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."
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?!
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...