I purchased a media center PC (DHS-321) in June '04. After I installed the system, I immediately had problems: 1) The wireless mouse and keyboard did not work and 2) the television image that played through the PC had “pixalization” on the screen. I called Alienware’s technical support line to discuss the problems I encountered. On the first item, I was told to contact the wireless vendor directly for a replacement because the device had a recall. (Why is Alienware sending out devices to customers that require a recall ?) The second problem required trouble shooting with their technical support staff over the next few days. This ‘troubleshooting’ required me to: Open the system case on various occasions to see if the fan was running while the system was on, replacing a TV tuner card and reloading the operating system on multiple occasions. I personally logged over 15 hours attempting to fix this machine based on instructions provided to me by Alienware technical support. A few days later, I asked Alienware to either replace my machine or provide me with a full refund because it was obvious that I had a defective machine. Alienware said I could cancel the order but I would be charged a 15% restocking fee and I would be required to pay for shipping to return the machine. After many phone calls to ‘Customer Service’ and speaking with different supervisors, I was finally able to get Alienware to agree to send me a replacement machine.
The replacement machine arrived eleven weeks later in October. When I unpacked the machine, I noticed that the wireless equipment was not wrapped and was loosely packed in the box. The wireless keyboard also had a missing/broken key on the keyboard. While running through the system setup, the machine crashed. Once again, I was on the phone with technical support. Technical support advised me that it appeared that the windows install was corrupted. I was told how to reinstall the ‘ghost image’ with the ‘respawn’ cd that was included with the system. I performed their instructions for re-imaging the machine and attempted the system setup again. The system crashed at the same step during the setup which leads me to believe that the system was never tested before it was shipped because the ‘ghost image’ evidently was corrupted in the same place! Once again I had to call technical support who then advised me to completely wipe out the system by reloading everything by using the ‘recovery cd’. I performed the tasks as per the technician’s instructions. After the new system load, I was able to complete the system setup and test the components of the system. Due to the problems I encountered with the first system, I immediately setup some television shows to record to ensure I would not have the same image problem that I experienced with the first unit. The next morning when I checked the machine, the same television ‘pixalization’ problem that was reported with the first machine was occurring again. At an additional cost to myself, I went to the store and purchased all new monster brand cables to see if this would correct the problem….it did not.
I called Alienware the next morning, and requested a full refund (no restocking fee or shipping fee) since it was evident that they are selling equipment that isn’t tested and because of the efforts the customer is required to undertake in order to get their system to work. I asked to speak to supervisor so I could get the issue resolved immediately. The supervisor would not take my call and the Customer Service rep., told me that upper management needs to approve the full refund and a member of upper management would call me Monday or Tuesday of the following week. Needless to say, no one had called me by Tuesday afternoon so I placed another call to Customer Service. After being placed on hold for over 15 minutes, the representative told me to expect a call from a supervisor reviewing the case by the end of the day. No one called by the end of the day and no one has called today...beware of this company!