ASUS Holds My Laptop Captive For Over A Month, Keeps Changing Reason Why

Rich ordered an ASUS Zenbook from Amazon. It wasn’t cheap, totaling $1415 including tax. When it arrived, it had a stuck pixel. No one wants to drop that much money on a computer with a stuck pixel, so he sent it back to ASUS to have the display fixed. The company has a guarantee that their computers won’t have this kind of defect, after all. He waited patiently for the computer to come back. It didn’t. He became less patient. ASUS has given him two different explanations for why they won’t let his computer come home, and they’ve had it for a month and a half when their own policies state that they won’t hold on to a customer’s computer for more than two weeks.

I purchased an ASUS Zenbook UX32VD-DB71 13.3-Inch Ultrabook for $1299.99 plus $115.37 sales tax (total: $1415.36) on June 18, 2012 (Amazon.com order number 102-3188816-0147464). Immediately after receiving the laptop on June 27, I discovered that the display was defective, with a stuck pixel. I sent the laptop in (immediately) for the Asus flawless display guarantee, which specifically guarantees against this type of defect. They have now had the unit for over a month, and no one there can tell me when I will be getting it back. They told me several times that the unit had a defective camera and they were waiting for a replacement, but then they changed their story and told me that the “camera” was the LCD screen. I have spoken with over 10 people, including 4 supervisors and one person from corporate (who is just as useless), and no one can even give me an estimated wait time. However, their own internal guidelines specify a maximum of 14 days.

This is a ridiculously long wait. I was told on numerous occasions that I would receive a call back, but they did not call me back. This was when I was trying to request intervention from their resolution team because I needed the laptop back by a certain date. In the time this has been going on, this laptop has come down in price, but my $1415 is tied up in this laptop. It is completely unfair for ASUS to hold me prisoner like this. I cannot afford another similar laptop, but ASUS will not send me mine back nor will they tell me when they will send it. I did try to return it to Amazon for an exchange, but Amazon told me that they were out of stock on these and that I should therefore deal with the manufacturer instead.

I would like ASUS to issue me an immediate refund of the purchase price and keep the defective laptop in their possession. I need this to happen so that I can use the money to buy another laptop immediately. I have been without a laptop for a month and a half, and I cannot wait any longer.

He also contacted and has corresponded with someone higher up the food chain. When we asked why he didn’t send this nice note to ASUS, maybe as an Executive e-mail carpet bomb, he said that talking to corporate wasn’t all that productive either. The corporate employee in Taiwan assigned to help him has no information apart from the repair being delayed due to a broken camera. Rich wrote back:

No, I agave up on ASUS long ago to deal with these types of reasonable approaches. I am in touch with someone from ASUS Corporate ([redacted]) through email, but he is just as useless as the phone monkeys. They go around and around the same circle of a “broken camera” resulting in an uncertain wait time. No one at ASUS sees fit to provide me with any more information. Therefore, sending them this letter would be like reading the US Constitution to goldfish. Afterwards, they’ll just stare at you and poop in the water.

If he used a credit card, Rich is technically within his rights to issue a chargeback: the problem being that he would be punishing Amazon, a company that has already done its job. If the regular support aren’t helping, and neither is corporate, this situation seems ideal for small claims court.

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  1. blackstaffer says:

    I have a feeling there is more to the story. I made a claim with my ASUS a few years back and within the same day I received a box to send it to them free of charge and it came back fixed two days later. Was extremely fast service and I couldn’t have been happier.

    • who? says:

      The problem is that he bought a brand new model. Not blaming OP, I’ve done the same thing and been bitten by it too. Companies, in their rush to market, tend to use the early adopters as beta testers. Whatever the deal with the camera is (he didn’t complain of the camera being broken, but whatever), since it’s a new model, there probably aren’t any replacement parts available. If it’s a popular model, they probably can’t give him a replacement laptop, either.

      So, here everybody sits, waiting for some factory somewhere to crank out a few replacement parts. I agree at this point that they should just give him his money back so he can start over.

    • repeater says:

      My friend just bought a similarly priced high-end gaming laptop from ASUS. I gave him the thumbs up on them as a company after years of working in the OEM biz and having great luck with their RMA/service folks, etc.

      It also had a stuck pixel the moment he took it out of the box, so he took advantage of their guarantee and immediately put it back in the box and shipped it off.

      It ended up taking over a month to get back to him, with all kinds of bizzaro excuses for unrelated parts the service department needed to replace and were waiting on.

      When it came back, the stuck pixel was still there and the laptop was beat to hell with a huge crack in the screen.

      When he called to send it back the person said they were expecting his call, as they knew they shipped it out like that. Before he could raise hell, they arranged to send a new unit out right away and were completely reasonable about it. That unit was fine.

      I have a feeling that they are having some sort of stock shortage of parts for their higher end laptops, and are having to stall out the repairs/replacements for as long as possible. But they don’t want to just say so in fear of it hurting new sales or something?

      They jerked my friend around with the strangest excuses for a few months until all of a sudden they were completely reasonable and did the right thing.

    • jjmcubed says:

      $1500 laptop broke one month out of warranty. Happens no big deal. Call them up and they advise me I will be getting a box in approx a week to send it back in. Nothing. Two weeks later I call again. No record of call. Advise problem(won’t charge) and they advise they are sending a box in approx a week. Wait three weeks. Call back. Same thing. No record of call. Will be sending a box next day air for me. Waited four days and called back. No record of call. Had to set up new RMA as it had been over thirty days. Each time I asked the rep for ASUS if they were sure the box would be sent. Each time they assured me it would. Finally got the computer back over 3 months after it had broke(ordered new charger to verify it wasn’t it and that took two weeks b4 I called support). Worked good as new for about a month and the camera died. Now, six months later, the right hing on the screen has broke away from the plastic/metal mounting points. Do I call ASUS or do i cut my losses now?

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Cut losses now. I’m another burned Asus customer. 3-month old notebook had weird LCD problems, shipped back to Asus. Computer held hostage nearly 2 months. I wrote them a letter after 5 weeks telling them about their policy of 2-week turnaround time, and they quickly returned the computer with a repaired LCD but a broken bezel and a wiped hard drive with a bunch of Asus repair utilities installed.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      I had to send my Zenbook when it was about 6 months old. I love it, by the way. Anyway, my dog had accidentally pulled out the power cord and suddenly the laptop wouldn’t charge. I got a label mailed to me within 24 hours and the unit was repaired and shipped back to me within 10 days.

      My only complaint about their service is that they didn’t communicate with me that they’d shipped the unit back. FedEx left it at my front door, unbeknownst to me since I come and go through my garage. I only discovered it when I had company who came to my front door.

  2. shepd says:

    Nothing wrong with punishing the company selling the shoddy goods of another company. Amazon will add up those chargebacks and eventually decide selling Asus doesn’t pay. That’s when Asus will learn their lesson.

    • cactus jack says:

      Or Amazon will provide the necessary information and your claim will be denied. A chargeback isn’t a magical procedure where you just get to steal your money back just because you want to.

    • lee says:

      soon as you do an charge back to Amazon you lose your account (that also includes books or other stuff like synced to devices,all the books on your kindle would go puff) and your address is blacklisted as well so making new account will not work well (make an new account they just black list it within 24hrs again, why when in Dorms or complex best to use an House address, as if some one in the whole building scams or charges backs Amazon the Whole building can some times be blacklisted)

      your best port of call is Amazon tell them that they have had my latop for X amount of time and are not sending the replacement/or fixed laptop back (as i cant use charge-back as i be charge backing you “Amazon” as you black list me if i do that)

  3. alstein says:

    Asus is known to have questionable support, though generally awesome and durable laptops.

  4. SirWired says:

    Small claims is likely to be not possible unless, by some miracle, Asus has employees in the OP’s state.

    • dullard says:

      The OP should check with the Secretary of State in the state in which he lives to see if ASUS has an Authorized Agent for Service of Process.

  5. Random_Tangent says:

    Some poor bastard probably typed ‘CCD’ instead of ‘LCD’ in the repair notes and everything got screwed up.

  6. makoto says:

    What about a chargeback? Amazon has no return policy for defective merchandise?

  7. hdhrant says:

    Flawless guarantee or not, I don’t think I’d send back a new laptop over 1 pixel. Since this was a stuck pixel, as opposed to a dead pixel, I sure hope the guy tried getting it unstuck by massaging the area with a cloth or with software like UDPixel.

  8. dcatz says:

    I don’t bother sending laptops in, I just repair them myself. I’m Dell certified for work which means that I can dispatch warranty parts without having to talk to phone support; I wonder if ASUS has a similar program.

  9. Robert Nagel says:

    Amazon won’t suffer. They will just charge back to their supplier.

    • cactus jack says:

      I think Consumerist should do an article on what a chargeback actually is so you guys quit throwing it out as if it is an instant win for the consumer.

  10. AmberDaisie says:

    Doing a chargeback for what? He got the merchandise and that’s that. If it was defective he should have sent it back to Amazon. If he used the manufacturer warranty then that means Amazon is off the hook. There is no charge back possible because Amazon has totally fulfilled their part of the transaction.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      He tried to send it back to Amazon. They told him to deal with the manufacturer and so that’s what he’s trying to do. Reading the article in its entirety is a good idea.

      • AmberDaisie says:

        Wrong he tried to exchange it, that’s a whole different ball of wax. He probably could have returned it but he wanted this exact laptop. Now he’s stuck in Asus purgatory.

  11. dicobalt says:

    Yea, Asus isn’t a consumer oriented company but they do make good stuff. When buying their wares (or companies like them) you should always buy from a store that accepts RMAs themselves (like Newegg or Tigerdirect).

  12. MarkFL says:

    Ignore this message, it’s just a test because I’m having issues logging in.

  13. Marlin says:

    Asus has dropped in quality and customer service. I would not buy anything of theirs anymore.

    • AzCatz07 says:

      It’s funny how different people have different experiences. Asus is the only brand I buy. My laptop and tablet are both Asus products, and my experience has been great.

      Apple on the other hand… Well, I haven’t had good luck with Apple.

  14. Ashman says:

    I have to say it. Could have bought a Macbook for that kind of price…

    But that aside,

    Why would you not have returned it right away and if another was not available due to it being out of stock, then just return it and buy something else. There are tons of laptops out there to be had for within that price.

    I would definately EECB them and demand not only a replacement unit, but an extension of the warranty due to the time it has taken them. I can understand 10 – 14 days but a month is ridiculous.

  15. pheh says:

    So why not actually take the issue up with Amazon. I suspect they have significantly more pull with ASUS than Rich. I love my ASUS FWIW.

  16. dandadan says:

    For starters, Asus does not make very good laptops. I am a laptop technician and have experienced their poorly beta tested products [laptops specifically] for many years now and do not recommend them.

    Asus has generally poor support and a horrible attitude towards customers [like Sony, they hate their customers]. They do not have their customer support act together at all.

    I suggest you do a chargeback and purchase another brand of Ultrabook. Dell and HP make comparable product but DO have their service and support act together.

    Some little known facts. Asus makes Sony Viao computer main boards and internal components. Sony and Asus will fight you tooth and nail not to honor a warranty, in fact company management purposely makes it difficult and time consuming to get any kind of support. They then throw up roadblocks, phone games and mysterious behaviors throughout the process, this is designed to make you tire of it and go away. Again, my point, these companies HATE THEIR CUSTOMERS.

    Sony is losing market share faster than Best Buy stores are closing. Asus just keeps throwing poorly engineered, computers on the market with loads of problems from hardware to software. Stay away from their crap. Do some research and find some believable reviews [yes the company's hire shill writers and reviews].

    Asus=bad computers poor company and reputation
    Sony=bad computers poor company and reputation

    I won’t even take Sony or Asus laptops in for parts because we don’t service them or recommend them. When they do come in we try to get them a decent computer or send them off to some one else. It’s not worth the blowback and returns of these crapboxes.

    That’s my opinion after working on thousands upon thousands of laptops.

  17. ncoclub says:

    After reading the comments I am a little afraid. My new Nexus 7 just quit working (completely dead..will not boot up less than 30 days after receipt…). When I called to get an RMA I was told that I had to pack and ship the tablet myself (no mention of either waiting for a box or getting a return label) at my cost. I spent some extra to ship it with insurance and a verified receipt. I sure hope they stand by their 14 day policy. Fortunately I purchased the tablet with an AMEX card so I have some recourse if things go hinky….