Hey! eMachines! This is NOT a $300 computer!

I know I’m taking the risk of two rants in one 24-hour period being overkill, but after having just perused my newspaper’s Sunday Circuit City flyer…

Yo! eMachines Marketing Department! Please pay attention!

Your computers, which are advertised in BIG numbers as being $299.99 and in very little letters as being “after rebate and before required ISP contract”, are not only NOT $299.99, but cost more with the required ISP contract than they do cash down at the store!

$899.99 = cash down price
-$200 rebate
-$400 rebate contingent on ISP agreement
+$790.20 ISP agreement ($21.99 x 36 months)

May I note, for your edification, eMachines Marketing Department, that $1,090.19 is NOT less than $899.99.

If I were to write a musical for you, eMachines Marketing Department, it would include the song “How Big Was My Kickback?” It would include the song “What Kind of Fool Are You?” And it would include the big production number “Another Patsy, Another Schmoe”.

Choke on a bank draft, eMachines Marketing Department. May your deceitful sales techniques cause you pangs of conscience which form into peptic ulcers which erode your stomach linings until you live on a constant infusion of Pepto-Bismol and milk. And may the doctor you consult for your unfortunate stomach condition charge you $299.99 after rebate but before the required X-ray series which will cost you an uninsured $1,500.

Their guarantee says (to the effect): “Under $300 (with the ISP mail-in rebate).”

Basically, if you buy two products, you get a huge discount on one of them. So, legally, they’re right.

Realistically, you shouldn’t buy an E-machines computer.

I just gotta disagree.
I didn’t go for their ISP deal, but I have bought 4 e-machines in the last 2 years. In addition, my business partner has bought an additional 2.

One for home, two for the office and one as a present for my colelge student brother. (all bought individually)

I got each one of them for under $700. This includes the monitor, computer, keyboard/mouse and printer. I did a little wheeling and dealing, but I bought them all from Circut City (NJ) and have no problems to report.

Sure, I don’t have the most kick-ass computer out there, but they are all good enough for what I (and probably 80% of the population) need them for.

And they even have one free 5 1/4" bay for a CD burner. It’s a surprisingly easy install too. :slight_smile:

Um, FTR, this was not my computer.

I’ll agree with Freedom. I’ve got an e-machine and I have no complaints.

I bought it straight up though. It’s out of date now, processor-wise, but it does what it’s supposed to.

Those IPS deals are a rip-off, IMHO. And when the salesman tried to offer me rebates for signing up to some ISP, I figured that I’d save my money by saying no.

It’s not the computer, it’s the bullshit they try to sell you when you buy it.

Especially for services like Compuserve and Prodigy. Those guys are DINOSAURS.

I prefer building my own computer. You save money and hassle, IMOSHO. So my advice to everyone is this: Make sure you have a good friend who really knows his hardware and software (no, not a sexual reference!). It’ll save you many headaches in the long run.

Ugh. I’ve seen eMachines and I have serious doubts the hardware they use will even last 3 years. I’m surprised you don’t hear consumer reports of those pieces of crap simultaneously spontaneously combusting and exploding in a gigantic shower of radioactive waste.

Still not the worst ripoff I’ve ever heard. There was a “free pc” company a while back that would take reconditioned pentium 200 based computers and sell them back for a similar deal. Yes, pentium 200’s. This was early last year or late year before last when I read this. Now that’s capitalism for you. :slight_smile:

slortar-you’re probably right. But I don’t expect my computer to last me as long as 3 years. My next computer won’t be an e-machine, but some custom deal. I didn’t know shit about computers when I bought it, though. I still really don’t, but I realize I can do a lot better than shopping at Staples or CircuitCity.

And any ISP deal offered to me with computer purchase is one I want to stay away from. With anything else, they’re in the business of taking your money.

What’s a legit internet site to buy a custom computer? (Sorry if that’s not a BBQ query).

I did the math before I bought one for my parents before I moved from Pennsylvania to California, but I figured, hey, they’re going to end up paying the monthly fee for MSN, so… :wink:

Actually, I looked at it this way - one way or another, they were going to need an ISP, and MSN is as good as any other, and it was about the same price (yeah, yeah, I know, you can get ISP service for less than $20/month, or even for free, but I didn’t have the time to research it, and they don’t have the computer/internet savvy to get it themselves), so, in effect, since we’d be paying for the ISP anyway, the computer, was, in effect, free.

Besides, I had no money for Christmas this year, was moving across the country, and needed to get them something so we could stay in touch. It certainly meets their limited needs (access to the internet and e-mail and occassionally typing something up in Word), plus it came with a free color printer, monitor, and I bought a little extra memory for them. The thought of paying $20/month over the next three years rather than plunking down a few hundred I didn’t have appealled to me as much as the deal did.

No complaints so far.


3(2?) years ago I did the computer show thing.

I read about PCs…I talked to people about PCs…I went to the shows…
I ended up getting one put together custom made for me. It took me a month to make up my mind, and cost me $1300. I got the top of the line everything. It lasted me about a year and a half, and then died.
It takes me a couple of hours to buy an e-machine, and costs me almost half as much. You have to remember-- they come with a monitor and printer.

My machines will easily last 3 years. I am not convinced that a soupped up custom model will make it past 4. If you are spending the money to get top of the line, then you are going to get antsy when it is just a good reliable computer, but isn’t the fastest sleekest model around anymore.

So I’m looking at $400-$500 every 3 years to get a new computer/printer. Sooner or later I guess my monitor will burn out or be outdated. Tack on another $200.

If you want to stay on the cutting edge, I’m cool with that. When you pay $600 just for the CPU every two years, you are helping Espix and me get a fast cheap computer:)

For the average guy, you just can’t beat an e-machine. For the computer guy, they would suck.

Yeah, you’re right. My main gripe with the emachine I monkeyed with was the hard drive mounted right to the front faceplate of the case. Made a horrible racket. It gave me a somewhat less than stellar first impression of the quality of their engineering.

Personally, I think you’d be better off buying a refurbished machine from a more reliable manufacturer. Dell has a great list of refurbished machines available on their site: it’s often possible to pick up quite a powerful machine for very, very little.

Get your internet from a local isp and you’re all set (never underestimate the ability to go physically to the local offices to rattle cages if you don’t like the service you’re getting).

Just to throw in my 2 cents here…

We bought an eMachine last February. I will attempt to give you a short version of what followed. (Then again, this is me, so grab a soda and sit down):

2/21/00: We purchase eMachine at Circuit City.

4/00 (last weekend of the month): eMachine crashes. I call tech support (long distance number). We get the machine up and running. For about an hour. I call back. This happens three times in one day.

7/00 (last weekend of July): eMachine stops making sounds. I call tech support. Guy says sound card is fried. While having me check some info on the machine, it crashes. We cannot get it back up. He says to send it in, and we get a new one. He stresses a few times that this will be a “new” machine.

8/24/00: “New” machine arrives

10/21/00: Machine crashes. I call tech support. Am told machine is refurbished, not new. Ask why I was told “new,” Guy says, “I dunno, they shouldn’ta said that.” Get the machine running…no, wait, crashes, no wait, running, no, wait… I tell them I am not paying shipping again. I say I want a refund. Please, can I have the corporate number. “Manager” says they are “not allowed” to give corporate number to customers. Okay, I want to speak to someone in charge. He is the “the highest authority” available to customers.

10/24/00: I call the corporate office (got the number online at work). Am told that “Of course we love to hear from customers.” Am offered an upgrade. Okay, I’ll take it.

11/00 (middle of month): Get computer. Wrong model. Call customer service. They say they’ll pay our shipping to send it back, and as soon as we send it, we call them, and they’ll ship us the right model.

11/27/00: We send it. We call. We are told, “Two weeks at most.”

12/14/00: We call. Are told, “Oh we forgot.” (I swear, I am not kidding, they told us they forgot to send our machine.) We complain. They promise 2-day shipping.

12/21/00: We call. Are told that the model we were promised is unavailable. Will we accept a different one. Okay. I ask for corporate number. They tell us that they weren’t allowed to give it out up until the end of October, when the policy was changed. Hmmm… Next day, hubby calls corporate, and leaves them home number, his work number, my work number, and my cell phone number.

12/26/00: Another call to corporate.

12/27/00: Another call to corporate.

12/28/00: We get the machine. Less than 30 hours later (no joke, I counted), it froze, and the “D” drive stopped working. Also, no sound. All I could do was go online. I wrote an email to every department listed on the website, telling them the whole story in detail, and that no one would return our calls. I say I expect a response within 3 working days.

1/2/01: The phone rings. It’s Mike from eMachines. He tried “all last week” to call us, but kept getting a recording. I explain that he was given four different phone numbers, and little wonder that he couldn’t reach us at home, since we both work, and did he not know how to leave a message. “Oh, you work?” This was his response. :rolleyes:

Pieces of that conversation:

Mike: I understand that you’ve had some trouble with your eMachine.

Me: Make that plural, Mike. This is the third one that’s busted on us since February of this past year. Even considering that the last two were “refurbished” what do you think are the odds of that happening? We want a refund.

Mike: (long pause) Would you consider trying another of our machines? I’d test it myself?

Me: I cannot believe you just said that to me. Tell me that you are kidding. Because if you are, you’re not funny.

Mike: Are you sure you wouldn’t…

Me: Mike, we’ll be making a report to the Better Business Bureau no matter what. The result of this conversation right now will determine what kind of report that is.

Mike: Did you want that check made out to you or your husband? (okay, it wasn’t what he said, but he did agree to refund our money, along with reimbursing us for the extended warranty from CC – I even had him offering to pay the long distance bills from my calls to tech support)

A week later, they sent us another machine. No joke. My husband called (I think Mikey was thrilled to not hear from me). Mike apologized and they paid to ship both machines back. Mike called a couple weeks later to say he had received the machines, and the copies of our receipts (he had asked for originals, and I asked him if he really thought I was that stupid). When I picked up the phone, he asked for my husband about three times before realizing he was stuck talking to me.
So, that was our experience with eMachines. Sorry it was so long, but I really did leave out most of the details (you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff the tech and cust. service people said). I wouldn’t take one of their machines if they offered it free. The hassle was too much, and lasted almost a year. (In fact, we got our reimbursement check one day before the one year anniversary of the purchase).