Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Buyer Beware!!

Please allow me a moment to share my thoughts regarding Best Buy. No Knitting content on this post.

If you are contemplating purchasing a desk top computer (and/or possibly a laptop).....you might want to consider buying directly from the manufacturer and NOT Best Buy!

We purchased 2 Gateway desk top computers a year ago this month from Best Buy. These computers had the most current operating system, dual large monitors, the works!! Fast forward to one year and 8 DAYS past the date of purchase and the mother board goes out on one of the systems.

I phoned Gateway tech support to see about purchasing a part and was informed that Gateway contracts with Best Buy to sell "end of life" computers with current software. These computers ARE new computers, NOT rebuilt.....but the "guts" of the system if you will is "end of life" which means Gateway no longer supports, nor does the manufacturer of the internal components.....this is NOT a software issue, but rather an issue of the unit itself.

We did not purchase an extended warranty as when put to the wall, Best Buy admitted that they do not service their own extended warranties.....but it is marketed out to a third party company.....out of state and would require us sending in our entire tower (which contains all of our work info and we were not willing to let strangers have access to sensitive account information). It is amazing what you learn when you push the sales person to "show you in writing"!!!

While I do realize that technology changes almost daily it seems like, but the physical components of a unit (i.e. boards, etc.) are not ditched and new parts manufactured daily....remember, we are not talking about the software.

I was sick to know that the SEVERAL THOUSAND dollars we spent on computers was for systems that no one supports!!! The manufacturer no longer makes parts for these computers.....remember, these were purchased one year and 8 DAYS ago!!

In our business we do not sell "end of life" equipment as the manufacturer can no longer supply parts! Gateway should not sell "end of life" equipment unless they have some kind of disclaimer alerting the customer.....but then again, I don't imagine someone would actually purchase these computers if they knew they were end of life. In my line of work we do have a lot of 3rd party companies that manufacture parts for equipment....."generic" parts if you will, at a considerable savings over the manufacturers parts, so I researched and discovered that Gateway has their units configured so that the "generic" motherboard will not fit their units.....so they "have you" more ways than one.

I do not know if all Gateway computers sold at Best Buy are end of life, just desk top models, etc.

The tech support department at Gateway actually suggested that I complain to the corporate office as this was a procedure that he personally did not agree with!!

In closing, I would like to strongly urge you to consider buying a computer direct from the manufacturer. I don't know if there is a price difference, you may end up paying a bit more.....but the small amount saved purchasing retail from an "authorized" dealer.....is NOT worth it. The fact that you can walk into a store and actually see what you are purchasing definitely has it's good points over ordering "sight unseen" but still not worth the risk in my opinion. Had we of been informed that this was the case with Best Buy we most CERTAINLY would not have purchased these computers! I don't believe that the sales staff at Best Buy is aware of this issue. When I spoke with the service manager at Best Buy, he was not aware of the issue with the parts no longer being manufactured.....but upon investigation admitted that I was correct.

Please feel free to pass this info along to anyone you choose. I would like to let other unsuspecting consumers to be privy to this information.


paula said...

Man, I am glad I bought a Dell (my third one) because I wanted to stick with the "devil you know," however that saying goes. Even if tech support is REALLY long distance. :) Good luck

Doogle Knits said...

Oh Darlene! I'm so sorry. You are really not having a good customer service week. Did you contact the STR folks?

flwrhead said...

That's horrible! I can't believe they do that and don't make it known to the customer! Especially since the customer KNOWS how fast things get updated but the main computer itself can't be fixed? That's ridiculous.

tonni said...

I'm so sorry you are having these troubles... I guess this means you did not get your PC's fixed over the weekend :(

I always follow computer advice from dear dad... who says get direct from Dell.

So, when he gets new parts for his Dell's, I get the hand-me-downs and they work just fine :)

sydney said...

Sorry to hear about your computer problems. When we replace parts for our customers' computers, we can often find replacement parts somewhere on the Internet.

Teyani said...

that definitely stinks.
thanks for the update on this company.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

This is sure good to know. I'll be buying direct from Dell on my next purchase. Had already decided, but you've confirmed the reason for it ... even if it won't be for another few years.