My lovely, yet misinformed, mother purchased a desktop computer system for me from shopNBC as a college graduation gift without consulting me about her purchase.
After she received the computer it sat in the box until the 30 warranty (wow! how generous of them!)was up before I was able to bring the computer to Chicago when I moved out here.
The hardware is cheap. The power button fell off. Only some of the drives work some of the time. I cannot get the POS 'Brother' printer to install properly after countless attempts. In fact, nothing really installs properly. The software that they included is a JOKE! Gee, thanks for the Betty Crocker recipe database - I was hoping for WORD AND EXCEL!!! (my very loving and sweet mother doesn't understand the difference between WorkSuites and Windows)
These cheats market these GROSSLY overpriced 'gray market' machines at misinformed impulse buyers and I'm sure they do quite nicely for themselves at $2100 a pop. I paid the same price for a mid-to-top-of-the-line apple laptop to replace this hunk of crap and it is 50 times the computer this thing is! If this was a $500 machine through BestBuy I wouldn't be complaining because you get what you pay for. This situation, however, is drastically different.
The most shady thing of all is where these come from. The computers are supplied to Shop NBC from V2 Premier (AKA Viscom) Viscom does not actually build anything. They are a reseller of "gray market" or "pirated" cut rate computer systems sold by a company called Elite Computer Systems, based in Taiwan. The US headquarters for ECS is located at 45401 Research Ave, Fremont CA 94539. (Phone 510-226-7333).
ECS, in turn does not actually build computer systems at the Fremont facility. Unlike the chintzy little office building Viscom uses, ECS does have a rather large shipping and warehousing facility. The machines are built in China and Taiwan by generic suppliers, and drop shipped through the ECS facility in Fremont. The only work done at the Chaska Viscom facility is warranty returns, and it is simply a warehouse. I have tried for months to talk to someone there about my hardware AND software problems without ever getting to talk to a person (and this is the 2 yr. supposed 'tech support' my mother paid something like $200-400 more for!!!).
Viscom is a middleman that drop ships merchandise provided by a third party,ECS, and markets through a fourth party, normally ShopNBC.
After I purchased my mac I posted the system on Craigslist 4 concurring weeks with no bites - not even for parts! Then the fourth week of my posting I received an email from a local Technology professor who has been pursuing these companies legally. He supplied me with some addresses and a strategy to nip these guys in the bud.
Since my Mom ordered the PC from ShopNBC, then they were the first step I took in pursuing this item. They knowingly marketed an illegitimate "gray market" computer to my mother, also with the knowledge that the merchandise was shoddy and riddled with problems. When I called it took near begging to even speak with a manager without an account# or CC#. Finally, Chris the floor manager greeted me and while I was explaining the situation I was in and requesting that I simply return the computer without making a HUGE fuss - which I WILL! - I was 'disconnected'.
This report is the next step. Then I will contact the Attorney General's office in MN where Viscom is headquartered and raise a stink there. And as soon as I get a solid contact at NBC (who does not own ShopNBC but they lisence the name to a third party operator) I will raise a HUUUUUGE stink there, in which case, NBC will inevidably put pressure on ShopNBC to stop filthifying their namesake.
Many hopes that there aren't others out there like my mother but something tells me that there are - God Bless!
Oh, and ps, I probably have MANY mispelled words in the body of this report, however, I do not have WORD to spell check it. Thank you for understanding.
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