Alright, first thing you need to know is this was eight years in to owning my first desktop system. During this time I had fought with Gateway over many things, not including the fact the computer was broken when I got it (it's modem didn't like the internet and would constantly drop the connection, this was fixed by getting DSL and another modem.
That said, eight years or so of dealing with "Neville"'s fits, I got pretty good at fixing whatever the computer decided to come up with.
That was up until Nevvie decided .wav, .mp3, .midi, .whatever audio file you can come up with was the devil's work and wouldn't play them. Not a big thing, but important to someone like me who requires sounds in order to multi-task (lest I forget what I'm doing, poor short term memory and that).
So I try my handy duct tape and spit skills before giving in and calling first Gateway, who told me A. I was out of warenty (duh, it's been EIGHT YEARS!), and B. Wasn't their fault, call Microsoft.
So then I called Microsoft and got the same spiel (I didn't know Microsoft had warrenty on my computer...or at least the windows I was running, but either way, EIGHT YEARS!).
I call Gateway again at Microsoft's insistance and listen to the fact I'm out of warrently (again!). I finally get a word in about it and offer to pay them to tell me how to fix it, just help me as my sounds are that important.
Lather, rinse, repeat about four times between the two companies before I gave up.
Six monthes later, I finally(!) got the sounds completly fixed...and still have no idea how I did it. I just spent six monthes playing with it whenever I got frustrated.
I'm now leary of anything that is 'official' tech support.
Bad Service: Giving me the run around, refusing to help even when I'm trying to pay you, one of the companies not owning up to the error.
Good Service: Gateway: Creating a system that lasted ten years before commiting suicide from user abuse.
(Funny side note: I checed Gateway a couple monthes back for an update of something...they claim the Gateway Astro does not exist...despite the fact I was staring at it.)