Whorled View

August 29, 2007

Gateway Computer Doesn’t Honor Their Warranties

Filed under: Communications,computers,Corruption,Miscellaneous,Sociology,Technology — lullabyman @ 11:15 pm

What would you do if you reported a defect on your laptop before the warranty was expired, and they said, “We’ll replace it as soon as we get one in inventory”, then they never sent it. When you called to ask where it was, they say “Too late. It’s not in warranty anymore.”

Because that’s what happened to me. Check it out… this is the log from our chat … and pay close attention to how they tried to pin the blame on me (start at the bolded portion):

Adam_GWER1387 joined the incident.
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Thank you for contacting technical support. My name and badge number are Adam_GWER1387. Please hold while I review your issue.
david austin says:
[skip all the introduction here]Adam_GWER1387 says:
I understand that your stylus has never worked in your computer, is that correct?
david austin says:

Adam_GWER1387 says:
Please wait while I research on your issue?
david austin says:
Yes, I would expect some information from my previous requests to resolve this issue (where I was told a replacement would be arriving).
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Actually, there is no replacement request in your database, David. If you want I can request for a replacement for your stylus now. Would that be okay with you?
david austin says:
Yes, that would be great. My last request happened over the phone. I guess I’ll know better now. He said there were none in inventory, but one would be sent as soon as the inventory was replenished.
Adam_GWER1387 says:
I will first check if the stylus is in the inventory.
david austin says:
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Please wait while I check the stylus
david austin says:
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Thanks for waiting.
david austin says:
Adam_GWER1387 says:
You said that you purchased the computer in March of 2007, is that correct?
david austin says:
yes, that’s correct. And the pen wasn’t working form the start.
Adam_GWER1387 says:
When did you call Gateway about this issue?
david austin says:
It would have been sometime in may
Adam_GWER1387 says:
IT shows here that your first call was on June 8 of 2007.
david austin says:
That’s it. I was in a tradeshow lat may and anothe early june. it was in that time period.
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Just to let you know that you only have a 90 days warranty of your computer. Since you called on the first week of June, your warranty had already expired. That is why the agent cannot replace your stylus pen. If you call a little bit earlier like around April, we had the change to replace it.
david austin says:
I don’t think that’s 90 dys. Let’s do the math. All month April, all May, that’s only 62 days max. Add 10 days for March that’s 72, add 8 for June,
that’s 80 days. Still under warranty.
david austin says:
So if I was still under warranty why wasn’t it sent?
Adam_GWER1387 says:
I really dont know why they did not issue the replacement of your stylus pen.
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Because today, i really cannot make a request for your replacement because you are already out of warranty. If you want you can try to call to the person you contacted to in order that they can escalate your issue.
david austin says:
Does it show what my call was about? Isn’t that proof enough. This guy does as many calls as you do, he’s not going to remember it.. Would You? I wouldn’t. I took it on good faith that you guys would keep your word. Is this how you run things there?
Adam_GWER1387 says:
If I have the power to make your computer back in warranty, I would do it. But I really cannot make a request here in your database for the replacementof your stylus. Why only now that you have contacted here when it was way over a month when the tech told you to call again if there is no replacement. Usually a replacement would only last for 5-7 business days.
david austin says:
What are you saying? It’s my fault that your tech did not keep his word? Within 7 days I would have been out of warranty anyway and we would be where we are now. Besides, it wasn’t in inventory, I would have had to wait much longer. Your man screwed up and you’re trying to stick me with a $50 replacement bill, when I reported it while under warranty.
david austin says:
What’s right abut that?
Adam_GWER1387 says:
Why did you contact us earlier? Adding the 7 business would only be June 15 which is 2 days before your warranty expired. Why did you have to make it to this month to contact us. I really cannot make a request forthe replacement of the stylus pen, David. It says here that you are already out of 90 days warranty.
david austin says:
Re-contacting you within the warranty period is not my job. Warranties for reported items do not go null and void when it isn’t shipped. Any judge will substantiate that in court. The issue is NOT when I RE-contacted you. Never will be, and any attorney will back that up. I reported it WHILE under warranty, if you do not honor that you are violating the terms of that warranty. Would you like to disagree because I’m recording this.

david austin says:
Incidentally, it was NOT in inventory, it would have not taken 7 days (which I said earlier). According to the person I talked with it would take some time to get back into inventory.
david austin says:
david austin says:
I’m starting to think that the guy I talked to was trying to pull a fast one on me so you could try to violate the warranty contract as you are currently attempting to do. I wonder if it was really not in inventory.
[ … this went on for 1 hour and 52 minutes- during which time I talked with “Joseph”, Adam’s supervisor, who also tried to insinuate that I didn’t deserve the pen replacement due to the fact that I didn’t call a second time to follow up on the shipment before the warranty expired]
He then said:please contact our Retail Service Dispatch team for further assistance regarding your replacement part. Unfortunately, we can longer issue a replacement since you are already out-of-warranty regardless when you reported this matter. The toll free number is (1-877-285-6043).

I was “out of warranty” when I reported this matter!? What planet is this guy living on? I reported the matter (broken pen) WHILE it was under warranty. If they choose to not ship it within the warranty period they think they have effectively made the warranty null and void?! Apparently so.

Don’t think this is about a lousy $50. It’s about justice, and about Gateway doing what’s honest and true by honoring their warranties. I’m sure I’m not the first to suffer this injustice. Buyer Beware!!!! I’ll follow up with the “retail Service Dispatch” team (whatever, sounds like code for the “waste-your-time-until-we-think-you’ll-give-up team”), and let you know how it turns out.



  1. Dave,

    So sorry to hear about this. As big businesses keep getting bigger it seems they forget that it is the consumer that drives their growth. Good luck working this out with Gateway. What kills me is that they won’t honor what they originally said they would do. Is there no integrity left in the world, especially if it cost someone a few dollars?

    Dan Steiner

    Comment by Dan Steiner — August 30, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

  2. holy cow! I can’t believe how rotten their service is! We are getting ready to send 3 boys off to college in the next few years…they all need laptops. HP is it.

    Dude, you should have gone with HP.

    Comment by Robin — August 30, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  3. After hearing about your experience I’ve decided I will never buy any Gateway products again and I will make sure that all my friends hear about your negative experience.

    Comment by Jared Knowlton — August 30, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

  4. This sucks! And it’s ridiculous. I can’t believe that Gateway won’t make this right. I think you should contact them again and let us know what happens.

    Comment by Sally — August 30, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

  5. When I heard this story I was amazed that Gateway could treat their customers with such arrogance in a market where there is so much comptetition from competent and honest companies. These prducts are all pretty much the same. They only differentiate themselves by their quality of customer service .. and Gateway’s service apparently stinks.

    Everyone who hears about this should buy from other companies and tell their friends the story, encouraging them to also buy from other vendors. Gateway doesn’t make that good a product any longer and there are other better companies to do business with.

    Comment by Dr. David Wright — August 30, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  6. > Dude, you should have gone with HP.

    I sell laptops as part of my business. I shifted from Gateway to HP a couple months ago. I’m so glad I did. Much better service, and their tablet is the coolest one on the market (incredibly priced too, and very reseller-friendly). This just further confirms what a good decision that was.

    Comment by lullabyman — August 30, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

  7. That sucks! I thought Gateway would honor their committment. Good Luck! I hope they stand up and do what is right!

    Comment by Kristen — August 30, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

  8. I just posted a comment but then I read some replys…of course after posting and I completely agree with them. We had a problem with our laptop, it’s an HP and it was about 10 months old. HP totally replaced it without a lot of hassel. Go with HP! Yeah, that doesn’t help you now. But check out HPshopping.com (I think), they are very honest.

    Comment by Kristen French — August 30, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

  9. Thanks for the heads up! I have been thinking about getting a laptop or tablet pc and will not even look at Gateway after learning of your experience. I will likely purchase from HP, primarily because of the outstanding customer support we’ve experienced with them.

    Does Gateway have no integrity or accountability? Their customer *service* is in reality disservice and injustice. As big as they are, I suspect there are hundreds/thousands of other angry Gateway owners with Warranties that are not being honored. Any company who conducts business in this way will end up with it coming back to bite them. They will end up with no customers and/or a class action lawsuit on their hands.

    I wonder if they have a Quality Control Director or PR person you could get a response from.

    It would be great if you could get this information to their Shareholders. Would you invest in a company that claims to stand behind their products but then refuses to honor their claims? See if you can get a response from Marlys Johnson, Gateway Investor Relations, E-mail: marlys.johnson@gateway.com.

    On their “Corporate Responsibility” page they state, “Being Gateway means being ethical. Gateway has developed a code of ethics which is an easy-to-use guide to living up to our values and we operate at the highest standards of integrity.” And, “People will always be more important than technology. Gateway works to enhance access to technology for underserved communities…”
    Hmmmmmmm. Does the emperor wear no clothes?

    They have an Ethics HelpLine at 877-GW-ETHICS on which you can report any alleged unethical conduct . See if that helps. Tell them you are recording the call since it was an unrecorded phone call that started the whole problem.

    Suggestion: contact the CEO, J. Edward Coleman , along with each member of their Board of Directors and ask them to correct this situation. Here is link with names & bio for their board members (it should be easy to find contact info for each of them): http://www.gateway.com/about/investors/board.php

    You were talking with a mere underling. You may want to follow the money and go to the top!

    Comment by Linda — August 30, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

  10. Dave,

    I wish it was the first time that I’ve heard the logic of “the system won’t let me do it.” Can you imagine how the tech would have flipped out if he were on the other end? Between corporate arrogance and individual’s lack of empathy the world is getting worse. Maybe things will get better when Acer finishs buying out Gateway.

    Comment by Ted — August 31, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  11. This is the sort of thing that completely influences where I spend big bucks for items like computers. Awhile back I had a terrible experience with AT&T, and now we are comitted to NEVER subscribing to any AT&T service–ever again. And believe me, we’ve had the opportunity with our moves. I think I’ll stick with Dell or HP for computers. Let us know if they decide to honor their agreement. This is just rediculous.

    Comment by Emily — September 3, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  12. I to found out the hardway how badly Gateway treats there customers.
    They are all smiles when it comes to selling you the product, but after you walk out the store forget about it.
    I had a problem with an E-Machine that was still under manufacturer’s warranty when it went down. I called Gateway they told me to take it to Best Buy where I purchased it and they would take care of the repair. Best Buy has a contract or should I say the Geek Squad which is owned by Best Buy has a contract with Gateway for repairs. After six weeks and call after call I still don’t have a computer, I’m told they replaced the motherboard with something comparable so there having trouble with downloading software. I have all but given up and when I contacted Gateway, I was told what do you want us to do? Deal with Best Buy.

    Comment by Chester Robinette — September 19, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  13. Ugh! We need to get the word out.

    Comment by davea0511 — September 19, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

  14. my gateway tablet pc pen does not accept any taps … they made me buy a new one .. they sent a different part numbered pen … it does not work … technicians will not support it … has anyone else had problems with tablet pc from gateway not working and then getting little if any help from gateway?

    Comment by pen not working — November 3, 2007 @ 4:30 am

  15. Wow. What a bunch of dirtbags. Apparently the technology used in the screen digitizer for many of the gateway laptops is unique. As it turns out the cost for the pens of that technology are unusually expensive to manufacture. Sounds like a load of baloney to me. They all have chips and a battery regardless of the cost. My model is infamous for failed pens and I think it was costing Gateway a lot. Rather than owning up to the problem though Gateway is trying to bury it. That’s why now I only sell HP tablets to my customers. I’m keeping my Gateway tablet with the broken pen. I have no intention of getting a new pen for $50 + shipping, especially given your story. I’m not shelling out $50+ for another pen that died under a warranty they won’t honor to find out it doesn’t work either.

    Buy HP next time. Or even Dell. HP has the best customer service and products now though in my opinion.

    Comment by davea0511 — November 5, 2007 @ 2:06 pm

  16. I agree. Buy a Dell, IBM, or an HP. No sooner did my warranty expired than my pen stopped writing properly. After getting me to start reinstalling the operating system, it’s been ten hours of troubleshooting and it’s still not done. When reinstall didn’t work they sent me to the retail service dispatch department which tried to get me to buy a pen at a price that was higher than the website price. I asked why the rep was charging more and he said if I wanted it from him, that was the price I had to pay. So I said no and bought a new pen from the website. They sent the wrong pen. It did not work. I had to take a trip to Kinko’s to return it for a refund. After they acknowledged they sent the wrong pen for this Gateway Tablet PC, they said they did not have the correct pen in stock and tried to get me to buy it from a third party vender, for the highest price quoted so far. I won’t. Now they say to send the laptop back to them for a repair and for me to pay for the repair. I won’t. Instead I have bought a LEMON MERINGUE PIE and in my imaginings I take the pie and picture the faces of everyone responsible for the lemon they sold and the service they offer and give it to them. lol.

    Comment by gateway lemon — November 6, 2007 @ 7:38 am

  17. What a great idea! I’m thinking send them a real cream pie that when the box is opened the pie flies out and hits them in the face. Small recompense, and hardly compensatory, but what else can you do? There was a website I read somewhere about how to get compensated for this kind of thing, but the effort involved on the part of the consumer was ridiculous. That’s why they do this. That’s why they can get away with it.

    Comment by davea0511 — November 6, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

  18. joseph is just a bot he is the general supervisor there

    Comment by bob — November 7, 2007 @ 2:20 am

  19. I´ve received a Gateway notebook as a gift from a freind of mine living in USA. Soon, the the apparatus proved defective. A technician fount out that its motherboard was out of order. Several times I addressed mysekf to the Gateway support in order to get the address of one of its Retail Service in USA where I could order the component. Finally this firm informed me that did not have such any information…

    Comment by Mr. Odon Porto de Almeida — November 19, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

  20. It seems to me their problems with customer support have more to do with keeping repair supplies on hand than anything. When they run into this problem, which is frequent, they simply give the customer the run around until the customer gives up.

    Comment by davea0511 — November 19, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

  21. Sorry you are having such trouble. I wish I read your post prior to buying my son his Laptop. I have had nothing but trouble from Gateway. Rude employees and no one gives a crap. They tell you whatever they like and say if you don’t like it we will send your PC back. Unfixed! My son who is 10 bought this PC with his own money and the DVD would not open. I sent it back and have had nothing but Headaches. I was told today they almost sent the repair part to me. I will now have to wait another week plus for shipping and repairs. They told me they have no time limit to fix my PC? They will not extend my warranty by the month they had it. This company stinks. Please don’t buy from them? I know people have trouble with other companies but this compnay does not care! You can not speak to anyone higher. They won’t identify themselves and won’t give instructions on how to send a letter to their CEO. I was told today. All mail to the CEO comes to them? If they had an office in Toronto I would go and protest. They don’t so I have little choice but to wait and post info on line to warn people. If anyone has a suggestion on solving this problem I’d love to hear it. GATEWAY YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

  22. Sorry to hear that. I wish we could get better visibility.

    Apparently their headquarters are in South Dakota. I thought about sending them a letter. Heres some addresses I found, but I’m not sure to whom you’d address it …

    610 Gateway Dr
    North Sioux City, SD 57049
    (605) 232-2191
    (605) 232-2000

    Comment by davea0511 — December 5, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

  23. I have also had problems with Gateway’s customer service and tech. support. I have a file full of papers dealing with this problem which has been ongoing for at least six months now. I advise anyone to never buy a Gateway computer. Their business practices are unethical.

    Comment by Mark Stanton — January 1, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

  24. I worked there for 13 years and work directly with them HP and Dell. I have to agree w/the Dell lovers. Support has gone to shyt everywhere but Dells is definitely the best. Most of the Tech Support Chat rooms are located overseas. The have power to do absolutely nothing, nor do their superiors. Corporate America = poopy ka ka

    Comment by Ben — July 30, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  25. I’m sorry I meant HP lovers, I hate dell too!

    Comment by Ben — July 30, 2008 @ 10:21 pm


    I got 6 months total of use out of mine, it broke within the 1st few months, sent in for service got it back and the mother board fried. The customer service was a misery and they wouldn’t covered under warranty so I’m out the cost of a $1600 computer for 6 months of use.

    Comment by Lynne — September 10, 2008 @ 11:27 am

  27. I will never buy a gateway again.

    I purchsed a gateway, I have sent it in twice for repair. This is the 3rd time I am to send it in. Let me tell you even when I was not sending it for repair it barely worked. I do not keep anything on it for fear I would lose my data.

    This time they told me oh policy has changed you have to pay for shipping to send it in. After quite awhile and explaining it is the same problem as before they aggreed to pre pay the shipping but I had to bring to a specific fed ex location.

    I went to the specific fed ex location. The fed ex location said they do not have my number in the system. so while standing in the fed ex location I called gateway.

    They tried to tell me I was not at the right location. I gave the address they gave me and they said should work. 40 min later, they tell me to go to a different fed ex.

    They could not call the fed ex I am at, nor could they fax the information. Nothing. The fed location was closing at this point.

    I some how get disconnected from gateway. I call back and complain about this whole dibacle and say I just want a shipping label so I can call and have the pick up the box. They could not do anything, they needed a supervisor.

    There was no supervisor on staff. Women on the phone said well if you did not get there with in 48 hours then number void. I lucky was there with in 48 hrs, but no one mentioned that to me before. Finally she said a supervor would call me back.

    Guess what, no one called me back. I send an email. I called. They sent me to Tier 2 support this time. I get a gentleman on the phone.

    I tell him my tale and that fact that this computer has not worked right from the beginging. All I want is shipping label so I can call fed ex to pick up the box.

    No they can not do that. They can only reactivate the number. he said you can go back to the same place. oh the same place that did not have the working number. How do I know I am not going to go waste my time again. He said you can go to a different one. Again how do I know it is going to work, can you call and verify the number is in the system. no they can no do that. After all this they can not make a phone call. Unbelievable. Never again will I buy a gateway.

    Comment by Karen — September 12, 2008 @ 9:56 pm

  28. I’ve been trying to get my Gateway laptop computer repaired since I bought it. Among other problems, the wireless causes it to crash. I sent it in once with no problem. But, the problem wasn’t fixed. I’ve been trying to send it again, but they didn’t put my house number on the box and it was returned to sender. Now, Gateway is blaming DHL. They are refusing to send the box again. I’m not letting this go, although I think they hope to drag this out until my warranty expires. This has gone on for about a month and I’m beyond frustrated and angry.

    Comment by Shannon — October 26, 2008 @ 4:04 am

  29. If they still have your computer and are refusing to send it to you then that’s called theft. I’d tell them if they haven’t sent it within the next 5 business days you’ll report as a theft with the BBB and the law enforcement offices in their city, county, and state.

    Comment by lullabyman — October 26, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

  30. I made the mistake of buying a Gateway desktop. I had ongoing problems with it. Gateways was evasive, didn’t return my calls, and in general was very adept at putting a “spin” on the situation. When I sent in the computer for the THIRD repair attempt in about six months, I enclosed a note that I was not accepting the computer back. Gateways insisted I take it back on it would be considered “abandoned.”

    I took the computer back and fought with Gateway for around six months trying to get them to take the computer back and give me a full refund. They initially refused to do this, but after writing a letter to my representative in congress, they took the computer back and refunded most of my money. They still wanted, however, to charge me INTEREST for the time that that I had the computer in my possession when Gateways refused to take it back. It sat in a closet unopened for several months while I tried to get Gateways to take the computer back.

    I finally again wrote my representative in congress, as well as the consumer divison of the state attorney general’s office, Gateways’ board of directors, as well as the FTC, and guess what? Gateway then dropped the interest charges so that my balance due was zero.

    In short, I had never had to deal with a company that was an inept, unethical, evasive, but so good at putting a “spin” on situations as Gateway.
    My recommendation is to never buy a computer from Gateways.

    Comment by Mark Stanton — November 1, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

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