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I purchased an Alienware Area-51 M5500 laptop in 08/07 for $1628. I have now been officially getting the run around from customer service. Here is my problem. About 4 months after I purchased the computer it started to randomly shut down of its own accord. The battery level made no difference. Unfortunately, I was deployed at the time and had no real way to get in touch with the company, so I let it go until I returned from deployment. I sent an e-mail request for assistance. The response had me changing code in the BIOS which I was uncomfortable with doing. Shortly after the request for help on this matter the computer stopped working entirely. When turned on all the power lights would come on but nothing would come up on the screen. Thinking that it might be a problem with the screen I attached the laptop to an external monitor. The image that came up was of Windows trying to start (the image was also interspersed with vertical colored lines making it very difficult to see) then an error message saying something to the effect of "Windows has encountered a problem and has to shut down." I am unable to be any more specific on the message due to the fact that many of the characters had been replaced by white boxes and the screen was still covered with lines. A local computer repair shop thinks the screen and mother board have been fried from over heating.
I was told by the technical support representative the computer was out of warranty and I would have to send it back to be repaired at my own expense. Normally I would understand this and not have much of a problem with it. Sometimes things just happen. After a little research, however, I discovered that since around the time I purchased my machine other people have been having the same problems; mostly caused by the laptop running too hot and damaging the motherboard or other elements. I feel that if this has been an on-going issue that the company is aware of a recall should have been issued to fix the problem, or at the very least the manufacturing should have been examined and altered.
Quite frankly, it boggles my mind that a mass produced Compaq laptop that I purchased almost ten years ago for half as much as I paid for the Alienware system, has never given me a single hardware issue, while the supposedly high-quality, high performance machine I purchased 16 months ago is now good for nothing more than a doorstop. According to customer service rep I spoke with I should be perfectly content with that because I can hardly expect a custom built high-performance machine to last as long as a mass-produced factory model. Apparently one tenth as long for double the price should be good enough for me.
I bought an Alienware computer. I paid $3400 for it and an extended warrantee. The computer crashed every time I tried to play a modern game on it. I started working with the support people to fix this problem.
The support literally knows nothing about computers. After several times sending parts back and forth I eventually gave up on them fixing it. Sadly it meant that I had to just eat the $3400 and buy another computer. I was sickened, but felt that this was my only recourse.
The insult to injury came 2 days after I returned my last part. To facilitate warrantee exchanges, Alienware requires a credit card number before they will send a part. The last part I sent then, I called to confirm that they had received the part (something I always do when shipping items). They confirmed that they did. 2 Days later, they charged my card for the part.
I called them and they again confirmed they had received the part, and that they owed me the money. Almost 4 months later they still have not returned the money to me. I call almost daily now and keep getting told that they will have an answer as to how they plan on getting me this money in 24 hours. This has been going on since March 1, 2007.
I have been keeping logs now every time I call them, in the event that I may file a lawsuit against them. I have also found out that Alienware makes this route very difficult in that they refuse to give out any contact information as to the proper place to send legal documents.
I strongly urge anyone thinking of buying a computer: DO NOT BUY FROM ALIENWARE YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!
One year, and one crap laptop later, and I have learned about Alienware first hand.
I was extremely excited to get my new duel core processor Alienware, with a nearly state of the art nVidia video card. I didn't even endure any real delays while my machine was being built. My first indication that something was wrong was when I loaded my favorite game, Rome: Total War and discovered some rather terrible graphic fracturing during the battle scenes.
I figured perhaps some problems had occurred loading the graphics drivers, or my game install was bad, so I reloaded the graphics drivers, and loaded a different game, but with the same result. This type of problem is really out of my league, so I called Alienware tech support for the first time. I eventually spoke with a tech representative that gave me a huge laundry list of things to try. He really didn't try to trouble shoot my system at all.
After reloading graphics drivers again, reloading my games, flashing my BIOS, and about step 10, reformatting my hardrive, reloading everything bit on my computer, they decided I should open up my laptop, and manually reset my video card. Having done this, with no results, they referred me to another tech, who had me load some diagnostic software from their website. The software ran correctly, with no errors, but still every time I tried to play a game with 3D rendered screens, I still had terrible graphic fractures.
This process took nearly eight months. At several points I tried to talk the tech rep into letting me return the computer for diagnosis, to no avail. Eventually, I even asked if I could just buy another video card, but they told me that model of video card is no longer available for my motherboard. ??? In fact, no other options for video cards are still available for my video card.
By the time I finished their laundry list of check items, my year warranty was up with the company. Instead of paying them now to ship my computer, I have resigned myself that I am stuck with a $3,500 pong box.
From the looks of other complaints on the internet regarding Alienware, I'm not alone. Don't let the glitzy cover fool you, these high end machines are consumer traps. A friend of mine has a great Alienware machine and hasn't had any problems with it, but it's a real dice roll if you pay top dollar for a nice gaming machine and have to settle with a PC that really won't do what you want. It's a risk I'll never take again, and would advise anyone else the same.
In January I was authorized by Alienware Customer Service to exchange an optical drive in my Alienware computer. An arrangement was made to have Alienware send me a new optical drive and a return authorized FedEx shipping label so that I could return the defective drive to Alienware. The agreement included a pending charge to my credit card which would be removed when the defective drive was received by Alienware. I received the new drive and shipping label and returned the defective drive near the end of January. The pending charge was removed from my credit card account.
At the end of February, a new charge for the amount of the optical drive was entered into my account. I spoke with Alienware with the RMA number and they told me they had not received my returned defective drive. After a couple more telephone conversations I was told that nothing could be done without a FedEx tracking number. I do not know why Alienware cannot find this package knowing the RMA number and/or my account number but I cannot physically prove that the defective drive was returned. A sufficient excuse of tracking numbers being automatically generated by FedEx so they do not have it was provided.
At any rate, this is certainly not an isolated incident. The system is less than a year and a half old and it has been in Florida more than it has been in my home. Now what it appears to me is that Alienware is accusing me of stealing a hundred bucks from them to put in my $5000 piece of crap they sold me.
As hard as I look, I cannot find anything good that anyone has said about Alienware.
I initiated my purchase of an ALX on 08/18/06 at which time I was given a 60 day projection for delivery due to the two nvidia 7950gtx cards (liquid cooled) which were to be installed. About 1 month later, it was the case, later the power supply. By this time I probably should have cancelled but decided to tough it out for this $10,000+ system with all the whistles. Finally arrived after 70+ days.
Result: Wrong video cards, wrong backup cd for OS, and Alienware refusing to correct problem saying that the specs on the 7900's were the same as the 7950's. Now I was informed that a 15% restock fee was also an issue when I stated that I would just return the whole system, in other words, pay them $1500 for not building the system correctly, what a farce.
They finally agreed to change out the video cards for the correct ones. Lo and behold, they didn't even have an approved cooling system for the 7950's (after I was told they were in testing and should be approved any day), which means if anyone ordered a system with the 7950's they probably unknowingly have 7900's after paying for the more expensive cards. Filed complaint with Attorney General's Office (Florida). Now Alienware (which received notice from Attorney General) agreed to install two new nvidia 8800 air cooled cards (which I wasn't told would be aircooled) and a 1000 watt power supply, which they charged to my card (later resolved and credited back). New power supply and video cards were shipped directly to me even though the computer was at Alienware in Miami, contacted Alienware and was thanked for my honesty in reporting this, return authorization received but it was for the complete entire system, not just the parts. Another sign that the administration side of Alienware is askew. 12/22/06 received computer with new cards and supply, and most importantly a damaged/scratched case. Only software uninstalled was 3dmark06, reinstalled and benchmark score of only 5000, less than half of the 11,300 which Alienware support says it should be, and a popping noise coming periodically from the case, Alienware customer service even asked if I would be comfortable checking out and working on the cooling system, the very thing of which they refuse to do onsite service for. 12/23/06 Called tech support, Answer from Alienware, send it back again as it seems there has to be a bad video card, this was after testing all four 8800 video cards at their direction, even though onsite support was paid for and these video cards are not water cooled, I suspect motherboard is bad but they don't want to admit it. The saga continues......Attorney General is probably next once again........And I will never recommend them even if the issues are finally resolved. Current owners beware, check if you got what you paid for.
For starters, I just finished reading pages upon pages of fellow AW owners complaints. I truly feel embarrassed to be writing these complaints from my AW Area-51m 7700, of which I spent $2832 on. Assuming my computer will work throughout this post, I have a few things I'd like to say.
1. Like other Area-51 owners, less than three (3) months after receiving my laptop/desktop replacement (this thing is hardly a laptop) I began experiencing problems. First of which I noticed was my optical drive. It, too, as in other cases makes a loud whining noise when reading discs. I figured this was normal. That's not my complaint, though. My complaint is that it won't burn information on to CD's. If I try to put songs or pictures on a disc, it doesn't work. So here I sit with a useless optical drive. To be honest, I thought it would break in over time...not the case. 15 months it's been and it still doesn't work.
2. I've had this computer sent in twice for mother-board replacement due to the "OS not found" screen of death. It took a month and a half for my computer to be properly diagnosed and fixed. Being a college student, I depend on my computer! The story: After numerous hours spent on the phone with AW support staff, and downloading random drivers from the webpage on friends computers, they determined it was my hard-drive and sent me a new one. After finishing installing it myself, we concluded this was indeed not the problem. So then, at my expense, I was told to ship the computer to it's Florida based repair depot. Three or so weeks went by and I finally got my computer back...only to have the same thing happen again less than a month later. This time, I called and said, "no tests, just fix it." So at my expense, again, I paid to ship it to there depot, which was apparently moved to Memphis, TN. I got it back, another three or so weeks later, and this time at least I still had all over my old information still stored on the hd. Also, I know what caused both of these crashes. Both times, I would have a program running (i.e. iTunes, or solitaire, or a webpage) and put the machine on Standby mode. Then, a couple hours later, returning from class, I would open my computer and...uh-oh...NO OPERATING SYSTEM FOUND. To date, I have never used Standby mode in fear it will happen again. And, seeing as though my warranty is completely gone, it's not worth the chance. IMPORTANT: Upon receiving my computer back the second time, it was missing the card-slot cover piece and the rubber S-Video/CATV port cover. I tried calling several times to inquire about this, but gave up after around 2 hours of waiting for an available rep.
3. Lastly, my computer has troubles starting up frequently. It will freeze in the loading phase of Windows XP Home Edition. This scares me every time. I've spent almost $3000 on a machine I was so proud to own, and now I start it everyday in fear it will crash. In my personal opinion, this computer is a glorified 12 pound hunk of junk.
4. AW support staff seems to pride in delegating questions to other representatives. I have probably talked to at least seven (7) reps in my days of owning this so called "high performance machine" Also, it's almost impossible to talk to supervisors. They take your phone number and promise a call the next day, which needless to say, never happened.
Overall, I regret purchasing this machine. Don't get me wrong, when it runs well, it's the Ferarri among Ford Taurus's, and they take more time to fix and receive, but the service and quality is lacking. The only advice I offer: Don't Purchase From Alienware Corporation. The machine is consistently unreliable and embedded with problems from the get-go. Sorry AW, you've lost a valued customer. I'm waiting for the day I have to purchase a new computer.
Timeline: Fall '05 through Spring '06
Note: During diagnostic of the first "OS not found" issue, the original USB floppy drive I received for free during purchase of my Alienware Area-51m 7700, which was required for testing, was defective. Before I could prove it, even if I had a chance, my room-mate bumped off my desk and it broke. I was told by AW support staff that I needed to have an Alienware specific floppy drive for diagnostic and was required to purchase it from AW for approximately $34 plus shipping.
I recently purchased a Alienware Sentia 3450 Laptop computer. Before purchasing the computer I spoke with their sales representatives asking them to about their warranty. I was told that the computer had a On Site Warranty service. When I received my Invoice from Alienware it also said, “ON Site Svc” and 1-YR 24/7 WARRANTY (NO CHARGE) WARRANTY and ON-SITE WARRANTY WARRANTY .
After using the computer for a few weeks I noticed that the connection from the power supply to the computer was getting hot soon it stopped working on A/C power and I could only use it on battery.
I called Alienware and explained the problem. I was told that I would have to send the computer to Miami to technical service to get repaired. I told them that I had on-site Svc and a ON-SITE Warranty. I was told that the ON-SITE warranty only covered items that could be easily fixed such as bad memory or a bad hard drive, but if the system had a larger problem then it would have to be sent to their repair facilities in Miami. It would take at least 12 days to be repaired plus the shipping time from Los Angeles to Miami and then to Return.
I spoke with JAKE in Customer Service at extension 6115, SONIA the Technical Service Supervisor, HENRY the Technician and ERNEST another Technician.
The call was made from 8:30am to 10:30am on Monday, Oct 23, 2006.
I strongly suggest that you are very careful before purchasing any product from Alienware and completely understand their warranty. If you can’t afford do without your computer for a few weeks or more if something goes wrong or you believe an On Site Svc or On-Site Warranty means that they will fix your computer on site. Don’t purchase from Alienware.
Long Beach, California
Attn: CUSTOMER SERVICE
6269 East Shelby Drive
Memphis, TN 38141
This is about the poor customer service at Alienware, I have left the sales reps names as their real names, because it was their lies and lack of responsibility that ruined what should have been by now 2.5 months later a PC.
As many people who are about to purchase an Alienware computer, I was excited! Yes, excited, im 21 work as a professional accountant, yet I was excited about the what I believed to be imminent receipt of my Alienware machine.
What I didn’t realise was that my excitement was about to turn from disappointment in to out right anger and remorse!
Back in August, after some time saving, I had finally raised enough funds to purchase a computer, not just any computer a gaming monster! I search around, weighing up my options and comparing prices, and most importantly customer service policies. I decided to go for the Alienware ALX computer, which had a price tag of £3,500 about $6,400. This was substantially more than every other site, but I knew (at least I thought I knew) that they had brilliant customer service, and since they had just been taken over by giants corporate muscle DELL, I assumed customer service would be brilliant.
Sadly I was wrong, after ordering in August, I heard nothing, the Alienware website sat at stage 3, payment processed. Alienware has a 10 stage system, which depicts at what stage of readiness the computer is at.
In around mid August it moved to say I was in Stage 5 production, at that point it stayed. After a few weeks of non movement, I send an email to customer services, asking why my computer, which as the website said would be read at the latest of 30 days. A week later, a reply email was returned, stating a part was missing and was on back order. The email did not state the part, or when I could expect it. I replied to this email, asking politely what part was missing, I never received a response.
In mid September, I was still sitting at stage 5, production, I decided this was not good enough, I picked up the phone and spoke to a women called Rachel, she told me it was a delay with the case, but it would arrive on the following Monday, and so I only had two weeks to wait.
The following week decided to add a sound card to my order, I telephoned Alienware and a German sales rep answered the phone, he was extremely rude and spoke poor English at best. He had no knowledge of the stock at Alienware and took nearly 30 minutes to tell me could not sort out adding a sound card. He said he would phone me on Monday, to confirm that a sound card would be added. The rep never phoned me back. In the end I spoke to Rachel once more, she told me that adding a sound card would put me right back to the start of the production queue, I hastily decided I no longer wanted a sound card. While I was on the phone to her, I asked her to confirm the status of my computer, she informed me she would have to speak to someone in production, and would phone me back later that evening. She never phoned me back.
I phoned again a few days to find out why Rachel had not phoned me, a women called Laura answered the phone, she said it was the water cooling that was actually missing, and they did not know when it would be received, she told me to phone them the following week to find out when it would be in, I said that was unacceptable, but this was barraged with false appologise and patronising “I understand sir” comments.
On Thursday of that week, I was reading numerous complaints about Alienware on the internet, just google Alienware complaints and you will see what I mean!
I was appalled by the sheer volume of complains and decided enough was a enough, and I phone up to cancel my order. I spoke to a woman called Kate, not wanting me to cancel my order Kate made up a whole list of lies on the spot, claiming my system was ready, she said it was ready to ship the following morning. I asked her to confirm this with me the following morning.
Kate did not phone me the following morning, so extremely angry now I phoned up Alienware and spoke to Laura again. Laura told me my system was not even in production and they had not even started to build it. In disgust I cancelled my order, I am in the process of complaining to the corporate ombusdsperson about the sales rep called Kate, as she blatantly lied to me.
At no point did Alienware inform me a part was missing, by email phone or otherwise.
No one at Alienware knew why my system was late.
The Alienware customer service reps, are liars, they are happy to make up stories to keep your money in the Alienware account, earning interest until you demand a refund.
There is no one at Alienware who specifically handles cases, which would make more sense.
Apparently at Alienware the “case”, “water cooling system” and “ready to ship” are all synonyms!
Also 30 days apparently means “when we damn well feel like it”!!!
The only thing Alienware did manage to do was refund me, but even that was not on time. I am very unimpressed with Alienware, I will never shop with them again, and I will advise anyone who is looking for a computer not to waste their time and money with Alienware, they are very good at taking money, but very poor at delievering goods or customer service.
So in conclusion, unless you are happy to received crap customer service and no computer, phone Alienware.
Aside from empty appologies, nobody ever contacted me to appologise for the crap they gave me........
I am having on going problems with the computer company ALIENWARE i purchased a $3000 laptop from them back in april of '05 and the problems started as soon as my laptop arrived problem 1 - my doom 3 disc arrived damaged i called them they replaced it free as they should - resolved-then as the weeks go by i noticed my laptop was starting to overheat so i called them they said to clean the fans so i did fixed about 50% of the heat issue i figured heh alienware best computers in the industry laptops must get hot with all that power inside so a few months went by and i started to notice my hand getting very warm while playing on my ultimate gaming machine then slowly a marking on my laptop casing started to show thru and my whole laptop casing on the left side above where my video card is was discolored from the heat. the vent on the side of the computer shoots air out that rivals the heating in my own car.
so i call them back oh well send us some pictures, so i did and no responce
i started using an external fan to clear the air around my computer hoping that poor circulation had been the problem but it got worse the computers performance began to decrease . i had since moved and i called alienware again about the issue they recommended i download a 250 meg application off of a website called 3d Mark 2005 a benchmark test for video cards we ran the test and sure enough my video card was running a 15 FPS then on the other tests it would drop to as low as 0-1 FPS the representative assured me that these were in parameters of my video cards functioning (in my head i thought how is the worlds best gaming machine's perameters 0 FPS?)
he said he would send out a thermal gel to apply to the video card to make sure it would make solid contact to the heat sink.
well a bout a week went by and sure enough a container with a silver liquid marked thermal arrived. i called alienware and guess what i had to open up my laptop and apply the gel my self ??? i know a bit about computers but i didnt spend over $3000 to be doing repairs on my computer myself. we reluctantly but eager to solve my video card problems i did it and booted the computer up and began to run the test and guess what 0 fps again so i tell the rep he was like 0 fps that sounds like your video card is deffective we will send you a new one. i asked 0 fps sounds defective your last rep said that was within parameters of my video card "well he was wrong you need a knew one" we wills send you one let me get approval from the manager first minutes go by ok got approval it should be there by tuesday 6/27/06 VIA fed ex now as im am typing this my video card has just arrived VIA FED EX today 7/11/06 ???
well in the mean time he said your computer is fine to run about 3 days later it started to get even more hot than before and now its is turning itself off IE overheating the next day 6/28 or so my laptop monitor is dark apparently my LCD controller that causes the back lite to turn on has burned out (im assuming its because my computer was overheating from the wonderful video card that had been operating within parameters) so today 7/11/06 my video card and LCD controller have arrived i contact Alienware to schedual an appointment like they had instructed me to do so the parts can be replaced and they told me the tech should have already contacted me and to not call them they will call me ??? i ask him what else i can do the representative repsonded with "You could call back and complain some more???" i was taken back by his responce and said ok i will do that and hung up the phone now i am sitting here pondering if Alienware really is the maker of the worlds greatest gaming machine or if they are just really good at marketing but either way as of right now i have a $3000 paper wieght in my room and i am wondering if i will ever see it again i dont know how much you can help but if any thing maybe you guys can shed a little light as to what i can do i have been trolling forums and reading other complaints like this some poor people are out $5k and more on these systems this is not right =(