Thursday, October 06, 2005

Another reason I hate Gateway...

Here's the deal. Back when I thought that Gateway was a kind of OK company, despite all of my problems - see the previous post titled Angel of Mercy - I wasn't quite so adamant to my family and friends that they stay away from Gateway. So my mother, who actually works in the IT field, though with mainframe computer which she says are way different, purchased her cow. She bought it from CompUSA and also purchased thier extended warranty. She did this on October 4, 2004.

My mom enters a lot of contests and gets a lot of junkmail. She's also picked up some malware along the line somewhere. We've tried to clean it with spy ware removers and all kinds of anti-virus detection, but there is still something there, deep in the registry that is kind of disabling her virus detections. Every day, she gets a new trojan. Anyway, we decided that she needed a fresh start and that we would format her hard drive and reinstall her operating system.

So, I asked her where her Windows disc was. She said that CompUSA didn't give her any discs and that all of the restore software was on the hard drive. So, I looked at the hard drive. There are no partitions. So I called Gateway. They said that CompUSA should have provided her with a restore DVD. So I asked how I could obtain one. The answer? Well, since the computer was outside it's warranty period BY ONE DAY that she would have to send $20.00. Now, really, this is CompUSA's fault, but you'd think that Gateway could have provided a little customer service and sent out the disc.

Anyway, since mom had purchased an extended warranty through CompUSA - for the bargain price of $369.99, we decided that we should make use of it. Now, we had the original receipt and the brochure that describes the excellent service you'll have when you need your warranty. Do you know what the brocure doesn't supply? The phone number!! So I called the store it was purchased at. There was no answer. I left a message.

Because I was getting more and more agravated, I went to, eager to find someone to vent at. I found a "Dial-a-Tech" and dialed one up. I get this guy who asks a bunch of questions about when I bought the computer. I told him one year and one very important day ago. He tells me that my mom had 90 days from the date of purchase to call and activate her warranty. Excuse me? One would think that the act of paying $369.99 would have activated it. No where on the brochure does it say that there is a 90 day deadline. No where on the web site does it say there is a 90 day deadline. Most importantly, nobody ever said, "thanks for the $369.99, you now have 90 days to activate the service you just payed through the nose for."

The guy went ahead and "activated" the warranty so I stopped some of my underbreath mumblings that sounded a lot like "they're all bastards. All of these computer people are in a league together - bastards!"

We finally get to the real reason I called. I told the guy that I needed to reinstall the OS and didnt' have the software. He asks me why I need to reinstall. I tell him that I need to get some malware off of it. He directs me to a website that will scan the system. Once that is completed 45 minutes later, we should call back and they will tell us how to clean the system. Um, yeah. That isn't why I called. Been there, done that. Need to reinstall. "So, how do I get the software that I was supposed to have been provided?" His answer? "Well, we don't have anything to do with that." Spiffy. Thanks for nuttin'.

Computer lemon law - Let's get one!!