Don’t buy a Gateway

I recently acquired a Gateway computer with no Hard Drive. So I went to Gateway’s website to get install media.

What followed was a long trail of unhelpful and sometimes contradictory e-mails from their alleged technical support. If you want all the boring details you can find them here.

So… what I have I learned from this experience debacle?

  • Gateway have farmed out their Technical Support to a bunch of bloody idiots.
  • Discontinuing support at a computer’s third birthday, while ridiculous and unacceptable, is standard practice at Gateway. Perhaps they expect you to run out and buy another Gateway? Not bloody likely…
  • I cannot believe that Gateway would actually turn away someone who wanted to pay for a recovery disk for a machine that they legitimately owned. This makes a mockery of the OEM license supplied with the machine.
  • The main reason people purchase Brand-Name PCs is support. Take that away and you don’t have much.

I have never bought a Gateway machine before – this one was given to me. In all the years I have worked with Dell, they have never treated me like this.

I cannot, in good conscience, recommend Gateway computers.

Why? Because if you call support in thirty-six months’ time, they will tell you: “You on you own, foo!

Postscript: I later found a Torrent version of the same OS that came on the machine. The key on the license sticker was accepted and installation went flawlessly. Then I pulled the drive and scanned it with three different malware checkers before connecting the computer to my network. To the best of my ability, this is legal and my conscience is clear; the Computer is running the OS that it was licensed to run. While our misinformed friends in the media and content industries would love to make them illegal, this proves that there are serious non-infringing uses for torrents.

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