& K Jack
My wife bought a computer from Gateway, using her Royal Bank of
Scotland Credit Card. It arrived in the week starting the 26th
In early May I called technical support to complain about a number
of problems that had developed with the system: the mouse sometimes
did not work at all, the floppy drive did not work ever, and the
sound only functioned occasionally . A Gateway technician came
around on the 17th and 18th of May. He replaced the motherboard,
the floppy drive, and ordered new speaker leads.
The computer started malfunctioning again within a month. We spoke
again to technical support in the week starting the 25th June.
The computer would not save and was shutting down inappropriately.
The technician decided that the system itself was at fault, and
that it needed a BIOS. The BIOS was received on a floppy disk
by post during the week starting the 2nd July and duly installed.
From this point on the system again began having problems
saving and shutting down inappropriately, while using Microsoft
We contacted technical support again on Thursday 16th August.
The technical support person told my wife that we had a 'software
problem' and that Gateway could offer no further technical assistance.
He was adamant that all hardware problems with the system had
now been resolved. He told me that I could only obtain further
assistance by paying a fee to join the Gateway software support
On taking advice from 'Which legal line', we sent a registered
letter on the 20th of August proposing to Gateway that we seek
a joint expert to assess the problem, and asking them if they
would pay for this in full if the expert found in our favour.
We gave them seven days in which to reply (the advice of Which
legal line). They have not replied.
Obviously, Gateway have completely failed to ensure that the goods
we purchased are of satisfactory quality. Furthermore, by refusing
technical assistance they have failed to carry through on their
own customer service contract/guarantee.
I recently called an independent expert. He says that he could
not ascertain much more than I had told him by looking at the
computer without openning it (which would invalidate the warranty).
However, he was clear in his opinion that the computer should
not be sufferring from such basic problems when running very well
known and well tested programs like Microsoft Excel.
The computer has been nothing but trouble for us. It has cost
my wife weeks of trouble and lost work (due to refusing to save!)
whilst she has been writing up a PhD. We want a full refund and
to return the system. I am presently writing to you and to computer
magazines. If that is unsuccessful, we will go to the small claims
It doesn't sound reasonable to us that Gateway would refuse to
rectify what they call a "software problem" when this
was apparently caused by their attempted repairs to the hardware.
Gateway should be more helpful and co operative. We have issued
a Right of Reply letter to Gateway. We would like to hear of your
experiences with Gateway Computers.
update 26 September 2001
" Gateway has contacted us to offer further technical
assistance over the phone. As a result some changes to power
management have been made in the bios settings. Gateway have
also offered to take the computer in for extended testing. The man
who dealt with us was pleasant and he apologised for the attitude
taken by technical support staff in the past. However, he would
not consider accepting that we return the computer.
We feel caught between two opposing camps. Which legal line recommended
that we do not allow Gateway to have the computer for testing, since
they could simply fix any faults, and deny there was ever any problem
with it. Which legal line thinks we should go for the refund (or
rather, supported our inclination to do so). On the other hand,
the fault is intermittent and thus difficult to demonstrate to others.
This makes us nervous of pursuing that strategy, which would involve
the small claims courts. Any further advice is welcome. Anthony
I had to have my computer serviced.
This was after having it one week. The machine has
been in the shop over a week now. They are a bit slow in this. From
Robert Skuy ... 26 September 2003
I called maybe 10 times in one day
spent over 15 hours trying to fix mine when they
don't know for sure so they tell me to go and erase my hard drive,
I did and they about told me half of what to do after that, I will
never buy another gateway product.
Terri James ... 4 December 2003
Not only do we also have problems
shutting down inappropriately,but ours freezes all the time and
we have to restart . And we bought a camcorder this
christmas.We couldn't get it to work/even with the disk you have
to download. We called and some nitwit they hired in tech support
had no answers except "to send it back"We wanted to have
the problem fixed not sent back. She forwarded our call to a voice
We left our meassage and e-mail address and it's been a month.No
call back,no e-mails.Which by the way is hard to do.I tried to e-mail
my problem three times and it will not go through!What is a person
to do? Now I need an address to send it back and can't find that!
Can anyone help with an address?I am going else where for my computwer
needs.Maybe we should have all tried Dell......? If anyone e-mails
me please let me know it is about the Gateway comments.I delelte
mail I do not know. Thank you!Happy New year to all!
Sharon Melton ... 29 December 2003
I have a ongoing complaint concerning
gateway computers which has many similarities to
this case. I am now in the process of suing gateway in the small
claims court. I would like to speak to A&K Jack about it. My
e mail address is: email@example.com
Julian Deghy...12 February 2002
I wish I had read this before I bought
from Gateway. I too ordered a computer from Gateway.
It has not worked from day one. The computer shuts down unexpectedly
resulting in files being lost or corrupted.
I've tried several times to contact Gateway and explain the problem.
They say they'll send out a replacement. That was a month ago and
I fear that I will not see any replacement at all. M. Mapu..
13 October 2001
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