Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Portables Hardware

Alienware Refusing Customers As Thieves 665

ChrisPaget writes "Thinking about buying Alienware (now owned by Dell)? Think again. After buying an almost-new Alienware laptop on eBay, I've spent the last week trying to get hold of a Smart Bay caddy to connect a second hard drive (about $150 for $5 of bent metal). Four different Alienware teams have refused to even give me a price on this accessory, instead accusing me of stealing the machine since I didn't buy it directly from their eBay store. They want me to persuade the eBay seller I did buy it from to add me as an authorized user of his Alienware account — they have no concept of 'ownership transfer' and instead assume that if you're not in their system, you must be a thief."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Alienware Refusing Customers As Thieves

Comments Filter:
  • Cars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by googlesmith123 ( 1546733 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:27PM (#27890873)
    Imagine if the same was true for cars: Guy fixing your car: "Sorry mate...can't fix this....seems like you bought it from another human and not from a huge company".
    • Re:Cars (Score:5, Interesting)

      by plover ( 150551 ) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:04PM (#27891237) Homepage Journal

      Imagine if you paid cash for a car from a guy selling one in his driveway. A few months later, maybe you need a brake job, so you head to the dealer to have them do the work.

      Do you expect anything except the dealer to do the brake job? Of course not. It's your car, you need brakes, so put brakes in it. But when the dealer types the VIN into his computer and it comes up "stolen", and says to you "sorry, there's going to be a delay," you might assume that he's just running a bad dealership. But that's not how the law works. If they discover you're in possession of a stolen car, they MUST notify the police, and it WILL get impounded and returned to the rightful owner. That's pretty easy to do when it's still in the dealer's garage, but not so easy if he lets the customer leave with it.

      In the case of Alienware, if they sent a random customer who asked for a part a note saying "Sorry, but your PC is reported stolen, please bring it to the cops," the chances are good the customer will simply disappear, keeping the stolen goods. What are the chances he is going to voluntarily bring it to the police and say "here, have this laptop, I bought it from eBay and it turns out it was stolen. So you can just keep it, and I'll be out the thousand dollars then. Sure, I'll have a nice day."

      Bottom line: how does Mr. Paget know that his laptop isn't stolen merchandise? He says got "a good deal" on it from a "hassle free seller" who shipped it promptly. If I was fencing hot PCs on eBay, you bet I'd be a hassle free, fast shipper. I'd also be gone in about a week. I'd say there's a damn good chance it IS stolen merchandise, and he's about to lose his money.

      • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

        by googlesmith123 ( 1546733 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:28PM (#27891475) point was that the big companies don't make any profit of a second hand laptop, so they make life difficult for end user. Whether it was stolen or not it beside the point. You can't assume something was stolen just because it was bought second hand.
        • Re:Cars (Score:4, Interesting)

          by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:56PM (#27892157) Homepage

          Where did the companies of today get the stupid idea that they can do good business by treating customers and potential customers like crap? Perhaps it comes from the customers and potential customers who accept such treatment willingly.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Threni ( 635302 )

            > Where did the companies of today get the stupid idea that they can do good business by treating customers and potential customers like crap?

            Perhaps they've been studying software companies.

          • Re:Cars (Score:5, Informative)

            by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @10:13PM (#27893285)

            Dell's policy is to not talk to people who aren't authorized on the account that owns the computer. Considering the number of laptops that get stolen, that's a good policy, IMO.

            Now if the user bought the computer legally on e-Bay, he should have some kind of sales receipt, or at least know the name of the person he bought it from. If he knows the name of the person he bought it from he can go online to the Alienware website and fill out a transfer of ownership form. If he doesn't know the name, or he bought it from a retailer, he can fax in a copy of the sales receipt to customer care, and have them transfer the ownership for him.

            But instead of doing a little legwork at his end to get the system actually transferred to his name, he chooses to go online and grouse about how a company is treating him like a thief.

        • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bazar ( 778572 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:08PM (#27892253)

          bad companies don't make any profit of a second hand laptop.

          A good company would sell them support and services, and judging from the summery, at $150 for a smart bay, they are close to doing just that.

          Lets not forget that all PC's need to be replaced, if new owner is impressed with your service and quality, he may purchase directly from you in future.

          There's also the original owner, if he has trouble on-selling his old PC because of you, he's less likely to purchase newer models from you.

          1. Treat your Customers well.
          2. ...
          3. Profit!

      • Re:Cars (Score:5, Interesting)

        by richdun ( 672214 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:34PM (#27891529)
        I like the analogy in principle, but there's one problem with it - if I bought a car from a random guy (for cash or otherwise), and didn't get the title transferred into my name at whatever government office is responsible for such things in my neck of the woods, I'm an idiot. While there's currently no government agency policing computer ownership (pause for applause / tin foil hat brigade reaction), this highlights the importance of shopping at a reputable dealer when purchasing goods for which there is no clear transference of ownership. That, most likely, is the point you were trying to make in that analogy.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          You would be surprised at how poorly policed title transfer is. I have a good friend who bought a $50K used car from a dealer only to have the FBI impound it between the point when he paid the dealer and when the shipping company should have picked it up later that week - and the only reason the FBI impounded it was because the real owner had connections to LE, even then it took 2 months before they did. The dealer had an officially issued title, it turned out that the car was stolen through fraud (fake c

      • Re:Cars (Score:5, Informative)

        by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:43PM (#27891593) Journal

        In the case of Alienware, if they sent a random customer who asked for a part a note saying "Sorry, but your PC is reported stolen, please bring it to the cops,"

        That's not what happened. They said to send a warranty number that would prove he bought it from them. Alienware hasn't said that the laptop was reported stolen.

        • I'd like to add (Score:5, Interesting)

          by earnest murderer ( 888716 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:56PM (#27891703)

          This is pretty much one of many scenario's where people would mock the tin foil hat crowd when they get all hysterical about companies/government keeping too much data on them. In this case in the pursuit of "customer service" (read marketing opportunity) they also get to turn every second hand product (MBA's may translate that to "missed sale") into a ticking time bomb. Forget the warranty, you can't get it fixed at any price.

          Sounds like a job for the attorney general and/or the FTC. Not that you can get their attention.

        • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

          by HeronBlademaster ( 1079477 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:04PM (#27892213) Homepage

          All the guy wants is to buy additional hardware for his machine. Why should he need a warranty number for that? Should car part stores ask for your VIN number when you want to buy a new headlight?

          Perhaps a better analogy is laptop batteries. Why should Dell care how I got my laptop, if all I want is to spend money buying a new battery? They certainly don't lose anything - on the contrary, refusing service to me is what's losing them money!

      • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:47PM (#27891631)

        If they discover you're in possession of a stolen car, they MUST notify the police...

        I call BS. There is absolutely no legal duty to report someone else's possession of stolen property to the police. A dealership might choose to make it a policy, but that's the dealership's own choice and not mandated by law. If there is a law in your jurisdiction that requires dealerships to do this, then it is specific to your jurisdiction only - and would be highly unusual, since such "duty to report" statutes tend to be very controversial and are usually limited to "think of the children" scenarios. And yes, IAALawStudent.

      • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:03PM (#27891753) Homepage Journal

        Better analogy. Go to an auto parts store and ask for brake pads for a 2005 Taurus. I assure you they will not even ask for a vin number. They sell parts, you want to buy parts, end of discussion.

        Apparently, Alienware has no actual reason to believe the laptop is stolen but chooses to ASSUME that it is because they didn't directly sell it to him.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

        But when the dealer types the VIN into his computer and it comes up "stolen"[..]

        They aren't checking the computer, they're checking the owner. If the dealer took your name instead of the VIN and checked if he had records of a car being sold to you, then calling you a thief because he does not that IS wrong.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by elmedico27 ( 931070 )
        I'm fairly certain that even if it is stolen, if you buy goods without knowledge that they are stolen (i.e., in good faith) you are considered a buyer in the ordinary course of business and you'll take free of any prior interests. It's called the "garage sale rule". The person from whom it was stolen can still hold the thief liable for damages, but can't get their original goods back. If that's the case here, this guy is legally the rightful owner and Alienware should treat him as such.
        • Re:Cars (Score:5, Informative)

          by plover ( 150551 ) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:16PM (#27893639) Homepage Journal

          I'm fairly certain that even if it is stolen, if you buy goods without knowledge that they are stolen (i.e., in good faith) you are considered a buyer in the ordinary course of business and you'll take free of any prior interests. It's called the "garage sale rule". The person from whom it was stolen can still hold the thief liable for damages, but can't get their original goods back. If that's the case here, this guy is legally the rightful owner and Alienware should treat him as such.

          You didn't have to write it, but You Are Not A Lawyer, and you should warn people before posting legal advice (especially incorrect legal advice.) There is no such legal concept as the "garage sale rule" with respect to stolen property. According to the law, as the purchaser of merchandise you have the same rights to the property as the person who sold it to you. That means if have a thing which you have used as collateral on a debt (called a secured interest) and you haven't paid it all back yet, even if you sell it to me the property is still secured by the bank, and can be repossessed by them if the loan is not repaid. It also means that if you have no rights to the property at all, as in the case of stolen property, then I as the buyer have no rights to it either.

          A garage sale does provide protection from the seller being compelled to look up the serial number if such a lookup is required of an "ordinary course of business" seller; in the case of a garage sale the seller is classified as not an "in the ordinary course" seller and is exempted from that requirement. Maybe that's what you are thinking of as a "garage sale rule".

          Of course I am not a lawyer either, so don't take this as gospel, but at least I do a bit of fact checking before making a really outlandish claim.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Ignoring the fact that cars are registered and titles and things like that so you usually know if you are in possession of a stolen car, there is no reason to think this computer is "hot".

        Unless its been reported stolen Alienware should not be hassling this guy. These things are registered with the company when you buy them. So you can probably call in and say my box is missing without needing the serial. When ordering parts its certainly reasonable for Alienware to ask for the serial, which you should b

      • A laptop was stolen from our company in August 2008. Two weeks ago, the most recent purchaser acquired it off of eBay and called Panasonic to get tech support when something wasn't working. Panasonic said "That laptop is stolen, please contact this company." We ended up buying it back from this guy for what he paid for it.
    • Re:Cars (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Non-CleverNickName ( 1027234 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:55PM (#27891695)
      Well no, he's not asking Alienware to fix anything for him (under warranty or paying directly), he's just simply asking to buy a spare part from them so he can fix it himself.

      It's more like buying a used car from someone, trying to buy an oil filter directly from the dealership, and being refused because you're not the original (authorized) owner of the car. You're not asking them to change your oil, which would give them a reason to check your warranty information to make sure everything's in line, or recording your VIN number in their system so they can keep track of what car's they've worked on for the day, he's just someone who wants to buy a part from them. They're just telling you they can't sell you an oil filter because they don't have a record of you buying the car from them.

      Really, why should he even be required to be the owner of any Alienware merchandise to buy a replacement part for the laptop? I'm not entirely sure of what he told the CSR's on the phone, but I wonder what they'd say if I called up and wanted to buy a replacement glowing alien head (from their laptops) to decorate something in my house with. Will they deny me because I'm not an authorized owner of the laptop that the glowing alien head fits on, or will they gladly sell me the part regardless of whether I own one of their laptops or not?

      If they're denying him the part because he wants it replaced free under the original owner's warranty, that's one thing. Refusing to sell him the part because they have no record of him buying anything directly from them is different.
  • Alienware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:27PM (#27890875) Homepage

    The monster cable of pre-built PCs

    • I was thinking they're closer to the sort of stuff you get on Head-fi than monster. Pink noise cable burn-in CDs and so on.

    • Re:Alienware (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ceseuron ( 944486 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:34PM (#27891539)

      The monster cable of pre-built PCs

      Couldn't agree more with this assessment. Alienware is hideously overpriced and their systems aren't really that good. I have an Alienware D900T that a friend of mine owns sitting in my closet. The video card stopped working and it's going to cost $500 for the replacement for a wimpy GeForce 6800. He doesn't want to spend the money so I've disassembled it for the good parts and junked the rest. In disassembling the machine, it's obvious that Alienware doesn't back up their bloated prices with anything resembling quality, too.

      Nobody in their right mind should be buying Alienware. There's nothing about their machines that you can't get from regular branded PCs and custom built PCs, except for a huge price hike on the Alienware.

    • by windsurfer619 ( 958212 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:45PM (#27891621)

      I thought that was Apple.

      Goodbye karma!

  • by slashdime ( 818069 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:29PM (#27890899)
    With Alienware's prices, I often wonder who is the thief.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CSMatt ( 1175471 )

      Indeed. I have to wonder why those who want such power don't just build their own machines.

      • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:36PM (#27890965)
        Because laptops are almost impossible to really build yourself. Sure, you can upgrade RAM, HDs, and even PCI cards, but for everything else you are stuck at pre-bought systems, unless you are a really gifted hardware hacker.
      • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:08PM (#27891277) Journal


        I've been building PCs for decades.

        Meanwhile, my wife and I each have an Alienware desktop PC.

        Why? Well, first, we each needed a new computer. The motherboard was dead on her venerable Dell desktop, and Dell's case was sufficiently strange to preclude replacing that component by itself. Later, I wanted a box to play games on, without disturbing my Linux desktop machine.

        Second: The price was right. Before we bought these computers, I did the usual sanity check against Newegg. After buying putting a whole PC worth of good components of similar specification into my cart, the price difference was about $100.

        Yeah - $100.

        For that hundred bucks, one gets a very fancy ATX case which is easy to work on. Working audio ports on the front which interface properly with the sound card (instead of stupid rear-panel pass-through crap), such that the sound card can detect when headphones are plugged in and reconfigure itself automatically. An in-home service agreement. A PC which doesn't need assembled, but just unpacked and plugged in.

        And unlike most prebuilt machines, when they're first turned on, they just boot Windows. I don't have to spend a couple of hours removing extraneous crap software. It comes up and behaves about the same way a new PC would if I'd have taken the time to build it myself and install Windows with a base load of drivers, except I didn't have to do it myself.

        Meanwhile, they use about the same parts I'd have chosen myself if I were building a new PC. Good DVD-R, XFX video, fancy-pants motherboard with lots of expansion. The power supply is nameless, but is every bit as heavy as a good power supply ought to be. It included the same Logitech mouse I'd have bought myself. So on, so forth.

        And it's pretty.

        I don't think Alienware's pricing is out-of-line at all.


        • by Gooba42 ( 603597 ) < minus threevowels> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @07:35PM (#27892451)

          Roughly 2004ish I bought what was on paper a very nice Alienware desktop.

          While I waited, my machine bounced around their eleventy bajillion phases of testing and building and installing, etc. seemingly at random for about 2 months. When the machine arrived, it still hadn't hit "shipped" status on their site.

          When it arrived, I opened the box and plugged everything in and SLI didn't work... I investigated and found that the SLI bridge wasn't seated properly. I fixed that and everything was okay for a couple days.

          Then I discovered that I was getting corruption on the hard drive and things weren't working *quite* right on the RAID. After poking around I found it'd been configured slightly wrong. Being a power user I wasn't really worried, I'd paid for them to image my hard drive and a restore after configuring it right couldn't be *that* hard...

          Then I discovered that my restore disc was completely blank. The only way Alienware was willing to help me was if I shipped it at my expense to their service center to be reimaged. (Reimage WHAT exactly? The RAID was hosed, there wasn't anything to reimage!) Relatively minor setback but I can install Windows, I just didn't want to...

          So I installed Windows and discovered my driver disc was completely blank as well. I used my wife's machine and managed to get online to download drivers from their website. After rebooting an ungodly number of times, downloading for seemingly forever and putting together my own backups, the machine finally worked properly.

          The parts would have been far cheaper at NewEgg but I was flush with cash from my mother's life insurance and wanted to have a flawless machine I didn't have to build and troubleshoot myself. The same machine was twice as expensive from Falcon Northwest and parts availability was an issue so I went to Alienware. This didn't work out. In the end, Alienware offered me the amazingly unhelpful option of shipping it back at my own expense and being refunded most of my money, the 30% restocking fee still applies when they manage to fuck up the machine before shipping it untested.

          Fast forward 2 years and my Windows restore/install disk doesn't work for reasons which are vague and stupid. I installed Linux and various WINE implementations and it does what I want it to do, runs faster and more solidly than it did out of the box.

  • by firegate ( 134408 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:32PM (#27890925) Homepage

    One of our offices needed a couple of PC's and I ordered two through Alienware - everything went through fine and they were set to arrive two weeks later.

    Three weeks after I placed the order, Alienware informed me that they hadn't built or shipped the computers because I had asked that they be shipped to an address other than the CC billing address.

    I'll never do business with that company again.

    • Alienware feels like they're trying to do business in a new age of credit card fraud but can't quite figure it out yet. Almost all vendors require your shipping address to be on your credit card as a billing address, but they can tell you about it almost instantly. Customer service tells you that you can add a secondary address on your credit card really easily. Not Alienware. Many vendors require you to have a proof of ownership for certain service. Dell lets you change the ownership online. Not Alienware.

      Alienware needs to invest some of its hard-tricked money into providing decent customer service.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

        My god am I happy that we do not have this credit card crap in Germany. Here you can also pay with a debit entry, or at arrival (for a small fee of 2.5€), can deliver to wherever you want (if you pay the transport price of course), and when you got it, and it is not what you wanted, you can
        - in case you payed on arrival: Inspect it before signing and paying. And refuse to accept it, in case it's not what you wanted.
        - in case of a debit entry: Send it back in the first 14 days (but you have to pay the t

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )

          Oh man you Germans! You're so much better than us Americans! There's nothing I love more than to log on to Slashdot and see tons of posts from Europeans telling us how shitty we are! Especially ignorant ones!

          See, we have debit cards in the US. You can issue a chargeback to your debit card provider if you get delivered a defective product. There's also no particular requirement to ship the item back, although if you're not an ass you'd call up the retailer and ask about it.

          There's no 15 day limit, but I thin

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:32PM (#27890927)

    Did the vendor include the original invoice? That should work.

    Can't understand their 'fix' of adding you as user of the original owner's account, though. Surely goes against the basic rules of CRM.

    While we're on the subject of 'ownership transfer', note also that under most EULAs, you should also buy the software all over again...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Krneki ( 1192201 )
      EULA != law
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CSMatt ( 1175471 )

      Assuming that all of the relevant discs were provided along with the hardware, that would conflict with the right of first sale, which can not be licensed away [] by any EULA, at least in the United States.

      • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:49PM (#27891109) Journal

        which can not be licensed away [] by any EULA, at least in the United States.

        Non sequitur. If you read your linked article, you'll see this bit:

        Citing the 1977 case of United States v. Wise, which involved the sale of used films obtained under dubious circumstances, Jones found that the Ninth Circuit's precedents suggested that the circumstances surrounding the sale of AutoCAD software constituted a sale, not merely a license. Therefore, the First Sale Doctrine applied, and Vernor was not bound by any of the terms in Autodesk's license agreement.
        But the judge acknowledged that three more recent Ninth Circuit decisions involving software seemed to cut in the opposite direction without explicitly overturning Wise. Jones found that Wise was controlling precedent, and ruled in Vernor's favor. If the case gets appealed to the Ninth Circuit, the conflict among these precedents is likely to occupy the court's attention.

        I don't know if that case was appealed, or what's happened to it. However, even if it was appealed and upheld, I believe that ruling would set precedent only for the 9th circuit, not the entire U.S. I don't remember off the top of my head, but I seem to recall there being a circuit split on this issue.

  • I bought one... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:33PM (#27890933)
    I bought a new Alienware system a few years back (right after Dell purchased them), and it was honestly one of the worst laptops I have ever purchased. The specs were decent for the time (1.5 Ghz Intel M CPU, 512 MB of RAM, good enough graphics, etc), it looked nice, and even the price was not much more than a comparable system from HP or another vendor. But thats where all the nice things ended. So first was the power cord managed to get frayed from about six months of medium usage, so I ordered another one, tech support was actually decent and they sent me one for only about $20 or so. About six months later the motherboard dies, thankfully it was under warranty and they repaired it no questions asked (save for the guy who couldn't speak English who kept on trying to convince me that it was really my power cord when it wasn't). About six months after that, the power cord became unusable again, due to fraying (I don't know what was with early 2000s laptop power cords, but neither my Alienware nor Gateway laptops' power cords ever lasted long) they informed me that even though my machine was under warranty, they discontinued support for my model so they sent me to a third party retailer. Upon buying the cord that they told me to, I plugged it in and it worked decently for about a month. Then the plastic tip started burning. About that time I decided to change laptops and laptop vendors.
  • "persuade the eBay seller [you] did buy it from to add [you] as an authorized user of his Alienware account."
  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:34PM (#27890941) Homepage

    For the price of an Alienware, you could end up with a Thinkpad W700ds. Order it without the tablet and you'll have a manufacturer that encourages such activity.

    Besides, Dell isn't exactly well-known for originality or quality.

  • by assassinator42 ( 844848 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:39PM (#27891005)
    I had to buy some plastic components to repair a Dell laptop a while back, so I searched online and got a list of the part numbers I needed. I called someone working for Dell in India, and got the total price I'd need to pay to buy the stuff directly from them [after having the phone rep try to sell me RAM or something]. Turns out I saved a bit by buying everything online.
  • Warranty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) * on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:40PM (#27891015)
    Thinking about buying Alienware (now owned by Dell)?

    Nope. They are vastly overpriced for what they are and I'm not in a habit of paying extra for computers because of the way they look.

    Four different Alienware teams have refused to even give me a price on this accessory, instead accusing me of stealing the machine since I didn't buy it directly from their eBay store.

    If that is true then I agree it's crazy. I noticed that they were asking for a warranty number and I've never heard of a computer manufacturer refusing to SELL you a part unless you have a warranty number. However, is it at all possible that the support people were misunderstanding you and thinking that you wanted the part for free, under warranty? I know it's four different people and you explained it to them, but it is perfectly possible that all four are complete idiots and didn't even bother listening fully to your explanation of what you wanted.
  • They are just ensuring there is no resale value for there products. Imagine if a car company refused to sell you repair parts if you buy the car second hand? Their products would have ZERO resale value, which means that no one would buy one in the first place, because they would know that when they wanted to trade up, there was no market for their old model.

    Given the resale value of used Apple hardware, those prices don't seem so high now.

  • Transfer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:41PM (#27891019)

    Why did the former owner not transfer his alienware account to you?

    Sounds like the one ripping you off is the original seller, much like if you bought a car and he didn't transfer the title.

    Then again...why do you need an alienware account in the first place?

    • Re:Transfer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TiberSeptm ( 889423 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:17PM (#27891373)
      That would be ridiculous. Assuming the seller didn't have any other Alienware computers, it would still be asinine to expect them to give the purchaser access to their private account. As this experience shows, access to that account is the primary way that Alienware employees assure themselves that they are talking to YOU. It is, unless they have changed it recently, the same account you use to make and track purchases.

      Now if the seller does still own Alienware machines then this suggestion is even more ridiculous since they would still need their account for their own very probably hardware failures. Then there wouldn't really even be a possibility of them removing personal information from the account before giving access to the new owner.

      This is nothing like transferring the title to a car, since there is a mechanism to do that. This is like demanding someone who sold you a used but unlocked cell phone put you on their plan. You should not have to create joint access to your private support and billing logins in order to resell a used computer.
  • by R.Morton ( 1540993 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @04:46PM (#27891077)

    over priced pair of shoes anymore they are no better or worse than any other laptop vendor, but some folks just gotta have the whole "Alienware case of coolness" thing going on.

      just amounts to the same parts as Dell, Toshiba, HP, Apple Ect just in a pretty shell.

    just like shoes no matter how much you pay for them be it $5.00 or $300.00 they all will wear out at about the same time anymore as most makers of these products out source to the same companies in the same countries.


  • by isa-kuruption ( 317695 ) <> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:04PM (#27891235) Homepage

    How are they supposed to know if you bought it or stole it?

    Maybe they should have a warranty-transfer process? Like automobiles do? Maybe they already do, the seller just lost the card?

    Then again, how do you know the seller didn't steal the laptop? Are you in possession of stolen property?

    Again, there is no way for Alienware to know whether your possession of the laptop is legit unless the legit owner notifies them of the transfer.

    So I would go back to the seller and tell him/her to resolve the situtation.

  • by MarkvW ( 1037596 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:04PM (#27891243)

    I bought my wife a Dell. Just after the warranty, the motherboard died. They would not/could not provide a replacement motherboard (their statements were factually inconsistent). I trashed the damn thing and cannibalized some parts.

    Dude, you just got Delled.

  • by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:14PM (#27891343)

    Lots of laptops sold on eBay are stolen property. If the one you bought was stolen, then the original owner may have reported it stolen, which means the serial # is in a database that Dell maintains of "hot" laptops. No Dell-authorized repair company will work on them.

    To their credit, though, they put the database online so you can see if a serial # is in there. Anyone considering buying a Dell laptop on eBay should look up that laptop's serial number first to see if it's stolen. Caveat Emptor.

  • by xaoslaad ( 590527 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:21PM (#27891407)
    I bought two Alienware computers. One for my wife and one for me. Both being avid gamers, we loved them. I managed to spill water in mine though, and severely damanged it. Of course, this was completely my fault and no reflection of their system.

    However, their handling of the replacement is. I shipped the laptop and called a few days later to ensure that they had received it, to which they claimed they had. Two weeks from the time I sent it in I had still heard nothing, so I called them, at which point they claimed to have never received it. I managed to misplace the shipping paperwork I had because I believed the laptop had showed up, etc...

    They accused me of lying and having never sent in the laptop until I was able to get replacement paperwork, etc. from the post office. The reality was that they had misplaced it in their shipping warehouse. So after the two week delay I then had to wait 6 more weeks for the out of stock part to come in so that they could replace it.

    And so, with prompt service, and considerate customer service like that, who needs anyone else.
  • by SealBeater ( 143912 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:35PM (#27891543) Homepage

    And I have to say, my impression of the company as a whole is that they suck royal balls. I love my laptop, I spoiled myself and got the best m15x money could buy, right? They made a mistake on the nameplate. They refused to even sell me another, they said that they don't offer them as seperate accessories and since I didn't immediately notify them, tough for me. I went out of town the day after I got my laptop, and didnt notice right away. Anyway, long story short, I love my laptop, works great with Linux, but I recommend as a customer that Alienware is one of those, buy it and hope you never have to deal with them companies.

  • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 ) <icebalm@ice[ ] ['bal' in gap]> on Saturday May 09, 2009 @05:57PM (#27891721)

    This is actually Dell's entire process and proceedure. I bought an off lease Dell laptop from a retailer who got it through (dell financial services). The damn thing had a bad fan, so I called up Dell to buy the fan and just replace it myself. They wouldn't sell me the fan because I didn't know the name and address of the original owner.

    I'll never buy a Dell anything again.

  • Alienware Sucks (Score:3, Informative)

    by cratermoon ( 765155 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @06:29PM (#27891959) Homepage
    Alienware sucks [] and has sucked since at least 2005.
  • The caddy only hold the drive in place - and since it's such a tight fit anyway, you'll find that if you just buy the connector (you can get 2 for $20 pretty much anywhere - even feeBay), you'll be okay.

    I ran my 2nd drive in my laptop for months with just the connector. If you're worried about it moving, a piece of electrical tape makes a good shim.

  • by definate ( 876684 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @09:28PM (#27893067)

    You think that's bad? A pile of my friends worked for Alienware, specifically he was in customer support which included handling disgruntled customers, taking orders, and trying to find solutions to problems.

    He was told "stop putting orders through so quickly" because the contract allows us to charge them and make it later. Sure it takes 6 months for the customer to receive their laptop, but don't worry, people who buy Alienware convince themselves that it's a better product, and worth the wait.

    He was told "all of those machines being delivered with problems, tell them it's a problem with the software" because a lot of the laptops were being delivered faulty.

    That's just 2 really bad stories.

    Although this friend obviously quit and in spectacular fashion, I've several other friends who still work there, and inform me that it's business as usual.

    I would never purchase anything from Alienware ever! I don't care if they are selling tissues, they'll find a way to fuck it up!

  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Saturday May 09, 2009 @11:08PM (#27893593) Homepage

    This is a consequence of less and less of the value in a "hardware product" being the actual hardware. I'm seeing it in the musical "devices" I buy - try getting your Pod reauthorized by Line 6 so you can download firmware updates if you don't have a receipt from a seller. Try to get firmware updates for your second-hand Roland keyboard. Try to get firmware updates for a DVR. My assumption is that before long, if you don't have an official registration for a motherboard or video card, you won't be able to get drivers. The bottom line is that, as more value is found in the software included with the hardware, the hardware device will be treated more and more like licensed software, with all that means for registration, etc. And as this happens, it's no surprise that once sane "hardware" vendors start acting like software vendors with respect to licensing. I don't like it, but it does appear to be the way things are going - car analogies notwithstanding.

  • BBB rating (Score:4, Informative)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @03:47AM (#27894799) Homepage

    The BBB (Better Business Bureau) gave them a rating of D+. Given that they are a trusted and respected source, I'd say being on their shitlist speaks volumes about Alienware.

  • by MBC1977 ( 978793 ) on Sunday May 10, 2009 @05:20AM (#27895131) Journal
    This reminds me of my purchase of a Dell Latitude D820 off of eBay (1) because Dell REFUSED to even sell me a Latitude, since I was not considered a "business user" (They tried to get me to purchase an Inspiron instead, which I personally think are junk machines, but thats off topic) and (2) because the eBay listing said the computer had the full 3 year warranty as it was a new Dell. I got the machine and the seller's info and attempted to do a ownership transfer. Had to deploy to Iraq the next week, so I didn't have a real chance of verifying the transfer, computer for reason died, I get in contact with Dell, via email / chat / Segovia IP Phone, no dice. Even though the information was verified TWICE, they still would not honor the warranty. I finally had to get it fixed from a 3rd Party repair center. When a company wants your business and is not willing to work with you or even give you a reasonable alternative, take your money elsewhere. (For the record, while I like Dell products, this will be my very last Dell Laptop).

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"