This is a copy of an email I have sent to AU customer Service - I still have not had a response. This is a part of an enquiry I started over 2 weeks ago. I am hoping maybe It might get some feedback here as the facebook page post and also reddit forum has also not had any official response as of yet.
To whom it may concern,
I have tried numerous times for someone in parts and service and or sales to contact me for an upgrade quote for 2 x Nvidia 980M GPU’s to suit an Alienware 18 to no avail.
Note: I am referring to an Alienware 18 - not an M18x - as seen on the following page - this page specifies it supports the GPU I am after.
I have also tried contacting US support via social media with no luck either. The last correspondence I got was that they would look into it and no-one has delivered an ounce of useful information.
I am as you can appreciate a little frustrated that a company of such reputation has very poor support for customers wanting something as simple as a quote for upgrade parts, for a premium quality and as such advertised premium branded computer system.
I am disappointed with the lack of customer service and that I have put my faith in this brand under the expectation of high quality customer service to match the system I have purchased 2 years ago.
I purchased this system as I was looking at long term upgradeability and put my trust in your support to be able to deliver this to me. I feel let down as a consumer as I have always been an advocate of the Alienware brand and the fact that it has a reputation of providing quality and performance over it’s competitors in the market.
I did not expect however to be treated with disdain and ignorance and feel like I as a consumer of this product that once the sale was completed that I know longer am anyone of importance and that my requests for something as simple as a quote would fall on deaf ears 2 years down the track when my system needs additional attention to stay current with the next generations of games and VR peripherals such as the HTC Vive and Oculus coming out on the market.
My experience with online chat was abysmal and I was constantly told my system would not support the part in question or I need to talk to sales or I need to talk to pro support. Every step of the way, to get something as simple as some information on a price for a part, I have felt I was stonewalled, ignored, dismissed or a nuisance to the operator at the other end of the phone and or chat service. That is of course when I was not being bounced from department to department causing me great loss of time and frustration as no-one could easily find the part I was looking for when I finally did get through to someone.
I seriously wonder now if I would have had so much trouble on something so simple if I had decidedly went with a competitors system like Origin PC to name but one of many in the mobile gaming space I could have chosen to go with. I feel as a long time advoicate I could no longer recommend this brand to my colleagues due to the poor customer service and support I have received.
I am hoping this correspondence will not fall on deaf ears like past correspondence and maybe with a glimmer of hope that Alienware might live up to it’s reputation and convert me once again to a loyal customer and convince me as to why I should continue to choose your brand over another.
I would appreciate a reasonable response on this matter and hopefully a resolution to my enquiry. I also hope that my feedback will help improve customer service and support in the Asia Pacific Region where I feel it is seriously lacking the passion that your brand was once in my eyes renowned for.
Based on the manual and what information I could get, you can't upgrade the GPU, just the CPU. What you get when you purchase is what your stuck with.
You can Upgrade both the GPU's in these systems. The heatsinks fit straight on - just requires new thermal pads and paste. When I purchased mine I only had the 780's as an option. Later they upgraded the spec to 880's and then 980's
It is true that both CPUs and GPUs can be upgraded on these systems. Typically the regional Dell center should assist you with this. Shipping delicate hardware of this sort overseas from the US is a less-than-preferable option for obvious reasons.
That said, Dell has suffered an astounding drop in customer service quality lately--outsourcing is my guess. I suggest you call the AU branch again and firmly insist on speaking to a Level 2 technician or above, as those people tend to be sympathetic native speakers of the language. Since your product IS out of the warranty period, they will most likely refer you to sales again. Phone conversations are superior to chats & letters in this regard. Most of the time, Dell Sales will respond to a fax more rapidly than either of these contact methods.
A more appealing (read: immediate and almost as satisfactory) option is to seek out a Dell-certified service center in your area. They would need to both order the parts and perform the upgrade, so this choice may involve extra cost. Also, the service would not imply any warranty renewal or extension, meaning failures would be your responsibility once you accepted the unit back. However, you would at least be able to get the upgrade you desire. I should mention that for the technologically able, becoming a Dell-certified technician (an thus gaining access to Dell's parts ordering system directly) is trivial, albeit time-consuming and expensive to maintain unless you intend to service others.
Being out of warranty, there is also the option of seeking your new hardware from a competing vendor. This would require careful research on the detailed hardware specifications--down to the serial numbers--since Dell is known for getting "special" hardware with "special" settings. Such things as pin arrangements, adjusted/realigned/removed circuits/features, and (of course) specific serial numbers can cause real problems when the upgrade is actually performed.
I wish you luck, and I recommend persistence.
My system is still in warranty - I got an extended warranty - the big issue is that I emailed this to AU customer service and I still have not had a response - maybe I should just spam them until someone actually takes notice
Apologies that the Dell Australia teams are failing. Here is the link to the Dell Australia Unresolved Issues form. I am in the USA and can only offer some advice.
The purchased warranty only covers the hardware that shipped. Dell does not have an "upgrade" program. We only offer return to depot repair of shipped hardware, not upgrading. If available, we can sell you the parts through Dell Spare Parts 1-800-357-3355, but you will need to pay a local computer store to do the actual disassembly and upgrade reassembly. As of this morning, I do not see on part G6RM3 on any 3rd party site.
G6RM3 = Nvidia GeForce GTX 980m Maxwell, 8GB (Video card JF9HT + MXM support bracket + Thermal Pad MHR0Y)