Gateway Informative - Warranty, Customer Service
CALIFORNIA -- I work for an agency that buys pc’s 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 its 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 Gateways 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 pc’s 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 companies 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 pc’s. Spend the extra money for quality components and professional local service . If your buying Big ticket electronics Costco is the bomb, they don’t have the forever warranty any more but they will give you two years of warranty you can’t beat anywhere.