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Gateway Computers
Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
A & K Jack
Town/City of Residence:

My wife bought a computer from Gateway, using her Royal Bank of Scotland Credit Card. It arrived in the week starting the 26th March 2001.

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 Excel.
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 line.

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 court.

  Editorial Comments

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 Jack"


previously submitted Consumer Comments
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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 Tulsa Oklahoma.
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 mail.

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:
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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