Gateway Complaint - Gateway Fails to Honor Warranty
NORTH SIOUX CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA -- Laptop Model #M465E
I have the next business day onsite service with this laptop and the reason this purchase was made is because I rely on this computer for my business. Now that I’ve had a problem, I am shocked at the way Gateway has handled it.
Initially the problem had to do with a screen flicker. But then the entire laptop went dead. It seems as though the screen problem shorted out the motherboard.
Tuesday, January 16: Tech #1: Tech did not really try to diagnose the problem but assumed it was the motherboard. Said I would have to send it in for repair and pay for the postage myself. In dealing with computer companies, I have never had to pay the postage for a defective product still under this type of warranty. The tech said I could not have next business day onsite service even though I had the next business day onsite warranty in effect.
Later Tuesday Night, January 16: Tech #2: Tech would not put me through to a supervisor, instead attempted to diagnose. Said I needed to contact customer service in order to have Gateway pay for the postage and verified that I was not eligible to have next business day onsite service. He gave me the customer service phone number and told me to enter prompt #4 twice.
Wednesday, January 17: Tech #3: I called the customer service number but the menu had been changed so there were no #4 prompts. I ended up back at technical support. This tech asked me why the first two techs would not give me next business day onsite service. She said it was eligible for this service and promised to get it taken care of. However she said the computers were updating and she would not be able to put the order in until later. She promised to send me a confirmation email so that I knew it was taken care of. Service number 2-2388958181. Badge #FP375.
Thursday, January 18: Tech #4: I never did receive a confirmation email and no responses from Tech #3 even after leaving her voice mail. Tech #4 said Tech #3 did not process the service number and would not be back in to work until the following week. Tech #4 cancelled the previous service request and put in a new one assuring me that the new motherboard would be overnighted and I should receive a call from an onsite technician within one business day. Badge #FP411. Service order #2-2388900239 / order #83994018.
Friday, January 19: Nothing happened.
Saturday, January 20: Tech #5: I checked the status of the service request. This tech said he had no updated status for me and that I could expect to wait 3 – 5 days.
Saturday, January 20: Customer Service #1: Sent an email to customer service explaining the situation and expressing my frustration. Badge #GWPC003 responded saying the parts had been shipped to the onsite technician’s address (tracking # 1ZR400420315935688 and 1ZR400420315935704). Said the onsite technician would contact me to schedule service. Documented as service request # 2-2388900239.
Monday, January 22: The Gateway Scheduling Center contacted me with a different service request #2-2250075919. They also had different tracking numbers saying the parts would be delivered directly to me on Tuesday, January 23 and were calling to set up the onsite service for Thursday, January 25. They asked me to contact Gateway Customer Service to resolve the service request and tracking number discrepancy.
Monday, January 22: The tracking numbers customer service sent me from Saturday communication showed the packages had been delivered locally that day.
Monday, January 22: Customer Service #2: I contacted customer service again to let them know about the differing service request numbers and differing tracking numbers. Badge #GWPC026 responded verifying that the parts had been delivered locally, that the service number was correct and that their service number was the only one that corresponded with my account.
Tuesday, January 23: Customer Service #3: I contacted customer service again to ask what to do with the packages that were supposed to be delivered to my house and reminded them that the service center had already scheduled a time to be here under a different request number. Badge #GWPC026 responded by saying not to worry about the packages. If I received them, I could just have them returned.
Tuesday, January 23: Customer Service #4: Late in the day, I called customer service again to let them know I still had not heard from the onsite technician. Badge #GWPE263 responded saying she was submitting another request order for onsite service since it should have already been taken care of. She said I would be called within 2 to 3 business days regarding the service.
Wednesday, January 24: I did not receive the packages and had not heard from the onsite technician. I called the Gateway Scheduling Center because I did not want them to send out a technician on Thursday when I had not received the parts. They cancelled out the order, found the new service order and kept the service date for Thursday.
Thursday, January 25: The onsite technician came. He said he had just received the parts that morning. He replaced the motherboard and CPU. Computer powered on. Tech verified there was still a screen problem. The tech called Gateway to set up service order 2-2395011302 / order number 84003662 to replace the screen. As soon as the tech left my home, I went to turn on the laptop and again it was completely dead. Called Gateway Tech #6. Service #2-2394465962 / order #84003738. Badge #FP348. They said they would send out another motherboard and CPU.
Thursday, January 25: I filed reports with both the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s office because of the way Gateway has handled their warranty process.
Friday, January 26: Received call from Gateway Scheduling Center. They received the screen but not the motherboard or CPU so no appointment was scheduled.
Monday, January 29: Received call from Gateway Scheduling Center. They are expecting to receive the motherboard this morning and plan to come fix the laptop later today.
Monday, January 29: Onsite technician arrived and replaced both the motherboard and the screen.
Monday, January 29: Kathy Wallace from Gateway’s Executive Response Team called me concerning the Better Business Bureau complaint. Her contention was simply that next business day onsite service is only as good as the availability of parts provided. However, in this process, the availability of parts was never in issue. She offered $100 to use at the Gateway store which I declined.
Tuesday, January 30: Scheduling Center called to say replacement CPU was not in yet.
Wednesday, January 31: Scheduling Center called to say replacement CPU was not in yet but should be the next day.
Thursday, February 1: Onsite technician came to replace CPU.
As indicated, I have talked to 6 Gateway Technicians, 4 Customer Service Representatives, 6 Scheduling Center Representatives and 3 Onsite Technicians. Though it appears that as of today the issue is finally resolved, it doesn’t change the fact that Gateway did not comply with their warranty. In fact, the first two technicians refused to even honor the warranty that was in place. I believe the only reason this did eventually get resolved had little to do with Gateway. Instead it had everything to do with my own tenacity and willingness to follow up each step of the way. And at the end of the day, my business was left stranded for 2 whole weeks. The point of getting a next business day onsite warranty to begin with is to avoid such situations.
So I have requested that Gateway provide me with a new laptop. Under the circumstances, I really don’t think that is asking too much. I don’t think you can really put a price tag on what I had to go through these past two weeks with Gateway. And I don’t think you can put a price tag on how I had to change the way I do my business because I was without a working laptop. In dealing with businesses, Gateway more than anybody should understand this. But all that aside, at the end of the day, Gateway did not honor its warranty. Just because it eventually got taken care of does not mean that Gateway complied because the terms of the warranty are broader than that. A refusal to grant that service by the first two technicians is a pretty clear non-compliance issue. But even after Gateway began to take responsibility, the process kept it from fulfilling its obligation to the consumer. My point is that even though the issue was eventually resolved, Gateway never did adhere to the full terms of their warranty. So I have asked Gateway to make it right.
They have refused.