Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good old Acer

A work Acer computer seemed to get fried when the transformer went pop; so off to Acer it went to be looked at.
Back came the response that they couldn't find a problem, but they'd cleaned it up and reseated the battery anyway. So it's probably the new transformer we can sell you a new one. Along with this email came a quotation for the work. This was signed and returned and silence was heard.

Last Thursday a call to the case support team got the welcome news that it was shipped on Wednesday delivery Monday or Tuesday. Tuesday a call to the same team came back with the news that it hadn't shipped, but someone would contact us about it.

Today a call to the Payments team to check they had received our acceptance of the quote. They had, so why hadn't it been dispatched?

"Because we've yet to receive payment"
"You haven't asked for payment"
"We sent you a quote"
"Which we accepted. That's not a request for payment, an invoice is a request for payment. We're a business we were expecting the laptop back with an invoice that we would then pay."

Other end stuck to the 'that's how we do things' defence.

Anyway in the end we paid, but good communication skills there folks.


SteveS said...

Erm, Acer. I bought an Acer laptop for my daughter a couple of years ago. Thought it was good value, as needed gaming laptop and that meant graphics card which meant adding £200-£300 to the price (Never understood why that is, as the card is probably about £50-£100). Anyway, ok for one and a half years, then stopped charging battery, unless you wiggled plug in socket at back of laptop. Looked on internet and found it was common problem. Couldn't figure out how to get laptop apart, so emailed Acer and they said it would be over £100 just to look at it, then repairs on top! PC World wanted over £200. Got it done locally for £80, but didn't last long. Ended up buying new adapter and has been fine since. Now hinges have gone stiff, causing case to crack at back. Back to internet, apparently another common problem with Acer. I will never buy one again, unless I take out insurence for at least 3 years. Got the daughter a Samsung now, but having a go at putting new hinges in Acer, then other daughter can have it. Its not going well! Why do they make things so difficult to take to bits? Oh, I know, so they can charge you anything they like to fix it!

FlipC said...

Normally I'd go along with you on the not buying Acer, but for what was required it suited well. Basically something cheap that we wouldn't mind too much if it got bashed a bit.

Orphi said...

A low-end discrete graphics card might only by £50 or so. However, you can't stick one of these in a laptop. A laptop component has to fit into a tiny space, produce the minimum amount of heat, and drink the minimum ammount of power. Hence there are “mobile” versions of CPUs and GPUs (as the most power-hungry, heat-producing components). There are also mobile HDs, but we just call those “2.5 inch”. ;-)

I had a Sharp laptop who's battery stopped charging after about a year. It seems it's just hard to make Lithion Ion batteries that don't wear out really quickly.

My current laptop is an Acer. (A fairly expensive one though.) Currently it works great, and it's just coming up to 1 year old. I'm still very happy with it. Of all the laptops I've seen, it is the only one with a glade pad which actually works properly, and speakers that sound reasonable.

Where I work we also have a set of Acer laptops. They're all quite old now, but apart from being old and outdated, there's nothing wrong with them. (They're all Pentium-IV, so that gives you some idea how ancient.) Again, these were all fairly expensive when new.

Maybe the real truth is that cheap laptops tend to break quickly?

(It's only a hypothesis; I don't have a lot of data to go on.)

I will mention though that the Acer I gave to my sister has an interesting habit of randomly locking up for several minutes at a time. Like, the entire screen freezes, the mouse won't move, the numlock and capslock lights don't change when you press the keys, even the power switch won't power the laptop off. (Normally if you hold it down for 2 seconds, it will cause a hard-shutdown.) You have to actually unclip the battery to shut it off. But if you just leave it for 20 minutes, suddenly it works again. Oh, and sometimes Windows says the sound card doesn't exist.

It's all pretty weird, really.

FlipC said...

General consensus seems to be that if they stay working everything's fine, but if they go wrong then don't expect any help.

Orphi said...

I must admit, one of the works Acers had a fault. So we mailed it to the repair center with a description of the problem.

Fortunately, I had the forsight to take a complete sector-by-sector copy of the HD before I mailed it, because it seems when it got there the first thing they did was replace the HD and reimage the OS. Which is odd, considering the problem was that the fan spins up faster and faster until the power shuts off, which happens before the BIOS has even finished running the POST! (And I carefully explained this to them.)

I can only guess that they have technitions who's only job is to replace the HD and see if the laptop works now, and if not pass it on to somebody who has a clue. It's possibly an efficient way of filtering out laptops that aren't really broken, they just have a software problem and/or a broken HD. (Probably common on laptops for the HD to break.)

Actually, we had another Acer which worked when it left America, but when its owner arrived back in the UK, turning the laptop on just made a sound like a coffee grinder. Most spectacular HD failure I've ever seen! :-D

Still, IME, Dell has far worse support than Acer — although maybe that's only because I've had to use it more.