how to get gateway to replace my computer, rather then repair?

Hi, my father had a gateway media center (all in 1 system- components, speakers and LCD built right in) basically it looks like a combination of a pc/laptop combined (doesnt fold up, but there is no separate tower). Why he decided to pick gateway is beyond me- probably because it looks good (key word- LOOKS GOOD). As far as the system goes- its junk. I dont know where to begin with explaining the problems it had- everything from booting issues to freezing, to the latest issue- the speakers make a popping sound and it just turns off. It couldnt stay powered up more then 60 seconds before it happened. He got fed up with it and gave it to me- I actually used it alittle, no more then 2 days later this happened. I had to remove the hard drive to recover my data- (or back up) so I started taking it apart, after removing the internal speaker I figured id power it up and see if that solved it. Sure enough it did, seams to work now.
The unit it still under warranty (another month left) so I am sending it in to them. This is not the 1st time its been in for repair- my dad sent it to them at least 6 times- I am not being sarcastic when I say that ether. Infact last time he sent it in for repair and got it back- he decided he had enough so he purchased a new computer. He had it on the shelf for several months before giving it to me back, so technically since I only used it for 2 days and had issues- that means it was never fixed in the first place. I was wondering if there is anything I can tell them that would make them replace the unit instead of repairing it? I would hate to send it in, have them put a new speaker in and soon as the warranty is out something else happens. Is there any problem I can say I experienced that would make them just immediately exchange it rather then repair?
mds332200Asked:
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mikelfritzCommented:
Just joking here ( I would never do anything like this, nope not me  :) ):

Let the smoke out of it, then send it in.  120V AC across the 12V DC bus usually does the trick - attach the neutral to the DC ground and hit the yellow, red - whatever other colors with the hot - just to be sure the motherboard takes a dive as well.  try to avoid scorch marks
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I know the above post said "joking" ... but don't take it seriously.   This is supposed to be "Experts" Exchange ... and that was far from an expert comment.   BAD idea => an intentional 120v across the bus will not only destroy the motherboard, but it will be clearly evident that it was done intentionally --> there is no way the power from the PSU ... in virtually ANY failure mode ... could do that.   It's as easy to detect as arson is in a major fire ... and to attempt to get a replacement based on that is fraud.   Although Gateway isn't likely to push a fraud charge, the will almost certainly refuse to repair it under warranty due to the clear abuse.

However, if the unit has been in for warranty repair 6 times, and this is the 7th, this should meet the requirements for most state lemon laws.   Review the lemon laws for your state here:
http://www.nationallemonlawcenter.com/

When you take the computer in, tell them you want a refund or credit => NOT yet another repair on this clearly defective computer.   Take the receipts from the previous six repairs with you to prove it's actually been in the shop that many times.   Note that in many states, 4 repairs is enough to qualify, but 6-8 repairs will always qualify.   Be sure you keep the receipts ... if they refuse to do replace the system you'll need them if you contact a lemon law attorney.

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nickg5Commented:
I had similar issues with a different brand. It is better and cheaper overall to do a replacement over a repair.
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PCBONEZCommented:
A significant % of the computer I've had (or work on) have been Gateway.
(I refurbished Gateway laptops for several years.)
I find them in general to be more reilable and much less problematic than Sony, Compaq, Dell, or HP. Relative to the others you don't see many Gateways showing up on EE with problems.
-
Every make has a few dud models, and every model has a few dud units.

If it's been in that many times I would take Garys suggestion about Lemon Laws to heart.
Causually mention that the entire issue is being addressed IN PUBLIC on the Internet on EE.
[You might be surprised how much that helps! I've seen companies repair OUT of warranty equipment when they knew the matter was public.]


The configuration you describe is (system built into the LCD) is called a "Profile" model from Gateway.
That configuration is more prone to problems that typical computers due to heat issues.

I'm trying to find specific info you yours but the model number you gave was incomplete:
Is it a 610XL, 610X, 610S, or ????

.
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RDAdamsCommented:
Have you tried to call them about it as yet?  When you do ask the service person to bring up the service history and ask exactly what is the historacal maintenance on the unit.  They may very well have replaced the motherboard etc in the past.  Sometimes this will help just in being knowledgeable about the product.  Hopefully they will recognize that they are wasting their own money trying to repair it.
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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mds332200Author Commented:
Hi, sorry ive been so busy- havent had time to post whats new. I emailed them numerous times asking them to replace the unit. I heard nothing from them. A month later I called for the stats- they told me the warranty is expired. I explained it was not expired when it was sent in, they had it so long that it had now expired. Then they told me the board was sparked, something they dont cover under warranty so they wanted 500$. I explained from day 1 this unit had power problems, sometimes not powering up, sometimes randomly shutting off. Finally they told me they would cover it.

Problem solved right? Not so fast!

Today the computer arrived, I opened it up and saw deep scratches on the base of the unit,

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/mds33200/DSC03247.jpg

When I sent it to them, it looked brand new. Not that big of a deal, still that sucks though. So I turned the unit around (on the table), checking it for other scratches. I didnt see any other scratches on the unit, but as I turned the computer around I saw a MAJOR  scratch on the table the computer sits on (yes, a fairly new cherry finished table).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/mds33200/DSC03251.jpg

My initial thought is oh no I must have put the computer down on something- and then turned it which scratched the table. No- not even close. Turns out you know the little pads they stick on the bottom of the computer to prevent scratches- well the screw they used on the bottom of the computer is longer then the pads- so the computer doesnt sit on the pads, it sits on the screw!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v229/mds33200/DSC03253.jpg

It gets worse- the internal fan also makes a weird sound now- if I had to listen to this sound all day I think I would go crazy.

So, its back off to gateway (well technically its NCP I believe its called- since they took over this gateway product in October of 07).
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mds332200Author Commented:
ps- PCBONEZ to answer ur question- the paperwork I have just says "610 media pc- US" and on the back of the unit, it says the model number is 03-dt009-01x

pps- because I havent logged in here in a while it says the case is closed. can i still award points?
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sjg770123Commented:
Hello,
I am sorry you are having this issue I further apologize for chiming in . But I also got this unit from a super frustrated client.  I LOVE IT .. But sadly everything works great execept the video flashes on and off and using the ol fashioned method ' slapping on the top it comes back '
Would anyone know how or where I could solve this problem ? For the EE people I really had searched the EE forums this is the only time I ever saw a posting regarding this unit.

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