Take My Money.. PLEASE.

I am in the market for a new gaming laptop. I travel for work, not crazy amounts (about 7 days per month) and after I have tucked in my three year old over the phone and assured my wife I love her, I sit in a hotel room twiddling thumbs. A lot of the time I just do more work. I don’t really watch TV, except for sports and a few non-cable shows. Away from family and in strange towns I just want to be able to game in my jammy-jams and forget about work for awhile. I could passably play WoW on my old laptop but it finally died. MMO’s don’t work on my iPhone. So I am in the market.

The laptop I will still need to use for work so I can’t have flames, or skulls, or aliens all over it. Clean and nice is what I want. I also want one with significant gaming power – my last 2 laptops combined lasted me about 10 years, so I figure if I spend and get good components hopefully this one will too. I try to avoid paying for brand names. I have a budged of $3500. Research ensues.

I learn that CLEVO is a pretty good guts and bolts company for laptops and find a rediculously powerful one tricked out well within my budget. Here are the ‘stats’.

– Display: 17″ Wide Viewing Angles WSXGA+ LCD with Super Glossy Surface (1680 x 1050)
    – Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Processor Q9550 / 12MB L2 Cache, 2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB[+$150.00]
    – Video & Graphics Card: Single Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTX Graphics with 1GB DDR3 Video Memory
    – Operating System: Genuine MS Windows® VISTA ULTIMATE 32/64-Bit Edition[+$80.00]
    – Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz – 2 X 2048MB[+$55.00]
    – RAID Storage Options: RAID-0 Storage ( Data Strip – Requires 2nd Hard Disk Drive or both 2nd & 3rd Hard Disk Drives )
    – Primary Hard Disk Drive: 200GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Hard Drive[+$45.00]
    – 2nd Hard Disk Drive: 200GB 7200rpm SATA 300 Secondary Hard Disk Drive in RAID configuration[+$100.00]
    – Optical Drive: 8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive & Software
    – Wireless Network Card: Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN – 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module
    – Bluetooth: Internal Bluetooth Module
    – Primary Battery: Smart Li-ION Battery Pack
    – Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office Ready with Free 60-Day Trial
    – Warranty: 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor Warranty with Three-Day Shipping Both Ways Paid
    – Carrying Bag: Standard Carrying Bag 
  Sub-Total:$3,029.00

For an extra $95 bucks I can upgrade to a 1900 x 1200 screen, which I decide I want to do. Upon further research, there are about 7 companies that carry the exact same notebook for pretty much the exact same price (+/- $50). I do further research about service and customer experiences. I narrow it down to three different companies that I feel comfortable with. How do I decide, when all are the same price, have the same product, and are all comparable service levels? I choose time. I email all three with the following blurb.

“Hi, I love the product listed above and am ready to buy. I see that there are other companies who carry the same product. I would like to balance my decision between the companies on a couple things  – Firstly, how long will it take your company to asssemble and ship the unit? Secondly, are their any special merits within your company that should make me choose you? My current laptop is no longer functional and while I see that you promise a 24 hour response time on sales inquiries I have a business trip this weekend so would appreciate a timely response. I need this laptop for gaming and business use! Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.”

I figured showing them how ‘eager’ I was would make for a quick response. I mean, I am a big fat fish nibbling the worm on your hook – all you have to do is set it and reel it in. Most salespeople would drool over a quick and easy sales prospect like me.

Right?

Wrong.

Day four and not ONE, not ONE single company has contacted me on my sales request. Despite all of them having a 24 hour contact guarantee. Despite a very easy sale. Despite the market and competition not one has responded to my inquiry. I check my email account to make sure there isn’t an email bounce. I am, to be honest, flabberghasted. I have now lost a bit of confidence in the product line I am looking at – are they hiding something? Why won’t they take my money?

Who do they think they are, an MMO company?

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Nah. MMO companies are happy to take your money. And keep taking it. And keep taking it.

    But great googley moogley, $3500 for a laptop? I got by playing WoW with a $1000 refurbished model that would probably sell for under $500 today. Indeed, those companies are, shall we say… inattentive. I almost wonder if they are in their death throes, and just haven’t bothered to update their websites. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Actually, you can have my laptop for $2000. Never mind that I already told you how much it cost me or that it’s antiquated tech from three years ago. I can send it to you tonight. 😉

  2. Yeah, I know it is a BIT of an overkill on price – but I look at it as a pure entertainment “investment”, as well as planning on using it for 5 years. That is how I justify it. =) On a side note, because I am technically “self employed” I get a $1500 tech credit from the government every year – meaning a dollar for dollar reduction in my income taxes for investing in technology. So “really”, it’s only costing me $2000. See? Perfect sense!

    LOL @ your sales pitch, almost had me too considering you came well within the 24 hour contact guarantee! =)

  3. 😀
    I guess I’m just a thrifty old codger… of 31 years. If I’m going to spend more than a thousand on anything, it had better be a car or a house. My threshold for financial largesse is pretty low.

    In other words, it’s pretty sweet that you have that budget, I’m just jealous. 😛 I think it’s pretty safe to say that almost any laptop you get for that price will last you for a good long while, so long as you take care of it and don’t sweat the bleeding edge near the end of its life span.

    Oh, and our customer service department aims to please. We’ll even custom paint your machine, should you so desire. We offer toddler finger paint (two hours added to shipping time) or custom fine art (time determined by complexity of subject). Heck, we’ll even slap some stickers on there if you’d like. Questions will always be answered as promptly as technology and real life allow, which is usually within a few hours, tops… except for the middle of the night.

  4. Get the higher res screen. You won’t be disappointed.

    Also, invest in some sort of cooling mechanism for the laptop, or something to put between your lap and the computer whilst on the road – these things get horrifically warm.

    Haven’t you been in the market for one of these things for over a year? =)

    Did you ever get a Saitek or Nostromo?

  5. I did get it. It was the wrong one but turns out the one we (I) wanted wasn’t even released yet =) I still can’t get used to it after years of the keyboard. Often I set myself in stone on ONLY using it but I just can’t get that comfort level. For the record, you did return one =)

    As for the market, yeah, a year ago I seriously looked into it and was dead set on it as my laptop ran WoW, but didn’t run Raid-WoW and we were raiding heavily then. Of course, I had a hard enough time scheduling myself on the road for 1 hour let alone 3.

    The fun part is now, looking back, the same specs that would have cost me $4000 back then are down to the $1500’s. Going to have to choke that down when I get a new one (none have still replied) that in 6 months they will be half price.

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