Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My personal experience with Alienware PC Maker

    Well on March 26th 2009 I purchased a Laptop from Alienware which I was very excited about after reading about the high performance components they use in their laptops.  I got my Laptop and quickly opened it and was ready to conquer my development tasks… well probably not quite like that but you get the point.  All was going great, I was installing Visual Studio 2008 and got that done; then went on to install DevExpress but before I got a chance to install it the laptop froze up.  The screen stayed on the way I left it and the cursor would not move.  I immediately called Technical Support since these things shouldn’t be happening and I happened to have purchased the extended warranty.  Technical Support had me reboot, which consisted of holding the power button down for 3-5 seconds.  Then they asked me to download a third-party program (SpeedFan) so we could check if the PC was getting hot while a memory check was run using both chips installed.  Then we ran a Video Card test and monitored the PC heat.  All seemed to be doing well until we tested Memory using a single chip at a time and some hiccups happened.  First attempt froze the machine and subsequent attempts seemed to be fine.  We could not figure out why the PC was freezing.  So we gave up and went on thinking it must be drivers or something.  I updated the drivers to the latest versions and even flashed the bios with a new upgrade that was available.  The PC kept freezing about once a week, then once a day and I was getting flustered.  I called Support again and once again we ran a memory check (Extensive Check) on what I now have installed Windows 7.  No results found, the memory passed.  So then we ran a chkdisk with the options to repair bad clusters checked and of course no issues with the exception of 2 bad clusters which windows reports it fixed.  After hours with a Technician and no idea why this pc is freezing he puts me on hold and another guy gets on the line.  The new guy gets on just to tell me that because I upgraded to Windows 7 my warranty is no longer going to support the problem I am experiencing with my laptop and that if I want to upgrade my support a charge will be required.  I asked if I paid this upgrade fee could they guarantee I would get the laptop fixed since of course it has had this problem since day 1 and I could go about my business.  I was told that they could not guarantee it would be fixed but they would try.  So basically what it boils down to is the following:

1. Paid for extended support – Not any good to me now since I upgraded to Windows 7
2. They want to charge me more – Cannot guarantee it will be fixed
3. I’m stuck with a laptop that keeps freezing and has been literally the day I got it

I was furious, I asked the guy if they test their equipment before sending it to the customer, he exclaimed they only test that it installed the OS and not for any other issues (Hardware or Software).  All in all I have learned a valuable lesson, I for one will not purchase extended warranties again on PC’s and I am done with Alienware products.  Not to say your experience will not be an enjoyable one but for me it has been a nightmare.  If you too have had a bad experience with Alienware I would like to hear from you and your experience.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Sorry to hear that dude, I bought a Dell XPS M1710 about 3 years ago, and it had a myriad of problems over about 2 years, on the 10th repair I told Dell that I was pissed, so they replaced it with a Dell XPS M1730, it has been a great machine and haven't had one fault with it.

We have had to upgrade another person in the office, so we just purchased a Alienware M17x, so far it seems alright, however upon updating graphic drivers it went to Black and White display... after system restore to get back to factory settings it is working again, however it makes us wonder if we should ever try to update graphics again...

I would call Alienware/Dell and tell them that you don't want the POS (Piece Of S#!^) and that they should do something about it, generally if you keep heading up the chain (can give migrains) you will get action. (eventually).

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