Gateway Tech Support: From hell's heart I stab at thee!

Blow me while I take a big slippery Taco Bell shit, you leprous wookiee felchers.

Last time I tried to get a straight answer from you, it took five tries, when I gave you all the information you needed in the first email I sent.

Now, I’m having a problem installing VPN, a feature of the Windows 98 OS that you shipped with my PC. The CD clearly says “Contact your PC’s manufacturer for tech support.” That’s you, salad-tossers. But, you “apologize for any inconvenience; …we are unable to offer support for this type of issue”.

Wrap your lips around my throbbing dong while I squeeze out a big smelly log, you stinking sacks of fuck. You gristley pieces of cunt. You foetid gobs of Cthulhu semen. You chunky strips of congealed Janet Reno labial runoff. You anthrax-infected gob of mucous horked up by Michael Jackson for his use as an anal lubricant.

Good thing I was able to figure out the problem on my own, or I might have become bitter.

Hear, hear!

Um, what’s a salad-tosser, anyway?

A man who sucks maple syrup (or jello, mayo, ketchup, etc) from another man’s rectum, usually while incarcerated.

I wrote a blues song called “Toss My Salad” once.

Read your e-mail

Assuming VPN= Virtual Private Network support, no, that’s not Gateway’s prob, it’s a MS OS issue.

Perhaps you should check out the zillion web sites re: VPN before you call it an OEM prob. If you know WTF VPN means, you would not be calling Gateway in the first place.

here is a place to start.

It’s not their job to teach you Windows. Their TS will help with basic win probs, but get a grip!

Been locked up in prison
For life and ten years
Ran out of Log Cabin
now it’s Smuckers, I fear.

oh I’ve got the blues.
Those jailhouse salad tossing blues.
ya misplace your own straw and
you’ll be be stuck having to touch your shoes.


Love it!

Thank you! That was my thought as well, only better put. Being an employee of one of a computer-manufacturing company (I’ll let you figure out which one), I get frustrated reading the tech call logs. I’ve seen some where were the equivalent of “I used format on my hard drive, and since you sold me the computer, it’s your fault. Tell me how to get all of my files back or you’ll lose a customer!” While I appreciate all of the customers we have, I do sometimes feel like maybe we’d be better off without that kind of customer.

I feel the OEM’s responsibility ends once all of the equipment sold on the machine works as advertised in the operating system chosen by the customer and installed by the OEM. Once everything is up and running, and unless part of it craps out due to factors outside of the customer’s control (manufacturing defect and the like), I feel the customer should find some other way to solve problem of his or her own making. Not to flame the OP, but really, did you expect Gateway to support that?


Actually, it was closer to Bo Diddley than John Lee Hooker.

buh buh buh buh-DUH-duh
Hey toss my sa-lad
buh buh buh buh-DUH-duh
Hot soup motherfucker

Repeat ad infinitum.
We had just watched Attica, and were pretty drunk.

I’ll try and dig up the four track tape and post an mp3 tomorrow…

To clarify, the problem wasn’t getting VPN to work, but it failing to simply install from the Windows CD. If it had installed, then failed to work properly, I agree it was something GW should not have to deal with. But I think just getting that feature of the OS to install from the CD they provided, that is printed with “Contact your PC’s manufacturer for tech support”, is Gateway’s problem.

Actually, I found out later the problem was that I couldn’t install anything from the Win98 CD, because of registry problems that were almost certainly caused by attempts to use a “Gateway System Restoration” CD. It wasn’t a VPN problem at all, it just first manifested itself when I tried to install VPN.

I have a Gateway computer, and I have to say that the tech help I’ve gotten from them has been stellar. Motherboard damaged in shipping? A repairman came TO MY APARTMENT to install a new one within three days. Sudden manifestation of the dreaded Iomega “Click of Death”? A new zip drive sent within a week, and a tech on the phone to talk me through installation. Tiny little plastic button bracket cracks? A new one in the post immediately. No charge for any of this (admittedly, the first two were covered by the standard warranty, but there was no hassle at all).

However, my Gateway tech support center is in Ireland, so naturally YMMV. But I’ve been more than happy with the help I’ve gotten from them.

[sub]Disclaimer: Neither I nor any friends or relations are employed by Gateway or its subsidiaries. I received no payment for making the above glowing recommendation. Purchasers are reminded that hard drives may go down as well as boot up.[/sub]

Cisco 5000 VPN has a delightful installer, at least for the Mac.

You double-click the installer icon. A screen opens up resembling a Finder window, showing the Cisco VPN client on the left and all your bootable hard drives on the right. You drag the Cisco icon on top of the hard drive icon of your choice.

Setup is pretty nice too. Enter the IP address, select some settings (tunnelling options, NAT Transparency mode, etc), give the connection a name.

To use it, you launch it as an application, click “Connect”, type your password.

I was afraid it would be a whole slew of extensions and messy modifications to my TCP settings, but it is so simple that it is easy to simply copy the files from one machine to another, and not even bother using the installer: one extension file, one preferences file, one application file.
I gather you’ve gotten the Microsoft VPN client to work, but could you have used the Cisco instead?

Not sure AHunter, but it might have been worth a shot if I hadn’t fixed my general Win98 problem. Thanks for the info, maybe in the future I’ll need to use Cisco.

This is part of the problem…
Microsoft gives Gateway a good deal on the price of an OS. As a condition of the deal Microsoft declares itself out of the loop and depends on Gateway to support its customers. It’s a good deal for Gateway and a good deal for Microsoft. The only one that gets screwed is the customer who buys from Gateway. They are forced to depend on Gateway for all the support that they would expect from Microsoft. Try as they may, Gateway can’t provide the level of professional support as Microsoft. Sure they can weed out the idiots with the easy questions, but give them a tough question and they provide a stock answer like “we are unable to offer support for this type of issue”.

Gateway needs the ability to escalate problems to the manufacturer when questions are beyond their capability. There shouldn’t be a stock answer of being “unable to offer support”. If they supplied the hardware or software they should find you an answer.

I used Gateway as an example, but this applies to any PC seller.

Ahh, luxury. You’ve never dealt with Austarnet tech support. They used to be Chello in Australia, they’re a sattelite broadband ISP.

I’ve complained about the fact that they call me “little lady” and tell me I’m “smart for a girl”. I’ve complained about the fact that they told me to cut down my neighbours trees to solve the problem (seriously). I’ve complained that the tech support guy told me their system is incompatable with almost all systems including some in their office, and that personally he wouldn’t have them in his home. One got angry at me for not knowing to call the finance department instead of the tech support department, despite the caller not leaving a name, a reason for calling, a return number or the instruction “Ask for finance, not tech support” - we thought she was calling because of a technical issue. Also, I got told off because the tech support guy told me my account was paid up to date, when I should have known that the tech guy doesn’t have access to that information. They do nothing about their rude, useless, untrained, unprofessional staff.

Today, my internet connection stopped working. I rang tech support, and the moron who answered told me that NT is “notoriously unstable”, and that he would do his best but I should consider changing to Windows ME. Yeah, I’ll consider that WHEN I HAVE A GUN TO MY HEAD. I run NT because their fucked up software crashed all the other operating systems I tried it with. Constantly. This is the problem they said could be solved by cutting down my neighbours trees - we considered that, but found NT did the job without upsetting the neighbours. See, it’s a catch-22. The only system their stupid software runs well with is NT, but they don’t support NT, so if you run NT, they’re supposed to refuse to help you if you have trouble. Either that or you have to pull out your 3D card, your network card and a bunch of other stuff that clashes with their Harmonic card just so you can get on the net. Even that doesn’t mean your computer won’t crash, just that they’ll blame it on the state of the economy, or the alignment of the planets.

Anyway… today I rang and spoke to the “tech” guy, and told him what was going on, and he started talking about how NT sucks until I yelled at him, then he began talking about reinstalling my TCP/IP stack. I asked him if he could just check to see if there were any authentication problems with my POP, and he said “Oh sure… nope. There are other people connected to your POP browsing fine… I’m logged into it right now”. I got sick of his voice, and hung up on him, and rang back. A woman answered, I told her what my problem was and she said “Are you dialled in to (my) POP?”. I said yes, she said we’re experiencing power failures there, techs are on it, it will be back up in 45 mins. I asked her how long they’d known, she wasn’t sure, but was shocked to hear the other guy assured me that other people were logged into my POP because they weren’t. What surprised me most was that it only took two calls to find the one person in the organisation with a clue. Normally, this takes weeks. Could be because, in the words of one tech, “we don’t got many women working here. That’s why I’m surprised that you know how to use a computer because most women don’t”.

They only hire the men who write “YES” in the box next to the question “Are you a neanderthal with no clues, brain damage, less than usual education, an attitude problem and nothing better to do than uninstall and reinstall customers TCP/IP stacks all day for no good reason?” - but only if they spell “YES” wrong.

So, if you’re lucky, your Gateway tech will go to Hell - and Hell will be eternity calling Austarnet for tech support.

I’ve been on the other end of that. At my previous job, providing support for a networking hardware company-that-isn’t-Cisco, I don’t know how many times I was mistaken for the receptionist, asked how long the caller would have to wait to talk to a technician, or even been asked to transfer the caller to “one of the tech support GUYS”. Better yet were the callers who didn’t like my answer, and would call back to hear the exact same thing delivered with a male voice. (My cow-orkers were pretty good about that, when they realized what the caller was doing. They’d tell the caller that it was an escalation issue, and that they’d transfer them to “the senior product engineer” - me. :D)

Do NOT call me “honey” if you want your damn switch fixed.

[/end hijack]

The sexism stories remind of when my sister (who has a graduate degree in biomedical engineering) went to CompUSA to buy a hard drive, and the salesperson asked “Do you have boyfriend or somebody to help you install this?”

Revtim, I apologize for my idiotic drunken mean-spirited reply to you. It was totally uncalled for, and I feel like shit (as I should) for posting.

I am too embarrassed and cowardly to even look at any reply to it right now.

Again, my sincere apologies.

No problem Klaatu, I assumed you thought I meant I expected GW to iron out the problems I had getting VPN to work, not simple installation. I could have been more clear in my OP.

Besides, for the pit, your post was downright corgial! No reason to feel bad.