Is this standard practice for the laptop industry?

Discussion in 'Gateway and eMachines' started by Danja, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. Danja

    Danja Notebook Evangelist

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    This is kind of a cross between a mild rant and surprise. I got the P-172X FX for a high school graduation present 3 years ago, along with a 3 year extended warranty. My laptop started spontaneously shutting down rapidly after startup in mid February, and blowing compressed air through the vents didn't help, so I sent it to Gateway the last week of the month. UPS tracking confirmed they got it on March 1. It's March 31 and only last Friday I got a phone call from them.

    The rep said that they had to order in a replacement motherboard (because it would make too much sense to keep spare components in the repair house). The new motherboard somehow doesn't support the fingerprint reader. I have no idea how this works because it's a USB interface if I recall correctly. The call ended something like this:

    "I need confirmation that you will receive your laptop in this state."
    "Do I really have a choice?"
    "Not really."
    "Ok, send it over then."

    I'm not too concerned about my fingerprint reader; I haven't really used it since a year after I got it. I'm more surprised that they think returning a partially defective product is OK. Furthermore, I've been without my laptop, which I use heavily for schoolwork and rely on almost completely for work in my research lab, for five weeks. I'm wondering, is this standard accross companies such as Dell/Lenovo/hp? This Gateway is the only laptop I've ever owned an I love it, but next time I get a laptop, I want to make sure I can expect rapid service and turnaround time. My room mate swears by Apple tech support but I hate Mac OS!

    Does anyone have any experience similar experiences with other companies?
     
  2. TANWare

    TANWare Just This Side of Senile, I think. Super Moderator

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    you will hear horror stories across the board. When you are dealing with such old hardware the likelyhood of such issues goes up exponentially. The fact they even have a board is rare. There are stories here of people with 78xx's that reported gateway can not even repair their laptop for lack of a main board. (the one I rememeber had a quad capable system)

    It looks though like the reader is part of the touchpad assembly? If this is true they must be looking to replace that as well..............
     
  3. directeuphorium

    directeuphorium Notebook Evangelist

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    I had an issue with gateway once. Had to call tech support and they wanted me to prove I was still within warranty. (fair enough.) I scanned the copy of my receipt and sent it over to them via e-mail. I had two days left on my warranty.

    They told me by the time they processed my request I'd be out of warranty and would have to pay for repair. I hung up on them, opened my computer, figured out what was wrong with it and fixed it myself.

    I'm sure other companies are just as bad.

    When this 7811 finally dies, it'll be the first and last gateway product I ever own. It's also looking like it'll be the last Windows PC I ever own as well. Just too many issues with my friend's and family's laptops these last few years. Build quality is really on the decline across the board. ASUS, DELL, HP, ACER, I've seen problems with all of them lately.
     
  4. Danja

    Danja Notebook Evangelist

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    Interesting. I was actually impressed with my build quality. The laptop survived being dropped on its side in my backpack (although it was kinda sorta the laptop's fault; it's so heavy the hook I hung my backpack on broke off). It finally died when I slipped on a patch of ice and fell on it. My university is notorious for polishing the icy sidewalks rather than cleaning them. Fortunately I expected all this and got the accidental damage plan. So far it's looking like I should have used that money to buy a spare mobo.

    I'm still hoping that they've discontinued the stock board and will put in a santa rosa instead :D
     
  5. teknomedic

    teknomedic Notebook Consultant

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    Had similar issues with HP... haven't had the need to call Gateway yet, but I did my extended warranty through Best Buy so I'd be dealing with them any way.

    On that note, all I can say is b*tch up a storm with support. You paid the money and if they can't fix it perhaps they should replace it??

    When I dealt with HP, I called several times and b*tched like a mad man. I got put through to several CS reps and finally got a manager or something that worked with me on my issues.

    Laptop was fixed under warranty... but I'll never buy an HP again.
     
  6. Danja

    Danja Notebook Evangelist

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    Mmm. Perhaps I should. I hate being "that customer" that people who work in customer service always complain about though.

    My girlfriend had an hp with a video card from one of the faulty nVidia batches. I was actually pretty impressed with them; they replaced the mobo twice (the second time they made an out-of-warranty exception with no pressure from us because the replacement mobo also seemed to have a card from the bad batch). Also, the turnaround time was only about a week or so. I guess everyone's experience is different. I wish I could build a laptop they way I did my desktop. If something breaks there, I can go out, buy a spare, and keep working.
     
  7. TANWare

    TANWare Just This Side of Senile, I think. Super Moderator

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    HP is great when they can bill nVidia for it. They had set money aside just for fixing these and the major OEM's I am sure got their share of it. Other smaller manufacturers were probably left holding the bag. Like the now defunct Everex..................
     
  8. teknomedic

    teknomedic Notebook Consultant

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    It's not like I wanted to complain to HP... but after a few calls and getting nowhere it was "game on".

    My issue was related to a power problem... somewhere along the line there was no power getting to the motherboard. The plug and battery terminals were fine, but something blew... maybe a cap or resistor.

    Anyway, it was fully under my purchased extended warranty (with a good 5 months remaining) and they were like... too bad so sad... BTW you can buy a new motherboard for $xxx... or purchase a new laptop for $xxxx.

    3 days of calling, yelling and requesting to speak with managers and having my case escalated several times got my laptop fixed though.
     
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