Saturday, August 02, 2008

Not Worth the Money

I recently (as in, last night) purchased a harlot red little Gateway laptop from one of our local electronic stories (the initials are CC).

The laptop itself so far seems fine, although I haven't had a chance to use it much. I think I got it at a decent price.

I enjoyed my experience at the store. I felt like the salesman was listening and I didn't have to pay the sales tax and they matched an ad for MS Office 2007. The computer was already on sale, $90 off. It seemed like a good deal.

What wasn't a good deal was the $70 I paid to CC for software installation and something called "quickstart".

As explained to me at the point of sale, the tech would remove extraneous advertising that comes on new PCs and make sure everything was updated and properly installed so that when I came home I could boot the system and vrooom .... I could get straight to it.

I have always done this myself for new computer purchases, but my husband said, "Go on, let them take care of it. It's a new operating system (Windows Vista, which I haven't used) and I know that takes you a lot of time."

He has listened to me voice expletives before as I sweated over a new computer set-up. This is my second laptop and I've had a number of desktops (2 HPs, 2 Gateways, 1 made for me, 1 Radio Shack, 1 Tandy, and 1 Commodore 64, 1 Vic 20 ... not counting the Toshiba laptop and now this new Gateway. I think that is all of them but I may be missing one in there somewhere.).

So I agreed and we spent $70 for this service, $29.99 for software installation and $39.99 for this quickstart set up. CC called late last night, about 2 hours after the purchase, and said the laptop was ready.

I had a hair appointment in Roanoke anyway this morning, so I went and picked it up. It is not like the store is next door; it's a 40 minute drive.

Upon my return home, I turned the thing on and after it connected to my wireless connection on my home network, the computer started downloading upgrades for Vista.

I was not happy about this. While it's something that, knowing Microsoft, will continue from now until the end of time, the fact is I shouldn't have turned the thing on and had that occur since I'd paid $39.99 just so that would not happen.

I called CC and was shuffled around and eventually told I got what I'd paid for. Essentially I was patted on the head and told to be a good girl and go away and leave the boys to their toys.

It's only $40, I know. But that is a tank of gas or a week's worth of food for us. I feel like I wasted that money and I will not purchase this kind of service from CC or anyone else ever again.

I would advise anyone who has even a small amount of computer knowledge to keep their money and do the initial set up themselves. If nothing else you'll learn from the process and still be able to buy gas.


  1. What a bad experience. Ugh! It gets my blood boiling when I have to deal with lousy service and get ripped off. Bothers me for days. I have refused to go back to stores because of being treated that way. It's good you told us. I'll search elsewhere when I need another computer.

  2. Once again we're on the same page. This weekend I went to CC too and bought the laptop next to your red one, the blue one. They tried to talk me into doing the same thing but I didn't go for it. When I got home my son did it all. I discovered that the Vista I bought is 64-bit, not the usual 32-bit which means that a lot of hardware and software is not made for it yet. Luckily my son was able to download something from HP so that my printer can now work with it or I would have been screwed. Unfortunately the digital voice recorder I bought at the same time does not work with it so I have to use my old computer. If I didn't have my son I probably would have brought it back because I was so frustrated and taken the 15% restock fee hit. Technology...ugh!

  3. Hey, well at least you didn't buy a Dell where it takes them three months to figure out the RAM is bad in the computer. SIGH.... Congrats on the Gateway - I always had good luck with them. As for CC or BB, there little computer things are a rip off. I had a friend who had similar experiences with BB. I guess we all live and learn. =)

  4. RnR - how do you tell which "bit" your Vista is?

  5. There's either a 32 or 64 after your version of Vista's name. Are you liking the computer? I'm not liking typing on a laptop. I make too many mistakes and it feels awkward. I prefer my desktop keyboard so any real writing is gonna stick to that one. Maybe it takes time to get used to it, I dunno.

  6. RNR - thanks! Mine is 32, I guess based on your earlier comment that is a good thing.

  7. Dew, as my son explained it to me...the same thing happened when XP first came, then Vista, etc. so soon enough 64 shouldn't be a problem. I hope.


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