Gateway Tech Support Problem

Step one: Blame the user. Step two: See step one.

Welcome to Gateway Chat. My name and badge number are Diana_GWPR###. I am looking at your account and the information you submitted. I will begin troubleshooting with you in just a moment.

Hello Chris.

Howdy.

According to your submission and my data, the serial number for your Gateway system is ————-, a Gateway FX510XT with 2048 MB and the limited warranty expiration date is 5/23/2009. Is this correct?

That is correct.

Thank you for verifying your information. I see some opportunity here to enhance your computer experience. Let’s resolve the issue first and then discuss these options.

I’ve read your issue description from the submission form. I understand that you are having issue with your video card. Do you have any more details that may help us?

Not really. It’s not working. I spilled coffee onto my system and the only hardware that seemed to be affected was one of my video cards. after removing the problematic card (and cable… things seem to be in working order with the system. you will see that the card has coffee stains in the fan cage (internally, on the video card itself)

Alright Chris. I would recommend to send the system in for service.

Not the system, the card. The system, itself, is fine. It works fine without this video card… it’s the video card that’s messed up at this point – and quite possibly the cable connecting it to the second video card. If I send the entire system in, not only is it overkill – but I also run the risk of having the data on my hard drives wiped out.

Yes. I understand. But as I have checked you have the ADP warranty. And that is the warranty that we are going to use. The issue is customer induced damage and you need to send the whole system in for sevrice.

But I paid for on-site service? Why would I have to send it in?

Yes, that is correct Chris. All your data will be wiped out. But that is what your warranty states.

Whoa. You’re telling me that when there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the hard drive, I still have to send the entire system in – DESPITE having paid for on-site service – and that you’re guaranteeing me that all the data on the drive(s) will be wiped out?!

Seriously?!

Is this April 1st?

Alright. allow me a moment to check this if I can send the part to you.

The problem is with the hardware that I removed – customer induced or not.

Yes I understand. Let me check Chris.

Thank you for holding Chris.

I have read the policy regarding the warranty. As I have read, the ADp warranty ids for the system and not for the part. Therefore, since you accidentally damaged the part, in order to replace it, you need to purchase a new one. I apologize for the wrong information I gave you before.

…why did I buy the extended warranty?

Can you tell me?

The extended warranty you are referring is for the whole system. Now, your issue is a customer induced so you need to purchase a new one.

But why does the extended warranty not cover it?

What makes it so “extended”?

Because the issue was induced by you Chris.

I understand, it was my coffee – and that I accidentally spilled it.

Yes. I understand Chris. But the ADP warranty is for the whole system and not on the parts.

But I also believed that the extended warranty was worth something more than just being called an “Extended Warranty.”

Without parts, there is no system.

Yes I understand. I apologize Chris, but you really need to purchase the part.

I can not process any replacement or process anything because this was caused by the customer.

Good to know. I promise not to use the computer again, lest I run the risk of inducing something else.

It’s ALWAYS the user’s fault. I shouldn’t have been drinking coffee in the same room as my computer, and I should’ve gone to law school to properly interpret the warranty issued by said OEM. Their position is completely understandable – it WAS all my fault. I’m to blame for purchasing the system, I’m to blame for not understanding their definition of ‘ADP,’ and I’m to blame for the accident. I induced everything. But I also thought I had my ass covered.

And lest you think I’m being an absolute brat about this situation, you might know that I (indeed) purchased ADP – which is an “Accidental Damage Plan” (as defined by Gateway). In fact, it seems I purchased damn near every freakin’ kind of warranty possible from Gateway for this system:

  • 3yr Accidental Damage Stand-alone
  • 3yr Factory Labor
  • 3yr Parts Exch/Replace
  • C_3yr_Onsite_DT – Acctg 1Yr Std.
  • C_3yr_Tech_DT – 1Yr Std.
  • C_3yr_ValuePlus_DTHigh1Yr
  • C&B_3yr_ADPonly_Desktop_within365

Now, let’s step through a live shopping cart on Gateway.com – exactly like I would have done when I origianlly purchased the system and its extra warranties. We get to the “Protect Your Investment” page (sounds all official, doesn’t it). Here’s a direct citation from the Accidental Damage Plan section. Bulletpoints for ADP in the shopping cart indicate:

  • Coverage for accidental drops, spills & power surges
  • Duration must match the duration of your warranty above

The three year Accidental Damage Plan is listed as active in my account on Gateway.com, with 754 days remaining. ADP is only valid if I send the entire system in for inspection, according to Diana. However, if I decide to return the PC, as instructed by the TSR, I’m informed that all of my data would be erased (per the original agreement, apparently).

<rock>Me</hardplace>

Diana adds insult to injury, seemingly changing the rules midstream: “Since you accidentally damaged the part, in order to replace it, you need to purchase a new one.” So, she’s saying that the ADP is basically a POS – and that I wasted $50 on it. Actually, she’s saying that I wasted $5,000+ on the entire system. She says it again:

“Now, your issue is a customer induced so you need to purchase a new one.” Which begs the question: What the hell kind of spills are NOT customer induced?!

Un-fucking-believable. Go out of business already, Gateway. I may not have any legal ground to stand on – but that doesn’t make me feel any less swindled.