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Asus Laptops – Half As Good

Tonight I was on hold for Asus Warranty Services for over 25 minutes. I found it quite humorous that at least 5 times while on hold I got to listen to the Asus marketing propaganda about how great their laptops are and how their laptops require repair at least “3 times less often than the competition”. Wow, someone at Asus really has no clue about appropriate markets. Someone somewhere said “yeah, run that quality of product commercial on our RETURNED MERCHANDISE HOLD LINE”.

If Asus ran a funeral parlor they’d be running ads telling people how their new vitamin water adds years to life, “buy a case today!” in an exciting happy voice… just what you want to hear while planning grandpa’s burial.

Someone literally thought “let’s run ONE AD on all of our hold music”, regardless of how inappropriate it is. Ok, I added that last part. However it underscores an important point. Asus may have half a clue, but HALF a clue is not good enough. This is just another indicator of how Asus thinks… or doesn’t think as the case may be. It is obvious that the people behind Asus spend virtually all of their time thinking about one thing… how to make the most profit by cutting the most corners.

Really Meaningless for Asus Numbers

This very same thinking has led to another interesting situation while dealing with Asus warranty repairs.    When you find yourself needing repair of your brand new Asus Laptop (which will surely happen sooner or later given all the cut corners),  you will learn that you MUST HAVE AN RMA NUMBER before you can send in your laptop.   They drill it into  you at every corner.  You can’t do ANYTHING without that RMA NUMBER.

OK, I’ve worked in computer support and return centers before.  That makes sense.  It is a great system.

So you put the RMA number on a box.   Asus sends you a FedEx prepaid ticket with that very same RMA NUMBER embedded right in it.    Wonderful.   You must put the RMA on the box, on a paper in the box, and on the return label address.    All makes sense.

Then the Asus repair facility gets that box with the RMA on it and all the paperwork.  But guess what?

ASUS CANNOT TRACK THE SYTEM BY THE RMA NUMBER ONCE IT IS AT THE REPAIR FACILITY!!!

Yup, you read that correctly.   As I was told by Andre, an Asus Technical Support Supervisor “somewhere in the Caribbean”, they could not possibly locate my laptop at the repair facility by using just the RMA NUMBER.   No way, no how.   They MUST HAVE THE FEDEX TRACKING NUMBER.

To be absolutely certain that poor Andre was not confused about what I was asking for, I made it very clear that someone told us on Tuesday afternoon (just 4 days ago) that they had in fact received the laptop and that it was being given to a technician.  I also noted that FedEx has the package listed as being received and signed for by someone in their Jefferson Indiana location.       I was confused why they needed that tracking number to get a “status update” on my repair.

I was told “We cannot track down your laptop with an RMA NUMBER.   It is much faster to find your laptop with the tracking number.”.    Again, I was CERTAIN Andre was confused as to what I was asking him.   I stated that I knew their repair facility had already received the laptop, that a technician was working on it according to ONE of the people we spoke with on Wednesday, and that I just wanted to know if they had an estimated date for having the repair done.

Again Andre made it very clear to me that Asus cannot locate repairs by the RMA NUMBER.    That is when I realized that RMA does not mean “Return Merchandise Authorization” but rather is “Really Meaningless for Asus” in every sense of the word.

Half Solutions = ZERO Business

At this point I can only pray that I once again see my $1500 laptop some day.    Now I feel like I spent $1500 on this thing that I may never see again.    I basically rented an Asus Laptop for $1500 for 90 days and there is no  guarantee I’ll ever get to use it again.

Asus focuses on HALF of the solution.   They have a system for generating an RMA and require it be adhered to by the customer.  Then they completely throw that system out the window once things are internalized.

I can only believe that this is exactly why that $1500 laptop failed in the first place.    I imagine they only put in half the screws, or soldered have the connections, or ran half the QA tests.

One thing is for certain, they got ALL my money on this purchase but they are going to get a hell of a lot less than HALF of my computer budget for as long as I am in the business.   I’ll certainly be recommended to ALL of my clients to spend 10% more and go with a company that gets the WHOLE picture.

Sorry Asus, but half the effort simply is not good enough for me.

Asus Fail Cake Update

In the 2 weeks since we shipped the laptop we have heard the following from Asus:

Day 1: “We have not received the laptop.” (we have proof of signature from FedEx)
Day 2: “Someone is looking at your laptop.”
Day 3: “We have not received your laptop.”
Day 4: “The ticket is not updated, we can’t give you a status.”
Day 5: “Please give us the tracking number, NOT THE RMA, so we can locate your laptop. We don’t know where it is.”
Day 6: “Nobody has updated the status.”
Day 7: “We did not receive your laptop.”… “oh wait, yes, we did”… “the technician has not updated any notes”.
Day 8: “The status has not been updated.”
Day 9: “The status has not been updated. We cannot tell you who is working on it. We cannot tell you when it will be fixed”.
Day 10: “We have not received your laptop”.
Day 11: “We have not received your laptop”… “we DID receive your laptop”…”status has not been updated”… Supervisor: “There is not status update. I HAVE NO SUPERVISOR OR MANAGER. We have 10-14 days to repair and get the laptop back to you. No, I can’t tell you when you’ll get it back. No, it may not be there in the next 4 days.”

Nice job Asus!

Fail Cake Ingredients – In Writing

Well, Asus finally put their excuses in writing.   The best part is this is more than TWO WEEKS after they have signed for the FedEx package.  Their online customer service agents are trained to give the same exact excuses as the phone agents.

Asus appears to actually be training their customer service people to deal in excuses and puts extra effort into avoidance techniques.  What a joke.

From: Trinity Sparks [mailto:tsd@asus.com.tw]
Sent:
Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:00 PM
Subject: Re:<TSD> Notebook G73JH [ID=RWTM20110112257317560-148]

Dear Mr. Cleaveland,

Please provide the tracking number and I will chcek on the RMA and see what is going on. As of right now I do not show that we have received the unit. Once I have the tracking number I will send the proof of delivery to the Indiana facility to get status and ETA of when the unit will ship back to you. Thank you and have a greta day1

Best Regards,
Trinity Sparks

———- Original Message ———-
From : lance@cybersprocket.com
Sent : 1/11/2011 7:06:33 PM
To : “tsd@asus.com.tw”
Subject : <TSD> Notebook G73JH

[CASEID=WTM20110112257317560]

Apply date : 1/11/2011 6:57:31 PM(UTC Time)

[...]

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2 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Jesse
    July 7, 2011 at 2:23 PM #

    did you get it back?

    • lcleveland
      July 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM #

      Yes, after nearly 4 months. Thanks Asus.