Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Official: Asus doesn't Honor its Agreements

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You've probably heard of Asus before, right? They make some really neat stuff. Motherboards and laptops and Eee machines, oh my! In many ways, they seem to lead the pack in providing the newest features, and seem to be designed a little smarter than most. But unfortunately, there are several areas where they have a serious lacking: Customer Support and Quality Control being chief among them.

If you have a problem with one of your Asus products, which you will, don't count on getting it taken care of in a timely manner, and in some cases, not at all! Let me review a little history and I'll show you why I'm sick and tired of that company's poor excuse for customer service.

About four years ago, I needed a laptop to replace the wonderful Compaq I'd bought second-hand off someone. I wanted one with a big screen, and in the PROPER 4:3 ratio, not this absurd 8:5 or 16:9 that they can't seem to decide upon. All my pictures and wallpapers are 4:3, but I needed the big screen to be able to see my GPS program while I was driving my truck. Asus was the only company that made a laptop to the specifications I needed, those specs including the need to have 2 USB ports and a power connecter that were NOT on the right side of the machine, because that side was resting against the seat-back so I could see the display. Even a year ago when I was going through a nightmare trying to get my laptop fixed, I still couldn't find any other readily available laptop that met these conditions. (You can't get a proper-aspect screen from anyone any more.)

Right from the start, I got hit with bad service. It took them several days longer to get the computer to me than they said it would, and my dad had to rush it up to me because I was leaving to be on the road for the next month, and had already had to leave home. That's a story in itself for later.

That computer broke pretty quick. It took a while to get it replaced, but eventually they did replace it. Over the past four years I've had about 5 different computers, not counting loaners from the computer shop. Asus laptops don't last very long at all. They're not made well. The one I'm currently stuck with was not the model I asked for, but it's fallen apart as well, getting dead pixels within a couple months and one of the keys broke and the case is cracked too. Asus doesn't want to fix these simple problems that I've complained about for six or seven months now.

When my power jack broke last year, it was one hell of a hassle to get it fixed. Their repair network database seems to be filled with people who have no connection to them whatsoever, and in some cases, doesn't even have a proper address. I went to about 8 different "repair places" in 3 different major metro areas before I finally found someone who could actually DO the job. Thank God my company didn't notice the hundreds of extra miles I put on the truck in pursuit of getting this problem fixed. And thank Him again for inspiring the techs who did the job to hurry the heck up and do it quickly. (They also cleaned up the inside of the computer so it ran cooler again for a while.)

But now, we're up to the same tricks again. My laptop is broke again. I want it replaced before the abysmally-short 2-year warranty runs out. I've been on their case for about 3 months now, as it expires next month, and they're changing their story every time we call them. Their site has a lot of nifty looking computers, but apparently you can't buy them. I chose one I wanted, and after some runaround, was told they don't make them any more. But they're STILL up on the site! Now they're making the shop BUY a whole new computer, which isn't really even the one I wanted, because they claim I'm out of warranty.

Hey, I know exactly when my warranty is up because of all the hassle I got trying to get it fixed last year. They were very clear that it ended in August of this year, but somehow, even though I've reported THREE MONTHS AGO that I need this piece of trash replaced, it's suddenly not in warranty.

This is hardly the first time I've gotten MONTHS of runaround from those people, either. In the four years I've owned an Asus laptop, I've probably only gotten to use a working one for about three years. Yes, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of TWELVE MONTHS those guys have been jerking me around. If I had a high-priced lawyer in my pocket, I'm pretty sure this kind of thing would come to a sudden stop.

But I don't have a lawyer. I have you guys, and you guys are even better, because when you spread the word about the business practices of a company like that - long periods of runaround, horrible quality control, refusal to honor warranties, extreme incompetence, and what I can only describe as bait-and-switch tactics - they're gonna sit up and take notice.

Why would I tell you about this instead of just hiring a lawyer? A lawyer would protect just MY interests, and get just ME a new computer one time, one that will still be shoddily made. But when I let YOU guys know what's going on, YOUR interests get served because they have to fix their problems for ALL OF YOU if they want to stay in business. I might get a new computer out of them if I send a lawyer after them, but if I send you after them, we ALL get better computers and better service.

If you would like to be part of encouraging a faceless corporation to change its ways and honor its agreements with you, or to at least make a product that doesn't break so readily that they only offer a two year warranty on it, please let your friends know what's going on. Friends don't let friends get ripped off by crappy companies.

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