Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Story Updates

2002/03/08:

  • Ok, I sent my response to Randolph. I got a reply from Alex Aguila, the president of Alienware. We exchanged some email on the matter. Net result -- no change. Site stays up, domain stays with me, no more interaction.
  • I will post the email discussion (which Alex gave permission to do) soon.
  • Oh, and the exchange rate is NOT better than when the charge went on my Visa, so I lost money on that deal too.
  • Now I just need to do the detailed timeline and post the feedback that I've received from you, my loyal readers. Ok, I suspect it's less about loyalty and more about Schadenfreude

2002/02/19:

  • Ok, it's not exactly over. Randolph called this morning to ask me a couple of things:
    1. Did I get my refund ok?Yes!
    2. What would it take for me to take down the site?
      Hmm, I don't know. I don't know if I want to. I told him I'd get back to him (which has a nice ironic twist to it).

2002/02/15:

  • Oh my God! It's over!! I got my credit. It's beautiful!
  • This is what it looks like in my online statement:
    • 12 Feb 2002 ALIENWARE CORP CUSTOMER S305-2519797 FL 344.64 CR 220.00 USD @ 1.5665
  • Now to figure out if the better exchange rate now vs. Aug 22 covers the loss of interest on the money (just to be anal).

2002/02/12: (again)

  • Well Shut My Mouth. Randolph just faxed me the receipt showing the credit to my account. Now to wait for it to actually show up on Visa.
  • Visa says that it may take as long as a week for the credit to show up, they don't process them as fast as debits. I wonder if this means I'll show the one Alienware claimed went through last week soon?

2002/02/12:

  • After calling a bunch more times, and having the issue "under investigation" by accounting to determine why they credit(s) they show never showed up on my Visa, I finally talked to the manager (Randolph).
  • Randolph said he'd credit it right away (yesterday) and fax me the receipt.
  • Randolph called back this morning to say the credit went through and to get my fax # so he could fax me the receipt.
  • Could this be the end? I'm not holding my breath.

2002/02/01 (twice):

  • Called a bunch of times since last update. Various answers from "We show it credited" to "Accounting shows no charge to refund".
  • Javier says accounting shows the credit applied. Will fax the receipt to Visa. I should call back Monday.
  • I ask to talk to Roland. He doesn't work there anymore I'm Shocked! How could the manager of a quality service centre like this have moved on?
  • New service manager's name is Randolph.

2002/01/09 (again):

  • OH. MY. GOD. Alienware just called asking for my Visa #. Again! 4th time! I called back to say that I'd already given it to them, and they confirmed that it was there in the account. And the hits just keep on rolling.
  • Here's an interesting link that seems like something I should send them when this is all over: [broken] here.
  • I've sent an email to Roland (manager) to see if he can straighten this crap out. I don't expect anything. I'll talk to him in a couple days when I phone to complain that the credit hasn't appeared again.

2002/01/09:

  • I take it back, "sucks" is NOT too strong a word to use in connection with Alienware. Since I returned the parts replaced from the original service (received Nov 5 according to Fed Ex) and I STILL haven't received the credit for the deposit I put down August 22, 2001 for the replacement parts. I've had to give them my Visa # 3 times, and their latest excuse is that the guy in accounting that they gave it to is on holidays. Pretty lame.

2001/11/19:

  • Ok, work's almost calmed down, so the site should be properly updated soon.
  • To bring you up to date, I finally got my system back, with Athlon XP 1800 processor, new hard drive [1], sound card[2], case[3]
  • [1]:my hard drive got broken [4] when I shipped it down to them, since I didn't have the original box, and thus it wasn't as protective as it should have been. I guess I should have backed it up before I shipped it, but the system I was going to do that on cratered when I tried (I have a magical touch).
  • [2]: Used to be a SoundBlaster Live! Platinum, but they had problems with it with my new system, so I got a SB Audigy.
  • [3]:Their new, standard box. Very nice, big, well ventilated, easy access.
  • [4]:Or so they claim. They also claimed they found files about "overclocking" on the drive, so which is it?
So, in conclusion I would like to say:
  1. Thanks to Roland Poitevien (customer service manager) for going to all this effort to make up for my poor service.
  2. I learned that I should:
    1. keep track of calls to service, so that if there are problems, I'll notice soon and have the facts.
    2. Talk to mangagement way sooner when things go badly.
"Sucks" now seems a little strong from one perspective, considering all the effort they went to to make up for the service problems. But then again, it has been 22 weeks[!] since I first called tech support. Of that, I figure I'm responsible for about 3-5 weeks of the delay; that's still 17+ weeks of fumbling on their end.

2001/10/22:

  • Still pretty busy at work right now, but here's a quickie update: Finally talked to the service manager (about 2 weeks ago), and he's going to upgrade my system from Athlon 1.1GHz to Pentium IV 1.4GHz for free. As much as I hate to go to the dark side, it's not the worst thing in the world to get a fast Intel processor. Now all I have to do is get around to backing up my hard drive and shipping it back.

2001/10/03:

  • I'm pretty busy at work right now, what with Betas going out and stuff, so I can't keep this site up to date. It suffices to say, the saga continues. I have finally received the parts and had them installed, but not completely, and I'm now waiting for the remainder of the work to be authorized so that it can be completed.

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