NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- First off, it is no coincidence that Gateway Review Forums are absolutely loaded with terrible reviews. That should be noted by anyone reading this, and passed on accordingly. I'm a fairly reasonable guy, and I can confidently say that the customer service I recently received from Gateway has undoubtedly been the worst customer service I've ever experienced.
Similar to many other reviews on these forums, my issue with Gateway involved their warranty, the repair center, and Gateway's failure to act with even the slightest amount of integrity during the entire process. I'm not even a classic reviewer - I haven't written one in years. I've been pissed off and tempted plenty of times, but I'll usually just let it go. This situation with Gateway, however, is just so absolutely horrendous, that I am left with no choice but to do my part in spreading the word on the pathetic excuse for a company that is Gateway.
I bought my Gateway PC (Windows 8) on May 21st, 2013. Not 2 months later, I cannot install Windows Updates without an immediate freeze, cannot shut down the computer, cannot restart, reset, refresh to factory settings, system restore - nothing. The hardware is busted. So I call up Gateway and after basic troubleshooting attempts, they advise me to send it in for repair under my 1-year Limited Warranty.
After a long discussion, they tell me to ship it out to them in Texas to the Acer Repair Center. I was foolish enough to not consider the shipping cost, which was ~$40.00, until after the fact. That night, I call up Gateway requesting a refund on the $40.00 - reasoning that I just bought the computer two months ago and should not be responsible to pay for the shipment out to them - and they tell me they won't do it. So that pissed me off, but I had other things going on - and I let it slide.
Two weeks later (yesterday), my computer arrives back from the Acer/Gateway Repair Center. Very excited, I open it up and plug it in. Had I read these other reviews, I would have already known what was about to happen. I turn it on - and this is 100% accurate - within 30 seconds, I realize that every single problem with the PC remained unfixed. I literally couldn't even believe it, so I tried a couple of things with the hopes that it was just rusty. Negative. Gateway had sent me back my PC, two weeks later, in the same defective condition it went out. Not a single defect was fixed. So I call Gateway.
My biggest issue was not that it remained defective (although that obviously pissed me off quite a bit), but that it took me one attempt to plainly see that the computer was not fixed. I logged on, did a quick check, and immediately noticed. What does that say about Gateway's technicians, let alone Gateway's level of care for their customers? After 30 minutes or so of back and forth, I make my way to the "highest" level of customer service that exists at Gateway - the corporate section. Needless to say, the conversation was highly unsatisfactory.
I wish I had recorded the phone call so I could post it right here with my review. The customer service at this level wasn't just horrendous, it was virtually non-existent. At the end of the long, fruitless conversation I had with that robot, the best Gateway was willing to offer me was a 30-day extension on my warranty (10 months away). And she couldn't tell me enough how great of a courtesy I was receiving from Gateway. I was so appalled by this suggestion that I refused it, and don't regret doing so.
Despite me explaining that I bought the computer two months ago, paid $40 to ship it out there, and patiently waited two weeks for its return only to find it in the same condition in which I sent it out - there was nothing Gateway would do to rectify the situation. So that was that. My computer is currently on its way back to Texas, likely to return defective for a second time. In the literal sense of the word, it is truly unbelievable that a company of this size could possibly be so devoid of integrity.
I think it's safe to say that I wish you stay far away from Gateway products, both for my, and your, personal well-being. At least until they get their act together, which doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon. For one, based on my, and everyone else's recent experience with Gateway, their computers seem to be very poorly manufactured. Every other review you find on Gateway mentions continuous failures in their PC/Laptop.
Second, when your computer does inevitably malfunction, you will have no choice but to ship it out to Gateway's Repair Center. Who knows what those numbskulls even do over there, but if we're going off of these reviews, they certainly aren't doing their job. And third, every single time you have even the slightest issue with your computer, you have to deal with this disgrace of a customer service process.
I remain stunned from the entire experience and my subsequent discovery of all these other reviews. I advise anyone considering purchasing a Gateway product to think twice, and even three times, before doing so. They simply cannot be trusted right now. I let the Gateway corporate team know before I got off the phone that I would spread word of my experience with them, and that is what I must do. Take these words, and spread them.
I have been in the computer business 22 years and I have to say Gateway by far has the worst support. I install and maintain networks for companies and I have approx. 125 clients with multiple computers. I also have a client base of individual computers. I have worked on over 10,000 computers. When designing a system or recommending an individual computer I consider many things, cost, compatibility, quality and of course support for the computer.
This laptop a customer purchased had issues and he contacted me to help fix the issue. After reviewing the laptop, it had no operating system. It seems the person that tried to help him prior had deleted the operating system (Vista). The drive had no recovery partition. I had to contact Gateway to order the disk which was approx. $23.00. The disk arrived almost 2 weeks later. I installed the recovery disk. It clearly states on the disk "Applications and Drivers."
After finishing the recovery I found 2 drivers were missing the wireless card and a media driver. I tried to call Gateway and found myself in a maze of push 1 for this and 2 for that. No matter what combination I used could not get them on the phone I then proceeded to Chat. That was a joke. I had already downloaded the drivers I needed. I just wanted them to send the disk including all the drivers for that computer so these steps would not have to be repeated. That is downloading the drivers to another computer then transferring them to the Gateway. Then installing them.
First I was told the drivers could only be downloaded. Then was told only a few computers had drivers available on the recovery disk. I explained that I did not have the wireless driver to get on the internet and a few moments later he asked if I was using chat on the computer in question. I explained I had to use another computer to download the drivers.
Many of the companies are using scripted information to give tech support to their customers. In some cases some have never seen the program. I work with over 500 programs and it is terrible. I have been in computers many years and remember when you received tech support years ago, they actually knew the program. Today you and I pay for their lack of talent in the support field. Working on as many computers, I know all tech support is less than perfect. In rating the support I have to say Gateway makes the bottom of my list. Even eMachines have better support for a less expensive product.
Personally I own 6 computers and 5 are HP and one is Toshiba (inherited). Depending on their needs and budget I will recommend various computers. I can promise it will not be a Gateway. Since they are in with Acer, I can't in good conscience recommend either. Dell is not a bad computer but the support is not that much better. Forget it if you bought your computer second hand. Dell does not supply the recovery disk unless you are the original owner.
In the end I had to download and burn disk for this Gateway owner. The sad thing is many of my customers would not be able to install these drivers on their own. That leaves them at the mercy of others to get the drivers in Gateway computers.
TEMPLE, TEXAS -- Gateway filed Chapter 13 years ago by the way. I recently contacted "ACER/GATEWAY" about a CD drive issue in the middle of a reformat. After sending my BluRay in 3 weeks later I get a $43 different color piece of **. I argued with India for days and finally handed me over to a state side "Level 2" in TX. Still they wanted that c/c number to put a $380 hold until they got the cheaper one back - YA YOU HEARD RIGHT.
I had to argue with them for quite a while about it being a BluRay in the first place! I kept all my packing info from the start and took pictures and P/N (part numbers) and S/N serial numbers on both with pictures... 2 weeks later I get my drive back, one more week to lift the hold. GETS WORSE. Then I find out it's not only the CD drive now it's also the hard drive. I was forced to send in the whole 70 lbs PC with insured came to $100. They replace the hard drive and the motherboard and 20 days later I get it back. I open it. IT'S ALL BANGED UP! The case is ruined!
System is slooow and I find my VIDEO CARD UNDERNEATH THE PC IN THE BOX IN NOTHING BUT A STATIC GUARD PIECE OF PLASTIC. The note from the tech accused that the card was 3rd party and will not be re-installed. WHAT!!! I contacted the manufacturer ASUS who helped me ID the card. After speaking with yet another level 2 he checked it out after I told them I knew now what they tried to do. He looked it up and YES it is their card alright. Now smashed by a 70 lb PC riding on it for 2 days OUTSIDE the PC.
Hard drive was a WD 500GB and now is a refurbished 465GB Samsung (less GB is the key here... dead giveaway it's refurbished). The motherboard which used to max 8 GB is now limited to max 3 GB. How nice. WARRANTY READS: TO REPLACE PARTS OF EQUAL VALUE.
I called and argued over and over and over and over... they want me to ship it back again. I asked if I should use THEIR shipping box with the same stuff in it. Guy said with 5 layer of bubble wrap. I never got any when it was sent to me. I have to pack it better than THEY did or it's considered void of contract. Cannot wait for the next trip my PC makes out there now. Maybe they will replace everything with a used calculator inside next. I'm so pissed off. WHERE IS THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ON THIS?!!?! COME ON GEEEZZZ DO SOMETHING. I have names, times, dates, and plenty of paper to prove it all.
NORTH SIOUX CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA -- June 14, 2009: After searching for just the right computer, I came across a Gateway 23 inch LCD Quad Core 640GB HDD 8GB RAM Desktop Computer + TV Tuner on HSN Item Number 464-801 for $999.90 plus $149.95 for 2 year protection plan and $35.00 shipping and handling for a total expense of $1184.85. I carefully watched the video posted on HSN for this product and deemed it exactly what I was looking for.
The Commentator for HSN talks about having several at home and how easy it is to use all the features. Having owned 3 Gateway computers (before the company was sold to an overseas corporation, something I found out after the purchase) it seemed believable.
Joe Harrison, known as Gateway Joe, then comes in and talks about the ease of use, the features to include the 640GB HDD, LabelFlash DVD/CD Optical Drive, how great Gateway Support is and how you can plug in an old VCR (using the front RCA composite jacks) and convert your VCR tapes to DVD right now (having many old home VHS tapes this analog capture device sounded like a dream come true) and then he adds that a camcorder with this type of connection (RCA Composite) you can upload all this to your Gateway.
I anxiously awaited my dream machine so I could start converting my analog videos to digital DVD's. The Gateway LX 6810-01 arrived a few days later by UPS. I eagerly went over the documentation provided in printed form as well as online yet absolutely nothing was listed for converting my analog VHS tapes to DVD, much less how the LabelFlash worked or even readme files for a How To on the majority of programs on the system... IF you could even locate the program itself as was the case with LabelFlash.
I contacted Customer Service (remember now, I purchased the extended warranty) and was told they had absolutely nothing about how to utilize the analog converter as touted on the HSN promo and to add insult to injury, they insisted that I call a number they provided to get this information but advised me, it is a fee based service $2.95 per minute or $50.00 for a half hour.
Obviously by now I was a bit put out, a $1,100+ computer HSN touted as user friendly and having great support, has no documentation and to get answers (which HSN did not have) I have to pay even more money? Email inquiries (6) yield the same response each time when requesting documentation as to How To.. pay to get the answer. Didn't I do that already? Trying to put in a second optical drive, I am advised I have a BluRay (according to the serial number) and I know for a fact it is not, it is a multi drive, but definitely not a BluRay... something it took 3 emails to get them to admit their documentation was wrong.
Then I checked the actual hard drive to find it actually has a 600GB hard drive (14.65GB EISA/581.52MB NTFS) as shows on the manage my system display onboard the Gateway computer. Looking for confirmation I used Everest Home program to verify which showed again it was a 600GB hard drive but reflected 15005MB EISA/(a 2MB buffer zone)/580,465MB NTFS, again, 600GB and NOT 640GB as advertised and as it appears on the box the system came in. How did Gateway explain that?
It is merely a conversion error on how they calculate hard drive capacities and how they are read my other systems... uh... say what again? I asked Gateway to send me or refer me to the How TO for these programs... again referred to the Fee Based number. Asked Gateway to send me an additional hard drive of at least 40GB to make the system, as advertised, but they keep insisting in spite of what readings I am getting, THEY rate it at 640GB.
I made HSN aware of all of these factors and though they still have the video (computers/desktop/$999 Gateway 23" LCD Quad Core...) on site for others to bite on, and indicated that the information posted is from their Gateway supplier, they did say that they would advise their panel of the problems and re-stated they have a 30 day return policy. While it would simple to option for this, at 60, I am a bit hard nosed and expect to get what I pay for and if a product is advertised as having capabilities, then as a buyer the How To should be available FREE and documentation available.
Customer Service is the absolute basics at best at Gateway; obviously not US based and most certainly not hands on computer literate! Program documentation virtually non-existent but step by step with graphics how to get in to the case, change memory, hard drive, etc. Believe it or not, the system itself is incredible and does multi tasking with ease... but if you aren't a highly knowledgeable computer program user, you are going to go absolutely crazy trying to figure out how or even if, various programs are even onboard... much less function as described!
Without the How To, and the overrated Hard Drive capacity, you will find nothing but annoyance, frustration and feeling that the product is grossly misrepresented by both Gateway and the HSN video posted for all to see with this item. For those Super Sleuths, watch the HSN video and see if you can come up with step by step instructions on How To... it is obvious even Gateway Customer Service can't do it... and yes, paying the fee for the answers, IS CHEATING... but would be nice to know.
SIOUX CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA -- I had the misfortune to purchase a Gateway P-172XFX laptop in June 2008. It arrived the day I was leaving departing from the U.S. for two months. The wireless connection did not work upon arrival. When I returned to the U.S. I called Gateway and after troubleshooting the computer with level 2 technical support they told me to send it to Teleplan in Dallas, TX for repair.
I shipped it out via registered mail on 28 August 2008 and it was received by Teleplan on 3 September 2008. I spoke to Teleplan on 10 September and they told me that there was a software problem with the computer and they would have to reload the Operating System. They said they would be able to ship it back to me by 12 September 2008.
On 16 September 2008, I spoke to both Teleplan and Gateway, and neither can or will tell me when I will receive my computer back. Teleplan told me today (16 September) the DVD player on the computer was now broken and they had ordered a replacement on 12 September. They added that they just moved to Temple, TX and cannot find a listing for where my computer is in their databases and if they find it it will be at least 10-15 more business days before they can ship it back to me.
I contacted Gateway and after THREE hours on hold finally spoke to a level two (?) customer service representative that was supposed to be able to resolve the issue (either assure me that the laptop would be returned within 10 days or provide me with a new computer).
The C.S. Rep (**) told me that all she could do was contact Teleplan and ask them for an estimated return date. Since I will be departing the U.S. within two weeks for a deployment overseas for a year, I told the C.S. Rep that I either wanted a refund of the $2,000 I paid for the computer or a new computer (sent to me immediately), since I would be gone by the time they said they MIGHT ship it back to me.
The C.S. Rep said she c/would not do that and that I would have to just wait for the computer. She did not care that I was deploying or that I had been without the computer that I had already paid for. When I told her that I would not be in country to receive the computer when they choose to ship it, she did not care.
I have called my credit card company to dispute the charge since Gateway shipped me a defective computer and I will not be in country to receive it when they finally decide to ship it back to me. I will never buy another Gateway product, especially since they have no concern about people deploying overseas.
Beware of Gateway, I received a defective laptop and they took my money and then told me to send it back for repair and will not tell me when I will get it back. They do not support those of us going overseas to serve our country. All they want is our money.
CALIFORNIA -- I work for an agency that buys PCs from Dell, Gateway and HP. Problems vary with each new model of PC. Quality of customer service seems vary over time. Most recently Gateway seems to be hit the bottom with just ridiculous customer service. I Have a pile of failed gateway components, too much trouble to warranty. Calls to Gateway customer service often take up to an hour to verify serial numbers and warranty coverage. Once they do verify the coverage the part shows up in a day or two, then we have one week to send back the old parts.
A week later we get a return shipping label in the mail. If I ship out the old parts the same day I get the label it's already late. Then Gateway sends an invoice with my name on it charging our department for failing to return the old warranty part. I have to explain the invoice to my accounting department, then make phone calls to gateway to clear the invoice. Usually takes two or more calls to Gateway's returns department and one or more calls to their accounting department.
It is much less time consuming for me to rob or modify parts from old equipment than go through their warranty procedure. A complaint to our head office resulted in the Gateway Rep assuring us that this was the exception rather than the rule and he would personally follow up and resolve this unusual customer service issue. Once the case was resolved it was business as usual with Gateway. Same problems all over again.
If a keyboard fails I have to call customer service, then I am transferred to a tech that tells me “hold the keyboard between my palms with the end of the keyboard six inches above the desk and drop it to unstick the keys. And if that doesn't work call us back and we will go from there." Seemed ridiculous, but it worked and the keyboard worked for two days after that. The user called me two days later calling me an idiot, I laughed and agreed, “your right and I acted on some really bad advice. I'll bring a new keyboard right away.”
Just have to laugh every time I throw a gateway keyboard away, Just hold it between my palms six inches above the garbage can and drop it. Computer manufacturers are selling PCs so cheap these days that there is very little of the profit margin left for customer service or warranty. They don't honor anything beyond what is stated in the warranty and they don't staff their help desks with professional people. Nothing against the help desk people, cut them some slack, they don't get much training and are just following the company's policy, for the most part they are really nice people with a really lousy job dealing with often angry customers.
If you really depend on your PC, it's better to buy your next computer from a local independent shop that builds and maintains PCs. Spend the extra money for quality components and professional local service. If you're buying Big ticket electronics Costco is the bomb, they don't have the forever warranty anymore but they will give you two years of warranty you can't beat anywhere.
PITTSBURG,, CALIFORNIA -- I purchased a Gateway computer last November from Best Buy. This was my 2nd Gateway computer I purchased within 2 1/2 years. I had to replace my first one because it would not take a charge. The connection in the computer was "wiggly". I NEED my computer for work. So I bought a new one.
After about 9 1/2 months of using my new computer, the same problem happened as the first. I couldn't charge my battery. I went through 3 adapters I had to tape onto my computer for my computer to get any power to it at all. My computer was working. It was just not getting power to the computer or to charge the battery. I called Gateway to send it in for warranty repair. I was told a box was being shipped to me to send my computer in. I was told my warranty was going to expire soon and asked if I wanted to renew it. I declined at the time. They gave me some numbers to put on my box. I attached those numbers to my original box that I got the Gateway in.
I waited and waited and after 1 1/2 weeks I called Gateway back asking about my box. They said it was supposed to be sent out to me but it wasn't. They assigned me new numbers to put on my box (which I did). They told me the box was being sent out. They mentioned that my warranty was to expire soon. I declined again. So once again... I waited and after a week I called Gateway and asked about my box. And the same thing happened... no box. I was reassigned numbers to attach to my box.
I told Gateway that I would pay for the shipping. I had the original box the computer came in. They said no that it had to be sent out in their box to the address label they provide. This happened another time. I called back again and was told the box was delivered which it wasn't. This time though I renewed my warranty. I paid over $100 because I had the suspicions that Gateway was stalling so they wouldn't need to cover my repair. I attached the new numbers they provided me with to my box.
Finally the box came. I sent it in to Gateway and 4 days later I get a call saying that the warranty didn't cover the motherboard getting wet. My motherboard DID NOT GET WET! I sent it in because I couldn't charge my computer. If I charged my battery in a friend's computer and used it on mine... There was no problem!!! MY COMPUTER WORKED!!! I requested pictures of my motherboard which I never received.
I called Gateway and was told to call this number and when I called it, the lady was so rude. Told me my computer was already sent back to me. I told her I requested photos of my motherboard and she said they could send me them. Gateway records our calls for quality. If they could review the call to this lady she first said it was sent back to me then she said she can send me photos. When I questioned this she said "Oh, it's still down in our warehouse." What was Gateway going to do, send me photos of somebody else's computer?
I sent my working computer in to repair the plug. And the diagnosis... (after I spent more $ on a warranty) which didn't even kick in... I was told the motherboard got wet and it wasn't under warranty. I believe that Gateway lies about the diagnosis and that they steal.
UPDATE 3/5/07 7am PST -> OK, just off the phone with Gateway Customer support about my order (a new Gateway NX860XL laptop) - now pushed out until mid March. Apparently the problem was a chipset on the laptop computer mb not working well with the new Vista software/video card interface, and they (Gateway) have had to revise the hardware chipset. They are using to support the video control/data workings - a manufacturer's nightmare to be sure.
I am very glad they got to this before we consumers had to deal with it, but the result is unfortunately a further delay in the shipping. SO FOR BEING HONEST I NOW REVISE THEIR GRADE UPWARDS!! The CS rep I spoke to was honest and forthcoming about why the further delay, and I am finally hearing a reason that makes sense. Gateway is doing just what you hope an honest manufacturer would do and take care of a glaring problem before the customer has to deal with it, and being honest about it.
Original complaint: OK. Like many folks I buy things over the web sometimes, not a lot, just sometimes. I have never before tried to purchase a computer over the web, I usually buy at the 'brick and mortar' or buy parts at same and build my own. Recently, Jan 23rd, I was offered that I could buy a laptop and a client would pick up the cost, as a birthday present.
Great! Wow! So I surfed the web for the best price performance on a newer 17" display laptop. Gateway came in several hundred dollars below any other... so I tried to order one from them a Gateway NX860XL. Apparently I called the wrong number on the screen and ended up ordering through customer service instead of sales - I was never informed. This was not the right way to do it, the person at the other end cheerfully accepted the order and that was that, I thought.
The nightmare begins. OK so I go online to track my order and it says I am at step one after several days?? So I call and am told they do not have all the information for my order... no customer tel no., no email address, so I provide both. A few days later nothing has changed. So I call again... this repeated for nearly a week to 10 days, finally I get fed up and call the 'sales' number and ask why all this trouble?
I am finally told I ordered through the wrong department, cancel that order and start over. I follow their advice and instructions. This was done Feb. 2nd. and I was told my new estimated delivery date is now the 20th of Feb. (My original est arr. date was Feb 6th.) So far so good, I thought... silly me! Again the 'online tracking tool has me now stuck in the 2nd step 'order processing' until Feb 17th... I call and complain and write some email to same effect. How can I get it on the 20th when still in order processing??
Well, I cannot - I get an email saying they cannot get copies of Vista to put on it. My new estimated arrival date (which appears to be some fictional disclaimer bound daydream) is moved out to March 6th, and you guessed it - the order tracking tool says my order is still in 'order processing' even though by voice they claim it has been built and only lacks the OS.
So I try and complain that the only tool made available to me is at best dysfunctional - their concern over this issue was and remains laughable. What the hey do I expect they ask... that the order actually be tracked? They are far too big, busy, and important to worry about such a thing. The online tracking tool is also fiction, for me, yes, absolutely. You would think I had tried to order a jumbo jet or something like that from them - and they are playing the role of Airbus.
Today is March 1st. You guessed it... order tracking still says my laptop is in 'order processing', folks it's been a month!! And the kind person who called from corporate to find out if wanted to cancel the order informed me it 'could be delayed again'... so much for dazzle the customer.
If I ever do receive the thing I will write an honest review of it, I promise. But so far, to me, Gateway = Lateway = Waitway = Soup Sandwich. A great price on a fictional laptop is exactly that. In the future I'll pay more for something that I can actually use instead of wonder about. But for now I am just going to 'hang in there' and see if they actually do ever get it to me, the customer.
TEMPLE, TEXAS -- About 6 months ago I purchased a Gateway FX8600 computer from Best Buy. All has been well up to the point when the HDD was unrecognizable to the BIOS. Hence the computer won't boot and the HDD was deemed failed. Mildly unfortunate but the bad news was yet to come. I contacted Gateway and was told to send it to Texas for warranty service at my expense. My expense? Irritating although I understand as it is in their warranty as such. So a bit over $60.00 and the tower was boxed (according to very specific standards set by Gateway) and shipped to Gateway.
So about two weeks later my computer shows up at my door. I open the box and discover Gateway didn't ship the tower back using the same stringent packaging guidelines and therefore my 6 month old computer now has dents on 3 of the 4 corners. Not to mention the sides are not locked in properly. I can only assume they are this way due to the corner impacts and twisting of the case.
So I contact support and after 3 transfers and 1 hr I received the official answer as to how Gateway will handle the problem. I need to repackage the product using the proper guidelines (AT MY EXPENSE), take it back to the shipper where they will then pay to ship it back to the repair facility. I will then receive it back in another couple weeks or so.
So, am I alone in thinking that since Gateway failed to ship it properly that they should pay to package it properly? I asked that they send me a box with a return label in it to keep me from have to spend more money and they refused, citing they have now way to ship an empty box to me. So iPod rescue can do it but Gateway cannot. Even when it is their screw up to begin with. I cannot stress how disappointed I am with Gateway and all of their levels of "service." So off I go to the shipper to package and ship the unit properly. Then, letters to the Bureau of Electronics Repair, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Attorney General's Office.