Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How an Acer customer is treated.

I write this as a very disappointed customer. I bought an Acer AS3810TZ – 413G32N in Feb 2010 from ‘Vijay Sales’ Prabhadevi showroom Mumbai.
The first thing I did on reaching home was to try & make the ‘Restore Disc’s’. As this laptop does not have a optical drive I was talked into buying a Transcend external dvd writer by the salesman, which cost over Rs 3700/- (I later found to my shock that it was available elsewhere cheaper by a 1000 bucks) . The first writer had a fault & was replaced after 5 days (by the dealer). The next at best works in a temperamental fashion & seems to be allergic to Moser Baer dvd’s. I would like to mention that the read/write speeds for dvd’s is 8X for this or any other ext dvd writer. I frankly feel one does not need this on a regular basis. In such a case it would be better to buy an external casing (Rs 600-800) for the DVD writer of your desktop (I presume you have one) & use that when necessary. And this also offers faster speeds.
I found that after the first disc was burnt the laptop gave an error that the making of the restore disc had failed & that I should insert another disc & it started to burn the first disc all over again, this happened FOUR times that means I wasted FOUR DVD’s.
When I went to the Acer website for the toll free number I found the ‘VOLUNTARY SAFETY RECALL’ option on your website & entered the details for this laptop and found it has an issue about the microphone cable.
I used the toll free number & made a complaint on 28-2-2010 regarding & on 1-3-2010 registered the laptop as it was in the recall list.
1. The WiFi on laptop cannot connect to my Linksys WRT54G WiFi router when the SSID is not transmitted but when the SSID is transmitted it connects. I also use MAC filters. Another laptop in my house has no problem for the last two years (running Vista home basic) in connecting to the same router when SSID is hidden. MTNL requires this.
2. When adding a bluetooth device to the laptop (mobile phones) it gives an error ‘Peripheral device – No driver found’ . And the phone icon on the phone has an exclamation mark. But I can successfully send/receive files to/from my phone !!!

I got a call on 2-2-2010 from a tech support person who requested me to go to the ‘Restore’ option and restore to factory settings. Since I was taking the laptop to the dealer ‘Vijay Sales’ Prabhadevi Branch Mumbai where the Acer rep stationed there did the needful.
After Restore from the HDD was done I was shocked to find
a) The WiFi was not detected at all. Its only when I went on the net (thru the LAN cable) & used the ‘Update option’ thru ‘Device Manage’ that connectivity was restored for WiFi
b) My Bluetooth problem (see 2 above) still remains ie after the factory settings were restored I paired my phone to the laptop & got the same error but I can send & receive files between mobile phone & laptop so its not really critical.
c) I also have noticed that I cant find the s/w for starting the webcam &
d) The multi gesture feature on the touch pad (where you can move two finger in opposite directions to expand what is displayed on the screen eg: desktop icons etc) has also stopped working after the ‘System Restore’.
e) No Acer User Guides on the laptop even though there is an option in the ‘Start’ menu

I have come to the conclusion & verified by the service center later that the restore partition on the HDD is FAULTY, as after a restore the WiFi card & webcam & one feature of he touchpad could not be used, THIS IS A MANUFACTURING DEFECT.
more important the restore disks could not be made, 9 DVD’s have been wasted trying to do this (FOUR) by me & (FIVE by) the Acer rep at Vijay Sales , who then contacted his office & was told that the Erestore management s/w on this model is faulty !!! so I had been promised that restore disks would be delivered to me by Acer & have been asked to wait for a week.
On 5th Mar 2010 I spoke to Mr Khan about the different issues on the laptop & he requested I rang up the service center today and fixed an appointment for 6-Mar-2010 but later they were kind enough to call back & cancel that appointment as they have to get that cable from Acer. I was told they would call me to fix the next appointment
On 15th I took the laptop to the service center & they fixed the problem about the webcam, touchpad & bluetooth. I was told that the microphone cable did not need replacement. (Only time will tell whether I am being cheated on this). Regarding the WiFi problem I was informed that they would escalate this problem with Acer & I would be contacted as soon as the solution is found. So currently only thing pending currently is the WiFi problem & the disc.
On the 19th Mar 2010 after getting back the laptop I dropped in at the dealer to check with the Acer rep there, if the restore disc’s were ready. At this time I spoke to the Sales Manager who then promised me the OS disc (Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit) specifically meant for this laptop. (I was pleasantly surprised by this little did I realize that its all BS). Please note I was first promised the disc’s on 2nd of Mar 2010 & there had been no movement on this.
On 23rd I rang up Sales Manager told me that he had started the process for getting the OS disc for my laptop, which had to come from Microsoft Bangalore.
On 30th Mar 2010 I sent the Sales Manager an email & got a reply that it would probably be ready in another week. Acer seems fascinated by the figure 7, everything will be ready in a week’s (7 days) time.
On the 1st Apr 2010 I got an email from another Acer staff that I could collect the CD from their office and the same would be available with the security by the name of Mr Sachin.
On 2nd Apr 2010 I went to the Acer Mumbai office and found it closed & there was no security present. I rang up the Sales Manager and was promised that the CD would be delivered to my house after reaching home the same day I emailed him my postal address.
On 6th Apr 2010 and there is still no sign of the promised OS CD containing Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I was not aware that Acer plays ‘April Fool’ jokes on its customers. Since there was no sign of any disc I called up the Mumbai office & was told that the ‘OS disc’ would be delivered tomorrow. I even asked the person who spoke to me if it was actually the OS disc & was told very emphatically ‘Yes Sir, it is the OS disc’
On 7- Apr 2010 I get the delivery of THREE disc’s & was stunned to find it’s the ‘Recovery Disc’s’ which were promised initially (2nd Mar2010) AND NOT THE ‘OS DISC’ which should mean the OPERATING SYSTEM DISC. ON CALLING the Sales Manager I told him I feel totally cheated that initially (2nd Mar2010) I was promised the (‘Recovery Disc’s) then on 19th Apr 2010 I was promised the OS disc. He got back to me with another staff member (in a con call) who tried to explain to me its only THREE disc’s but when I explained to him that the 4th disc contains ONLY the drivers and the situations where that could be useful. He promised to get me that by 12th Apr 2010. He had no answer why I was first promised the recovery disc & then the OS disc. It’s become very clear to me now that either the people who work in this company don’t know the difference between ‘recovery disc’s’ & ‘OS disc’s’ or worse.
On 12th Apr 2010 the driver disc was also delivered in FOUR working days flat. I wonder what took the other three disc so long to be delivered?
When I mentioned this to my friend he jokingly said his fruit/vegetable vendor on the road knows what he sells right down to where he sources his stock. Another quipped that his butcher knows his customer by community & when they avoid meat.
Another experience with Acer tech support is that the calls from Acer Delhi are at best a comedy of errors but cut a very sorry figure with the customer. I have got calls from a lady who claimed to be from the ‘feedback dept’ asking me if the ‘problem of the laptop battery’ was solved. I had never made any complaint of the laptop battery. On another day I got another from a lady asking me if the problem of ‘overheating laptop’ was solved. I wonder if they had a premonition of things to come! There seems to be some communication problem in your organization.
When such calls are made I have to waste a lot of time telling them the whole litany of problems. As always these people promise that someone will get back to me about my problems, a promise that has NEVER been kept.
Now the only thing that is pending is the why the WiFi cannot connect if the SSID is hidden. I have been promised that I will be contacted once a solution is found but I really don’t have much faith in these guys anymore.
I had even posted the WiFi problem on the Microsoft & Intel site but to no avail. Check oout the post & their replies.

Moral of this story (comes with hindsight)
  • Avoid this dealer
  • Think twice about exchange offers. If you still want to explore this option then,
  • Check out the company website if there is a recall for the particular model you are interested in.
  • If something is wrong with the product DON’T be soft spoken/polite, you will be taken for a ride.
  • Insist on a replacement as most dealers have a 1-week period when you can return faulty products. I didn’t know this then. they will sweet talk you into 'we will have this fixed very soon crap'. Don't fall for it.
  • For quick results when you have spoken to all also mention that you will be writing to the MD/CEO with your feedback. Incidentally this post is a abridged version of just that.
  • Better still avoid this manufacturer.
I have to say that this entire rigmarole has left me totally disgusted & feel that I have been cheated, as a faulty unit/model has been sold to me. The way they tried to mislead then grudgingly give me the disc’s leaves me wondering if they are serious about service to the customer. They come across as shifty, slippery operators. One thing is certain for sure I, or anyone in my family will EVER purchase ANYTHING with the name ‘ACER’ nor will we recommend it to anyone else.


Alpana Mandal said...

Wow, really bitter experience. I have an Acer Aspire 4736Z and thankfully have not had any major problems. Just had a microphone problem once, but a quick visit to their service center took care of it. All in all, I'm really happy with the model I have.

Anonymous said...

Their lappy's are VFM. But ur experience horrified coz it showed that the company's manpower are incompetent jokers.