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Old 03-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
bgavin
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Default Gateway Hall of Shame

Here is another really good reason for Gateway to go bankrupt:

I have a client who bought two Gateway GM5643E machines (Core2 Quad, etc). They both came loaded with 3gb of PC2-5300 memory, 1066 FSB.

Both machines had Vista Home Premium installed, and neither could get out of its own way. I gave both machines a complete enema, and installed the customers XP Pro on both.

Here is the shameful part: one of the motherboards died on January 15. I told the customer to contact Gateway for a warranty replacement. Gateway took 60 days to replace the motherboard, and also wiped the customer disk clean and reinstalled Vista.

Gateway destroyed *ALL* the customer's data, setup, etc, so they could reinstall Vista. Shame, shame, shame. I had the system fully imaged, so restoring back to XP was a breeze. We did a data restore from backup, and that all came back... but the potential for loss was very high.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

I take it you didn't back up the customer's data before sending it back?

I don't know what you're complaining about. _every_ company says straight out that if you send a machine or drive to them, it _will_ end up wiped and reinstalled to factory specs. They _have_ to do that for testing purposes. They only guarantee things if their software preload functions correctly - not if yours does.

I've seen it happen with a lot of different manufacturers, not just Gateway.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm
I take it you didn't back up the customer's data before sending it back?
I take it you didn't read "We did a data restore from backup, and that all came back... "

The customer is far more upset about the 60 days it took to replace the system board, than the wiping of the disk. No matter... customer service like this provides me with more clients. There are some folks out there who object strongly to having their system wiped clean just to replace a dead motherboard.

YMMV.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

HP does the same thing, at least in theory. However, when my brother sent his laptop in I think I remember they ended up not messing with the install. It was a simple complaint - the system would no longer POST - so apparently someone was intelligent enough to leave it alone since that problem was obviously fixed when they changed the board. But I wouldn't expect them to do any testing beyond POST without a reimage.

My brother was amused with the telephone conversation - he said he got transferred to about 3 different people who were all named "Jim" (or whatever, I don't remember the name anymore). After the conversation got more relaxed, the last "Jim" started slipping into an Indian accent. It took about a week for the repair round-trip (consumer level service). The repair was good and he's happy with them.

My brother-in-law (different person) also dealt with HP recently on a desktop PC. For him, they did reimage the drive even though it was just a BIOS that had automatically bricked itself. It took a month to get it back, but he was going through Best Buy which might have been the reason. After the initial fix, it went bad again with intermittent no POSTs. HP wouldn't reproduce that problem and kept sending it back unrepaired. My broinlaw finally charmed the BB people into taking the computer off his hands (outside policy) since they agreed it wasn't working right. But they weren't complete angels - I got called in to make sure they weren't screwing him over with a subpar exchange, and they were. To be charitable I can assume the geek squad underling who made the original offer was just ignorant. I haggled his manager up by 2 model grades, and it was genuinely fair at that point. No points for HP, but it was resolved with some difficulty through BB.

Backing up a few years ago I called IBM about my Thinkpad. I had been unsatisfied with the sloppy "repairs" by an authorized Sacramento service shop, who apparently were swapping one faulty board in place of another (happened twice). The people on the phone at IBM were excellent, I didn't have to go through any newbie routines and I really felt like I was dealing with an intelligent tech. I don't think they ever mentioned any need to reimage and I know they didn't do that in any case. They just needed to know the administrator password. Laptop came back working 100% and with newest BIOS and proper serial number (which the local shop had left at all 0's). The whole round trip repair was about 36 hours - it was awesome service. Airborne express both ways via standard warranty. This was before the Lenovo takeover.

So I'd give HP about 2/5 stars for service, and IBM 5/5.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

As a policy I backup all my data and I wipe out the disk before having a computer repaired by tech assistence: I simply fear for my privacy.
Anyway, I don't understand if you blame Gateway for the erasing or for the long time needed: in the first case wiping is standard procedure, even for obvious damages unrelated to os (e.g. board won't post); in the latter it depends on brand policy: a serious brand can have a few delayed repairs each year, but it should apologize with customers and offer a compensation (e.g. a warranty extension or a free memory upgrade). This is what I call class: did Gateway do anything above?

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Old 04-02-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

I am annoyed with the entire Gateway service experience. After spending 25 years at IBM Service, I know that wiping a disk to replace a failed part is complete bullshit. I don't need the customer password, or operating system, because I have all the tools required to fully test the entire hardware system.

I place many Dell machines with my clients. For warranty repairs, the tech comes on-site, Next Business Day, and never wipes a customer disk when replacing a power supply or mother board.

Almost none of the general users have your ability to back up and restore their system. Most don't understand backup at all, let alone restoring a system image. Destruction of customer data is a prime example of terrible service and utter lack of concern for the customer. It is also typical of big corporate policies. The customer should be told point-blank this will happen, and this should be confirmed in the RMA paper work, not buried in the fine print.

Q: If the warranty repair shop kept your car or turned off your water for 60 days, would you be happy?
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

You are absolutely right bgavin, this is an example how less the customers needs are valued by bigger corporation.
I am sure, that the same procedure could easily be changed in to a more customer friendly one, probably with no or negligible costs. But they simply don`t care, as their highly paid lawyers have made their fine print bullet proof.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

had a customer with a toshiba laptop the deveoped a bad lcd a week after they bought it.
the toshiba service center here demanded that the hard drive be left in it and had to have the original os load.
we found another service center who not only didnt need the hard drive they sent me the lcd to install myself.they knew it did this stuff every day and didnt need the old lcd as it has no value.
they got paid to do it and only needed to box up a lcd and ship it.
the customer had a custom linux load on it with a ton of data on it that was not to leak out.
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

I'm curious whether the policies vary depending on what grade of service you're paying for. For the cheaper, consumer level hardware, they probably just want to streamline the repair process as much as possible. Possibly you get better treatment if you're paying more.

Many of these companies seem to have a very distinct 2-tier approach to the market.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

What I've done in the past is put a _different_ hard drive in the unit, and send it back.

They don't complain, because that's an allowable 'upgrade'.

When the machine returns, put in the original drive.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

If I had a junk SATA laying about, that would be a good idea. Too bad I don't have a 9gb disk... let 'em try and stuff Vista onto THAT...



My client bought cheap-shit Gateway from Costco. I tried hard to talk him out of out, but damn the torpedos and all that. I bill him either way..

I guess if one is at the mercy of the commercial warranty services, one has to 2nd guess enough to send back a junk drive, etc. Maybe a junk CPU too, and get that replaced. Problem is, my clients are not computer people, and they get royally burned by these warranty practices because they are ignorant and trusting.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

I found out that Comcast has pretty good service. I was put directly to a actual person after a computer just asked me a few questions. And the tech support was very patient and actually knew everything about my D-link DCM202 modem I bought for our cable internet, thats not one they originally offer. We use to have the crappy scientific atlanta one.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

The saga continues... it took Gateway several months to repair the machine, and I know have it in the shop to restore the configured system. Of course, it came back with Vista, but that will be wiped clean in short order.

I guess it took so long because they had to grow the transistors to build a new board...

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Old 09-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

This client's 2nd machine also died, same motherboard failure. Gateway had this one for over four months. They did return this one with the customer's disk load intact.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

How bout' you do this.

Get a good quality motherboard from newegg, like a nice XFX or Asus, get it with the same socket and ram type as the old one. Transfer the cpu, ram and cooler over, get another smaller hard drive to install vista on, run the old one as a second hard drive, and transfer all their personal files over, then reformat the old one and wala! A stable computer with more storage space!
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

Because it is not my problem.

These are client machines, paid for by the client. He will take a dim view of throwing away all his hardware, only to pay a much higher retail price to buy quality hardware. Then he has to pay me several hundred dollars more to install the hardware, software, and configure the machine for his office.

The client bought Gateway lemons, and he is stuck with them. I encouraged him to return them both to Costco for a full refund, be he refused.

No problem. I am happy to take his money as he continues to battle with these two pieces of junk. I only post this adventure here to warn potential buyers about Gateway junk.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

what do you expect?
gateway and evilmachines.
2 horns on the same goat.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:53 PM   #18
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Actually, I'd buy an eMachine and discard the BESTEC before powering it up.

I have several dead eMachines in the bin that were murdered by the BESTEC. They appear to use 100% Intel boards, not the customized bullshit put out by Gateway. The tip-off is the BIOS mfgr code. These use genuine Intel BIOS, which is up to date. The Gateway BIOS is always downlevel and/or nonexistent.

It will blizzard in Hell before I ever buy a Gateway. Or HP. Or VAIO. Or Lenovo.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:49 PM   #19
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

Before the lenovo takeover, IBMs were good computers. Now look at them, they're right on par with...well just another computer.

As for HP and sony vaio, I don't see whats wrong with those. Many hp's use asus motherboards and HIPRO psu's.

As for gateway, they either use cheap gateway motherboards, or in their "higher" end models use ECS motherboards. Not much of a improvement there.

The emachines T3624 I just got has a intel motherboard, intel bios, and so on. BUT on gpu-z it says that the subvendor for the integraded intel card is gateway 2000, I hope this is just because gateway owns emachines. But because it has a intel motherboard, this is the first OEM machine I have gotten that reports correct and accurate fan speeds, along with the first motherboard that I can get speedfan to automatically control fan speeds or let me manually control them. Emachines dosen't seem to be too bad except for their psu's.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: Gateway Hall of Shame

Seems to me like the general quality of computer hardware has been in decline. Perhaps as a result of the components being under more stress, but that doesn't make me feel any better about it.
With newer computers, it almost seems like they're all a bunch of Ferraris - fast but prone to break at any moment. I feel safer running old stuff.

The only Gateway I've dealt with was a microATX Celeron socket-370 model. The only thing wrong with it was a pathetic 45W power supply. It has an Intel board in it and still works great, but I'm sure a lot has changed since 1999.

I had a similar observation of Packard Bell. As bad as their reputation was, I happened across one of their late Pentium machines one time and it had a perfectly good Intel board in it. Overclocked like a demon too, once I looked up the jumper settings. If only the original owner had known what it was capable of.
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