Update: EEEPC Return A Recursive Hellhole

Mike writes in with an update on what he’s doing to get his Asus EEPC fixed. We think his number one way to solve the problem is to activate the extended warranty protection on his credit card. His reply to that is, “My credit card has an extended warranty but since it is still in warranty with Asus, that can’t help.” Not that we want to embarrass Mike, but since this can help other people, I need to point out that this isn’t true.

Just tell them that ASUS voided your warranty, they didn’t honor your warranty. They made you run around in circles to get an RMA, then simply shipped you the device back unfixed. That will be enough.

In the letter that follows, Mike makes it clear that he would rather ASUS pay for it, rather than any of the transaction partners, to teach the computer-maker a lesson. If ASUS was an entity capable of learning, they probably wouldn’t have done this to you in the first place. As savvy consumers involved in a transaction dispute, it’s important to stay rational and focused on the bottom line: getting what you paid for, in the form of a refund or a replacement, the quickest way possible. Getting what you deserve without wasting any more of your time is the best revenge possible.

So, definitely give your credit card company a call and ask them. You’ve spent this much time working on it, one phone call can’t hurt, and it has a high likelihood of fixing your problem outright!

Here’s Mike’s followup letter:

I just wanted to reply to let you know that I REALLY appreciate your
time you took to respond and look up some info for me.

I called Amazon and they can only give me a refund within 30 days (I haven’t tried their ECS yet, I might at some point but really Asus is the problem, not Amazon). My credit card has an extended warranty but since it is still in warranty with Asus, that can’t help. However I am also out of the 3 month period in which I can dispute it via phone apparently, and I have to write to them to perform a dispute. This is not a terrible option but I am always worried in these cases that my credit card might eat the cost which isn’t what I want at all; I like my credit card company and don’t want them to pay for my misfortunes if they haven’t done anything wrong, and I DO want Asus to be the one paying.

I copied you on my email to Eric Chen (the address you provided me with), and if that doesn’t go anywhere I am wondering if my next best step isn’t small claims court. I saw Suing Big Companies In Small Claims Court Is Fun And Easy and the linked article, and it sounds like a decent option which would allow me to sue for the price of my non-working laptop and the shipping back to them, plus a small reasonable amount for all my time as well.

The only thing I have to figure out is what would or would not make Asus a business/corporate/sueable entity in New York or my specific region, to ensure I can proceed. I imagine a clerk can help me with this. Sounds like if I don’t hear back from Eric I have a trip to court to make!

We asked ASUS whether Mike’s experience was standard practice or if their warranty department is experiencing some kind of malfunction, and await their response.

PREVIOUSLY: EEEPC Return A Recursive Hellhole

(Photo: Getty)

UPDATE: 9/02/08 Mike says Asus’ RMA department contacted him and is Fedexing him a return label. He writes, “Let’s hope it comes back working this time. If not I guess I’ll see what MasterCard has to say.”


Edit Your Comment

  1. HiEllie says:

    Remember, no matter what goes down, you’ve hurt Asus by having The Consumerist write about it. It hurts their sales that way! I know I myself will never buy an Asus based on this ongoing issue. You’ve already won on that side. Now just worry about getting your money back.

  2. ageekymom says:

    I shipped a 4 month old EEE-PC back to ASUS for repair (the battery wasn’t charging and it would power-up when plugged in) and received the repaired unit within a week of shipping it. While I can’t speak for other consumers, I was quite pleased with their service. If I ever have to have it repaired again, I’ll let you know.

  3. axiomatic says:

    ASUS support is non-existent. I had to recently do 4 RMA’s on a Striker II Extreme motherboard from them and after that experience. I still have a dead motherboard and got so frustrated I ate the cost of the ASUS MB and went and purchased the equivalent EVGA branded motherboard an no longer have any issues.

    When ASUS can’t even be bother to run an ASUS tech assisted forum while in turn charging a premium price for their products…. yeah, I’m not buying their product anymore.

  4. LoriLynn says:

    I wouldn’t worry about “liking” your credit card company. If the policy didn’t benefit them in some way, they probably wouldn’t have it. And from what I’ve learned about credit card companies since I started reading Consumerist, they would eat your heart with ketchup and a bun if given the chance. So if they’ll work with you, do it! Get your money, man! You’re not teaching Asus anything.

  5. shepd says:

    Your credit card company will get the $$$ out of ASUS in some fashion. ASUS rates for using credit cards (if they accept them for anything, and they just might) will go up when they are renegotiated to compensate if enough customers end up doing returns this way. Amazon is likely to take some of the heat (perhaps most) as well.

    Although, both are HUGE companies, so it’s not as if your single return will have ANY effect. Thousands like you, though… that would.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    I really like how Ben infuses his commentary with broad advice applicable to consumers in almost any situation: don’t get emotional, focus on results (your bottom line) and don’t expect shoddy companies to see the light simply because you’ve called them on their subpar practices. They know they’ve left you hanging; their business model is predicated on it. Nice job!
    On a different note, how much “savings” did the OP save by shopping solely on price, instead of value? Wouldn’t he have been happier and wealthier (if time = money) had he gone with a manufacturer with healthier margins, one that allows them to sell a computer product That Simply Just Works? A computer For The Rest of Us? Perhaps if he Thought Different, he’d be happier?
    (Not to blame the OP, but to suggest to him – and others – that shopping for value over price is wiser.) (Well, and to sneak in as many references to a certain company as I could manage on my second cup of coffee :D)

    • Bakkster_Man says:

      @Trai_Dep: Actually, I love my eeePC. I bought it as a mobile machine, and couldn’t justify spending much more after purchasing a performance desktop.

      Perhaps another manufacturer would have been better in this case of warranty hell, but hindsight is always 20/20…

  7. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I don’t know about the eeePC since I do not have one. But I bought a brand new mobo from Asus, it was an Intel board with the Nvidia nforce chipset which had just been released onto the market a couple months prior.

    When I built the computer with this board, it would only boot up to the bios and then would shut down. So basically it would stay on no longer than 20 seconds. If I let it sit a few minutes I could get out 5 more seconds max but then it would shorten each time.

    I called Asus about this and was told there wasnt sufficient cooling and I needed more fans. As well as being yelled at by this particular CSR, so I put a large box fan on high just above the board, along with it sitting directly under an AC vent blowing down 70 degree air. It still was doing the same thing.

    The second CSR I spoke with was kind, courteous, and explained its a new product and I probably got a defective board, as well as apologized for the previous rep who was either having a bad day or not listening to me when I told him I was using fans. The 2nd rep said some people build it water cooled so there is no passive air flowing over the northbridge.

    Anyhow I recieved the info from them, took it back to who I bought it from, returned it for an actual Intel branded board and said to hell with asus after that.

  8. Justifan says:

    super low prices= super bad service:)

    • k6richar says:

      @Justifan: Agreed. Bought a replacement battery that i found online for around $45 at powermega.com. The next cheapest one i could find was around $70. about 6 months in it stopped taking a charge, i emailed them about the problem they emailed me back asking some specifics about what it was doing. Last email i would receive from them despite emailing them 4 or 5 times in the next 3 weeks asking what was going on.

      Eventually I found a phone number on their website and he directed me to an online application for an RMA #, not the easiest to find on the website. Not surprisingly after filling out all the information the submission failed. I called again to get the RMA emailed to me.

      Three weeks later i haven’t heard back, call them, they cant find my battery but one of the techs remember seeing it, they probably sent it off to be fixed off-site. Should be back by Monday and they will email me with a tracking number once it is.

      I get really busy, 3 weeks later still no battery or email, so i call again. They got my battery back, it was taking a 50% charge from their test equipment, which they keep telling me is normal. They didn’t email me because they didnt know if i wanted it back, or wanted a new one at 50% off (because it was 50% dead). Fortunatly i had my original invoice which said down to 80% charge after 1 year is normal (not 50% after 6 months) so they gave me the hidden option to have it repaired free, They claim to not have told me that option as it would have taken a couple weeks to fix and figure i would rather pay for a new one then wait a couple more weeks (have waited almost three months by now). So i tell them to repair it and send it back to me. They call me later that day saying they are sending me a brand new one at no cost, probably because it would cost them more in labour to repair one then a new one costs.

      long story short took almost three months to get my battery replaced and i had to keep bugging them to get it done.