I have gone through different folks experiences with Dale Mediema / Superior Reball and Rework mentioned in several posts on this site throughout the years (including the one post here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=72974
- which comes up third in a google result for their business name). This is not to be confused with the person in the UK offering graphic reflowing on this website with the above advertisement or otherwise.
If this is old news to you then it certainly wasn't big enough or relevant enough news because people are still sending this guy stuff - myself included!
After the absolutely HELLISH ordeal I was put through with this company I saw no other option but to register for an account here, tell my tale, and make sure this does not happen to anyone else. It seems that with the others scorned in the past they have just been happy to enough getting away with their original merchandise back, whether working or not, but after what these guys put me through there is no way I am letting it end there and see it happen again.
I think I originally found "Superior Reball and Rework" on ebay when I first started having intermittent video issues with my t40p. The laptop is my workhouse still after all these years and the temporary remedy for the GPU issue I was having was just to keep it plugged in. It went on like this for months until October of '08 (the 27th, specifically) when I realized I need to have it taken care of.
Superior Reball was no longer on ebay so I searched around for, basically, "the company on ebay reballing macs and thinkpads" and found them. I called up, my call was picked up on the first try, spoke to a guy named Dale, and we were good to go. I packed up my laptop the next day and had it out to Gilberts, IL. Dale assured me of a quick fix and that they handle many many of these thinkpad GPU issues.
Within a few weeks I had my laptop back. However, I didn't have it going for more than 3 weeks and the same issue returned. By the first of December it was totally back to where we started. It happens. I left a few messages on the telephone and sent an email on the 8th of December. Dale quickly told me "Please send the laptop back to us. We will again repair it at no additional cost to you"
Now here's where it all begins. I ask for a return shipping form, since, after all, the agreement is you pay to get it out to them and then pay them for the service which includes return shipping. Why would I pay twice to get it out there? So I send another email. No response. Two weeks go by and still no response. Three weeks. We are now into january, Dale returns my call, and I tell him on the 13th that I end up needing the laptop for work even in its current condition (so I'm using an automotive clamp to hold the thing together so the screen is just somewhat usable) and I will send it out as soon as this project is over. I at this point had found some of the excellent "fan mail" on Dale involving him holding peoples equipment for months with no return calls, lieing about UPS tracking #'s, the list goes on. I figured he already had my money and shipped it back once, so February 6th, I rush UPS this to him on my expense.
By March 1st I have the laptop back again for the second time. In one hour of being on, and heated up, the GPU goes bonkers again. Totally apparent at this point that they didn't even test the thing. Don't they realize that the reflow also involves heat and expansion/contraction? why didn't they leave the machine on or run a test program for a few hours because that's all I did to see it WASNT fixed. I call immediately and miraculously get Dale on the phone (basically now assured it's impossible to get them on the phone if there is a problem).
Dale now suggests its my whole motherboard that is faulty and, because of now two failed attempts he would replace the motherboard "as a favor" once he receives a shipment of faulty t40 boards he's going to refurbish. I just had to wait for him to take delivery of these bad motherboards and fix them. We are now going on 2-3 months of sending things back or forth and I of course ask how long. At this point I am desperate...it doesn't seem worth the several hundred dollars to get a brand new motherboard for this old laptop (I just love it, that's all) and I've already been without the machine this long, was borrowing another machine, and he still has my 50 bucks...whats another two weeks or so?
Well, this turned into another 4 months
of him constantly lieing, giving promises they came in, and never, ever, EVER having the courtesy to answer a phone call directly, respond to an email, nothing.
One time during this period he called me on a random SUNDAY afternoon when I was out with my family, I of course miss the call, and then he uses that as an excuse that "hey I called you to get your address and you didnt pick up." Like, basically here I am the whole time NOT wanting to get my motherboard. GET MY ADDRESS?? I sent a laptop to him twice, he sent it to me twice, and he has countless emails, a paypal transaction, and voicemails with my address. It's almost insane the lies this guy comes up with!
Like I just said, the ability to get even in touch with him became truly impossible and I had to send a threatening FAX saying I would contact the better business beurea of northern illinois if he did not get me the motherboard promised. Almost immediately he sends me an email:
Our normal policy is to just refund your money if we are unsuccessful
with the first repair attempt as stated in our add. We don't owe you
another board. I am trying to do you a favor and get you a new board.
.....I will just refund your money via paypal and follow our normal company policy.
You have your original IBM back with your original motherboard. I will
also refund your money via paypal."
This is after about, maybe 20+ phone calls and emails throughout the previous months SUGGESTING THIS as well.
Finally I got that reply. That was April 24th of 2009.
Well, this morning I finally got my money back, June 8th, 2009.
It took another many dozen phone calls, emails (he actually replied one other time with the same BS story like the "address" one above...called another weekend saying he didnt have my paypal address. Then responded to one of the many emails I sent "Got it thanks. We will refund your money today." on April 29th.
But no no no that's not what did it. This Saturday when I called his local police department to file a report and let him know that today I would send all the paperwork. Guess what? Immediately a paypal email.
They were already well aware of "the computer guy on industrial drive" in Gilberts, IL. Apparently I'm not the first, second, or what have you person to call up. The detective said I was lucky and at least I still have my laptop. He had people waiting over 6 months with their equipment that have called to pressure him to send their stuff out. I got the name of a detective and was told to go to my local station, file a report, and have it forwarded to him in Gilberts, IL and they would try and put a stop to this nonsense.
Bottom line is - THIS GUY SHOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS. Check these reviews peppered all over the place (I just posted one here: http://chicago.kudzu.com/merchant/3626167.html
I just don't get how this is still a functioning entity. When I first contacted them to get the work done the response was super quick. First phone call was picked up. As things progressed it became more and more impossible to get them to pick up a phone or answer an email. Only when threatened. It is by far the ugliest company I have ever dealt with in all my years buying anything on the internet. Dales mentality is...once he has your money...why actually do the work?
So, along with an apology for making everyone read this (and including Bill reading a near identical email this morning who suggested I post this to sticky it) thinkpads.com is the #3 result on google when you pull up their name...along with some other "questioning" about their company in the thinkpad community. 95% of his work is on macs and thinkpads.
In the end it was not so much about 50 bucks. It was being repeatedly lied to by a guy that's still in business and taking more money from people. FYI, in april when he told me the first time he would just refund the money so nonchalantly, I went on ebay that day and bought a whole new motherboard with processor and non DOA garuntee for like 60 bucks. Laptop was finally running sweet like 4 days later. Too bad I didn't do that in the first place.
So, please, whatever you do, DO NOT SEND MONEY OR EQUIPMENT TO DALE MIEDEMA / SUPERIOR REBALL AND REWORK OF GILBERTS, IL. It's borderline fraudulent!
Thanks for your time and please don't hesitate to ask if you need any more info.