There's No Good Reason Why ASUS Would Steal My Broken Power Cable

When he had problems with his ASUS tablet dock, he packed up the dock and its power cable and sent it off to ASUS for some loving warranty repair care. Both the dock and the power cable had separate, seemingly unrelated problems. He suspected this might cause some confusion at ASUS, so he was sure to clarify that both parts had their own issues. He had not anticipated that the dock’s cable would disappear somewhere between his house and when the equipment was checked in at ASUS repair.

Hi Consumerist,

Back in July I had two issues with my ASUS Transformer TF101 tablet:

The dock battery stopped holding a charge (although the keyboard and ports worked fine.)
The charging cable stopped working.
I purchased a new OEM cable (two parts: adaptor “brick” and break-away USB cable) from Amazon, which worked fine. Submitting an RMA request on July 5th, I shipped out both the tablet dock and cable (both parts) to ASUS on July 15th. Suspecting that there’d be a mixup, I fully documented both issues on the RMA form, as well as hand-writing a full description of both issues on a form included in the shipment, as instructed by ASUS.

July 27th the RMA is returned with the dock fully operational, but sure enough, no charging cable. The following is a rough timeline of events:

(7/27) – Received repaired dock, but missing charging cable

(7/30) – Called ASUS; opened Case ####### to investigate

(~8/5) – ASUS called to confirm which cable was sent; I confirmed that both the USB cable and adapter were sent

4:10pm (8/27) – After almost a month without hearing back, I am calling ASUS to request update

4:29pm (8/27) – ASUS support informs me that the warehouse claims no cable and adapter was received with the package, so they cannot fulfill a replacement request. Since I know I packed it, and provided plenty of documentation stating that I had a problem with both the adapter/cable AND the dock, they should have received it. The technician repeats his original claim, and states that he can only authorize a replacement if I send the original in. I told him I don’t have it to send because I already sent it. I asked, and the technician confirmed there was no report of damage to the package on the warehouse file. I claimed that in that case, I’d like a replacement, since any loss would have occurred at the warehouse. The technician said they could not do so. I asked for an escalation and was placed back on hold.

4:44pm (8/27) – After taking me off hold and initially repeating the same thing and denying a replacement, I repeated that I’d like the case escalated, please. The technician comments that I did reference the adapter in my initial RMA request, so he’s escalating the case, and said I should hear back in 48 hours.

5:04pm (9/03) Seven days later I receive a call from ASUS asking if the issue was resolved, which obviously it was not. The representative informed me that he would escalate to have Premiere Support and the Customer Service Division check on this, but he could not promise that I would be sent a new cable. He said I should receive a call back on Wednesday or Thursday.

Short of providing pictures of the box during packaging (which I didn’t take), I don’t have anything else to prove that I sent the defective cable. So far ASUS has simply claimed that they never received the part, thus stealing my cable. I don’t have any confidence that the Premiere Support and Customer Service Division will prove any more helpful.

It’s hard to believe that we, as consumers, have to resort to documenting what’s in the box before we send our gadgets in for repair. Isn’t it?

Comments

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  1. EP2012 says:

    Asus kept my tf101 hostage for two months and then sent it back damaged and non-functioning (screen flicker, random reboots, freezes…).

    This is after two previous repairs were needed to fix damage done by ASUS during previous repairs…

    Never buy an ASUS product.

  2. STXJK says:

    I always take photos now of all boxed items and scan all documentation before I send a gadget back. It’s still my word against the warehouse, but it’s a start.

    • Difdi says:

      You could always have a Notary Public witness the closing of the box and apply his seal and signature across the tape.

  3. Not Given says:

    It’s to the point where when you pay a bill by snail mail, you need a copy of the check, payment coupon and the stamped addressed envelope.

  4. MarvelaCachu says:

    A photo won’t help either, they’ll simply start accusing us of photographing and then removing items. I suggest sworn (and notarized) statements from as many witnesses as possible to the authenticity of the photos.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Someone making a video of the box contents, being sealed, and being taken to the delivery company, is what is needed … all because of sloppy operations by companies that hear bottom of the barrel staff (including CEOs) and make shoddy products that are not durable.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        It still wouldn’t work. The help desk people would just claim they couldn’t view the video, either because they aren’t allowed to go to random links (including youtube), aren’t allowed to receive email attachments, or don’t have the program installed to view it.

    • Murph1908 says:

      The local Pack and Ship store near me has a notary who works there. Is that what needs to be done? Pack it and ship it, with a notarized statement of the contents?

    • Difdi says:

      Why go for a notarized witness statement? Get the tape sealing the box shut notarized. The Notary Public is considered a trustworthy witness in court, and if he saw you put the items in, seal the box, and mail it, that will stand up in court.

  5. dangermike says:

    If all I’d lost to the Asus warranty department was a power cable, I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. After 4 months of use, the one and only time I have ever managed to accidentally damage a laptop was fortunately and coincidentally with a machine that had warranty coverage for just such a mishap. Only, they absolutely wouldn’t honor it. Even after complaining to the BBB and having them grudgingly agreeing to perform in accordance with the contracted THEY OFFERED, they still managed to stall just long enough to make sure the BBB file was closed, and then completely stopped responding to me.

    I used to recommend their products to people who asked (I’ve been building PC’s since I was in junior high, and frequently advise friends and family members on what to look for and how to do it themselves) but now, I’ll encourage anyone who might listen to avoid them like the plague.

  6. clickable says:

    I also had to send an Asus tablet in for warranty service, and the tech was very, very, VERY insistent that I send the tablet only and absolutely should not send the keyboard dock (a separately purchased accessory) or the power cord.

    Ultimately I decided not to send it in because there are so many horror stories. I got lucky, because the eventual upgrade to Jellybean actually resolved most of the issues.

    Re photographic evidence, I once resorted to that to prove that HP did not, as they asserted, change the motherboard of a broken laptop. I took photos against the background of the daily newspaper to prove the date and the serial number of the part, in case they wanted to put me through hell a second time. But at least in the second round of repair they did what they claimed to have done the first time.

  7. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    I wouldn’t blame OP for being upset about ASUS “not receiving” the proprietary cable when he sent it in along with the bad keyboard dock: if you’ve ever needed to replace one, you’d also know a) how expensive they are ($30! Ouch!) and how difficult they are to find if you’re in need of it, like, right now. Try finding one at any B&M store–even one stocking ASUS tablets–and see how easy they are to find. I’m looking at you, Worst Buy. You too, Tiger Direct. You three, Wallyworld. Which was my experience when I had to replace said cable on my old TF101. Finally found a store with it in stock. Had to go downtown to get it (I’m nowhere near downtown in this town.) What a treat that was.