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Old 08-04-2006, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a Prebuilt rig? Read this first.

I purchased a computer based on advice from here, and I wanted to relate my experience to warn others.

The original thread was http://www.techist.com/showthread.php?threadid=104128

I'm making a new thread because this isn't about what to buy, it's about what not to buy and what to watch out for.

I purchased from MonarchComputers.com. A very high end system (at least it was 4 months ago), you can see the specs in my previous post. The price was a little over $5000. You'd think for that kind of money you'd get decent service.. you'd be wrong.

First I paid around $100 for an "express build". It took longer than a normal build. In return they promised me like 10% off my next purchase or something equally worthless as I will obviously never buy from them again. They also misrepresented their warranty, claiming a technician would simply and easily fix most problems. The reality is you have to pay them for the work, and then they reimburse you. So when my $600 gfx card showed up dead, they wanted another $600 on top of the $5000 to fix it, and then wait (and believe me, there are some tight restrictions on what you have to do to get reimbursed) to get reimbursed. The only other option was to send it back.

When I say the card was dead, I mean the whole the system was practically dead. Even 3dMark couldnt even complete a pass without the entire system shutting down.

The next major problem was that neither of the dvd drives read properly, and again, $60 ea to fix, wait to be reimbursed, or send back in.

So, after a lot of back and forth with their none-too-sociable customer service guy, I went ahead and shipped this system back. They promised me that both CS, the techs, and management would all be aware of the situation and get it done as fast as possible.

It took almost a month to get a reply. When I did, it was "Not sure, I'll check" (and yes, I saved the emails). A *week* after that, I was told it would be another week. Today, after numerous emails to multiple people at the company, I finally get confirmation that it's been delivered.. but monarch put down the wrong address so it went back to FedEx.

Anyway, on Monday the computer I ordered back at the beginning of April will finally show up.. 4 months later. It might even work, if I'm really, really lucky.

Moral of my rant: If you're buying pre-built, don't buy from Monarch, period. Wherever you do buy it, read the terms of any warranty you get *very carefully* and make copies so it can't be mysteriously changed later. Finally, if at all possible, buy from a place within driving distance, because if you don't it'll be a month before you see your system again, and there's no guarantee it won't have to be shipped right back.

If anyone has any advice (I'm thinking of contacting the Better Business Beurea and a VA lawyer, but I have no idea if that will help anything) on how to get these people to pull their heads out of their rear ends, I would be most grateful. Similarly, if anyone has any suggestions for spreading my story in places where it would be noticed and get Monarch's attention, I would appreciate it.

ty for your time =)
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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DAM! that totally sucks, welcome to prebuilt buying
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Horrible story..

The true moral of this story is DON'T TRUST OTHER PEOPLE TO BUILD YOUR COMPUTER! build it yourself, and have a very clear warranty coming from the factory itself.. not from some 5'th grade shop.

-Jo.
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yea I feel like a complete idiot at this point.. Most people I've talked to about it look at me like they think I'm one as well..

A very humbling experience

And fwiw, I'm physically disabled.. I don't lack the desire to build it myself, or the resources.. just the capability lol.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ah, well no you're not an idiot, you fell into a thiefs trap, it could happen to me, or the kid next door for all we know.

I've had a very similar experience when I bought my laptop from some store, all they did is squeeze money out of me following some invisible limited warranty paragraphs, and repeative RMA because of dead parts.

And i'm sorry to hear, but do you have no friend to help you out in that? I know for sure I'd help anyone if he asked me to build his computer [Heck, I help people just because they are too dumb to build it on their own, not because they physically cant, so im sure theres someone out there who would've done it for you :S]

Either way, I symphasize with you, but I don't know how I could be of any help =\.

-Jo.
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Resellerratings.com is a great place to read up on sellers before you buy. People who have good and bad experiences with companies post there.
Nearly all of the websites mentioned here like newegg, dell, xiode, ect.... are there. The also have forums there similar to this one, obviously not as great as this one but there b/t/s forum has something good on it once in awhile
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for the link, I'll check it out
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yea i have a freind who had crap with monark...got a pc and the hdd went out, so he called em and they gave him crap, so he sent it back, and didnt get it back for 2 months, got charged out his @$$ and got it back and it had an ata hdd instead of a sata, and that was about a month ago, havent heard from him yet but last i heard he was gettin an attourney. but guess he went to go see some realitaves out in berlin. ALSO!!!, people, NEVER buy a prebuilt pc..always buy parts and have it assembeled...they r cheaper and more reliable, if you keep the case closed...
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just got the system back and it IS STILL BROKEN.

I feel like I just got punched in the stomach. A 150 gig raptor, two 500 gig seagates, dual gfx and cpu and it's a **** paperweight.

At this point I'm thinking I need a lawyer.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, you definantly do.

This is a trial won in advance, they'll even be forced to pay you the lawyer expenses probably.

Go for it, kick them back where it hurts the most.

I Had a very similar story from when I bought a quadbike for like 6,000$ and it just repeatidly broke down, so many times I had to replace it with same model but diffrent quadbike that in the end I demanded the money back [That was part of the original agreement], OR a diffrent model of quadbike, the person refused either one of those.

Then i've sued him, won 10,000$ and lawyer expenses.

-Jo.
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