Sara is stuck. Almost two months ago, she ordered an ASUS tablet from Newegg. Shortly after she began using it, it had problems recognizing the dock that turns it into a notebook computer, and some minor video issues. She called up ASUS for technical help, and they instructed her to send it to them for repair. They couldn’t duplicate the issue, so they shipped it back to her after hanging on to it for three weeks. By then, it was even more broken than when she originally shipped it, and by then Newegg’s return period had ended. She should have returned it to Newegg in the first place, but didn’t know that at the time. What should she do now?
I bought an ASUS TF300T tablet and dock from Newegg on April 29th. As I started using the tablet, I noticed that the tablet wouldn’t recognize the dock unless I had the dock plugged into the AC adapter. I also noticed some white lines that would flicker on the left side of the screen. Neither of these things were a huge problem but I spent $550 so I wanted the device to work correctly.
I called ASUS technical support on May 8th. They suggested a factory reset, which didn’t solve anything. After a few different conversations with technical support, it was decided that I should send the tablet and dock to ASUS for repair. The representative that I spoke with mentioned that the repair would take approximately 1-2 weeks.
ASUS received my dock and tablet on May 18th. Over the next few weeks, I checked the ASUS RMA website daily for a status updates. The entire time that ASUS has the device, the only status update that I was able to receive was a non-descriptive internal status code “Waiting-[WB3] Wait for internal Advise”.
On June 2nd, I unexpectedly received an email containing a FedEx tracking number and the two serial numbers from the dock and tablet. After reviewing the e-mail and noticing that this shipment was coming from California, rather than Texas where I sent my devices for repair, I expected to receive a new dock and tablet. Had that been the case, my story may have ended there. Instead, when the package arrived on June 4th, a new dock was the only item inside.
I immediately called ASUS customer service to find out what had happened to my tablet. ASUS said they couldn’t give me an update and to call back within 24 hours. I called again on June 5th and again they said they could not give me an update but they would escalate my case. A representative called on June 7th saying that they were still trying to escalate my case and that there was no update to give me.
On June 11th, I called again after not hearing back from anyone and seeing that the RMA website had not changed. The representative I spoke with was incredibly rude and would only tell me “you just have to wait”. After realizing that I was getting nowhere with this representative, I asked to speak with a manager. To my surprise, the representative refused to put me in touch with a manager and he just repeated what he had been saying, I “just have to wait”.
At this point, my frustration level began to rise. I decided to try sending an email to their escalation mailbox but all I received was a form email in reply. I read on your website that readers had luck with contacting the retailer, rather than ASUS, to resolve issues. I called Newegg and they agreed to try to contact ASUS on my behalf. I didn’t hear back from Newegg but I did get an email from ASUS on June 15th saying that my tablet was coming back so I assumed Newegg was able to help me out.
When I finally got the tablet back on June 20th, all of the documentation that came with it said that ASUS wasn’t able to replicate my issues. I did a factory reset again and tried connecting the tablet to the new, unopened dock. The tablet still did not recognize the dock. The screen was also flickering much worse than it had before I sent it for repairs.
I decided to call Newegg back on June 20th and the representative said they had not received my authorization for them to contact ASUS on my behalf so they actually had no part in the return of my tablet.
On June 21st, I called ASUS back and all they could say is that I have to send the tablet and dock back again. I am hesitant about sending the devices back since I have no faith that they willfix anything this time when they completely failed the first go-around. After contacting Newegg again, they confirmed that they had received my authorization and that they would create a customer service ticket to look into my issues with ASUS.
At this point, I’m at a loss as to what to do. I feel caught between ASUS and Newegg and I, as the consumer, am the only one who is suffering through this ordeal. I thought I followed the proper channels when I needed a repair on my items by sending them back to the manufacturer, rather than just returning them to Newegg. Newegg, however, told me that I should have sent everything back to them when I first had an issue. Unfortunately, due to the length of time that ASUS held on to my device, I no longer have the option to send everything back to Newegg since their customer service informed me I am outside of their normal return policy timeframe and they refused to make an exception to help me out.
I wrote this letter to Consumerist to tell my story as a warning for other consumers of ASUS devices and also to ask if Consumerist, or its readers, had any advice that I could use in my situation. I now know never to buy another ASUS product, due to the possibility of having to deal with their customer service.
Depending on what method of payment Sara used, she is most likely within her time limit to initiate a chargeback against Newegg. It’s not really fair to punish Newegg when it was really ASUS dragging its metaphorical feet on the repair, but it’s also not fair to pay $550 and get a tablet that doesn’t really work.