Quantcast Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

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    Default Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    WARNING! Long read.

    The following is an excerpt from a letter I have sent to various technology websites/blogs/forums, with accompanying documentation. Some parts have been ommitted for privacy reasons.

    However if any customers wish to contact me in regards to this issue, please feel free to email me via my secondary email address: mad_rabbit_@hotmail.com

    ________________________________________


    I purchased an m15x Alienware laptop last year in August through Alienware Australia, and more specifically via Aron Jackson. Although there are definite things about this laptop that I was initially attracted to and still like, it has been marred with problems both in a physical sense in terms of its construction quality and more specifically relating to this email, in a customer support sense. I should mention at this point that there are some problems which I believe are a matter of taste e.g. touch control sensitivity, but I am not concerned with these issues which are in my opinion minor.

    In summary, the hinge has been broken now for some time and since making a formal request for repairs 10/09/09 under my 3 year warranty that I purchased with the laptop, I have been ‘bounced back-and-forth’ between a now non-existent Alienware Australia and an ignorant Dell Australia. A lot of this I believe has to do with the poorly organised takeover of Alienware by Dell, the lack of distinction between old/legacy m15x Alienware laptops and new Dell/Alienware m15x Alienware laptops and possibly the involvement in part by Aron Jackson as highlighted in this report which describes his previously reported management/financial troubles: http://www.arnnet.com.au/article/193...ckar_hits_wall and http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum...fm/820944.html.

    Listed below is a brief sample of the correspondence between myself and Alienware/Dell, that highlights what I have been enduring to obtaining repairs for a well publicised fault with the hinge on the m15x Laptop as highlighted here: The "Why you shouldn't buy the M15x" thread [OUTDATED] [FIRST GEN MODEL].

    Please also note the significance of this forum being hosted NotebookReview.com and not by Dell/Alienware, which coincides with Donald Melanson Engadget report of Alienware only courting positive reviews i.e. no official forum exists for Alienware users to post their problems without influence/bias. I would also like to mention that this forum has been recently joined by Alienware representatives with subsequent deletion of some posts that try to highlight customer problems with Alienware, such as one posted by myself and another Alienware Australia customer.

    I have kept a detailed chronology of my dealings with Alienware/Dell as shown below, in addition to concise records of websites during my research into Alienware. I believe the plight of Alienware (Australia) customers with products purchased from Alienware prior to the Dell merger, and the appalling lack of support they are able to obtain for clearly defective products still under warranty no-less, is of newsworthy content for your website.

    An article by X in this regard would aid me and other ignored customers, as specifically in relation to my case this is leading to government intervention/legal action. It should also be noted that the quantity Alienware customers in the same plight as myself is unknown, which I believe due to Alienware’s aggressive influence in various forums as previously discussed. As such I would like to conclude in asking for any help that X can provide in relation to mine and others plight in dealing with Alienware/Dell.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions or for any reference material/correspondence for which I most likely have referenced and/or catalogued.

    Yours sincerely,

    ________________________________________

    From:
    Sent: Friday, 27 November 2009 1:28 PM
    To: 'anz_customer_care@dell.com'
    Cc:
    Subject: Alienware m15x Laptop Hinge Replacement - Seeking Government Intervention for Warranty Claim

    To Whom It May Concern:

    The following email was sent to various Alienware Australia related email addresses that I could scavenge online, in an last effort to obtain under-warranty repairs to the hinge on my m15x Alienware laptop. I have been trying in vain to obtain these repairs since the 10/09/09 and have been going through a futile ‘back-and-forth’ process between the now non-existent Alienware Australia and the ignorant Dell Australia (as based in Manilla), through no fault of my own.

    A chronology of these discussions/interactions with Alienware and Dell are listed below, including my most recent discussion with Dell Australia on the 25/11/09. Following this discussion, I was able to obtain this email address: anz_customer_care@dell.com from the representative I spoke with and as such am emailing you now.

    To avoid repetition, please refer to the below email in regards to my complaint.

    Yours sincerely,

    ________________________________________

    From:
    Sent: Monday, 23 November 2009 6:41 PM
    To: 'Support@alienware.com.au'; 'sales@alienware.com.au'; 'Alienware'; 'customer_advocate@dell.com'; 'Alienware Feedback'
    Cc:
    Subject: Alienware m15x Laptop Hinge Replacement - Seeking Government Intervention for Warranty Claim

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I have been informed by the departments listed below that I am required to mail ‘formal letters of complaint/demand’ before I can obtain government intervention to ensure my 3 year warranty is honoured sufficiently by Alienware:

    For Alienware Australia:
    - South Australia - Office of Consumer and Business Affairs

    For Dell Australia:
    - New South Wales - Department of Commerce
    - New South Wales - Fair Trading
    - New South Wales - Law Access

    As such, please provide/confirm the following mailing addresses and relevant heads of department to address my ‘formal letters of complaint/demand’, as these are not readily available online:

    a) Alienware Australia
    2a Willowie Street
    Albert Park
    S.A. 5014
    Australia

    b) Alienware U.S.A. or company headquarters

    c) Dell Australia
    Unit 3 , 14 Aquatic Drive
    Frenchs Forest
    N.S.W 2086
    Australia

    d) Dell U.S.A. or company headquarters

    In addition please provide any other addresses and department heads that I am required to notify, either through Alienware/Dell internally or other government agencies such as the ones I have listed above, to ensure that I have fulfilled my obligations as a customer under this warranty agreement.

    Although I do not wish to escalate this matter further, my last 3 months of dealings/correspondence with Alienware/Dell as described chronologically below, have lead me to believe that the following courses of action are the only avenues left available to me:
    1) government intervention
    2) media support from various technology websites/forums (e.g. Gizmodo, Engadget, NotebookReview.com)
    3) legal action

    As such although I am open to any response from Alienware/Dell in response to this email, I will still be pursuing formal action against Alienware and Dell to obtain the necessary repairs to my laptop in a timely manner and/or compensation for my time thus far.

    Yours sincerely,
    [Various contact details omitted]

    ________________________________________

    The following is a chronology of my dealings with Alienware Australia, specific to the under-warranty repair to the damaged hinge on my m15x laptop:

    10/09/09 - Tim from Alienware Australia ph 1300 794 003
    - Will order parts A & B (plastic screen covers) from Taiwan and will take 3 weeks to arrive in Australia (approx. 01/10/09)
    - Both hinges and plastic parts will be replaced

    25/09/09 - Tim from Alienware Australia ph 1300 794 003
    - Will order metal hinge parts from USA in addition to plastic parts from Taiwan
    - Will look into if hinge design will be improved upon replacement/repair
    - Bending hinge with pliers to allow normal use will not void my warranty
    - Will call me back end of next week (approx. 01/10/09)

    02/10/09 to 12/10/09
    - I attempted to call Alienware Australia, only to get directed to a answering machine/phone mailbox c.f. usual receptionist
    - After leaving 4 messages over a period of 2 weeks, I was unable to leave additional messages as the Alienware Australia mailbox became full
    - Alienware Australia website also disappeared to be later hosted by Dell

    08/10/09 [emailed shown below]
    - Emailed Alienware Australia in a last attempt to make contact in regards to agreed repairs

    13/10/09 - Kristian (Senior Technician, Rep ID # 144 072) from Dell ph 1800 812 393
    - After being transferred 5 times through Dell I was able to reach a senior technician who had no knowledge of the brand ‘Alienware’
    - Left work phone, home phone and email with Kristian who promised I would be called in 24hrs

    15/10/09 - Joseph (Resolution Expert) from Dell ph 1800 812 393
    - My m15x laptop bought directly from Alienware and therefore a ‘legacy’ item and as such currently unsupported by Dell in terms of parts
    - Agreed there was a shift of support from Alienware to Dell. Stated this was advertised on Dell forum but was unable to provide proof i.e. kept trying to direct me to Yahoo search but was unable to provide proof that this shift was even minimally advertised
    - Summary: No parts available, no technician with experience on fixing laptop, no knowledge that the problem had been reported to Alienware Australia

    15/10/09 - Angelo (Supervisor, Rep ID # 117812) from Dell ph 1800 812 393
    - Mid-November = estimate of earliest support availability for my laptop
    - Agreed that there was no official advertisement of change-over of support from Alienware to Dell and that only users/customers were reporting this occurrence

    18/10/09 - Unknown person from Alienware Australia [email shown below]
    - Apologises from Alienware Australia and notification that all warranty repairs have been transferred to Dell
    - ETA of 10 working days for metal hinges from USA to arrive (approx. 30/10/09)

    02/11/09 - Started seeking/researching government intervention to ensure warranty honoured by Alienware

    23/11/09 - This email sent

    25/11/09 - Neil (Level 2, Senior Technician, Rep ID# 160 838) from Dell ph 1800 812 393
    - As with 13/10/09 and 15/10/09. I had to be transferred several times and explain each time that I have no ‘Dell Express Service Code’ and/or related number to provide, despite being directed to Dell via the Alienware Australia website
    - Has no record of previous calls from me to Dell on the 13/10/09 and 15/10/09
    - Made a Case ID# 3382576 for my issue, but only recorded my contact details and not the nature of the repairs required
    - Agreed that no-one in the whole Dell building (based in Manilla) had any idea in regards to how old/legacy Alienware issues were being handled, confirming previous discussions on the 15/10/09 that no support exists through Dell
    - Had no direct contact to Dell Australia or Alienware Australia
    - Could only provide me with the support@alienware.com.au email address despite my protests of stating that I am receiving no response

    26/11/09 - Dell NSW Head Office ph (02) 9330 3440:
    - Phone number provided Neil from Dell on 25/11/09
    - 14:30 = busy signal
    - 15:30 = busy signal

    26/11/09 - Dell Forums: This identical post deleted twice with no explanation, despite adherence to all forum rules.

    In addition:

    a) I have never been called-back from Alienware Australia on any occasion promised. In addition, only approx. 30% of the occasions when I have called Alienware Australia and left a message with the now no-longer present receptionist to please contact me back, has a representative called me back that day. As such, only the occasions when I have made contact with Alienware and was able to verify who I was talking to and what was discussed have been listed above.

    b) No notification was provided publically or privately about the Alienware Australia changeover to Dell and how this would adversely affect my warranty claim as described above.

    c) No contact details (mailing address, email, phone) for Alienware Australia and/or Dell are ‘readily’ available for Alienware Australia m15x laptop owners
    - Email addresses to which this email has been sent to have been primarily extracted from various forums and invoices
    - Alienware Australia only contactable via email as of 02/10/09
    - Dell (Australia) has no knowledge on how to handle Alienware m15x laptop issues as described above, and constantly ask for information which cannot be provided i.e. Dell Express Service Code and/or Order ID numbers which are also required for emailing Dell through their website

    d) Additional research has revealed this hinge issue is yet another (forum only) publicised issue in regards to the Alienware m15x poor build quality
    - Previous major issues with the m15x Alienware Laptop that I have personally experienced: Kensington lock incompatibility, CPU & GPU down-clocking requiring 2 BIOS updates, excessively high CPU and GPU temperatures despite cleaning
    - These issues are best summarised in the following forum post, yet not acknowledged by Alienware/Dell: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=254627


    ________________________________________
    From: Support@alienware.com.au
    To:
    Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2009 14:15:55 +0930
    Subject: Alienware(r) Support
    Dear

    Sorry about the late response.

    As you probably are aware, we are in the process to transfer all the warranty to DELL support.

    Your M15x hinge issue is in our priority list, however, unfortunately , we are still waiting for the panels from USA.

    We already got the metal hinges, they looks much stronger than before.

    So hopefully you won’t experience the same issue again after this time.

    We will keep you updated , the ETA is approx 10 working days.

    Really sorry about the inconvenience .


    Best Regards

    AlienCare Support Team

    Alienware Australia
    Ph: (AU) 1300.794.003
    Ph: (NZ) 0800.550.625
    Fax: +61 (0)8 8127.8015
    www.alienware.com.au


    This e-mail may contain material that is confidential and/or privileged for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, reliance or distribution by others or forwarding without express permission is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender and delete all copies.

    ________________________________________

    From:
    Sent: Thursday, 8 October 2009 2:05 PM
    To: 'sales@alienware.com.au'; 'Support'
    Subject: m15x Hinge Replacement: 4 messages left on 1300 794 003 already

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing in regards to the under-warranty hinge replacement/repair for my m15x laptop.

    I have tried calling 1300 794 003 and leaving messages on 4 separate occasions, with no response from Alienware.

    Tim from Alienware instructed me on the 24/09 that he would call me during the week of the 28/09 in regards to organising this repair, but he has yet to do so 2 weeks after this date.

    I ask that a representative from Alienware call me immediately in regards to this matter.

    I also ask that details be provided in regards to an ombudsman or higher complaints department for Alienware, as I am quite frankly sick of dealing with Alienware in regards to numerous issues ranging from simple invoicing requests to basic Kensington chassis lock suitability.

    Yours sincerely,
    Last edited by madrabbit711; 30th November 2009 at 09:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    The hinge issue of the area 51 m15x cannot be resolved by just simply changing the lid, unfortunately. It is indeed a design flaw, which means that you can keep changing the lid, but it will still continue to break in time.

    I was able to remedy this with the help of a local laptop repair shop here in Manila, as seen in this here post.

    The Area 51 m15x hinge

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    Thanks for the response Cha.

    Judging by yours and many others response on these forums it seems like this is not an isolated case as Tim from Alienware Australia stated it was or more specifically he stated that there had only been 7 cases reported.

    I'm not sure how other m15x laptop Alienware owners with only 1 year warranty feel, but as I have shown above perhaps it's a bitter-sweet relief for these people as my 3 year warranty means just as much i.e. nothing.

    I did my homework on this laptop prior to purchase as much as I could and took a calculated gamble i.e. bought it anyway despite the reported problems, in addition to reassurances (which I have email records of) from Alienware staff and a 3 year warranty just in case.

    This is most I ever had to endure with a faulty product.

    As far as I am concerned this mis-treatment of myself and other customers by Dell/Alienware is not just appalling, it's pathetic.
    Last edited by madrabbit711; 27th November 2009 at 07:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    Any of the Alienware-X users, who I assume are representatives, care to comment on my treatment thus far as detailed above?

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    Mailed the following typed and signed letters to Alienware Australia and Dell Australia today:

    -----

    [My address ommitted for privacy reasons]

    Manager - Warranties and/or Complaints
    Alienware Australia
    2a Willowie Street
    Albert Park, Adelaide
    South Australia, 5014

    OR

    Manager - Warranties and/or Complaints
    Dell Australia
    Unit 3, 14 Aquatic Drive
    Frenchs Forest
    New South Wales, 2086


    3rd December 2009

    RE: Repair of broken hinge on old/legacy Alienware m15x Laptop under purchased 3 year warranty
    Initial Order #: XXXXXXX, PO Code #: XXXXXXX, Purchase Date: 13/05/2008

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Since my initial complaint to Alienware Australia on the 10th of September 2009, no progress in regards to the repair of the hinge on my Alienware m15x laptop has been made by Alienware Australia or Dell Australia, in addition to a complete lack of response and recognition of my rights as a customer. This is despite numerous email correspondence and phone calls as listed chronologically below. Please note in the interest of space I have omitted the email correspondence from this letter.

    As such I am writing a formal and final request to Alienware Australia and Dell Australia to honour the ‘3-Year AlienCare Warranty RTB’ warranty that I purchased with my laptop as itemised on the attached invoice from Alienware Australia. The damaged that has occurred to the hinge to my laptop was under normal conditions/use. This fault with the hinge on the m15x laptop, amongst others, are well publicised on the various non-Alienware and non-Dell forums online, the links to which I am able to easily reproduce as required.

    Because of this lack of customer care, or in this case even basic acknowledgement of my situation from either Alienware Australia or Dell Australia, I will be immediately seeking government intervention through the relevant state consumer/trading organisations in South Australia and New South Wales respectively. This immediate action is warranted as it has been well over 8 weeks since my initial complaint, which is greater than is deemed a ‘reasonable’ by the New South Wales Department of Consumer & Business Affairs.

    I will also be taking legal action against Alienware Australia and Dell Australia to obtain a full/partial refund for this laptop. This is as not only due to this major structural fault and other problems that are well documented online, but also due to:
    - the lack recognition of these problems that I have experienced and my rights as a customer with a full warranty
    - the lack of response to my requests and recognition of my status a current Alienware/Dell customer
    - this treatment reinforcing that my rights under-warranty will not be honoured in reference to both future software and hardware/structural issues

    Despite taking the action I have stated above, I still as I have done on so many occasions, ask that I be contacted by either Alienware and/or Dell to organise under-warranty repairs to the broken hinge on my Alienware m15x laptop. As it has been over 11 weeks since my initial complaint, I am well within my rights to set a deadline for this response to 1 week from the date from the receipt of this letter i.e. before the 10th December 2009.

    Yours sincerely,

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    Sorry to have to be the one to break it to you...but as you now know, Alienware Australia has notoriously BAD customer service......I mean like "if they were in the US they would be shutdown by the government" bad
    Dell Precision M3800: Intel Core i7 4702HQ | 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3L-1600 Ram | Nvidia Quadro K1100M | Samsung 840 EVO 250GB mSata SSD | Intel 7260 Wifi | QHD+ Touchscreen | 61 Wh battery

    Future Upgrades: 91 Wh Battery | Flash the K1100M to GT 750M?

    Retired:
    Alienware M17x R1 | Alienware M18x R1 | Alienware M11x R1 | Alienware M14x R2

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    so what you are saying is that there is virtually NO warranty here in australia. Damn and I was about to order a M17 or M15.

    But thanks for posting this, at least it exposes criminal behavior of Dell/Alienware

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    woahh!! thats tooo much trouble dude... well I had creaking display from the time i received my area 51 m15x.. but i could live with the tat untill it got so worse that i thought it would break out. I called alienware UK and they asked me to post in a picture. when i did so they asked me to send in the laptop and i would be getting it repaired.. this was around September 2009. after a week or 2 i received my laptop and it had the SAME problem. I sent them a mail attaching a picture of the hinge(as there was a big gap on the under side of the hinge) and a video demonstrating the creaky noise. right after i sent the mail i gave the customer care a call and demanded a refund because my laptop was laready 7 months old and i only have a year warranty and iam not happy with built quality of it as it still wobbles and makes the irritating creaky noise. the customer care agent put me on hold for a min or 2 and then told me they would do a partial refund which was £500 off my original £2400.

    Today Iam typing on my New M15x which is NOTHING like the old one.
    BTW i never called dell customer care it was 0800-ALIENWARE that i rang. and plan to do the same..
    Currently: M17x Nebula RED | 840QM i7 quad | RGB LED | 6GB RAM | Crossfire 5870MR | 6300 wireless | 370 Bluetooth | 1TB 7200rpm HDD | Razor Orochi...

    Broken: Vaio Z | i5 540 | Nvidia GT330m | 128 GB SSD| 6GB RAM |
    Returned: M15x | i7 820QM | Nvidia GT260m | 500GB HDD | 4GB RAM |

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    I should also add that I've tried posting this in the Dell forums 5 times now and it's been removed each time for the following reason apparently:

    "Your post contains language that we believe reveals non-public information about Dell or another company or person. The Terms of Service do not allow users to post this type of information, which generally includes the names, telephone numbers and/or personal email addresses of Dell employees and Dell Community participants, as well as tracking numbers, customer numbers, order numbers, or service tags."

    However the 4th and 5th versions were even more stripped down than the above i.e. not a single name or Rep ID was present.

    Just thought I'd mention this to highlight the extent to which I've been pushed in order to obtain a simple under-warranty repair by Alienware/Dell (Australia).

    ...I mention Australia in brackets above because as far as I'm concerned the company as a whole is responsible globally despite this seeming to be an Australian branch isolated incident i.e. Dell forums are global!

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    Default Re: Alienware (Australia) Lack of Support - RE: Old/Legacy m15x Laptop Under-warranty Hinge Repair

    I have been contacted by Alienware-Laraque in response to this post.

    I am debating re-posting these responses here as I am astonished that it has taken this amount of trouble, to put it very lightly, on my part to obtain a single response from Alienware/Dell.

    However I am specifically asking, as I am sure other Alienware customers are:
    - Why no 'official' forum exists for Alienware customer to converse in despite this forum?
    - Indeed why did Alienware customers congregate to these forums BEFORE Alienware representatives joined and not vice-versa?
    - Was this due to the level of bad press these forums were beginning to create and as such an attempt by Alienware to moderate this?

    In addition to the formal letters of demand/complaint I have mailed, I am also in the process of filing a formal complaint with 'Office of Consumer & Business Affairs in South Australia' for Alienware and 'Office of Fair Trading in New South Wales' for Dell.

    In regards to the 'Office of Fair Trading in NSW', this department merely acts as a mediator and as such I am also contemplating direct contact with the 'Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in New South Wales' which has the power to issue binding orders c.f. just mediation.

    As I have said at the beginning of this thread, please contact me at 'mad_rabbit_@hotmail.com' if you are an old/legacy Alienware customer, especially in Australia, and are experiencing the same appalling treatment or even minor issues. I'd love to hear from you and am I am happy to help point you in the right direction which has taken me a couple months of research to realise is the required course of action.

    Lastly for those of you who think this is a disgruntled rant, please keep in mind that my original private complaint was filed on the 10/09/09 with Alienware Australia, which is 4 months ago as indicated by the above chronology.

 

 
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