I'm writing this to further encourage everyone out there to disassociate themselves from Alienware in every way possible.
I bought a new laptop from them 4 weeks and three days ago for a staggering $6, 100. I am a 3d animator and modder: I require a very powerful system as I am in a very competitive environment. After two weeks my laptop arrived. It took ages and ages to start up (as in about 10 min), and couldn't move any file(s) over 10mb without explorer.exe crashing followed by a total system freeze-up. Thinking it was an issue with Vista I attempted to install my own copy of XP, but the moment it would load up off the CD I would get a BSOD and have to restart my computer. So I couldn't use the computer as it was, and I couldn't install a new OS. Incidentally, Ubuntu and Slackware also failed to install.
So I called technical support, and though I don't want to be rude the tech in question was not very knowledgeable and had a poor English vocabulary. It made it very difficult to understand what he was telling me to do. Anyway, we removed the power source and unplugged, and tried removing and replacing the RAM. Immediately afterwards the computer wouldn't activate, it would just bring up the keyboard lights, and shortly thereafter stopped responding altogether. The laptop was obviously very faulty out of the box... as in totally unusable. Now not only am I in a competitive business, but I have rendering projects on the go. I cannot render on my home PC, as I need something to design on. I can render overnight, but that is simply not enough time for my more complicated projects. No, the point was to get an alienware laptop to design on while my PC becomes a render box.
Anyway, I send the computer back the next day (Thursday), and am surprised when I come home to find a knocker from FedEx on my door. After calling Alienware and having them be completely unable to tell me what they sent me I called FedEx. Turns out it was the engraved nameplate. Incidentally, this was the first instance of my asking Alienware for compensation and was told that since I was under warrantee that I would not be receiving compensation. I argued that if I went to a store and bought a computer with an axe through it would I still be denied compensation? He said this was not a similar situation. I disagree.
That aside I waited until the following Wednesday and called. My laptop arrived the Friday beforehand, and the technicians found that the motherboard was faulty. However, they were out of stock of motherboards and had to order another. No time estimate. I asked for compensation because I needed this computer immediately. The answer was the same as the last time. It was suggested I call back on Thursday... the next day?
I called back on the Monday two weeks after receiving my broken laptop. During those two weeks I sent off 6 emails of increasing intensity, pushing Alienware to either hurry or compensate me. Neither happened. I have not even been apologized to. I continuously reminded Alienware in each phone call and email that I needed the computer, and would be canceling my order if I didn't received the computer within two weeks of sending it back. However, I figured that I would let technical support tell me the current state of my computer and then figure out what to do. I was actually willing to break my own word for this. I was put on hold for 18 minutes, that is after I found out that they'd changed my ID... after which the CS agent came back to tell me that *he didn't know anything about my laptop*. I asked if he could tell me when the motherboard shipment came in... and it turns out they've had them since my last call... meaning, yes, one week and four days went by without anything being done to my laptop. Nothing. Or, it at least means somebody was lying somewhere down the line. So... how can I believe what CS has to tell me, any more?
Alienware clearly ignored the urgency of my case altogether. It was irrelevant, I suppose. They have my money.
So I requested a refund. Keep in mind that, at this point, I had requested compensation three times over the phone and three times in emails. As soon as we wrote up a "refund request" (REQUEST??) the CS agent asked me "Is there anything Alienware can compensate you with to change your mind?", which blew me away. That's the most insulted I've ever been by a company.
THEY ONLY OFFER COMPENSATION ONCE YOU'VE LOST ALL FAITH IN THEM AS A LAST, MONEY-SAVING, RESORT. Even then they want to charge a 15% restocking fee. I've contacted my lawyer about this already.
So anyway, here I am on Thursday afternoon, still waiting to hear from their refund team. My last two emails haven't been responded to. I've emailed the agent of service personally but he has not responded. I have paid over $6, 000 and have received ZIP, NOTHING, NADA, ZERO product(s) except an Alienware hat I'm certainly not going to wear.
Still waiting Alienware! STILL WAITING!
Don't buy from them. Boycott is not a strong enough word. 5 weeks and four days without having received anything, and not even knowing if I'll get my money back. I might be forced to pay $900 for nothing but grief!
Christopher M Turner