Gateway Technical Support Rocks

Well – sorta. I just bought a refurbished Gateway Media Center PC. It’s a pretty decent machine:

  • Athlon 64 X2 3800+
  • 1 Gig Ram
  • Stupid big hard drive
  • TV Tuner
  • Windows Media Center OS
  • DVD RW
  • 13 in 1 card reader
  • $549 CDN

I mean jeez you can’t even buy the parts for that price. So I jumped all over it as a second machine for at home.

Of course right out of the box it didn’t work. The computer didn’t recognize the TV tuner so I couldn’t watch TV while I worked (a requirement for evening working). So I call in to Gateway support and wait on hold for 20 min and get to chat to Amanda who is the sweetest young lady I believe I’ve ever encounter in any suppport role. She wasn’t very bright and really only suggested reinstalling drivers etc which I had already done. At the end of all that she sent me out a new TV tuner card.

Two days later the new card shows up and I install it and no love. Poke around online a bit more and find out there is a major update for MCE. Yeah yeah – my bad for not updating Windows very first thing. So her fix didn’t work but I’m still pretty ok about it at this point because Amanda was so very cool and genuinely tried her best.

So I finally get the patch installed and bingo bango TV works but it’s really spotting and hiccupy and I have to restart the application over and over and it only ever works for 15 min at a time or so.

I figure I’ll give Gateway one more chance and try their online chat system for support. I log in and get someone right away. I tell them my problem and it turns out it’s a known issue and the fix is to install the drivers for the AMD cpu. That’s right – the drivers ARE NOT installed at the factory. How lame is that? Anyhoo – download, install, reboot and we have hiccup free TV.

All in all a fairly painless experience and I have to say when I compare this to other nightmarish support experience this is about as good as it gets. Way to go Gateway.


  1. Wow, I’ve always heard their CS sucks balls. What by chance did you do with the TV card?? If you want a place to send it, I could emial you my mailing address and take that peace of junk off of your hands.

  2. sorry poop my man – old card had to go back to Gateway in exchange.

  3. Wow… Oilman endorses refurbished gateways… what’s the world coming to?

  4. Oilman, your buying refubed gateways on rockstar money? I wish I had your talent for frugal restraint.

  5. John Pruitt says:

    DON”T USE GATEWAY CHAT ONLINE SUPPORT!!!!I just had my first experience with the Gateway tech support. NOT GOOD!!! I received an error about my RAM. Said it only had 480K instead of 512K. I followed links from website into the chat with a tech. I ended up chatting with Tamera from the Philippines. She asked to take over my keyboard and mouse (don’t ever let them do that) She ran several commands, I couldn’t follow because of the screen delay. Then she told me my RAM was fine and I had 33gig left. I got really scared because she confused RAM with disk space. Before I could do anything she typed that she would help improve my performance. Without asking, she started running disk repair and because of the delay and the program she had, I couldn’t cancel it. I had to watch as she defragged my disk, deleted my internet IE files, cookies (all my passwords) When it was all said and done, my AutoCad2000 was trashed, my AGI32 programs were crashed and I had to completely do a reinstall including windows which as you know takes 8 hours just to do the upgrade patches needed. Gateway is saving a boatload of money exporting tech support across the seas, but I’ll be damned if I allow anyone in my company to buy another computer that is tied to their company in anyway whatsoever.

  6. well this is to Mr john Pruitt,

    I happen to be in the Gateway Tech support department and I actually am in America, South Dakota to be exact and I know Gateway is one of the few companys to keep the support agents within america, therefore I know you are full of it, and it just so happens we have a lab where the Online chat support agents are as well so your information is false, sorry, and just to add to this, I also know running a restore never takes 8 hours unless you as the customer are doing something to slow it down. Your ram also was most likely because of a integrated Video card you have in your system that is using shared memory, so i advise before you go spouting off about something stupid like that you get your knowledge correct. thank you

  7. Hey guess what, your on board video card was taking up that little bit of RAM you are crying about…

  8. John,
    I do have a GM5442 (vista Home) and have the same problems with the TV tuner, I see it but do not have any way to make it work

  9. Well John, I happened to have a sister work in Gateway tech support work with them for a year and a half when they lived in SD, and she told me stories of her helping people with their machines having them reformat their drives for the most trivial of problems. While I’m here in Chicago struggling to make my footing in this high pressure tech field, she lolly gagged her way helping innocent people lose tons and tons of valuable data. All the stories she told me of her tech support quagmires, I couldn’t get my forehead out of my hand.

    Here we are a year later and she’s fired off 8-10 emails trying to figure out how to unzip a multi-part archived mutlimedia file she downloaded. IE.. she cannot even navigate simple paths to find her downloads or where winRAR unzips by default (or wherever she saved it last).

    I’ve never had to deal with Gateway’s tech support, but This is NOT GOOD.

  10. Congrats with your new machine! Bugs are usual things on all new devices, i can add except that HP does everything well 🙂

  11. Well at least you got through to them. I had one recent experience with a different vendor which went something like this.

    1)I called the tech support helpline
    2) they told me that they weren’t the tech support helpline and that they would put me through to the tech support helpline
    3) the people I got forwarded to weren’t the technical support helpline
    4) I gave up for that day and tried again next
    5) repeat stages 1-3
    6) the last person I spoke to gave me the personal number of someone she promised was tech support
    7) I rang the number and left a message
    8) This person turned out not to be tech support but an area director and I got a call from his PA wondering why the hell I was calling him.
    9) I despaired

  12. hello, rehards, i have problem in sound in my l/top . whei click on voulme cont. a messgae says ” there are no active mixer device available, help pls