A Tale of Two Businesses
Alienated by Alienware, but Amazed by
This column has never been intended as a review of particular companies, but my recent experience with two of them needs to be shared with other computer users. After weeks of research on the latest high-end computers, I decided that an Alienware had everything I wanted in a new PC.
However, its console is about twice as big and heavy as the average computer tower. So I asked for a two-year on-site extended warranty.
The computer performed beautifully for five weeks and suddenly died. No problem, I thought - my warranty will have a technician here in a day or two to replace what appeared to be a dead power supply. However, when I called for service, I was told that "on-site" didn't necessarily mean someone would come to the house, and that a technician would talk me through some steps that might lead to fixing the problem myself.
This tech then told me to open the case and follow his instructions. I mentioned having always been told that opening a computer's case would nullify its warranty. Not a problem, he assured me, and spent more than two hours telling me to disconnect and reconnect several of the machine's internal components. He finally said that the computer would have to be sent to Florida, where they would fix the problem and return it to me in two weeks.
I said this was totally unacceptable and that if they didn't send someone to the house within two days, I would return the computer and buy one locally. They said the 30-day return period” had expired and I had no choice but to do as they said.
Alienware Reneging on its Warranty
I said this was reneging on their warranty and that I would expect a full refund. However, before returning the computer, I had the problem of getting my personal files off of a hard drive that couldn't be booted.
So I called
MakeItWork.com and explained the situation. They had a technician at my house the next morning who cleared the hard drive and then asked if I wanted the dead power supply replaced - she had one in her company car. If Alienware had done this, the issue would have then been resolved and over with. But they didn't, and I had already bought another computer.
MakeItWork.com, the company has technicians covering the coastal communities of Southern California from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
Stephanie Concepcion was mine, and I've never had more professional service in my three decades of owning computers. I couldn't have been more pleased, and I recommend the company to anyone who needs a computer technician to make a house call.
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© - Donald Ray Edrington - 2006 - All Rights Reserved
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