Kina (kiss_katrina) wrote in bad_service,
Kina
kiss_katrina
bad_service

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Gateway liars

In late December, I had to move my computer across the room as I redecorated. We disconnected the monitor from the tower to move it, then when we went to plug it back in, the monitor wouldn't plug in all the way and therefore wouldn't function. We double-checked the monitor to make sure it didn't die on us (another monitor had died for no reason about a year ago) by connecting it to a laptop, and it worked. We tried a friend's monitor on the tower and it wouldn't connect, either. Problem identified: video card's monitor port is broken. Okay, screw it, let's update the computer by buying a new video card, plug the monitor into that. We buy one, but get it home and find out the tower isn't wide enough for the video card. Ooops. Oh, well, we return the new video card and decide to send the computer in for service since we can't bypass the problem. Thank goodness it's still under warranty until July because we paid extra to extend the warranty from one year to three years when we bought it. So, any problems should be covered. Including the fact that the video card is on the motherboard, not PCI.

We call customer service Jan. 5th and get a service request number and shipping info. We ship it out the next day with multiple notes all over the box as the customer service rep suggested saying "DO NOT FORMAT" because I couldn't burn my data to CDs before shipping it out. My life is on my computer, along with $80 headshot pictures (I work in theatre) and various other important files. I just started rehearsing a new show and they needed my headshot for the program by Feb. 4th, but I was sure my computer wouldn't take more than a month. Or so I thought...

I called in mid-Jan. to check on the status of my repair and to make sure they got it. They had it and had just started looking if over. Cool.

Called again Jan. 30th. "It was due to be shipped back Monday," [of the previous week] "and should arrive anytime between now and the end of the week." Excellent! I wait until Friday, and still haven't received it.

Friday, Feb. 4th: called again, told that there's no shipping info on my file, AKA previous guy lied to me. Okay, well why don't you check and see when it's supposed to be shipped? She contacts shipping and there's no shipping order yet, it's not ready to be shipped. What's the status? It's waiting for a new video card, which should be in today, then they'll fix it and get it out to me in a week or so. I'm livid: my file was due today, but I had gotten the deadline extended one week, and now it's questionable as to whether I'll have it by THEN, either. I ask her to transfer me to a supervisor because I'm pissed and I'm going to start yelling at somebody, and I know it's not her fault that the previous guy lied to me, but I'm mad. I'm seething, but I'm not yelling or cussing at her, I'm just ready to start. I know she can't do anything and there's no point in yelling at her. She transfers me to a different tech support rep instead of a supervisor.

Same day, tech support (TS) rep George, very polite and calming. I tell him the last woman I talked to told me the part should be in today, so when will I get my computer back? He checks the file and says there's no note of when the part is due, just that my computer is "on hold." How long does the part usually take to arrive? He doesn't know. It doesn't even say what "part" they're waiting for -- a whole new motherboard or just a video card. I tell him I want to know when the part is in so I can stop calling and harassing the phone reps. He says service dispatch is closed (it was after 5:30PM by now), so I should call Monday morning (after 8AM) and ask to be transfered to service dispatch and they would tell me what was going on. He even gives me a number that would save me from dialing the standard Gateway service line that makes you go through 7 menus before you get a human being instead would get my straight to a tech support rep that could tranfer me. Sweet. I ask for his supervisor anyway, but I intended to compliment George to his boss for being so polite and calming me down. He did a great job... or so I thought.

Thursday, Feb. 10th - things had come up and I didn't call back right away because I was never free in the mornings. Plus, I figured giving them extra time would increase the likelihood that when I called I would hear, "Your computer is ready now." No dice.

Gerald (TS, 9:30AM): "we have no way to transfer you to service dispatch." ...but George told me that they could, during normal business hours. I explain the importance of my files, which are now due the very next day, and tell him I want my harddrive shipped back to me ASAP so I can have my files, I'll get the rest when it's done. He says that's impossible to get anything out to me by the next day (ever heard of overnight shipping, Gerald?), but puts me on hold for 15 minutes while he calls service dispatch. He tells me that they have promised to put a note on my file by 4PM that updates the "progress" on my computer. So, I can call back after 4PM today or anytime Friday and find out what's going on and when I'll have it back.

Friday, Feb. 11th - I decided to give them until 4PM Friday, an extra 24 hours grace period. I expect answers, this is my fourth call. Three strikes, they've lost my business. I'll never buy another Gateway, I just want my current PC back.

Mark (TS, 4PM): he informs me that nobody can directly contact service dispatch. So, Gerald lied when he said they "PROMISED" to put a note on my file by 4PM. The only way to contact service dispatch is by e-mail, and there was no outgoing e-mail from tech support to service dispatch regarding my computer. I'm livid. I tell him I want somebody to e-mail or call me as soon as the part comes in so I'll have some idea of when my computer will be shipped back. He tells me that's not allowed, they can't contact customers. A note can be put in my file and I can call back for it. I refuse because that was already offered and it didn't work. I demand to speak to a supervisor because I'm sick and tired of being lied to just to get me off the phone. He argues against giving me to a supervisor, but I held my ground until he transfered me.

Ryan (TS supervisor, 4:20PM): only customer service (CS) can contact customers. He listens to my complaints about the previous false information being provided, and tries to assure me that CS will be able to contact me with an update on my computer. He transfers me.

Scott (CS, 4:45PM): CS can't contact customers. TS supervisor Ryan said you can. "He made a mistake, we can't." Okay, tell service dispatch to contact me. "They can't do that, either." ...FINE, send me back to Ryan, he's going to figure out how to do what I need. CS can't transfer me directly to a TS supervisor, so I end up going through a TS rep again.

Jody (TS): I give her my info, she pulls up my file, and I tell her to transfer me to Ryan, I was just talking to him. She sends someone off to find him, then tries to solve the problem herself. She reads me my file as we wait and notes how it's odd that there's no diagnostic/repair info. So, they're supposedly on hold waiting for an unnamed part, but they haven't done a diagnostic. >.< She sends service dispatch a note, reading it to me as she types, explaining the situation to her understanding and telling them to call me ASAP. She then checks my contact number (nobody else ever did -- I wonder how they were going to tell service dispatch to contact me?) and mailing address to be sure it's shipped back right. She stalls a little longer, so I tell her I still want Ryan and I'm not hanging up until I talk to him. She finds him in two minutes.

Ryan again (5:10PM): you were wrong. CS says they can't contact me when the part is in, Jody is trying to get service dispatch to contact me. He says that's all wrong, CS can and service dispatch can't. We start to argue about him sending me back to CS, who just said they can't. He does it anyway.

Mary (CS, 5:15PM): I give her my info and tell her I want a supervisor. She tries to screen me out by attempting to solve the problem that 7 other people couldn't. I tell her I want somebody to contact ME when my part comes in, I'm tired of getting the run-around. She tells me they can't. I tell her they can because I've talked about this with TS supervisor, now give your supervisor! She puts me on hold. Fine, I don't care about being on hold. But, this was a comparatively long hold (15 minutes)...

Maria (CS, 5:35PM): Yes, I can call you. Eureka, problem solved! She sends service dispatch a "direct text to the supervisor" and they are required to respond within 3 business days. This is apparently the best I can get. She tells me when they respond to her message with the info, she will call me and tell me the status of my PC and estimated time of completion. If I don't hear from her by 4PM next Thursday, then call and there will be a note on my file because she told them to both contact her and add it to the file.

So, there's still a chance that I might have to call back again, but the hopes are that she'll call back first.

I am never EVER buying another Gateway. Their "service" is ridiculous. I wanted to rip the service department a new one for being so vague in the file, the TS reps for bullshitting me, and Mary the CS rep for telling me I couldn't talk to a supervisor when I asked. Plus, the parts supplier sucks for taking so damn long. A month?!? Come on, you can get my part in less than a month!
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