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Negative recommendation: Don't buy/deal with ARM Computer

I purchased a TuxTops copmuter (no longer sold by TuxTops) earlier this
year.  The hardware was a resale of ARM Computer equipment, the Compal
20U chassis.

I've RMAd the unit to ARM Computer for warranty repairs.  Dealing with
the company since Oct 25, I've been stonewalled, lied to, had both email
and phone calls left unreturned, and been denied warranty service for
what appears to be damaged solder connectors on a power supply.  Rather
than prepaid warranty coverage, I'm currently facing a $325 bill from
the company.

Repeated communications with "Annie" (the repair supervisor), "Assad" (a
tech), and Salman Nasir (Director of Sales & Marketing) have failed to
resolve the issue.  There has been absolutely no positive response from
any of my contacts with ARM.

I've also been in touch with QLITech (who's picked up the TuxTops line)
and Graham Hine (TuxTops' founder).  Interactions with both have been
positive, and I'm working toward a satisfactory resolution of the issue,
though this has not yet occured.  QLITech no longer sources its laptops
through ARM, nor does it use ARM's service, following a dozen negative
experiences in six months.  I've also contacted other former ARM
customers with similar experiences to mine.  Service for systems sourced
through ARM continues to be covered by ARM.

The latest update is that, after intercession by my original vendor, the
warranty will be respected.  Whether this is ARM stepping up to the
plate or my vendor taking it in the shorts, I don't know.  Kudos to
TuxTops for taking positive action as soon as they were aware of the

I've been preparing a report of my own dealings with the company and
will be posting it to my website shortly.

In the meantime, thought I'd post results of research through Google and
Google Groups, I'm finding that my experience is apparently all too
common, and is consistent with customer's stories dating back to 1996.

From Google:

    Search query:  http://www.google.com/search?q=%22arm+computer%22


    I wouldn't buy from ARM Computer if they sold the LAST notebook on
    this planet!"

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *


    Pros: It would be a nice machine if it worked.

    Cons: The company that sells it is unhelpful, and incompetent at   
    customer relations. For God's sake, don't buy from ARM. Their idea
    of improving the bottom line is squeezing the customer. BEWARE!!

From Google Groups:

    Search query:

A sample of results follows.  I'm not excluding positive customer
reports *there aren't any*.  There are negative reports, and requests
for comments, followed after several pages by numerous spams.  Negative
reports dominate the results.

    From: 63089956471@my-dejanews.com (63089956471@my-dejanews.com)
    Subject: Arm Computer - Milpitas, Ca.
    Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops
    Date: 1999/04/20 

    [I] just wanted to give everyone a warning on Arm Computer 
    (armcomputer.com) out of Milpitas, Ca.  If you run across one of
    thier adds and are considering purchasing a computer from them, I
    would strongly advice against it, based on my experiences with the
    company.  I bought a notebook computer from them in Aug., 1997. I
    also paid for a 3 year extended on-site 24 hr. service contract. The
    computer failed for the third time 3 weeks ago and I still have not
    received service on it. I've e-mailed Arm and got no reply from
    them. The service company, IAI Support (iaisupport.com) out of Las
    Vegas told me today that they refuse to honor any contracts from Arm
    Computer. I also had problems with IAI last November trying to get
    service. Ended up having to ship the computer to them to have it
    repaired, even though it is an on-site contract. Anyways, I'm
    looking into legal action at this time agains Arm Computer, and
    possibly IAI Support. 

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *

    From: jmhedges@my-dejanews.com (jmhedges@my-dejanews.com)
    Subject: Re: ARM Computer's ? DO NOT BUY!
    Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops
    Date: 1999/03/14 

    I cannot recommend ARM Computer. They have sent me two defective
    computers: one would occasionally shut down and not boot up (and
    they failed to fix the problem), and the other had a defective
    battery out of the box AND the hard drive failed two weeks later. I
    have tried to get a refund only to be hung up on, stonewalled, and
    lied to. They have owed me $1708.00 for several months, and here I
    wait without any computer.

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *

    From: Brian Mathis (gentry@csh.rit.edu)
    Subject: ARM Computer -- Class Action Suit?
    Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops
    Date: 1996/10/08 

    Seems like ARM computer has been taking advantage of every poor sap
    that tries to deal with them (us included).  I think they are
    targeting computer users for their ripoffs (who else?) :)  

    I say.. Class action suit against them... I know that I could find
    better things to do with that $250 restocking fee I paid them...

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *

    From: William R. Warner (dewey@world.std.com)
    Subject: Warning Notebook buyers of Arm Computer Inc. and Micon.
    Newsgroups: alt.computer.consultants, comp.forsale.computers,
	misc.forsale.computer, misc.forsale.computers,
	misc.forsale.computers.pc-specific.portables, us.forsale.computers
    Date: 1996/09/19 

    I recently read about the ordeal with MICON 7 day and I have one
    with Arm Notebooks.  I mean date from invoice is bull.  It should be
    date of recevied.  I called their tech support numerous times and
    left messages to call back and on the 4th day after expires they
    call and say I can't return it.  That is total BULLSHIT.  Luckily I
    got my credit card company and Better Business Bureau on it.  Nailed
    their asses to the wall :)  Never Fuck around with the consumer,
    esp.  when they are pissed off at the product enough.

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *

    From: The Rickster (bogus@phony.com)
    Subject: ARM Computer sucks!!!!
    Newsgroups: comp.forsale.computers, comp.hardware, comp.misc,
    Date: 1997/05/05 

    Just last month I bought a laptop from this 'fly by night' company.
    After using the laptop for awhile, something strange happened.

    The case has started coming apart and the screen has cracked.
    Because the case was coming apart, they said that the laptop was
    dropped and they will not replace the screen under warranty.

    These ***holes want over $600 to fix the screen.  I say DO NOT EVER
    BUY ANYTHING FROM THESE JERKS!!!!  They sell equipment that looks
    good when you get it, but with use, it breaks.  Plain and simple.


    Sorry, just my $0.02 (or $600).

    * * *                    * * *                    * * *

    From: TSI (TSI)
    Subject: DON'T BUY From ARM Computer's
    Newsgroups: comp.sys.laptops
    Date: 1996/01/10 

    Anybody thinking of buying a computer from ARM computers in San Jose
    CA beware sales people are decieving and very rude after a sale.

    I bought a notebook from them and when I told them I wanted to
    return it they started to ignore me and were very rude. 


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>       http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
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