I specifically picked AVA Direct because of all the steller reviews on ResellerRatings.com, but not only was that a big mistake but I'm HIGHLY suspicious that there isn't some sort of incestuous relationship going on between them. Almost every review on ResellerRating for AVA Direct is positively glowing, and my 1 negative review gets pulled for "review" and then disapears, even though it's supposed to appear 48 hrs later, meanwhile 12 glowing reviews pop up that were written long after mine.
Well, it's been over a week, no review...
I payed $4200.00 (more than my last 3 cars cost!) for a buggy, malfunctioning, slow piece of garbage, and was talked into settling for choices I did not want by high level employees that are nothing more than fast talking con men. When you're buying your big bucks notebook, everything's peaches and cream and anything's possible. Once they have your money however, 'this' isn't possible and 'that' isn't compatible and they never implied that, etc, etc.
I actually pulled over $4000.00 back from AlienWare because the company seemed so shady and had terrible reviews and sent it to AVA' instead based on their too good to be true reputation.
I had been calling the company to ask questions and figure out the best system I could afford and was having terrible luck getting through to there tech rep "Chris". He never answers the phone no matter what time you call and always calls you back at the worst times when your in the middle of work, obviously at HIS convenience. Yet the sales peaple always say he's the one to answer your questions.
So finally after several weeks of this I asked if there was anyone else I could speak to and was transferred to "Misha", the head sales rep.in what was problably an omen I now see, upon telling Misha that at this time I did not want to give personal information about myself over the phone as I did with Alienware and repeat a mistake that resulted in harassing high pressure sales tactics phone calls, he immediately got snotty and said, " well, your the one who had to speak with someone right now!".
So, in a twist of fate, Misha ends up taking my order personally and proceeds to advise me on the best choices for what I'm hoping is a screaming state of the art notebook.
I have to fight with him the whole time to get the latest components that Alienware, Sager and ExtremeNotebooks all include in the same model Clevo notebook because AVA is so far behind the curve.
That was a "joy" in itself and a source of constant aggravation and endless phone calls. I actually had to inform HIM of the latest wireless, graphics and WiFi cards on the market and listen to him tell me they aren't for this notebook or aren't yet on the open market when the other notebook manufacturers all had them. He would get smart or snotty with me and then eventually admitted that AVA purchases all their components on Ebay or similar places in bulk and can "only get what they can get"... He finally agreed to check on the current availability of some of the components I wanted. Then 1 or 2 weeks later I would see them offered as choices on the AVA site. Funny...
So finally after all this nonsense the big day comes and I call to finalize my order. Misha advises me on no uncertain terms that the purchase of a faster 2.8mhz or so processor is a waste of money for too little of a speed increase and that the 2.4 "stepping" processor is the way to go, because they can just overclock it and it will be faster than the more expensive one. I ask if he's positive it can be done - he says sure, they do this all the time. I ask will it void the warranty - he says no, they have professionals who do this, there's nothing to worry about. So I think wow, what a great guy, this is gona be a scream'n notebook, and I saved a couple bucks.
When it came to the operating system I repeatedly told him I didn't want Vista, but he AND tech rep Chris assured me I had no choice, the notebook I picked wouldn't work with XP or anything else, even though many other OS's were offered as choices. So against my wishes Vista it was.
I also pick a 7in1 Iomega card reader because this "state of the art" notebook only has a 4in1 reader.
I also am told by Misha this "top of the line notebook" has an EXTERNAL volume control...
I also pick the super expensive dual SLI graphics cards...
I print out my order, put a personal hand written note with it detailing Misha's promises of overclocked processors and say if my notebook can't be overclocked for any reason to call me immediatley, in plain English.
I also waited over 2 months to recieve my purchase.
Every once in awhile I'd get nervous about Misha's shakey promises on my notebook choices and call to check up on things and he'd immedietly poo-poo my concerns and assure me they were doing everything they could to expidite my order, and I'd say no, that's not why I'm calling. I don't care how long it takes, just as long as I get what I paid for and it's done right.
I mean we're talking over 4 thousand dollars for God's sake. He'd assure me everything was just peachy every time.
He also assured me, at zero hour, that my system wouldn't be overclocked, he never said it could, I picked the processor I did based on cost, not overclocking, and overclocking usually costs a $100.00's extra anyway.
Ain't that something.
So, what'd I get for $4200.00 friggin dollars, my life savings.
A malfunctioning, buggy, slow piece of *#^&@% that didn't even have the latest drivers, sure as hell ain't overclocked, is as slow as a Pentium III, glitches and stalls on 7 year old video games, crashes in the first 24 hours, doesn't have an external volume button, has pop-up boxes that refuse to go away, won't let me install or run anything because I'm not "Administrator" and has the WORST OPERATING SYSTEM ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, Vista.
And get this, the Iomega 7in1 card reader, isn't even compatible!
Which it says on the Iomega website. NO ONE EVEN BOTHERED TO CHECK!
Where in God's name did they get all these wonderfully happy customers!?!?
I'm ready to frigg'in snap.