shutting off on its own and is not recharging (this on top of the original issue) unless I wiggle the AC adaptor cord where it plugs into the laptop.
Another call to tech support, more of me trying to diagnose the problem over the phone with tech support and now I am told that the AC adaptor is bad, and that will fix all the issues I have been reporting. I am also now told that the AC adaptor is only covered for 1 year and it is now out of warranty! I tried explaining that this is the same issue that I had been reporting for a year, that it was not my fault that they had not diagnosed it correctly. I get a flat NO and if I want my laptop to work, I have to buy a new power supply.
All buyers need to BEWARE! I bought the premium warranty wanting protection, and they seem to be doing all they can not to honor the warranty. I have since bought two desktop gaming systems from Digital Storm and have had great luck with these. Too bad they do not make laptops as well! I will never buy another thing from Alienware or Dell if this is their level of customer service.