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.
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.
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.
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.