MPC and Gateway
Back in July, I had a Gateway notebook computer with a dead motherboard. It was the second time the motherboard had gone out on that machine. I tried to contact Gateway about getting support for it, and I found out that their business PC division had been sold to a company called MPC Computers. I then got some contact info for MPC and filed a support request. They sent me an empty box with a prepaid shipping label to send them back the notebook for repair.
Everything seemed to be going pretty well until I got the notebook computer back a couple of weeks later. I plugged in the AC adapter and the charging light came on for all of three seconds, then all the lights went off and the machine died. It would not power on and nothing responded, which was exactly the same thing the machine did when I had first sent it to them. I contacted MPC’s customer support again and explained what happened, and this time they wanted me to send back the PC and the power supply so they could test the whole system. For the record, I had tested the power supply on another of the same model PC and it worked fine, but I still sent it to them.
It is now the middle of November and I have yet to see that computer. Starting in early August, I made a habit of checking in with MPC every two or three weeks. At first, they said there were problems getting some parts and they were testing everything to see what was wrong with the computer. After that, they just kept saying there were problems getting parts. Finally, around the end of October, when I reminded them that they had been holding our computer hostage for over three months, they said it was because there was a problem with shipping. I replied back for a little more explanation, and that was two weeks ago, as of November 17th, and I’ve yet to hear anything back from them.
After doing a little online research to see if any other customers had similar bad experiences, I discovered that the MPC Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 7th, 2008. Their stock (MPC) was delisted by the NYSE on October 27, 2008 after being reduced to just pennies per share. Oddly enough, their website has an October 9th press release saying that they had just taken over $27 million worth of orders from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. I seriously doubt that they ever fulfilled that order.
MPC is based out of Nampa, Idaho. According to a November 8th article on IdahoStatesmen.com, the company owes various vendors all kinds of money and has been unable to pay their bills. Hundreds of employees have been laid off. They owe Fedex and UPS upwards of $7 million, which at least explains the ‘shipping problem’ they were having with the Gateway notebook I’d sent them back in July. I honestly don’t know if I will ever see that PC again. If I could get it back from them, I’d at least be able to salvage some parts from it. And to think we paid for an extended warranty, which is now pretty much worthless.
If you have sent in a computer to MPC for any kind of support, my advice to you is to try everything possible to get your machine back before the company shuts its doors for good. I wish the company all the best and hope they can recover in these tough economic times, but I can’t help but feel bad for all the customers who are getting screwed over this.