Categories: HardwareMy Two Cents

Why I’ll Never Buy an ASUS Computer Again

I’m well aware that for every big company somebody has had terrible customer service with, there’s another person who loves them and hates their biggest competitor even more.

“I’ll never use Comcast again!” “Really? I don’t have any problems with them at all. Now when I was with Time Warner Cable…” etc. etc.

But my current situation with ASUS is so completely ridiculous and shows such a complete lack of common sense that I have to share it to warn other potential customers.

A Little Background

Historically, I’ve spent in the $700-800 range for a new laptop. I’ve had three HPs and one Dell before this one. (Before that, it was all desktops.)

And each time, those laptops have only lasted between 1-1/2 to 2 years, almost all of them dying from overheating. Even at that price point, I would expect to get more than 2 years out of them but, to be fair, my computer is usually running most of the day and I have a ton of software and other files on them, so I kind of accepted it.

But last December, when my latest HP looked like it was going to pack it in any day, I decided for my replacement I would spend more to get one to last longer. Thanks to all that software, setting up a new computer is always a huge drag!

I asked my friends for recommendations and along with the inevitable cries of “You should get a Mac!” (a non-starter for me), several people told me they’d had great luck with their ASUS notebooks.

So I started researching the various models and found this: ASUS Zenbook UX301LA-DH71T 13.3″ Quad-HD Display Touchscreen Laptop with Gorilla Glass. This model had been released just a month or two before and was, at the time, the top of the line for ASUS notebooks.

And while a search of reviews right now shows a lot of them in the 3 to 4-star range, at the time the vast majority were totally glowing. (Although a lot of them were glowing about how pretty the computer looked with its Gorilla Glass lid, something I cared not a whit about.) There were very few negatives mentioned, other than the computer’s high cost relative to others in its class.

So I went ahead and purchased it for about $1,800, double my usual price point. It didn’t take long for me to find several things I did not like about it, the main ones being:

  • Placement of the power button. Most computers I’ve had had the power button along the side or back or above the keyboard. On this model, it’s part of the keyboard. And it’s in the top right position, which has frequently been the location of the Delete key (which is now just to the left of the Power button). I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to delete something and accidentally put my notebook to sleep! Fortunately, it wakes up pretty quickly so I’ve learned to deal with that.
  • Battery life. Almost every review I read—from tech publications to purchasers—raved about the long battery life, talking about 6-8 hours. However, I was only getting 2-3 hours out of mine, even when setting it to full power-saver mode After extensive research I discovered the culprit was a power management utility that ASUS had installed and that kept switching from my power-saver mode to another one. So I uninstalled the utility and now have decent battery life, close to 6 hours. (I deliberately accept some tradeoffs between power saving and other features, so I’m fine with that.)
  • Trackpad. Again, most of the reviews talked about how wonderful the trackpad is. But mine is one of the worst for having my cursor jump around while typing, a problem I had with my previous HP notebook as well. Worse, the clicking doesn’t work well. Left-clicking frequently calls up the right-click menu and tapping often doesn’t register at all.
  • Hard drive partitioning. The model I bought has 256GB of hard drive, which is plenty for what I need on a day-to-day basis. But they split it over two drives, C and D, with C being for programs and D being for data (although you can actually put programs or data on either drive). The problem with this is every single Windows program automatically defaults to a path on C drive (Libraries > My Documents/My Pictures) when opening and saving files. So every time I do one of those things I have to first navigate to D and drill down from there. And, yes, I know that I can change the location of My Documents, etc. but once you’ve already started saving files in a certain place, it gets harder to change everything up.

But despite all that, eventually I became accustomed to these issues and just learned to deal with them.

Until a Few Days Ago

That’s when my L key cap fell off. I’ve had caps fall off other computers and usually I could just snap them back on. But, even after checking out some YouTube videos, I haven’t been able to get this one to stick, so there may be a small piece broken off that I can’t see or some other problem. But whatever the issue is, I need my L key back—it appears twice in my name alone!

Note: I was surprised to discover I can actually type with the key cap off and that works pretty well. But still, not good…

So I figured no problem. Computer’s well within its one-year warranty so on Tuesday of this week I went to the ASUS web site, found the form for technical support, and asked them to send me a new key. I wasn’t sure if tech support was the right place, but I figured it would get routed. Not like the problem is a complicated thing to understand. This is what I wrote in the Problem Description. (The computer was registered so they know it’s still under warranty.)

My “L” key has broken off. I don’t know if the problem is with the key or the cap, but I need a replacement for it.

The next day I received this reply from someone on the Product Support Team.

For this issue, please contact our online eStore to have a check if you could order there.
http://us.estore.asus.com/
Phone#: 510-739-3777
Hours of operation: Monday thru Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST. excluding weekends and / or holidays.

If the parts are not available from online estore, I think you will need to send it for repair.

Please submit the RMA request on the following website, then the RMA repair department will follow up the case for you.And they will give you the RMA number and shipping address.

http://vip.asus.com/eservice/usa_rmaserv.aspx

Please include your name, mailing address, telephone number, and the serial number of your product.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes to you.

Ummmm… what? My choices are buy a new key at my own expense or send my computer to you? I don’t think so. I assumed this was some low-level support person who maybe had never seen such an easy request—I just need a new key!—so I decided to go to the VIP section of the site and re-submit my request. This was my message:

My laptop is 6 months old and still under warranty. The “L” key has broken off the keyboard. I asked Tech Support to send me a new key. They have told me that I either have to buy one myself on your eStore or send my computer in to be repaired.

That can’t possibly be right. Please just send me a new key.

I also wrote a note back to the original support person:

Seriously?

This is the most expensive laptop I’ve ever bought. It’s only six months old and still under warranty. A key has broken and I either have to pay to get a new one or send my laptop back to you?

That is incredibly poor customer service. I’ll be escalating the issue.

Note: Just in case it would have been more expedient, I did check their online store. They had exactly three parts available for my notebook model, none of which was the L key…

That evening, I received responses back to both my messages. This one is from the VIP address:

I would recommend you send the units in for servicing. I would be required to create an RMA for each device.

May I have the following information to create an RMA to have your products serviced?

– Operating System Password:
– Can you please inspect the units and let me know if there is any physical damage?

If the unit is found damaged during inspection and we are not informed before you send it in for repair, the repair facility will automatically reject the unit and send it back to you un-repaired. Once the information is provided, we would process the RMA for you.

An email survey will be sent to you within the next 5 days. Please be sure to rate the service I provided to you today.

Yeah, that doesn’t read like a form email at all.

And this is from the original specialist:

For this issue, you can send it for warranty repair.

Please submit the RMA request on the following website, then the RMA repair department will follow up the case for you.And they will give you the RMA number and shipping address.

http://vip.asus.com/eservice/usa_rmaserv.aspx

Please include your name, mailing address, telephone number, and the serial number of your product.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes to you.

Welcome to refer Troubleshooting & FAQ for ASUS products in ASUS website:
http://support.asus.com/servicehome.aspx?SLanguage=en

If you continue to experience issues in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us. An email survey will be sent to you within the next 5 days. Please be sure to rate the service I provided to you today.

Oh, they can be sure I’ll be rating the “service” I was provided.

Now, I’m obviously not going to send my computer in for repair. For one thing, I need it to do my job. For another, I did that once with a different company and they reformatted my entire hard drive, despite my explicit instructions not to. (I had a backup, but it was still a hassle reloading everything.)

So that’s why I will never buy another ASUS product again. Thank goodness I can still use the computer with the missing keycap or I’d really be up a creek. I’ve already spent way more time on this than I should have had to.

And now I’m off to find contact information for the CEO of ASUS, their VP of Customer Support, and the PR department.

I was never able to find contact info for the CEO and I eventually decided to just let it go when I remembered I had bought a Square Trade extended warranty for the computer and got my full purchase price refunded! I then bought a certified refurbished HP Pavilion computer for a few hundred dollars which was great until the hinge broke after a year and then replaced that with a new Lenovo Yoga 900 convertible notebook/tablet for about $1,300 (it was on sale) that I’m still using and very happy with (fingers crossed!).

If you believe computer companies need to do a better job of providing customer service, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this post any way you see fit.

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Elizabeth Kricfalusi

View Comments

  • Well dude, your review is BS, you are reviewing the whole brand base on one device and your personal experience.
    I have owned 3 asus, 1st one 2005 to 2010, 2012 to today, 2018 to today!

    • Yeah, I'm not even sure what this writer did to make his L key fall off. I've used many keyboards in my life and I've never had any key come off unless I purposely pulled it off. I'm not sure what he expected. If you break something and you can't repair it yourself, you're gonna need to send it for repairs. Also, if you need a device for your job, you should always have a backup in case something goes wrong. This experience seems more like a fault on the writer's part rather than ASUS'.

  • One has to say positive things about Asus laptops too I guess. So, there it is. Mine lasted 7 years. It came with Ubuntu but still ran Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. It had no glossy touchy screen, but matte. It costed in the 3-400$ range and had the power button top right separate from keyboard. Really good laptop.

  • The space bar and "O" have completely come off. Will not snap back on. I have had this laptop for only 2 years. I have had my my HP laptop almost 7 years with no problems.
    They told me to send to repair and if I didn't like the repair price I could have it back.
    I will NEVER by another ASUS again. Not worth it. I have since bought another HP laptop.

  • I am having issues with an asus vivobook. system auto reboot after just a couple months. I sent it in for repair. It was out 12 days. 2 days after getting it back. same thing! They are asking me to send it in again. If this doesn't fix it, Square Trade and I'm getting something else!

  • While I used to love Asus products (and in the bottom of my heart I suppose I still appreciate their quality-price ratio), I'm furious that they've had my item for over 4 months in warranty repair, with no expectation of ever getting it back. And all it needed were some rubber bumpers on the bottom! Asus has really let me down, too.

  • The very first thing I noticed when I bought my ASUS laptop a while ago is the bad display. Video looks wishy washy. Before I had a cheap Acer laptop I bought on a whim off of Amazon and the display was far superior.

    Other than that the laptop is still working. But that bad display has turned me off of watching movies, which I enjoy and I've had to watch movies on my regular TV at home and on my older Macbook.

  • Yeah, ASUS makes arguably exceptional laptops, but their customer service is notoriously horrible. You'll either get a laptop that runs into zero issues, or the laptop will end up being a problem-child. If the latter happens, you're pretty much out of luck (unless you can find a really good computer technician; many ASUS models can be very difficult to repair because a lot of computer repair services are not familiar with them).

  • As of June 26, 2017, ASUS Chat is no longer available for North American customers. One has to submit a case number first. I will guess that North America may be one of the larger consumer bases for ASUS laptops. With that kind of 'service', it may not be a large customer base for long.

    My laptop has been inexplicably going into Sleep Mode at odd times, even though I keep it cool with extra fans, and have shut off all sleep mode options. Tech support had no idea how to fix the issue in the first place.

    For me, it's time to switch to another laptop brand, most like the one that starts with a "D".

  • Thanks for the review. I was just looking at the UX430 and thinking it felt fragile compared to the Surface Book and Macbook Pro. Service means alot if I'm gonna spend +2k on a Laptop. Your review and a few others pushed me away from the Asus brand, at least for a premium computer.

    • Hi Will.

      I'm glad you found it helpful. I hope you're able to get a great laptop!

      - Elizabeth

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Elizabeth Kricfalusi
Tags: ASUS

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