Video Card Failure Alienates Buyer

Illustration: Harry Campbell
When my Alienware laptop computer failed after just three years of scant use, I took it in to Best Buy’s Geek Squad. They diagnosed a video card failure but said they lacked the part to make the repair. However, when I asked Alienware for a replacement board, reps told me, “Alienware no longer sells spare parts...you could purchase the part from a third-party vendor”—but they did not provide any vendor names or contact info.

Alan Weinberger, Reston, Virginia

OYS Responds: Our contact at Alienware described Weinberger’s treatment as “a fluke,” and said that the company will sell parts for out-of-warranty systems (such as Weinberger’s) as long as it has sufficient stock to take care of its warranty repairs. If Alienware doesn’t have sufficient stock, our contact said, it will provide customers with an estimate of when the part will be available, and also will point them to several third-party vendors listed on its Web site.

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Powerless CyberPower Power Supply

Illustration: Harry Campbell
Six months into a three-year warranty, the power supply on the monitor that I bought with my CyberPower computer failed, so I called tech support. A rep initially told me that the company would replace the power supply, but later he said that since CyberPower hadn't made the monitor, he couldn't help me. Another customer service rep promised to send a new monitor, as the company doesn't stock separate power supplies. But the monitor never showed up--and when I called back, the rep said the order had been killed because the company no longer had the monitor.

Bernard Neyer, Chanute, Kansas

OYS Responds: CyberPower officials told us that the problem stemmed from a miscommunication. The company's tech support reps meant to say that Neyer should contact the third-party company (Fuji) that made the monitor to pursue a warranty claim. CyberPower's Web site, however, states that "Monitors, keyboards, and mice that are included on CyberPower's standard price list are covered under [its standard computer] warranty."

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Antispyware Program Becomes the Problem

Illustration: Harry Campbell
My PC became infected by a Trojan horse that produced constant pop-ups about spyware threats and offers to get rid of them with a $30 product called WinSpywareProtect, sold on a site of the same name. I bought it, in part because the site had PC World's Best Buy logo. But when a Web search revealed dozens of complaints about this software, I requested a refund. I am writing to you since your logo was apparently used fraudulently, and also to see if you can recommend a legitimate antispyware program that will remove this monster from my computer.

David Shluker, Far Rockaway, New York

OYS Responds: We are aware that WinSpywareProtect is using our logo without authorization, but since the company registered its domain anonymously, we have been unable to contact it. We're currently attempting to get WinSpywareProtect's Web hosting company to take the site down until our logo is removed.

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