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 Post subject: The Gateway Power Adapter Blues
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:02 pm 
8086
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:49 pm
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So here's the skinny. Note: this is long. I apologize, I want to get as much clear information in case someone can point me in the right direction.

I did a ton of research into wanting to buy a new laptop. My desktop is a P4 with a Radeon 9250 in it, enough to play HL2 and WoW on low. So when I decided on a new laptop, I wanted something with some bang so I could play some games. Nothing too new, but WoW and TF2 with all the bells and whistles on. I also wanted a laptop that could tear through video editing and Adobe products.

My budget was about 2k. So it was a strike of luck when I found the Gateway P-7811 FX. A decent processor, a smoking fast mobile video card, 4gb RAM and all for $1450? Sold! I found a Best Buy deal on Labor Day for $1250. SOLD!

And all was well. I used the computer constantly for the first 11 days I've had it, playing everything I wanted, running applications like they were butter. And all was well... or so I thought, until Friday, September 12th. While playing WoW with a friend, I noticed my screen flickering between battery brightness and plugged in brightness, eventually ending in battery brightness. I unplugged the power adapter from the wall and noticed how hot it was. I let it cool off completely, but it didn't matter: the power adapter burnt itself out. The laptop worked fine on battery after this. I drained the battery getting some files off of the computer, and dead now it sat on my family room table.

At this point, I understand that flaws in computers happen and sometimes you just get a bad break or defective part pretty much out of the box. I'm okay with that! It happens, so I wanted to rectify this quickly, as I needed the laptop for a college class the following Wednesday. I used Gateways Live Tech Support chat thing and talked to what I hope was a real person about getting a replacement. She told me yes, they'll send me a new one, and it would be 3-5 business days until I received it. Grah, slow, and I desperately offered to pay for a faster shipping time, but no dice. Okay, I could live 3-5 days. She also told me I would get an email confirming that it shipped shortly. Alright, cool.

A day passed and no email, so on Saturday, the 14th, I sent a short email to them asking about the status of the part. They told me they "are still preparing for the parts to be shipped to you". At this point, I got a little more angry, but I stayed cool. I could wait until the weekend was over for this to ship.

2 days pass, and I shoot them another email Monday the 15th, and I got almost the same response word for word. They were STILL preparing to ship my replacement part! The chance that I would get this any time soon began to fade from my mind.

Wednesday, yet another email, this time, no response at all. Slightly more angry, but keeping my cool, I sent another email Thursday, this time getting a simple response this morning, Friday. The response?

"The replacement AC Adapter was sent to you please allow a 1 - 2 week time frame."

*eye twitch*

I'm sorry, but what?! I was told I would get the part in 3-5 business days, and now you're telling me 1-2 WEEKS after an entire week of Gateway NOT shipping it?!

*mind explodes*

I know, I might be called a fool for buying Gateway, but I've heard stories that the support aspect of the company changed. I want to believe it so bad, but after this, I just can't. The laptop is wonderful, the best computer I've ever owned, and again, I understand that some parts are faulty sometimes. It happens. But this? This is unacceptable.

So I guess I have some questions to the rest of the Max PC world. One, is there anything I can do in this situation? Anyone I can call, talk to, express my disappointment over Gateway, or am I stuck to complaining about it on an internet chatboard? This wouldn't of gotten me so fired up except for one thing: they lied with the ETA. If they would of told me right off the bat "2-3 weeks", I could have at least ordered a new one from somewhere and be up and running the whole last week instead of them yanking me around for 7 days.

Two, can anyone recommend a place to buy another power adapter? I'm finding hits all over the internet for the model (standard Gateway 120W, 19V Out 6.3A) but I'm having a really hard time at finding which sites are legit or not. Also, third party power adapters. Recommended or avoid like the plague? I've heard both sides from my friends, and now it's time to see what people who have some idea of what they're talking about opinion. They're 30 dollars cheaper than the offical ones, but I'd rather not risk setting something on fire. Or something.

Three, has anyone else had a problem with their power adapters with the P-7811 FX laptop? I haven't seen any reports on the internet, so I truly believe I just had a bad luck of the draw on the part.

If you've made it this far, congrats and thank you for taking the time out to hear one guys sob story about Gateway. I just hope I can do something about this, because sitting around having them play me like a fool majorly sucks. I have saved all of my chats and emails up until this point in case I need them for reference, if that could help any. I'm doubtful I'll get much help from anywhere on the internet, but you never know who could be reading...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:29 pm 
Team Creamsicles
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Man that sucks how you got burned like that. I have a cheaper gateway laptop, the mt6828 (specs: core 2 duo 1.6GHz, 2gb RAM, 120GB hdd, Intel gma 950 graphics) Anyways, I've had great success with gateway's support. about a month after I bought the computer, the hard drive died. I called gateway, they sent me another one within 3 days, and what's more is that they gave me 20 gigs free (120GB vs 100gb that it came with). They even paid for shipping for me to send the dead hard drive back to them. Fast forward ~8 months, the power adapter starts to act up. It won't work for anything you do. It basically just died. I called them up again, I say "my power adapter won't work at all" The tech says "does it work if you jiggle it around?" "no" "ok we'll have another one sent to you within a week.". in 4 days I had a new adapter.

Try calling them. It seems that their phone support is much better than their online crap.

BTW, how's the laptop other than the power cord? I wanna get that one because the integrated graphics in my laptop sucks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:43 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:49 pm
Posts: 13
You give me a great spark of hope, and I shall call them first thing tomorrow morning.

As for the laptop itself, as I said, the best computer I've ever owned. The 1900x1200 17' screen is beautiful, games run wonderful (granted, I haven't tried anything super new, but Spore runs playable, TF2 is 50FPS with everything on high at 19x12, and WoW is 60FPS stable at 19x12 max settings as well), video encoding flies, it's just wow. Which is why it's such a shame that I'm being jerked around, because the hardware itself is fantastic. I have a few nitpicks, of course (the FN key and the CTRL key are reversed on the keyboard so FN is in the corner, so it's annoying to try and CTRL+key at the beginning until you get used to shifting your hand over, and the speakers are nothing to write home about) but nothing that would make me not buy it.

Thanks for the advice about calling, is there anything specific I have to do, or will I actually get to speak to someone right off the bat?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:18 am 
Team Creamsicles
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haha I'm not worried about the flipped fn key. The laptop I have now has that too so Im used to it. All of my friends get pissed off at it when they try to use my computer :P. And the speakers in this laptop are pure garbage. even my $2 earbud headphones sound better than them, so you can just imagine how horrible they must be.

Have you tried crysis on it? I know that even a 4870x2 cant handle it very well. but does it at least run well on high or medium?

As for calling them, you have to go through that crap in the beginning like "dial 1 for tech questions, dial 2 for warranty info, etc." then you get someone who is actually a native english speaker :o


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:59 am 
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http://www.priorityelectronics.com/ works for lappy stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:02 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:49 pm
Posts: 13
Okay, getting to the short end of my rope.

3 days, a dozen phone calls. What the hell am I doing wrong? Why won't they transfer me? It doesn't matter what option in the branches of Gateway's phone support, the call always ends the same "Unfortunately, I can't transfer you at this time, please use support.gateway.com...". Even if I "wait on the line if you're on a rotary phone and you'll be transferred" doesn't work! What the hell?!

Is it because my serial number isn't the standard 10, instead option to be a letter + 10 numbers + space + 2 numbers? Is that it? I insert the first 10 numbers and the system freaks out? Is there a way to get past this?

I'm going mad over here. This is such a sour experience, and I'm *REALLY* trying to keep my cool, but this is starting on the path of me telling anyone and everyone who will listen to this story about how BAD this actually is.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:44 pm 
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an alternate option would be to go through bestbuy. I'm pretty sure that they give a 1 year complimentary warranty to their computers, if not, then there should definitely be a 30 day warranty. Sorry that the phone route didnt work.


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