Asus Repair Has Your Computer, Won't Answer The Phone

Bryan’s Asus computer needed service. It would be a lot easier to make this happen if the company were able to keep track of the phone calls it receives. No, the tech support call center’s computers were down. Maybe they should send them to the Asus repair center. Once he finally managed to get a return merchandise authorization (RMA) number to send the computer back, he was instructed to send the laptop to California. Bryan just happens to live ten minutes away from the company’s repair center on the East Coast–how handy! He thought maybe he could just take it over there? Sure, as if logic and efficiency had a place in tech support.

About three and a half weeks ago I had to send in my ASUS Laptop for service. The HDD had a fault that caused the computer to fail booting. The computer was only 3 months old.

I called ASUS Support to get a RMA number to send it in for service; and that is where my magical mystery tour into the world of ASUS support began.

The first time I called in, the guy who answered was actually helpful. He walked me through the usual tech steps before deciding that the computer couldn’t be fixed over the phone (I already knew this) and said he would issue me a RMA number. But surprise! Something was wrong with this computer system and he wasn’t able to give me one at the time. He gave me a case number and told me to call back in about an hour when their system should be back up.

I call back an hour later and speak with a different lady. I gave her the case number? No record of the call. I give her my name and all kinds of information aaaaaand, nope — still no record of the call. So we go through the motions again; and again it is decided that the computer couldn’t be fixed over the phone and she would need to issue me a RMA number. And again, her system was down as well, so I would need to call by the next day and I’m given another case number.

So I call back the following afternoon — again, no record of my call; either by case number, name, address, email, phone number; nothing. So again, I go through the motions — again. And again they decide that it needs to be sent in, but at least this time they give me a RMA number ([redacted]) and tell me I need to ship the computer out to California.

I pointed out that there was an ASUS Certified Repair Center that handled laptops about 10 minutes from my house that had staff there who could easily accept my computer without me having to ship it anywhere. The rep tells me I’m not allowed to do this. The computer must be sent to California for repairs. I call bullshit and demand a supervisor. I spend about half an hour on the phone explaining why having to ship my computer across the country when there is a repair shop, authorized by ASUS and listed on their “Authorized Repair Centers” link on their site, is stupid. He (finally) agrees and I’m allowed to drop my computer off.

That was three and a half weeks ago. Since then I’ve called every so often to check on the status of my machine (it currently sits with NSI in Naugatuck, Connecticut). The first time they told me what I had already known, the HDD was busted and would need to be replaced, they had already ordered the part. A week after that the part had arrived, had been installed, and they were in the process of restoring the machine. I was told it would be done by the end of the week, tops. That was two weeks ago.

Since then, all they will tell me is that “there has been an install error” and that ASUS’s website doesn’t have the proper restore tools that they need. They’ve been trying to contact ASUS, but with no luck. What’s worse is that over the past few days, when I call they try to transfer me to someone named “[T]” who is apparently never in her office, doesn’t check her voicemail, and doesn’t return phone calls — ever.