I saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy last night with my teenage kids. (They loved it, but figured most of their friends wouldn't get it. "That's what you get," I said, "when you're raised by a dad with a bizaare mind.")
A couple weeks ago, Alienware's pr department asked for their notebook computer back. They FedEx'ed to me the FedEx paperwork with which to FedEx them the cardboard box and their computer. Which I did.
Today, I received this email from Alienware:
Your cancellation request has been received. We have assigned an RMA number to your case, which we will use to track and identify your request. Please make a note of this number and include it on the packaging when you return the item. The following items are included on this cancellation order:
[Item:1-YR 24/7 WARRANTY (NO CHARGE), Qty:1]
[Item:INTEL MOBILE INTEGRATED HIGH-DEFINITION AUDIO, Qty:1]
[Item:ALIENWARE T-SHIRT XL BLACK, Qty:1]
[Item:RAID 0 STRIPING 2 DRIVES, Qty:1]
[Item:MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PRO SP2 OEM RECOVERY CD, Qty:1]
[Item:ALIENWARE MOBILE MANUAL, Qty:1]
[Item:SILVER INTELLIMOUSE EXPLORER 4.0 USB, Qty:1]
[Item:AREA-51M 7700 8X DVD+/-RW NEC, Qty:1]
[Item:NERO EXPRESS DVD WITH VISION EXPRESS SFT BUNDLE V18.104.22.168C, Qty:1]
[Item:AREA-51M 7700 D900T NVIDIA DDR3 6800FXGO WITH 256MB MODULE, Qty:1]
[Item:W-NWEB 802.11ABG INTERNAL MINI PCI WIRELESS ADAPTER, Qty:1]
[Item:ALIENWARE MOUSE PAD, Qty:1]
[Item:ON-SITE WARRANTY, Qty:1]
[Item:SAMSUNG 1 GB DDR2 4200 SO-DIMM LEAD FREE, Qty:2]
[Item:OWNER IDENTIFICATION CARD, Qty:1]
[Item:CYBERLINK POWERDVD 8 CHANNEL 7.1 XP, Qty:1]
[Item:P4 3.4GHZ 1MB 800FSB LGA775, Qty:1]
[Item:AREA-51M 7700 D900T GREY 17" SXGA+ W/CAM, Qty:1]
[Item: USB FLOPPY DRIVE, Qty:1]
[Item:HITACHI NOTEBOOK 40GB 7200RPM HD, Qty:2]
[Item:MICROSOFT WINOWS XP PRO COA, Qty:1]
When returning the item(s) listed, please take the following precautions in order to expedite your return process:
- Return all items in their original condition. Peripherals must be returned with the original packaging, and all items must be returned without any physical damage.
- All items must be returned complete. A credit cannot be issued if disks, CDs, cables, or any other accessories that belong with the returned item are missing.
- The RMA number listed above must be visible on the packaging. Items returned without a visible RMA number will be refused by Alienware.
- As per the Alienware warranty statement, all software sales are final and cannot be returned for a credit.
- Record all tracking numbers associated with your return. This information will be required if the product is damaged or lost during shipping.
- To reduce the chance of an item being damaged during the return process, please be sure to properly package all items and include sufficient packing material to prevent damage from occurring during shipping.
See the contradiction? Software is included in the list of items they want returned, but the precautions note that the software cannot be returned.
I replied that I had already returned the computer, as requested by their pr department and gave them the name of my pr contact. It was the reply that reminded me of the alien bureaucrats in HHG2G:
Thank you for contacting the Alienware Technical Support Team.
I am very sorry that I could not find any information, regarding your system, by checking into the records in our customer’s database.
This fact does not allow me to give you a personalized answer until you email us back with the registered customer account number, original email address or full name of purchaser. Any of the above will allow us to successfully locate the right information pertaining to your account with us to try and help you out resolving with your issue.
If you have more questions or any technical issues regarding this or any other topic do not hesitate to contact us again. For fast answers and tips you can visit our “Knowledge Data Base” at http://support.alienware.com.
I see no point in responding. Being a pr loaner, there was no registered customer account number; they have my email address and the full name of me, the non-purchaser. Let's see how this develops.