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 =)