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screwed by Alienware

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Fuzzbass, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Bought a new PC from them in February. Ridiculously long wait for a $500 rebate. I should've gotten the rebate by now so I email their support center. Alienware politely informed me that because I did not send the original sales receipt (so they claim), my rebate has been voided. This is the first I've heard of this. I phone their support center as suggested in the email... I get two morons who basically say "The rebate department rules, no second chance, sux to be you".

    Actually, the second guy is the first guy's manager. He said that I had had 45 days to ensure that the rebate department received the receipt, and it's all my fault for not calling within that time period to confirm this, even though the rebate wasn't due for months.

    Whatever. I'm sure what they're doing is legal (though for this amount of money I'll check with the FTC), but I can't believe how sleazy it is.
  2. that sucks. i would be kicking and screaming until i talked to the top dog over there. that is the only way you will see your money.
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I called my credit card company and initiated a complaint, then left an online complaint with the FTC. The second Alienware idiot I talked to claimed that the only guy above him was the president of the company (yeah, right) and he didn't talk to customers (of course not).

    I'm trying to think of other options. Politicians here in MD? Or maybe FL where Alienware is based?

    I like the PC okay, but it is only worth the $1800 after-rebate price... it sure as hell ain't worth the $2300 I paid for it. Whatever. I'll never buy another Alienware regardless of how happy I am with their product... they're a skeezy company.
  4. They are building a new corportate headquaters. I drive by it on my way to band practice. U want me to smash some windows or something? lol. I guess they need all the money they can get to get it built. :meh: Any ways good luck with getting your money back.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Rebates are in general a sucky thing to deal with. I bought my Toshiba laptop with $250 worth of rebates that I want, but my mother's sworn she'd take that off my hands, so if she doesn't see the money, it sucks, but it's not going to cost me anything. However, rebates suck very much, each one is different and they all have their discrepancies. You NEED to read the fine print on each and every one. Otherwise, they can claim corporate policy and screw you over like this. But the good thing about them, is in the end, you forgot you had money coming your way, it ends up being "found money" (just like tax returns) and you buy something nice for yourself.
  6. That does suck.

    The only thing I can think of is The B.B.B.

    But for that to work you would have to have an actual gripe.

    What I would do ( if you haven't already) is double check their requirements as far as the original receipt goes for the rebate, and then check to see if they can actually do that. They may have to accept a copy from what I am thinking. Which is, I would think you would have to keep the original receipt for more than one reason. What if it is a small business expense and you need the receipt for a tax record. You may also need the receipt for warranty purposes. It's just a shot in the dark but be pretty cool if it were to pay off. Sticking it to the man.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    True, rebates suck to begin with. I thought I did my part and gave them everything they asked for, including the original sales receipt.

    Even if I didn't give them what they asked for, it's not like I'm asking them to send the rebate to a different person or a different address. But again, I don't know that I *didn't* follow their stupid rules exactly. Bottom line is, they're screwing me out of $500 on an insignificant technicality. There's no reason they can't say "you paid X+Y, and we haven't rebated Y, so we will do so right away because we value repeat customers".

    I forget the exact number, but something like half the people eligible for mail-in rebates bother to send them in. That's enough of a profit margin. It simply sucks that people who *do* go through the trouble of jumping through that hoop can still get screwed. There's no justification for it. Any company who plays those games doesn't deserve respect.
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah, I'm going to see if I still have all that crap. I'm not even sure I kept a copy of the rebate form. Probably doesn't matter... I'm sure they've covered their butts legally. But just because they're legal, doesn't mean they're ethical. "You get just one chance and if you screw it up we keep your $500". What a bunch of bull****.
  9. Alienware has the worst customer service ever. Be prepared to deal with them, too.
  10. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    So, their technical support sucks as bad as their customer support? Oh great, one more thing to worry about.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I shouldn't write when I'm pissed off.

    "You people obviously don't give a damn about customer satisfaction. If you did, you would rebate $500 to me as promised. Instead, you "voided" my rebate due to a ridiculous technicality. If you don't return my $500, I will never buy another Alienware computer, and will tell everyone I know how unhappy I am with your adequate but overpriced hardware and unethical business practices.

    FYI, I have initiated complaints with my credit card company and the FTC. I'm sure these complaints will go nowhere, because you no doubt have covered yourselves legally. But even if you're behaving legally, it's still not ethical.

    I'm sure you can justify to yourselves that you have somehow "earned" the right to keep my $500. I'm sure you're laughing all the way to the bank that I'm so stupid that I (allegedly) can't follow your fine print to the letter, and therefore don't deserve the $500 rebate you advertised in huge red letters.

    Have fun with my money. Maybe you can buy some extra soft toilet tissue for the marble bathrooms you're installing in your new corporate headquarters. Maybe you can have my face printed on it.

    But then, if that's how Alienware treats their customers, I wonder how they'll treat their low-level employees, the ones who actually do the work? No worries, I'm sure management will share the wealth. Have a good life."
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    You're right.

    I'd hate to say it, that letter will probably get you nowhere. Being polite and friendly, offering ideas to find a compromise, I have always found to be much more reliable when it comes to being heard. IMO, starting with "You obviously don't give a damn about customer service" will get the email deleted before the end of this sentence.
  13. Exactly what I was going to say. This is why, in the future, I'm only dealing with instant rebates.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I spoke to two Alienware reps on the phone: the first was polite but couldn't help me. His manager was not polite, and hung up on me for being impolite, even though I never used abusive language and carefully explained to him that I was upset with his company, and not with him.

    So: if I thought a formal letter had the slightest chance of getting me the rebate, I would've been formal (they don't deserve "polite" or "friendly"). Venting does nothing either... except help me sleep better tonight.

    If I decide to write a formal letter, it will go to the CEO of Alienware, not a generic "feedback" mailto.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've had no problems with mail-ins before, from retailers or manufacturers. But I'm completely done with 'em now (obviously...)
  16. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    Um... dude... call them and threaten to write to BBB... then go up the chain and keep on telling them that... Funny... over some small crap they lost so many customers...
  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    those damn things are way overpriced.... anyway, sorry to hear of it, I would keep complaining like kserg said, find new and creative ways to get to them.
  18. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I don't know man...I was talking to a guy who bought one about the cost thing and he ended up finding all the comparable parts through pricegrabber.com and adding up the cost of each part from the cheapest source. The assembled and warranted alienware machine came up cheaper than buying all parts separately.

    brad cook
  19. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Alienware PCs are easily the worst computers I have ever dealt with. My company has had more than 20 in the test and compat pool over the years and we've had problems with every single one of them. From shipping boxes with hosed OSes to sending machines with non functional fan/heatsink units that resulted in fried CPUs, Alienware has managed to do it all.

    And even when they work they are no better than the generic OEM Dell/HP/Compaq boxes we maintin for the same purposes.

    I wish people would really do research into companies and talk with people who deal with this stuff day to day before buying, then companies like Alienware wouldn't be able to get away with what they get away with.

    Also: most knowledgable computer users will avoid rebates like the pague, you usually have a better chance of winning a scratch off than getting any money out of them. Almost every major retail chain in the computer industry has at least 1 class action against them regarding rebates and the failure of the manufacturer to pay.

    Sorry you got burned. I recomend making yourself as much a thorn in their side as you can. Tech support calls to outsource call centers (which Alienware uses, don't belive anything they say to the contrary, I used to work for their outsource) run between $2 and $5 per minute. So make sure you use at least 250 minutes of tech support phone time to balance the $500 they got from you.
  20. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    Compaq did almost the same thing to me, but it was only for $50 so I let it slide.

    They made up some stupid thing about how my recipt arrived there after the 30 day rebate period, even though they clearly marked that your rebate only had to be POSTMARKED during the 30 day period.