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Which PC vendor has the best tech support?

Old 04-29-04, 11:18 PM
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Which PC vendor has the best tech support?

I'm in the market for purchasing a new desktop PC. I am torn between buying one off the shelf that approximates my needs/wants/desires, or going to a local shop and having them custom build me one. One of my needs is to have tech support that will either help me fix it (preferably without an Indian accent), or replace it. While I'm not crazy about shipping in the US mail, I called Gateway who couldn't commit to not charging me a 15% restocking fee + return shipping should the computer the ship me be flawed. No Thanks. I'm also looking at emachines T3065 which I could pick up locally, however I want something with 1024 or RAM and a dedicated video card, and it falls short. My problem with getting a custom built from the ground up from a local place is that I can't be sure of how good their product is and how well they'll stand behind it. Anyway, I'm just looking for other POV to give me some clarity and direction. Anyone?
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Old 04-30-04, 02:15 AM
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Go local, get to know the owner. Tech Support for all major vendors suck ass. That is of course if you like talking to tech support where english is not their primary language as pretty much all vendors have outsourced ther tech support overseas.

Unless your comfortable building your own, then theres no better tech support than yourself.

Not that I'm in a pissy mood and slightly disgruntled being laid off from Gateway Tech Support and I have 1 week left at HP. Granted I'm going into active duty military service this time around. I was Anaheim Deskside Support Lead for HP employees in case you were wondering.

Oh and eMachines and Gateway are now just the same company so you can count on yiddish speaking techs or such. All Gateway techs were laid off and it is completely outsourced, mainly overseas. Even HP's internal Help Desk is outsourced overseas. I can't speak for Dell specifically but I hear their semi alright, but i bet you 50 bucks that if thay haven't done some overseas outsourcing...they will.

So I'd have to recomend a more local source that's been doing it for 10 years or more would be the route to go. Never buy from someone who pressures the sell on you. Ask questions and you'll know if you have a semi decent salesman if you ask a hard question and they are honest if they don't know.

So yes, if your not comfortable building one with parts from newegg or such. Then get Dell, Alienware, or local.

I'm sure their are folks who will disagree with me...but right now i'm in a pissy mood and don't care...sorry.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-30-04, 06:00 AM
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during all my years working tech support.. Ive had to deal with pretty much all of them

Dell has far and away been the best Ive dealt with (although I havent ever had to talk to anyone overseas)

and HP is by far the worst that Ive dealt with

and Ive talked to many local computer shop owners.. and from what Ive seen, they commonly tell people that any problem requires a format and reload, then charge them the standard $35 to reload windows and another $50 if you want anything backed up.. very little effort put into actually troubleshooting. (no, i havent EVER let a local shop owner work on my machine.. but Ive also always built my own and supported my own)

your best support option..... us!
you just want to make sure you get someone that stands behind their hardware.. and will replace it quickly when needed.. this is questionable at many local stores.
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Old 04-30-04, 12:14 PM
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That's why I built my own computer, this way I am my own product support, and I dont have to wait on the phone to talk to someone!
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Old 04-30-04, 12:19 PM
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Tech support for the big companies has never been all that great, but it's gone completely downhill since they started outsourcing it.
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Old 04-30-04, 12:34 PM
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A lot of tech support for major companies is heading to India. They are even teaching them to speak English with accents that represent the area of the caller. I.e., if you are calling from Arkansas, you will talk to an Indian speaking with a southern accent. Freaky!
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Old 04-30-04, 12:37 PM
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I heard Gateway is laying off 40% of its workers.
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Old 04-30-04, 04:17 PM
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not sony
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Old 04-30-04, 04:45 PM
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Thank God... I thought i was gonna get a back lashing for speaking my mind last night. lol.

I'm in a better mood now.

I'd really have to say the the best tech support is yourself and people you trust. You trust dvdtalk tech talk forum don't you.

Buying a computer is like buying a car. It's devalued a soon as you get it and the value just keep going down. It's a money pit, yet it serves it's function. So just get a system with a life expectancy of about 3 years and resign yourself that pretty much every 3 years your going to upgrade or get another one. Alot of folks upgrade in the interim though.

So as far as the "majors" go i'd choose Dell or a well respected smaller vendor like Alienware. I wouldn't buy a system from CrapUSA , WorstBuy, OfficeLax, or CircuitPity. They are a middle man. Always buy direct or build yourself.

Now I used to work in a small "Mom & Pop Shop" in Albuquerque called Computer Corner. The male owner or husband, had several MCSE's and multiple other certs and has been building systems for over 20 years. He knows what he's doing and techs with such blinding efficiency I could only stand and watch. Now the wife was an extreme micro manager and her presence stunted the growth of this company. But the tech side was outstanding and very personable. Good reliable systems were built. So you can get a great system from a local vendor just do some homework and find out how long they've been around and visit their store a few times and hang around to see what kind of customers they get, i.e. irrate, happy, angry, elated, etc.

Up to you really. You'll get some good personal expieriences from dvd talk users about the majors. Good meaning good stories both good and bad. Just ask and they will tell.

The only major i've ever owned was my first. An AST, who no longer builds I believe. My parents first was a 286 Magnovox Headstart, their second an AST. Since then I have built them all.

At somepoint I'll take my domain PirateComputers.com and may start my own small vendor but I'm not ready to do that yet.

Good Luck.

Last edited by TheSilverSurfer; 04-30-04 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 04-30-04, 04:51 PM
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check the other thread

if we can walk gatordeb through putting together a PC.. we can walk ANYONE through doing it

seriously.. there is nothing to it, if you want to build your own..
the support is easy enough with us

the only problem with building your own is if hardware fails, having to try and deal with all the different vendors to try and replace

although I cant say I have ever really had much hardware fail on my own systems... i cant even remember the last part that went bad on any of my old machines
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Old 04-30-04, 04:51 PM
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all our servers are HP and I have no complaints about the support. If the part is bad then there isn't any trouble getting a new part. A real problem and the tech has to surf their database for an answer.

If you want US based support than you will pay for it. No matter what you get, remember that phone support is usually the lowest job on the IT career ladder. It's something for people off the street to get a little experience until they can find something better.
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Old 04-30-04, 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by al_bundy
all our servers are HP and I have no complaints about the support. If the part is bad then there isn't any trouble getting a new part. A real problem and the tech has to surf their database for an answer.

If you want US based support than you will pay for it. No matter what you get, remember that phone support is usually the lowest job on the IT career ladder. It's something for people off the street to get a little experience until they can find something better.
server support is always MUCH better than workstation support

that said.. I definitly prefer to deal with the Dell Server support team than any of the others I have worked with
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Old 04-30-04, 07:02 PM
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Well, based on the responses I've read so far, I'm inclined to find a local shop and get them to commit as much as I can towards servicing or replacing bad parts. My brother helped me find a place in Reseda

http://www.alphacomputer.com/system.html

that builds PC's to custom specs. My last 3 PCs have been Gateways and I've been pretty happy with them. But I'm just not crazy about having my unit shipped US mail. When it comes to fixing computers, I'm all thumbs. I pretty much equate opening up my computer's shell to opening up someone's scalp.
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Old 04-30-04, 09:18 PM
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I will admit, I always thought those that complained about talking to someone overseas for tech support were just whinners. But on Tuesday I had to call Dell. I really have nothing against anyone, but dang, I'm not that great with computers. So on something that for me is rather technical and confusing, it was really is hard to deal with someone who I could not understand clearly. I had to have her repeat EVERYTHING at least twice. And some things three and four times. I was trying to be patient, but it was getting frustrating (she btw was very patient and called me "sir" and was very polite).

Ironic thing was I got a call this morning from Dell. It was their "quality control" department who want to talk to me about my experience with Dell's tech support. And this quality control person was calling me from right here in Arizona, and was perfect English. This may be "farmed out" by Dell as well, but they were here in Arizona.
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Old 04-30-04, 09:48 PM
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I look forward to hardware failures on my PC, as long as they're not in the first 6 months or so. It just gives me the incentive to upgrade my PC!
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Old 05-02-04, 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by johnglass
I look forward to hardware failures on my PC, as long as they're not in the first 6 months or so. It just gives me the incentive to upgrade my PC!
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