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  • Good/Bad Places to Buy From

    I was just wondering if it might be a good idea to have a thread where people could post about their satisfaction/dissatisfaction about online vendors. My most recent purchase was a Wacom tablet from ProVantage.com. It was the Graphire 2, and the price new was $76.69 plus shipping, which was $6.95 in my case. The price seemed good, and I received the item one day after ordering, and choosing ground shipping. No complaints.

    Ed

  • #2
    I won't buy any computers besides Gateway (they've astounded me too many times with the quality of their service and warranty). I buy most of my accessories from warehouse.com and can recommend them. I've bought from buy.com once, and it turned out fine, and was a great deal. And of course, amazon.com (but their inventory is spotty unless you want books or cds, but still worth a look as they sometimes have exclusive deals).
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    • #3
      Multiwave Direct and Computers4sure have been my favorites. Unfortunately Computers4sure has been bought out by Office Depot and their prices have increased dramatically. I’ve purchased video cards, printers, scanners, software, and numerous other items with no problems.

      I did have a problem with a monitor and digital camera that were warranty issues and not a vendor problem. They were both taken care of by the manufacturer.

      All of my computers have come from a local clone builder. Great customer service.

      Gary

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      • #4
        These people have always worked out well for me..
        http://www.pcnation.com

        This is a great place to get the lowest prices - it is very up-to-date. -
        http://www.pricewatch.com/

        As for a computer, I have to disagree about Gateway, but I think it is different from computer to computer. I worked for Gateway, and their policies for tech support were terrible. On the other hand, I own 4 Dell computers, and have had very few problems with them. I have heard good and bad about both from other people.

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        • #5
          My last computer was a Gateway. This time I bought a Dell. Whenever I had a question with the Gateway, I was able to call, and actually talk to a person who would help me. With Dell, I'm having to wade through piles of text to try to find the solution myself. No problem with either computer, other than simple stuff, but I prefer Gateway's tech support. Now to keep the post on the subject, I have also bought from Buy.com and Epson.com with good results.

          Ed

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          • #6
            You think Dell tech support is bad...try Sony! I own a Sony Vaio and have been very happy with the computer. Tech support is another story. Very long waits on the phone and then they are clueless when you do get someone on the phone. I had a problem with the fan when I first bought it and no one at Sony seemed to have a clue...I went and checked their website and sure enough, there was a mention of the exact problem and a fix was being made. It's not good when 3 people at tech support can't find any reference to your problem but you can find it in about 3 minutes of searching!

            I will be buying my next computer from a custom builder...probably from alienware.com ...they specialize in high end gaming systems (and digital video). I'm not that big of a gamer (just the occasional strategy and rpg game) but I have found that some of these companies that make these systems go out of their way when it comes to quality control, high end parts and they emphasize things like proper cooling, power supply and upgradability....of course all this is astronomically expensive, so it might be a while before I get one!

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            • #7
              This is way off the topic of places to buy computers and hardware but if you like cooking...americanspice.com is a wonderful place to buy spices. The service is wonderful, prices are low and the products are of very high quality!

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              • #8
                Greg,

                Try this place for a custom built computer. http://www.envisioncs.net/ Less expensive than Alienware...3 yr waranty...and excellent service. I ordered a machine for my brother from them.

                Sharon

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                • #9
                  I just had to gush somewhere about my latest experience with Gateway. I'd just finished work on Friday and my computer died. Hard. It wouldn't boot, didn't beep on startup, and the little green light on the off/on button was now glowing orange.

                  I called Gateway and the tech walked me through several tests to determine what the problem was, and it turned out to be the power supply. This was late Friday and the replacement power supply arrived first thing Tuesday. It was a breeze to install, and was double the capacity of the old one! (Gateway often sends better replacement components than the components they're replacing. Over the years they've sent me a CD drive that was 4x the speed of my old one and a hd that was 20gig larger than the one it replaced). Oh yeah, my computer is just 4 months shy of being 3 years old, and this whole experience didn't cost me a dime, not even the phone call.

                  I'm sure there are many wonderful computer companies out there, making excellent products and with millions of happy customers. But, unless they make a radical break in policy, Gateway will get all my business (and all my referrals).
                  Learn by teaching
                  Take responsibility for learning

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                  • #10
                    I gotta agree with Doug on the Gateway thing. I have one. Their tech support is beyond amazing. This one I have is now almost 5 years old and I've only ever had 2 problems with it. I know I shoud get a new one, but this one is just sooooo good I hesitate to put it out to pasture.

                    The first problem was that my monitor died about a week before warranty expiration. I called Gateway, got a live human being and was told "no problem, we'll send you a new one." It was on my doorstep within a couple of days.

                    Next, I screwed up something and the computer wouldn't run. I had NT installed, which was not even the OS it came with. The tech support person was on the phone with me for HOURS helping me get set back up. They never charged me a dime, and my puter was about 3 years beyond it's warranty that time.

                    I love Gateway!!!

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                    • #11
                      That reminds me of my favorite Gateway story. Several years ago (and 3 computers ago) I thought I'd be all cutting-edge and update my own bios. This was before these things could be done from Windows, you had to make a special boot disk (not even a dos disk) to flash the bios.

                      Anyway, I fried my bios. I called Gateway, told them what I'd done, that it was totally my fault, and that my computer was out of warranty by almost a year. The woman on the phone said "don't worry" and they sent me an entirely new motherboard. I replaced it simply by unplugging stuff from the old mobo and plugging it into the identical place on the new one, and didn't have to do anything else. It booted perfectly, and it even had the bios upgrade I'd wanted in the first place.

                      Again, all free, even the phonecall.

                      My second favorite story was when I called them at 3am with a weird problem (different computer), and they diagnosed it as a faulty CD drive (even though this was totally unintuitive, and my problem had nothing to do with the CD drive). By 3:30am (and it's the AM part I'm stressing here) I had my order confirmation for the new part, and it did fix my problem (and, as I mentioned earlier, was much faster than my old one).
                      Learn by teaching
                      Take responsibility for learning

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                      • #12
                        I dont buy complete PC's just build them using various suppliers and they then evolve over time subject to compatibility etc. Anyway heres some UK component suppliers who know their lines.


                        http://www.dabs.com/home

                        http://www.overclockers.co.uk/

                        http://www.quietpc.com/uk/

                        http://www.simply.co.uk/

                        I'll throw in

                        http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/

                        as well but they are really a box operation.

                        Gateway packed their bags over here a couple of years ago which left my one of my Network IT friends fuming, he tells me Dell got his business but it was back to square one as regards developing contacts etc. I think margins are very tight over here some of the best firms as regards service have gone under purely because the market is price orientated.

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                        • #13
                          Gateway

                          Have to go along with most of the people. My Gateway is 5 years old and still doing ok. Only had to replace a fan and general upgrades over all that time. Service has always been helpful. One of the main reasons for going Gateway was their service centers are easy to get to. We have one just a few miles from our house.

                          I am now looking into a new computer and would go Gateway again, but I am getting into video and I don't feel any of the off the shelf systems would fill my needs. Like Greg I have been looking at Alienware or having a system built.

                          Just a little off subject but I'm looking for people to join my club to boycott any company that relies on mail-in rebates. I have had three bad experiences out of three mail-in rebates since spring. All say 6-8 weeks wait. One I started calling after 10 weeks. Was told it had been malled. Called back at 12 weeks and was told they would cancel first mailing but they had to wait 60 days befere they could mail another. This was a $100 rebate. Another took 11 weeks and I still have not received the last one after 13 weeks. Last 2 were only $10-20 dollars but still makes me mad. Local news had a story on mail-in rebates this week and said 95% of rebates are not returned. To me this is a scam. Help stamp out mail-in rebates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                          • #14
                            I have had really good experiences purchasing Canon cameras and lenses at Onecall. Very courteous and fast. Two day FedEx included and they seem to have the lowest prices.

                            Catia

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                            • #15
                              Ed
                              Great thread! Let us know how you like the Graphire 2. I'd like to get a tablet but am getting some sticker shock regarding the cost of the wacom. By the way, I've gotten a few things from bhphotovideo.com and was satisfied.

                              Re computers... after much agonizing I got myself a Dell system. My 4 year old HP system( which I enhanced over the years) is still going strong but I wanted something with bells and whistles. Initially when I got the HP I had to call support a few times and I am probably the only person on the planet who had no trouble with their support. Also emailed them at times and I had a real person email me back with the information I needed I didn't get another HP because I have no idea where the company is going at this point but I must admit I had no problems with it.

                              Re Dell and their support.... a major disappointment. And that was one of the main reasons I bought one.Their telephone technical support was very poor when I needed help re something with the installation. I got so disgusted I told the support person that I would call back in the morning- I was too tired to deal with it anymore.
                              An email response concerning the problem took 2 days to get back to me and it just gave me a link to something which didn't help me. Finally I was able to solve my problem by going onto one of the forums( apparently alot of other people had the same problem).

                              Paulette

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