Sunday, September 21, 2008

Acer support and cashback (part 2)

Now here is my cashback experience from Acer.
  • Jul 21 - Posted the required form, box cut out of the snid and invoice
  • checking the cashback status from time to time at Acer cashback website. Has always been on status where the documents hasn't been received yet.
  • Sep 8 - I noticed my status says "declined due to documents were not received by the due date". I emailed the cashback email address asking them how can this happen, and I asked them to give me some good explanation why on earth a mail from New Zealand to Australia will take 5-7 weeks to arrive.
  • Sep 9 - I noticed my status says "processing, check will be issued on ... November *something*"
  • Sep 16 - I got an email from Acer cashback telling me that they never recieved my documents. They are asking me to email or fax copies of the form, snid and invoice. I emailed them the digital copies of it, except for the box cut out of the snid. Its impossible for me to produce one as it was sent in the mail, I just shot a photo of the my snid on the bottom of the laptop.
  • Sep 17 - I got mail from Acer, its the $99 check. ?!? Are these guys confused of my status or what? Or did suddenly their cashback turnaround processing time is within 12 hours?
Acer cashback is not that bad if you only look into what happened on the start and end. I got the $99 cashback in 1.5 months, I was expecting it to be longer than that. However given that they are certainly confused or just radomly picking cashback status, their cashback is really poor. Oh yeah before getting the cashback form you will be bombarded with extended warranty option.

For those who go into Acer cashback process here are the following things that might help you.
  • scan the snid box cut out. Expect the worst that the mail will get lost, most likely somewhere in the cashback dept of Acer.
  • declined doesn't mean anything. They are just actually confused with your status, or probably trying to see if you the type of person that would just accept a decline status.
  • push for your cashback

Friday, September 19, 2008

Acer support and cashback (part 1)

I would like to give out my long about my personal experience with Acer support and cashback.

Acer support:
Here is my long support story, which all started with a dvd combo drive going wrong.

  • Aug 3 - dvd combo drive started not to read dvd discs. After a few retry, ejects, etc. there is no more power on the drive.
  • Aug 4 - Called up Acer. Call center tech tries to go by the book, tells me reinstall driver, etc. I politely explained the problem further and told him that I am computer literate. Call center tech goes to the next step and files a case number, tells me that someone will call me regarding the repair. Told me that I don't need to bring in the laptop anywhere. I thought wow this is great, I bought a cheap laptop and I don't have to return it to base for repair. I knew something was a miss, but gave him the benefit of the doubt.
  • Aug 7 - I called Acer again since nobody has called me up. Yeah I know it was too good to be true. This call center tech told me that I should bring my laptop to Datacom which is their Wellington repair contractor.
  • Aug 12 - I brought the laptop to Datacom. I also left the power adapter as advised by Datacom (this event will trigger another sub-story).
  • Aug 19 - Called up Acer call center to ask what's the status of the repair and why its taking more than the 5 days turnaround time. Call center tech puts me on hold and comes back to me tell me that Datacom is ordering another dvd combo drive as the first replacement was also defective.
  • Aug 22 - Pickup of laptop after the 2nd replacement drive was deemed to be ok. I noticed the power adapter was different, but did not make a fuss about it. Laptop was also not cleaned up and has some minor new scratches (nothing to really fuss about).
  • Aug 22 - Got home to test the unit. I realized the adapter that Datacom returned to me was faulty (and older too), its wire was loose. The adapter was charging and discharging the laptop depending on the position and if the wire gets nudged.
  • Aug 22 - Called up Acer telling them about the power adapter issue and demanded to get it replaced. Call center tech places an order for an adapter to be shipped to me.
  • Aug 27 - New adapter has arrived. The dvd combo drive worked initially. After a while failed to read the dvd drives, can read some cdrom drives. Drive physically works, but has lots of crc errors and is unable to read the dvd discs most of the time.
  • Aug 27 - Called up Acer about the problem. Acer call center tech apologizes and opens a new case. Acer also arranged for my laptop to be picked up. They also told me not include the batteries and power adapter for the repair. Not including accessories is what I would have expected (SOP I have experienced with other repairs), not what Datacom did which caused a new problem regarding the power adapter.
  • Aug 29 - Courier arrived and picked up the laptop. After a few days some message exchanges on the Acer support website to get the status of the repair.
  • Sep 1 - The adapter also came with a notice I need to return the defective power adapter in 10 days or else they will invoice me $50. Called up Acer, call center tech tells that yes I need to post back the defective courier and gave the address. He also tells me that I need to ship back at my expense, despite my protest. I posted this protest on the support website, that I should not shoulder the expense to ship back as it was not my fault that Datacom replaced my power adapter with a defective unit.
  • Sep 2 - Acer call center tech calls me up that they are sorry and will arranged a courier pickup for the power adapter. My support case on the support website was also updated with this information.
  • Sep 5 - Acer call center tech calls me up telling me that there was a mixup. The notice to return the defective adapter should have been given. They will not pickup the defective adapter anymore and I can dispose of it.
  • Sep 8 - Laptop finally arrives. The dvd combo drive was also upgraded to a Lite-on dvd writer. I am not sure if the upgrade was delibrate or a honest mistake on Acer's part.
In short, it was long support case just to get the dvd combo drive sorted. Acer's Wellington local contractor Datacom is poor. They should have a stock of a common part like a dvd combo drive, should not have got the power adapter and other accessories when turning in a laptop for repair, should clean and take extra careful of the laptop while on repair. Acer's call center tech are confused about things, they are not consistent. I found the support website to be a better way of contact, you get slower reply times though. Demand the support you deserve in a polite manner after all the other person the other end is just on his/her day job. Acer did eventually stepped up and sorted things out. Acer support in Wellington, NZ is poor primarily because of their local repair contractor Datacom.

Wow this support story is very long, I need to sleep. I will post up my cashback experience hopefully tomorrow which is equally hilarous.