Gateway Complaint - Gateway's Utter Lack of Professionalism
TORONTO -- On 6 September 2006, the monitor on my Gateway MX 3558 cracked. I was aware at the time that this was a situation that would likely not be covered by warranty but I called the Gateway phone number to see what my options were. The service rep looked up my file and told me that my computer WAS covered in this situation and courriered a box to me so I could ship it off to be serviced. That was the end of any illusion of service Gateway provided.
After shipping my computer, I recieved not so much as an email confirmation to say they received it. Over the next month I called Gateway several times each week only to check the status of my computer.
It should also be noted that Gateway does not provide a toll free customer service number within Canada and I was forced to call long distance from Toronto to a Vancouver number to speak to someone. As it turns out, the Vancouver number was a misnomer as the calls were directed to the Gateway call centre in Salt Lake City.
Having called that line upwards of 5 times, each time I was told by the employees that Gateway had contracted out repairs in Canada to a private company and they were not able to see the status of my computer. Several times the rep would check with their manager and ultimately unable to find out anything.
This went on for a month. Finally, a rep submitted an inquiry to the private company to find out about my computer. The process only produced an answer that the company was backlogged and would get around to looking at my computer soon. It took another week and round of calls on my part to find out that the monitor was NOT covered by the warranty and would cost $400 USD to repair. At that point, I asked simply for them to return my laptop. On 13 October 2006, I finally recieved my laptop.
I am well aware that the damage done to the monitor was my fault and not covered by the warranty. However, I decided to take a chance and see if they would fix it. Their fixing it is not the issue. If you buy a Gateway computer and experience a production problem on Gateway's part, THIS is this is the level of service you will have to deal with. It was an endless circle of "I don't know" and shuffling me around between different phone numbers. It was beyond frustrating and I would never buy another Gateway product on the basis that if I ever had to deal with this kind farce again.
I have recently gone through a great deal of trials with my HP Ipod. Having experienced the level of customer service at HP (where you are notified electronically each step of the way and the customer service representatives have access to the knowledge required to help customers), I know that this is not a system that consumers must put up with.
Based on customer service alone, I would reccomend avoiding Gateway at all costs. Bureaucracy by definition exists to ensure everyone is treated fairly and to faciliate a smooth process. Gateway is the perfect example of bureaucracy gone wrong and why the term gets a bad name. If you are going to give your money to big corporations, you might as well make it work in your favour. Bring your business elsewhere, not Gateway.