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Doing It Right
Editorial
Written by Gizmo   
Wednesday, 20 July 2005 15:52

People give big corporations a lot of crap about how they take care of their customers.  Most of the time, the big corporations deserve the crap they get, too.  However, we should also acknowledge when they do things right.  This is one of those times.  Let me tell you about what an outfit named ASUS did for me.  (You can discuss this in the forums, also.)

About a year ago, I bought my wife a new laptop from an outfit named GenTech.  The transaction itself was relatively uneventful.  I purchased an ASUS M3000NP laptop, 512 meg of RAM, a 1.5 GHz Pentium M, a 40 Gig hard drive, and a DVD-ROM/CDRW drive.  With freight and everything, this purchas added up to about $1200, and I was very pleased with the product.  When I got it, I had to assemble everything, as this was a barebones laptop.  All went well.

That is, until about two weeks ago.  You see, my wife was using her laptop and accidentally dropped it on its side.  As a result of the drop, the DC power-in jack was damaged beyond use or repair.  Being a fairly handy technical kind of guy, and thinking that the warranty had expired on the laptop, I decided I would open it up and repair the damage myself.

I spent probably 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get the thing opened, and eventually gave up, fearing that any further prying on the case would result in damaging something that I didn't want to have to fix.  So I contacted the folks at GenTech to see if I could get a power jack (which I figured I would need) and a service manual so that I could open this thing up.  The tech sent me a pdf of the service manual, but regretfully informed me that they didn't keep parts like that in stock, and that I would have to contact ASUS for it. 

So, I took all the screws loose, cracked the laptop open and discovered that the power jack was totaled; shattered beyond repair.  Now, if it had been my personal laptop, I would probably have just wired some ugly jack on the side of the case and had it back running in an hour or so.  Since this laptop belonged to the wife, though, I figured I would try to do this repair right (makes things more peaceful that way :) ).  So, I carefully put all the screws and miscellaneous components from the disassembly into a cup and carefully carried the cup and the laptop to my work storage shelf, where I carefully proceeded to place things, and carefully proceeded to knock the cup over, so that I carefully watch in horror as all of my screws carefully scattered themselves across the deep pile carpet.  Being VERY small screws, they naturally proceeded to bury themselves in the carpet.  I think I found about half of them.

At this point, I fired of an e-mail to Asus, explaining the problem I had, that I knew I had voided the warranty, and that all I wanted was a small screw assortment and the DC power jack.  My first response came from James L. and regretfully informed me that they did not have the DC power jack for sale, and that I would have to return the laptop for repair.  This was not an entirely unexpected response, so I proceeded to call the toll-free number, only to be formed that "The number you have dialed cannot be reached.  Please check your number and try again".  So I contacted Asus again, asking them what was wrong with the toll-free number.  This time, Albert C responded, explaining that they were having some difficulties with the toll-free number but that it should be working soon; however, he was investigating my case a bit further and wondered if I would be willing to wait just a little longer before returning the machine for repair?

The next day he sent me an e-mail to confirm that he had been able to procure the DC jack and some screws, and as long as I understood that my warranty was voided by the action I was about to undertake, he would be pleased to send them to me.  I responded in the affirmative, and two days later (today) I had the parts.  My wife's laptop is once again working, and everyone is happy.

Well Done, ASUS!  I have been very pleased with my Abit NF7-S over the last two years, but I am looking to upgrade my system here in another couple of months.  Although I had been giving some thought to an ASUS board (mostly because I DESPISE Abit's µGuru, see my review of the AN7) I will definitely be giving them more serious consideration now.  At this moment, I would say ASUS and EPoX are running at the top, with DFI a very close second and Abit a distant third.

 
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