Filed under: Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility | Tags: ASUS, Asus 1005HA, ASUS service center Philippines, ASUS sucks, OrCom, Organizational Communication, Philippines, UP Manila
As a young consumer in the digital age, I have usually preferred your products compared to other brands. My first netbook was an ASUS (although yeah, you guys did come out with the first netbook–the ASUS EEE 701); my second netbook also came from your company. You know why? Because I honestly believed then that your company came out with the best price-per-performance-and-looks ratio than any other netbook manufacturer. More than that, the PC components I’ve owned that are ASUS branded–like the motherboard and optical drives–have usually been reliable enough to make me want to buy again, and even recommend ASUS to my friends.
After my experience with the official ASUS service center in the Philippines, though, I’m not sure I’ll buy, or even recommend, any ASUS product again.
My Asus 1005HA, fondly named Carlisle 2.0, had a cracked LCD. I’m not sure why the LCD cracked–the accident could have happened when I left my bag to supposed friends, but that’s not the point of this letter. So the LCD cracked, and it needed to be replaced. I wasn’t expecting ASUS to give me an outright replacement of the LCD, after all: 1) replacing the LCD would be too much to ask, as the EEE PC line doesn’t cost as much as other laptops, that’s why the warranty is just one year versus the usual two years; and 2) even in usual warranty terms, products that have been “manhandled” like my netbook really can’t get standard warranty service.
I was, however, expecting that the ASUS service center (the main one, where all netbooks/laptops/products are dropped off, at United Street, Bgy. Kapitolyo Pasig City) will treat me fairly. ASUS service center disappointed a good customer on three points: 1) charging for diagnosis and labor despite the unit being under warranty; 2) unbearably long waiting time for repair; and 3) attempting to cheat me by padding the LCD price.
First, there shouldn’t be any diagnosis and labor fees, as my ASUS 1005HA was still under warranty. I bought Carlisle last July, a day after the units came in the country–so it’s reasonable to expect that ASUS service center will take in my netbook with no extra charge. But no, they just had to charge me an extra P800 for the diagnosis and labor fees–apparently, the cracked LCD instantly meant my ASUS 1005HA was out-of-warranty already.
Second, the waiting time for my LCD replacement was pretty long. When I first called the ASUS service center, they informed me that they had a stock of LCDs for ASUS 1005HAs, so the repair time shouldn’t be long–only 3-4 days (although I would have preferred replacing the LCD that same day, 3-4 days was fine with me).
What was wrong, however, was that the customer service representatives didn’t really bother to follow up the repair status. Whenever I called, getting through the two telephone lines was very hard. Either the phone rings endlessly or the phone is busy. What’s wrong, ASUS? How can you not be bothered to answer calls, when you have dedicated people for certain tasks already? And when my calls were picked up, the customer representative would tell me that she can’t tell me yet how my netbook is, since the technician assigned hasn’t started his shift yet, or is on a break (around 2:30PM). Okay, wow. Sorry for calling at such an inconvenient time! I should totally be more sensitive to the ASUS service center, after all, they’re kind enough to fix my netbook for about the cost of a Longchamp Le Pliage (or a Windows 7 Home Premium)!
On the fourth day, no ASUS customer service representative called home. By 3:00PM I called them up; a customer service representative told me that my netbook has been diagnosed already–and surprise, surprise, it has a cracked LCD! The technician already replaced the LCD, but since he’s out (why is that technician always out?), the customer service representative will call me later to tell me how much the repair costs. After that, I can pick up my netbook right away.
I waited for at least an hour, until the customer service representative called (for the first time) to inform me that the entire repair costs P7300. I asked her about three times to confirm the price, and yes, the LCD costs P6500 and the diagnosis + labor fee costs P800, for a grand total of P7300. I put down the phone feeling surprised.
The third complaint is that the ASUS service center wanted to charge an extra P1000 for the LCD. I know this because the initial price quotation for the repair was P6300. When I went to the ASUS service center with my mommy, she confronted the customer service representative; my mommy asked about the discrepancy between the initial and final price quotation. The manager (or some other man who didn’t look like a technician or customer service representative, sorry for the assumption) and the customer service representative went in the backroom. After a few minutes, she went back to the desk, her gaze avoiding us, and wrote down P6300 as the repair cost in the official receipt.
Personally, I judge brands by not only their products’ performance, but also their after-sales support. I went to the main ASUS service center specifically because had I left my netbook in any ASUS branch, I knew the waiting time would be longer. Also, I was under the impression that if I bring my ASUS 1005HA to the main service center instead of some computer repair shop in Gilmore or Greenhills, I’d be given better service.
Unfortunately, I’ve experienced better service from computer repair shops in Greenhills compared to how the main ASUS service center treated me and my netbook. Big brands like Seagate, Western Digital, LG, and Transcend have good after-sales support–such brands have instantly replaced my dead computer parts like hard drives and optical drives, no questions asked.
So please, ASUS, treat your customers better next time. Wouldn’t you like to be consistently nice, like when you gave free labor and diagnosis for the ASUS gadgets of Ondoy victims? Most of your netbooks are really awesome, but I might have to switch to another brand the next time I buy a netbook. The competition is very stiff, and there are plenty of good brands out there, and not just you. But I wrote this letter to you because I still believe in you–and didn’t you say part of achieving your corporate mission is to create long-term relationships with your consumers?
Hoping for a winning long-term relationship with ASUS,
New Social Media Kid
P.S. While I’m obviously not a hardcore tech geek, I’m pretty sure my opinion should matter to you, too. After all, I belong to the massive group of consumers who merely wants to get the best value for their money. 🙂
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