Buying a refurbished computer can be a way to save a significant amount of money off the retail price. But as one Consumerist reader found out when he bought a refurbed ASUS gaming laptop from Newegg, a small problem can earn you a seat on the customer service terror-go-round, with no one really wanting to take responsibility.
Earlier this month, Consumerist reader Reese saw a refurbished ASUS G75VW-BBK5 gaming laptop available for about $600 below MSRP on Newegg. Having had positive experiences with previous ASUS laptops and having heard mostly good things about the website, Reese decided to snap up the bargain.
Forget the fact that the package came later than the rush shipping he paid extra for, or that Reese says his laptop was poorly packed and arrived in a UPS box that looked to have been put through the wringer. At least he finally got his order and it appeared to be in working order.
But when he pulled out the power cord, he noticed something was not right about the power cord.
The Asus G73/G74/G75s are all incredibly large laptops. They are designed as “desktop replacements,” and not really as portable computers. My previous Asus G73 had a 150-watt/7.9A AC adapter with a massive power brick and cord. What I received with my Asus G75 from Newegg appears to be either a 90W or 65W/3.4A AC adapter. I immediately knew there was no way this tiny adapter could draw enough juice from the wall to power the hulking G75 while running a demanding full-screen game.
His suspicions were confirmed later that day when after about 20 minutes of playing a game on the new laptop, Reese began receiving a notification that the computer had switched to battery power, even though it was plugged into the wall with the AC adapter, followed shortly by another message telling him the computer had been plugged back in.
Figuring the likely culprit was the AC adapter, Reese contacted ASUS support:
Asus informed me that yes indeed the issue described, with the context of receiving the small AC adapter, was most likely because Newegg had sent me the wrong adapter. Asus informed me that since the machine itself was functioning “as intended” I would have to contact the point of sale, in this case Newegg.
So then he called Newegg, where a customer service rep said she would forward Reese’s information to an internal review team and that he would be contacted by e-mail.
Two days later, he finally received that e-mail, asking for my permission to release my contact information to the ASUS.
“Whether I would be sent a new charger or not was never on the table for discussion,” writes Reese. “I agreed and filled out the customer release form and was told I would be contacted in 3 days.”
After not hearing anything by that third day, Reese called Newegg again, only to be told that “unfortunately the whole system is down” and that the rep would “write down my information and e-mail me with any updates or resolutions.”
Later that day, Newegg e-mailed Reese telling him he’d need to contact a company referred to as MetroPC (not MetroPCS, the phone people) if he wanted to get his issue resolved. He’d never heard of this company before and received no explanation what role it played in his order.
And so then Reese contacted a third company (reminder: all to replace an AC adapter; something that should have been resolved with a single phone call).
Luckily for Reese, the Metro rep was responsive, replying with a request for the laptop’s serial number and the Newegg invoice.
“After only a few minutes I receive an e-mail stating that the MetroPC rep will be ordering me a new charger from Asus,” Reese tells Consumerist, “but that ‘for future reference, you have a 90 day warranty with Asus.’ Hold the phone, we’re back to Asus support? I thanked the rep for her help but explained to her that this entire mess STARTED with Asus support, who referred me back to Newegg, and finally to MetroPC.”
Reese has asked the rep for confirmation that he will be receiving the correct AC adapter and not just another one of the wrong adapter, but has yet to get a reply.
“I just wanted to vent a little and share my (yet unfinished) story with other Consumerist readers,” he writes. “Thanks for letting me blow off some steam.”
We’re reaching out to Newegg to see why a simple AC adapter replacement would take this long — and what role this Metro company plays in the whole process.
Have any of you been forced to run the Newegg/Metro gauntlet? Tell us about it in the comments or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org