Alienware: I Ordered A Computer 19 Days Ago, Can I Please Have It?

Marc ordered an Alienware laptop 19 days ago and, despite frequently calling and escalating his issue to a supervisor, Alienware just won’t ship his laptop. Why? Computer glitches…or maybe its because they’re waiting on parts… or maybe it was because of his credit limit… or maybe it’s Dell’s fault for canceling his order…

They’ve given him so many different excuses—we don’t really know what the real problem is. Marc is ready to cancel his order. Would you cancel it if you were Marc?

Marc writes:

I just wanted to share my story about my dealings with Alienware. It’s fairly lengthy but there’s just a lot to it.

I recently was in the market for a new laptop and just for kicks went to Their laptops are generally overpriced IMO, but they had a new financing option. I applied, got approved, and submitted my order. This was on June 28th. I received my order confirmation email and my order status was in “Phase I” (Order Confirmation). There are apparently 9 phases that orders go through, the last phase being “Shipped”. The sales rep I was working with was named Daniel.

According to Alienware’s website, being in Phase I still gives me some time to make changes to my order. I wanted a few more upgrades but the upgrades would put me over my credit limit by $71.00. I contacted Alienware on the 29th and was told I could use a credit card to pay the difference. I didn’t get the reps name because at this point, I didn’t have any reason to be concerned. In any case, she took my credit card information and told me everything was fine and my upgrades will be no problem at all.

On the 30th, I received a voicemail from Tasha with Dell Financial Services. She told me that I needed to confirm my account order with them and that I needed to call them back. I called and spoke with a Dell Financial Services rep. He asked me some verification questions and said that my account has now been confirmed. I asked if this means my order shouldn’t have any delays and I was told that he saw no orders for my account. He suggested to call Alienware on Monday (July 2nd) since their sales office is closed on the weekend.

I called back and spoke with Rodney in the billing department and asked about my order. He told me that my order was cancelled because my configured system put me over my credit limit. I explained that I had given a sales rep my credit card information on the 29th to make up for the difference but I was told that I had to put in a new order. I was then transferred to Reyna who cancelled my original order and retook my order. I gave her my credit card info again but for some reason she used the same order confirmation #. I was told my order would be processed and she apologized for the issues.

Later that afternoon, I received a phone call from Nancy tell me that my order was cancelled! I told her that earlier in the day I placed my order again and that there were mistakes made on their end. She directed me to call Dell Financial Services because my credit account was not valid. I checked my account online and it said I had my full available balance. I contacted DFS and spoke to Philip.

Philip looked into my account and said he couldn’t find any reason why my original order didn’t go through and that everything looked fine on his end. He said the issue is with Alienware but he would research it and get back to me. I gave him my contact info. At this time it was too late to contact Alienware so I had to wait until the next morning.

On the 3rd, I spoke with Alex in the billing department and told him about the situation so far. He said that Alienware was experiencing a “computer glitch” which created problems for many other customers. He said they were looking into it but offered nothing else. I said I would like to speak to a supervisor and was told that I would get a call back from either Daniel or Yvone since a supervisor was not currently available.

After waiting a good part of the day with no call back, I called Alienware again and actually got Daniel as my rep. After being put on hold a good 15 minutes, he finally came back and said he will place a new order for me. He took my information and I gave him my credit card info again.

On the 5th I checked my order status and it had moved to Phase II (Billing/Finance). I checked my Alienware account and my credit card and saw that a transaction on each from Alienware. I figured the next phases should go rather quickly (Phase III, Payment Processed, Phase IV-VII, Production and Testing) so I waited.

On Saturday the 7th, I checked my orders status online again and it was still in “Phase II”. I knew I would have to wait for Monday but I didn’t understand why it would take so long in this phase.

On Monday the 9th I was out doing errands and was not able to write down any of the names of the people I spoke with. I contacted their customer service department to complain about the length of time it was taking on my order. According to the rep I spoke to, their customer service department only helps customers AFTER they receive their system. I was told that I would have to contact Sales who in turn told me I would have to contact Billing. Billing then told me I needed to talk to customer service.

After more transfers I ended up speaking to Daniel again. He blamed the delay on computer glitches and also said that Dell Financial Services was part of the delay. I told him that I spoke to Philip and was told that everything was fine on their end and that I needed to contact Alienware. He put me on hold again and when he came back he assured me that my order would be fastracked out of these next phases and they would request a rush on production. I asked that since this delay was not my fault would Alienware be able/willing to do anything for me (like some sort of upgrade). I suggested upgrading me to the 2-day shipping for free. I was put on hold and when he came back he said his supervisor approved it and that it will be no problem. He said he was going to put it in my account notes and upgrade me to the 2-day shipping.

I checked my order status over the next few days and it was still in “Phase II”. On the 12th, I called Alienware again and spoke with Michael. He told me that even though the website says “Phase II” I am actually in “Phase III, Payment Processed”. He said that they were having a website glitch and that was the reason for discrepancy. I asked how long it would going to be before it went into production and he told me that even though all of the parts on available, there is a current backup in production due to the amount of orders they have received. I asked if he could confirm that I was going to get 2-day shipping and he said he saw a request but that it wasn’t approved.

I told him that Daniel promised me the upgraded shipping and that I wanted to speak to a supervisor. Michael told me he could transfer me to Daniel but not to a supervisor. I asked why and was told that since he was the one who promised it to me that he would be the one I had to deal with. I said fine and was put on hold again.

When Michael came back, he told me that Daniel was unavailable and that he would transfer me to his supervisor, Franklin. I explained the situation to Franklin, citing the delays and computer glitches. I asked him about the upgraded shipping and he also told me that he saw a request but no approval. I asked if he was going to honor it and was told that even though that what I was told before, he’s making a decision now and will not offer me the upgraded shipping. I asked him if he was saying that he was not going to honor a deal I was promised. He put me on hold and then came back and told me that he would give me the 2 day shipping and that he would add it to the notes. He then said to keep in mind my order may still be delayed to the fact that they are waiting on parts. I told him that Michael just told me that all of my parts were available and that they were backed logged in production. He had no answer for this other than saying that going forward I am to only deal with him.

As of today, according to the Alienware website, my order is still in Phase II. I continue to get the runaround on this order with excuses ranging from website glitches to delays in production. I would like to escalate this to someone higher up but I can’t find any contact information and no one is willing to transfer me. I just don’t understand why an order should take this long or be stuck on the same phase for a week and a half. I guess it’s time to cancel my order.


Marc, if we were you we’d just cancel the order. They really don’t seem as if they want or appreciate your business. There are other laptops out there…


Edit Your Comment

  1. Thrust says:

    Ok. I only got about halfway through his letter, but by that point I’d have figured if it were me, I’d not be shopping for an Alienware computer ever again. Wake me up when he decides to go with a Toshiba. (-.-) zzzz.

  2. enm4r says:

    I also read about half and skipped to the bottom, that’s way too much effort to overpay for a computer.

    You can do better, and Alienware obviously doesn’t want your business. Take your money elsewhere.

  3. roycifer says:

    i cant say im a big fan of alienware myself. i purchased a laptop from them (sentia 224) 3 years ago, and although i received it on time, ive had numerous follow-up problems. the biggest one was having to send my laptop back for an LCD replacement due to 2 dead pixels in which i was returned my (expensive) laptop with 1 dead pixels (outside the center area). since their dead pixel policy states 2 dead pixels (outside the center area) are required for a replacement, their interpretation of my LCD was considered “fixed and replaced”…1 dead pixel and all. when i originally sent my laptop back for an LCD replacement, i sure as hell wasn’t sending it back for an LCD with just fewer dead pixels.

  4. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Toshiba is on the very bottom of my prefered notebook vendors. I literally would rather have any other notebook at all than deal with another crappy Satellite, Liberto or Qosmo.

    They are the absolute pits.

  5. SBR249 says:

    If this was an HP or a Dell…oh right, never mind. Maybe I could use another cup of coffee

  6. FREAKHEAD says:

    I’d just cancel the order. Do you think you should jump through hoops to GIVE someone money. Computer glitches happen but how many chances should you give them. There are other high-end laptop companies out there, give another one your business. Falcon Northwest is one. They may also offer financing.

    Best of luck no matter what you decide to do.

  7. chimmike says:

    I’ve owned 3 toshiba lappys, and they’ve all been great.

    I don’t know, but if I was waiting 19 days for a laptop, I wouldn’t trash one that you could already have and be using.

    FWIW, I’ve heard Alienware has a reputation of being SLOOOOOW. Aside from the fact that you seriously overpaid. Congrats.

  8. E-Bell says:

    Buying this computer doesn’t sound like a shrewd consumer move to me, regardless of Alienware’s lack of service.

    The guy acknowledges that they’re pricey, but decides to go ahead with the purchase because of their great new financing plan.

    Are any red flags going off yet?

    Then, he wants to make changes but he can’t because he’s over the credit limit. But he can just use a credit card for the changes, so it’s okay, right?

    If he can afford it, great, but if he acknowledges that it’s overpriced, then why is he going through with it, and on credit no less?

  9. skrom says:

    Yeah because Toshiba laptops come with SLI video cards, 4GB RAM, 2 200GB hard drives, 19″ screen etc… Sorry but if you just want a laptop thats good for writing term papers and surfing the internet go ahead and get a bland everyday Toshiba/HP/dell laptop from a retailer. Alienware laptops are not overpriced. They are one of about 4 places you can get a top of the line gaming laptop like he wants so he has few choices. I suppose he could go to Voodoo PC (which I recommend), or Falcon.

  10. DashTheHand says:

    If I were Marc, I’d kick my own ass for buying Alienware.

    Then I’d use my limited intelligence to search for a computer twice as good for the same price an Alienware goes for.

  11. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    “Their laptops are generally overpriced IMO, but they had a new financing option.”

    I stopped reading there. If he thought the laptops were overpriced, then why did he choose to purchase one.. with financing?

    Overpriced laptop + finance charges = an even more overpricesd laptop!

    He could’ve gotten a really nice IBM ThinkPad T-series laptop at a decent price. Or if he wanted to stick with overpriced laptops, he should’ve gotten a Sony Vaio or a MacBook Pro.

  12. bilge says:

    If you think Alienwares are overpriced, go somewhere else. Other manufacturers also have financing plans.

  13. DashTheHand says:

    @skrom: You really have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to finding gaming laptops apparently.

    Although Toshiba is still a larger name in the Laptop computing world, its still pricey for that reason as well. They still provide higher end gaming laptops.

    Voodoo is owned by HEWLETT PACKARD which is just as craptastic as Alienware.

    Falcon? LOL! Yes, please bling out my laptop with an extra $500 paint job so I can be like those jackasses on Pimp my Ride that bling out their cars with TV’s in the trunk for no reason.

  14. Thrust says:

    @Jaysyn: Unless things have drastically changed in the last year, Toshiba was the premium maker for laptops. My roommate had some great luck with a Compaq, I myself had a demonspawned nightmare with a Dell, but all the Toshibas myself, friends, or family have owned were top notch.

    Also, with the advent of thumb drives (or the decline of floppy discs if you’re a pessimist), PDA’s that run MS Office, and a small problem with inferno-driven batteries, I just stick with desktop PCs. Twice the Rosk for the same price, and not nearly as fragile.

  15. skrom says:

    Yeas HP owns Voodoo which happened recently but you still wont find a standard HP, SONY, Toshiba, Lenovo, Gateway etc with the features you find in the Alienware (owned by Dell), Voodoo (owned by HP, or Falcon. First off these laptops are hand built and tested before being shipped, unlike mainstream laptops which are made in bulk by machines and shipped with only 1 in 100 or so tested. Also you CANNOT get things like dual 8800GTS video cards in SLI mode, 4GB RAM, 400GB drive space and Intel Core Extreme processors in a store bought laptop from any of those previously mentioned vendors. Nor will they have a laptop with a 19 or 20 inch screen. Once again, this guy doesnt have many choices to get the laptop he wants. Sure it costs 4 or 5 thousand dollars which is a lot of money, but he is getting what he pays for just like anything else.

  16. hi says:

    Look into Sager. High end computers and not overpriced like alienware.

  17. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    Alienware sucks. And now that it’s owned by Dell it will suck worse. But not sure why the Consumerist is listing posts that seem to belong more on this guy’s personal blog.

  18. Buran says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: What does that have to do with this guy’s actual complaint? Why is everyone complaining at him for using a credit card and paying more when that has nothing to do with the subject of this message?

    Has consumerist become BlameTheVictimist?

  19. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’m not as laptop-savy as some posting here…but two things jumped out as red flags to me.

    First being that they claim they are having various glitches with their system. They sell computers, but can’t get their sales system straight? Doesn’t give me much confidence.

    Second, they said they were going to fasttrack his unit through the later phases, which included assembly and quality testing. I wouldn’t be too excited about that idea.

  20. wasylm says:

    I don’t know exactly what he’s looking to do with this laptop (high end gaming most likely) but if he really wants to spend that much money, I’d recommend a Macbook Pro. You can play all but the most intense games on the latest models, and Bootcamp makes it easy to dual boot into Windows, so the OS isn’t really an issue. Not to mention they have, in my opinion, the best design of any laptop out there. I believe they also have financing.

  21. Hawkins says:

    I second the MacBook Pro suggestion, for two reasons:

    1. They are howlingly fast, and will run XP without significant issues. And with Parallels you can run XP applications, full speed (mostly), without booting Windows.

    2. Say what you like about Apple post-sales support, but they are very effective at actually selling you a computer.

  22. etinterrapax says:

    I have heard terrible, terrible things about Alienware’s service. I knew someone who bought before they went to Dell, and needed service after, and it was a complete nightmare for her. For the price, the service should be top-notch. If it’s this hard just to purchase one, what makes you think owning one will be better? Cancel the account!

  23. mermaidshoes says:

    that does sound pretty crappy, but i don’t find it too surprising given the customization, last-minute add-ons, and the varying payment methods used. combining payment methods can be a nightmare in some systems (though admittedly it shouldn’t be that difficult). based on the difficulties he’s had, i agree with the “time to cancel your order” school of thought–then again, they’ll probably process the payment the moment he threatens to cancel, then make it impossible for him to get a refund. gotta love businesses.

  24. ancientsociety says:

    Cancel. The. Account.

  25. Miya says:

    When buying a notebook/desktop always weigh your “wants” and “needs” in a machine. Sure I would have wanted to get an XPS, but to be $-sensible, I could go with a maxed configured Inspiron 1720 and it would be sufficient enough for my work and gaming (mostly WoW) use. I found a deal and got the $2600 notebook for only $1900. With that $1900 sure you could get a Toshiba “gaming” notebook, but it wouldn’t come with a 3 year warranty/service plan and 3 year LoJack subscription.

    Dell has been good to me and yes, Dell has been having problems lately with the order status part of their site. I ordered a notebook from them July 3rd and the whole time the past two weeks, I could not see what the ship/delivery date was. I had to call Dell Customer Service to find out when it would arrive. When they told me that the estimated ship date was the 20th I asked if they could expedite it *and* the shipping (even though I had the free shipping option picked) because I needed it before I leave for my trip. I received my Inspiron 1720 notebook last Friday (the 13th) :)

  26. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s no longer kewl, rebellious, caring Alienware. It’s Dell. What the HELL did you expect?

    Cancel the order. By a Mac. Live in bliss forever more.

  27. oneswellfoop says:

    It sounds like you made the same sort of emotional decision as buyers make on cars…”Ya know, I can only afford this Toyota over here, but that Jaguar looks so sexy. What the hell! I’ll take the jag!”

    You need to:
    A) Cancel your order with Alienware. As many things as have gone wrong at this point, you can’t actually think it bodes well for the rest of your ownership experience. Different people are telling you different things and you get a different story each time. At least half of them are purposefully misleading you. What happens when you have a problem with the laptop? Do you want the same customer service experience when something goes wrong.
    B) Sit down and write out what you are actually going to use the laptop for, and buy a machine with specs to accommodate that, taking into consideration how that tech is going to age and provide you with what you need over the life of the machine. I bought an Alienware in college because I needed a desktop replacement and something that could handle MAYA, Houdini, Renderman, and photo and movie editing and most of the lappys on the market simply couldn’t.
    The alienware was a good machine but it weighed 13LBs and ran hot as hell. It was huge, heavy, and a pain to lug around. Do you really need a machine that powerful to be portable? If not, you can build your own desktop and buy a Dell or HP on a really good deal and have two machines for what you’re spending on an Alienware.
    C) Stick with the necessary specs that you write down when ordering your next machine. The websites for computer manufacturers are made to sway you into spending more money than you need to, it’s easy to click the next box down and spend an extra $200 that you don’t need to on an impulse decision. Don’t make an emotional purchasing decision, make a logical one.

  28. Thrust says:

    @skrom: lol, 8800GTS. GTX or bust.

  29. admchnty says:


  30. admchnty says:

    Alienware is a build to order company. Yeah, you had some issues with financing, but if it’s in Phase II still, your system is probably in line waiting to be made. Once it actually leaves Phase II then it’ll probably go quickly through every process. I do know that when building a system on their site they give you a preliminary ship date. They also give you an estimated ship date. What was that exactly? I didn’t see it in you report.

  31. beyond says:

    I knew this was going to be good after he justified buying something he knew was overpriced because he could get it on credit, thus paying even more in interest on his overpriced computer.

  32. faust1200 says:

    If you are willing to pay Alienware prices I also highly recommend Falcon Northwest. Contrary to what another poster said, you do not have to get a $500 pimped out paintjob. I have dealt with Falcon for several years and I can’t think of a more competent and helpful staff. I don’t know what their financing is, if any but I would give my personal guarantee you will not get the run-around or deal with idiots.

  33. DadCooks says:

    Marc, if you are not smart enough to cancel this order, you will deserve the hassles and inaction you will get when you have a problem with the computer or the financing.

    I hope you read and undertand the fine print of your financing deal–the slightest misstep will probably get you a 29%+ interest rate.

    As is you are going to get postal and email “spam” from Dell Financing forever!

  34. eli_b says:

    Using Dell Financial was the first mistake here…

  35. Trae says:

    Yeah – Dell produced machines just aren’t worth the time, let alone hassle of this.

    I’ve always recommended Toshibas, as every one I’ve ever owned or used has been a workhorse. That said, I love my MacBook. :P

  36. ravensfire says:

    I agree with MBILLS2. Look at Sager laptops. Alienware Laptops are just repackaged (read more expensively, and snazzily packaged)Sager laptops. I’ve seen some good deals at though I cannot vouch for as a retailer since I have never done business with them. But is where I would purchase my laptop if I could justify making that investment at the moment.

  37. StevieD says:


    Bad credit, lack of credit, manufacturer credit required. Big whoopee.

    Marc needs to grow up. 90% of his complaint is due to his own credit related problems. 5% of his problems are related to ordering a custom product in conjunction with the week of the 4th of July. Good grief, half the workforce was on vacation that week, the other half were mad because they had to work.

    Oh, the other 5%? Normal business for a custom product. Order a computer from ANY company. I bet it takes 3-4 hours to properly manufacture. That said, every unit must wait hours or even days before being processed at the next station.

    Like I said, time to grow up.

  38. hoo_foot says:

    The worst computer I ever owned was an Alienware. Stay away folks.

  39. JohnMc says:

    I agree with ELI_B. I would bet that DFS is the core of the problem.

    I wanted to buy a LCD monitor about 4 years ago. Financed thru DFS. After 2 weeks of run around about delivery when they finally said I had the choice to cancel I did within minutes. The turkeys shipped the damn thing 2 weeks after that. They then kept donning me for payment. I told them I don’t owe them a thing since I cancelled the order. Provide me a ship to address and free return shipping. Never heard from them again.

    To this day I still have the LCD in the box. The turkeys….

  40. JohnMc says:

    TRAE, little secret; there are only 4 makers of laptops in the world. All from Taiwan. Your Macbook might have an Apple label but it is probably a Compal.

  41. Ghede says:

    Heh, funny. Alienware computers aren’t even worth the price, and now he is having to pay in time as well. Here is a tip people: Local shops usually offer better deals, and often make better computers as well. Buying an Alienware is the equivalent of buying a Nike, you are paying extra for the brand.

  42. g3brown says:

    I normally like what you guys print here, but this article is a joke. Perhaps I should read it more carefully (or have actually read it), but you order a notebook from Dell and then complain? Aha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  43. FijianTribe says:

    About 2 months ago I put in a laptop order with Dell using my business credit card and personal rep. I was supprised that after I processed the order my estimated ship date was 4 weeks out.

    I actually had the laptop shipped after 3 weeks, but still, it shocked me when normally I get my products within 2 weeks max.

    I think part of the problem might have been their end of fiscal year push which racked up the orders (Dell plus Alienware). The other issue I noticed is that my account with Dell shows that they are having issues with the “Order Status” section, but I personally did not see anything wrong.

    I’m still a Dell fan, but if I had the same interaction as your email I would have canceled that order early on.

  44. NoWin says:

    Marc, do yourself a favor and stop into an Apple store.

  45. JustAGuy2 says:

    Or get a Thinkpad. I’ve only had a few occasions to call in for support, but my calls are answered within 2 minutes, by a clueful, comprehensible, pleasant person. The one time I’ve actually had a problem they couldn’t fix over the phone, they promptly sent out a box (arrived on Wed, when I had called Monday evening), into which I put the computer and sent it back, and I had it back in four days, all fixed. Yeah, you pay a premium over Dell, but the service really is great.

  46. Televiper says:

    First: The July 4th weekend probably added 3 to 4 business days to any reasonable estimate you may have had. The US was as good as closed on Monday and Tuesday and playing catch up on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Second: If the Alienware is over priced you should be getting value for it being over priced. You’re simply not getting that value. You’re letting them f*** you if you can’t at least get them to upgrade your shipping or guarantee you a shipping time. You’re not buying a box of granola bars, the service you’re getting now is critical.

  47. bossco says:

    Sure a lot work to get a laptop. If you cancel, I hope they refund your credit card charges quicker thank it takes to say “phase II”!

  48. wesrubix says:

    as many have already said: overpriced computers should not be purchased on financing plans.

    Why are you buying something on a finance plan you know is overpriced instead of saving up the money?


    End vent. ;)

  49. Thrust says:

    BEWARE anything Dell. Our server at work (not truely a server, just a PC) fried its motherboard. Dell wanted $400 for a new board (one of best boards money could buy is the Striker Extreme and it’s only $345, this replacement board was for a P3!). Had do be a Dell board or it wouldn’t work with their other proprietary shit. So $400 for the motherboard, PLUS installation was extra, installation’s price did not include remounting the processor, and this miracle-board from the dark ages would take three months to arrive. THREE MONTHS without our network. We told dell (quite literally) to go fuck themselves, and bought a nice Acer for $550. Now if anything goes on the server PC, we can replace it with OEM and stock parts from anywhere that sells PC bits.

    F*CK YOU DELL, F*CK your proprietary garbage, and f*ck your warranty service you never honor. /Soapbox

  50. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Levono or Apple. Pick one. Apple’s very proactive about after-sales support and such, and they get things done. Not to mention their applecare techs actually answer the phone within 5-10 minutes (gasp!) and speak proper English (GASP!!!) and are pretty competent. I knew when the apple store rep took care of my credit card problem on the spot (I ordered a macbook pro with applecare and a case which came out to be 2250 with overnight shipping but then I forgot what I ordered and the phone rep couldn’t tell me because the order hadn’t been processed, so I cancelled it. I made the purchase again, but because of the first charge-2250 on a 3k juniper card-the second transaction kept getting denied. Called apple store for education, usual 3 minute hold, and then when I calmly explained the problem, the rep asked me to hold, called juniper, and 4 minutes later, I was good to go.) that the ownership experience will be a good one. The way companies treat a potential customer reflects very accurately the treatment you’re going to get after the sale.

    By the way, your macbook is made by Asus, not compal. I’m not sure who makes macbook pros though.

  51. rdldr1 says:

    too long, didn’t read

  52. rdldr1 says:

    BTW I have a pre-Dell-buyout Alienware Area51m notebook. Their service was exceptional.

    Sad to see the company take a crap on its company mission statement for more ill-gotten Dell dollars.

  53. alk509 says:

    I realize this is tangential to the main discussion, but… Man, oh, man! This post just illustrates everything that’s wrong with the lending/credit culture in America, and it does so in such an extreme way that it’s almost comical! If JD over at Get Rich Slowly wasn’t out this week, he’d probably have fun writing the shit out of this post!


    Think about what you’re doing to yourself, for a second: The computer is, by your own admission, over-priced. Even though it’s over-priced, you’re buying it, and you’re doing so on credit, no less. Not only that, but you’re maxing out your credit line with DFS in order to get it. Not happy with that, you’re actually going OVER the limit. And as if that weren’t enough, you’re paying the difference with a credit card

    Take what’s happening to your Alienware order as a sign from the heavens and cancel it before it actually goes through! Learn how credit works and how to use it, and in the meantime buy a computer you can actually afford.

  54. 7livesleft says:

    I can’t believe I wasted my time reading about someone obcessing about buying an overpriced laptop. After the third time talking to CSR over any order, I cancel and look elsewhere.

    Besides the useless stress you’ve caused yourself, you’ve made an impression with Alienware that marks you as trouble due to constant (though easy to understand why) complaints, which get logged on your account eery time you do.

    Sae yourself some heartache and cancel

  55. goodkitty says:

    Absolutely agree with everyone else here. If this isn’t a glowing neon sign telling you that you’re over-extending yourself financially to buy something that can be ruined in about a half-second in an accident, there isn’t anything else to say.

    These guys give you more credit than you should use, so if you’re maxing it out, you’re living beyond your means.

  56. LAGirl says:

    as others have said: if they can’t even get their act together to make the d*mned sale, what do you think will happen when you need customer service??? bad, bad, BAD.

    i say get out NOW, before they take your money and it’s too late.

  57. kmccoy says:

    I got my laptop from Hypersonic, which adds value to and resells laptops made by Clevo (as do most of the gamer-PC type laptop companies.) I had a bit of a special and unusual shipping situation, which they messed up, but when I contacted them about it, they reimbursed the costs I had incurred in fixing it and shipping it to the correct location. And they were friendly and apologetic about having screwed up in the first place. When the video card failed after I had the computer for about ten months, they immediately shipped me a warranty replacement. They even called UPS to come back that day to pick it up, since I had called them quite late in the afternoon. I received the new video card and sent them the dead one in the same mailer with the address label they provided. I paid a lot of money for my computer and for the warranty, but they seem to take their customer service seriously and I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

    Hypersonic does do some fancy painting stuff, for those people who are into that sort of thing, but you can save the money and time and just get a plain model.

    Be aware — all of these build-to-order computer companies take a fair bit of time to do their thing. That’s the biggest complaint that I found online when doing research for this purchase. No company is immune to this complaint.


  58. ARPRINCE says:

    Be wary of DELL FINANCIAL SERVICES. I once applied to get a IPAQ from dell and there was a zero financing option when approved. I got approved alright but not with the 0% financing that I thought I got. Somewhere between the lines on the web page promo or application process, in small/negligible print, it says depending on your credit score or something to that effect. Bummer!

  59. FunPaul says:

    I’d like to resonate the common sense advice that has been communicated. Don’t buy an unnecessary laptop on credit!
    The argument of whether alternative gaming laptops pass muster is irrelevant, the real question that should be answered is do you want this laptop so much that you are willing to put yourself in debt above the level that a single predatory lender will extend to you?
    Are you willing to pay for 1/5 of a laptop every year until your debt is payed off?
    If you’re looking at a $5000 computer that means you are looking at an additional $1000 a year in interest!
    Two years from now you will be spending as much as it costs to buy a laptop that will be able to smoke your computer in interest!
    That means that realistically you are going to be paying an additional $100 every month in addition to the $5000! That’s money for two games a month that will be going to interest instead!
    If you truly must have an expensive laptop like this, save up for it! You will only be buying an overpriced computer, you won’t be indenturing your future to one.

  60. Alienware-Steve says:

    Good afternoon,

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Steve and I am the forums Administrator for Alienware. I came across your post and I have to say I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you have been having with your Laptop and our service. It is not typical of the Alienware experience and I would like to do what I can to make this right. Please E-mail your account information to my address at and I will see what I can do to help you out.

    Best Regards,

    Steve Lopez
    Support Forums Administrator
    Alienware Corporation

  61. chromaphobic says:

    Wow, this story brought back some memories. Not good ones either. I tried to order a desktop from Alienware several years ago, pre-Dell, and it turned into a two month ordeal. I always keep a full record on any substantial order I place, and I still have the timeline from this nightmare to remind me to always thoroughly check out a company before doing business with them. Here it is, with specifics like order and tracking numbers and names omitted…

    10/15: Placed and confirmed my order. Told would ship within 10-12 business days.

    10/18: Credit Card is billed.

    11/9: Called to check status on order as it had now been 15 business days and it was still not shipped. I was told the motherboards they were using had been recalled and the replacements had been backordered, the replacements had just come in and my computer was back in line to be built. I asked how much longer it would be and was told it would be an additional 10-12 days before it would be ready as I’d gotten bumped to the back of the line. I hung up in disgust, but after thinking about it for a bit decided this was not acceptable and called back and asked to speak to a manager. He said he would do what he could to get it pushed to the front of the line and to call him back on the 12th to verify status. At this point I requested they ship it overnight at no extra charge to me, he said that would be no problem.

    11/12: Call to check in on status. Manager was in a meeting and unable to come to the phone, but was told by the sales rep the order is now delayed because the case is back ordered. Told the cases would arrive on 11/18 and my order would be bumped to the front of the line and shipped overnight that day. Mind you, the case was in stock 3 days earlier when I talked to them. Apparently they couldn’t be bothered to allocate it to my order.

    11/18: Called that evening to check status on the order again, told the cases had arrived but my order was not scheduled to be built for about two more weeks, in spite of assurance I was getting moved to the front of the line. Apparently I was bumped back to the end of the line again. At this point I’d had enough and asked that the order be canceled, they said okay and canceled the order. I asked how long it would take to get the credit processed and was told it would be processed within 48 hours. Strange that they didn’t even try to talk me out of canceling.

    11/21: Call to find out status of credit since it had not been processed after three days. Told the order was not canceled and was actually shipped earlier that day, and not even overnight as originally promised. They said I’d have to wait and refuse the shipment when it arrived, and they’d credit my card when they got the system back. Now I know why they didn’t try to talk me out of canceling the order, they planned to bump it to the front of the line and push it out the door and hope that I’d be happy to finally have the system and just keep it. (Sorry guys, I already ordered a system from Falcon Northwest. Who, upon hearing of my Alienware ordeal, offered to give me a priority build slot and ship it overnight at no extra cost. And, when the case I wanted was backordered, they actually called me to let me know and offered a substitute. The substitute case was one step above what I ordered, and they didn’t charge me extra for it. They get how to take care of a customer, unlike Alienware.)

    11/25: FedEx attempt to deliver system. I was not at home so called them and refused shipment over the phone.

    12/5: Called FedEx to confirm Alienware had received returned package and would be processing the credit. Told they received it on 12/3.

    12/11: Tried to call Alienware to check status on credit. Stayed on hold for two hours until the company closed for the day and never talked to anybody. At this point I’ve already received my Falcon Northwest system.

    12/12: Called again to check status of credit. I was told no credit memo had ever been processed on it, they assigned a credit memo and they told it would take 7-10 days for billing to process the refund. I said this was simply not acceptable and asked to speak to a manager. Was then told by the customer service rep that he would e-mail the warehouse and confirm that they’d received the system back and then get the credit taken care of, but this would still take 2-3 days to take care of. Again I told them this was unacceptable and repeated my request to speak to a manager.
    Was connected with a manager, he told me he would get with the billing department right then and get it sorted out and call me back within about an hour. Three hours later I’ve still heard nothing so I call them again and am told Eric is in a meeting, I leave a message with the customer service rep to have him call me as soon as he gets out of the meeting. Never called back.

    12/13: Called first thing in the morning, was told Eric would not be in until 3PM. Long distance lines were down at work all afternoon, so I did not have a chance to call back.

    12/16: Called back again and talked to Eric. Said billing was supposed to have contacted me to get the FedEx tracking number so they could process the credit (need to verify they got system back.) Gave Eric the tracking number and he said he’s get it taken care of today, though it may take up to 48 hours for the bank to process the credit. Told me to call him back later in the afternoon to verify if I wanted to. Called back that afternoon and the customer service rep told me Eric was not in today. Interesting, as I’d talked to him earlier today! Oh wait, now he’s in today, but won’t be back for a few hours. At this point I called my bank to file a complaint and get a chargeback, turns out the credit had finally been issued earlier that day. I was finally free!

  62. joeblevins says:

    This guy doesn’t even have good enough credit to get the full credit line he would need to get the computer he wants.

    DUDE, I doubt you need a new computer. But if you do, spend 500 bucks at the regular Dell store and be done with it.

    You will never improve your credit by over extending yourself.

  63. allegon says:

    I see two points that need to be made.

    One, this sounds to me that you attempted to make a purchase far outside your price range and Alienware worked hard to try and make it happen for you. Creditors start to get nervous when the lender has maxed out their credit and business are weary of doing a custom job if payment is not guaranteed.

    Two, I think Alienware is facing issues with growing too fast. You see Alienware laptops all over in TV and movies to represent the “uber leet haxxorzz.” I think the growth of the infrastructure needs to catch up with growth in demand.

    They know they’re behind, if you look at a custom machine from them right now the ESTIMATED ship date is August 9th.

  64. DashTheHand says:

    And yea, $5k for a laptop is unnecessary. $2k is even high for a laptop, but it will give you every bit of gaming power you need until it is long out of date.

    And for the record, a laptop should NOT be your primary means of PC gaming. Its nice to have to be able to visit a friend and do some gaming, when you’re constantly on the road, or doing LAN gaming.

    I laugh at all the people that spend huge amounts on laptops, and then they collect dust sitting on their desk at home when they could have had a PC tower under their desk for 1/2 to (apparently) 1/5th the cost of having something they barely move.

  65. _Marc_ says:

    Ouch. You guys can be brutal. LOL. Figured I’d reply to give some of you some flame bait. :)

    To elaborate a little more, while my credit isn’t perfect, it isn’t the worst either. The only reason I decided to get a new system via financing is because I sold my current desktop to take a big chunk out of the price of the new laptop. I also have about 25% of the cost of the new laptop already saved up in cash. My plan is to make monthly payments after paying what I already have in cash after I get my first bill.

    I had in my budget to pay twice the monthly minimum payment at the very least. So I pay some finance charges to help raise my credit? Is that really so bad? How else am I supposed to get any I calculated the balance to be paid of in 9 months which should be a decent amount of time to establish some credit.

    And as far as paying the difference that went over my limit, while I realize I said credit card, I was refering to my Visa check card which is tied to my checking account. Damn me for not being more specific! I guess I was asking for the flames for that one.

    I know that there are better values out there for laptops but I liked the specs I saw from the Alienware systems as a replacement desktop/gaming computer. And since I was approved for a credit line w/ Alienware I figured a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Unless of course you credit savvy posters are suggesting I push multiple credit applications with multiple lenders. I’m sure THAT will help my credit tremendously!

    It’s amusing that while I was complaining about the lack of service from Alienware the majority of people want to flame me for using financing. Some readers hear financing and assume the worst but everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I should have been more specific, I guess, but my mini-novel as lengthy enough. I’m sure the flames will continue to come but that’s fine. I guess it makes for a good read.

    I won’t bother relaying the update I got from Alienware because of the Consumerist, though. I think I’ve had enough put downs and insults to last quite a while.

  66. Thrust says:

    Why the obsession with laptops anyways? My home PC is about 6 weeks old now, it ran me $2100CDN not including the monitor, and can outperform any three of those $5000 laptops, with three or four years worth of upgradeability before I have to remove anything to make space for more.

  67. smarty says:

    Alienware? Why? Dell has been lambasted on this site for so long! Cheaper, and better computers can be found at resellerratings.oom which will direct you to computer stores with high ratings by actual customers.

  68. mrrbob says:

    Marc YOU ARE A DUMB ASS AND DESERVER EXACTLY WHAT YOU GOT. Jeeze, I would have canceled the f,king order the 3rd time I had to speak to these jerkoffs about this.

  69. cinnkitty says:

    Okay — since this site is supposed to be about empowering the consumer (us) I submit the saga of MY dealing with Alienware.

    Turns out — when you involve the CEO Alex Aguila….you hear back from Alienware within 4 hours and you get your problem(s) fixed within 72 hours!

    I love my Alienware laptop and other than the keyboard issue…which Mr. Aquila took care of darn fast…. I have had no other problems (well…Microsoft..but let’s not get into that here! ha..ha..ha..).