Troubles with Asus laptop offer a lesson in persistence

One Gripe Line reader gets his Asus G2S gaming laptop -- with its high-resolution screen -- back from the company through cunning use of the telephone

Until it started demonstrating video problems, Kevin was very pleased with the Asus G2S gaming laptop he bought two years ago. "I have used this thing for everything I do," he says, "work and fun." He bought the machine not only for its 1,920-by-1,200-resolution, 17-inch screen but because he had faith in the two-year warranty that came with it. And sure enough, when he called to complain about the video problem he was having a couple of months ago, he was told it was absolutely covered under warranty. "They told me all I needed to do was buy the shipping box and Asus would fix it and have back to me in 3-5 business days."

So that's what he did.

[ As InfoWorld blogger Christina Tynan-Wood has adviced before, persistence is an art | Frustrated by your tech support? You're not alone. Get answers in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]

But nearly two weeks passed and he heard nothing. So he called yet again, setting up a pattern that would become habit for the next few weeks of his life. "A tech told me there was a motherboard issue," explains. "They would need to replace it." And they told him to hang on; the repair shouldn't take too more than a couple of weeks.

But weeks passed with no word. More calls to Asus only confirmed more delays. The company didn't have the part in stock. Then it was having problems getting motherboards from Taiwan. The techs told Kevin there was nothing he could do but wait. So working on a less-than-ideal temporary computer, Kevin waited. And he kept calling, reminding everyone he could at Asus that he was waiting -- not waiting patiently, but waiting nonetheless.

"Eventually, I received an e-mail from Asus offering me a replacement laptop," he says. The offer was for a G50Vt-X1 "gaming" machine. It was a nice computer but not quite the one he had bought. "It did have some improvements over my old one," he says. It had a faster processor, better video card, larger hard drive, and more RAM -- but the screen size was 15.6 inches with a maximum resolution of 1,366 by 768. Kevin declined the offer. His own computer had a beautiful 17-inch screen and Bluetooth. He'd already tricked it out with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

"I asked when they could repair mine," he says. But the prognosis was not good. "They told me I could take the offer or wait an unknown amount of time for the repair. Am I crazy?" asks Kevin, "or does this seem wrong to you?"

I think if the man paid for a high-resolution 17-inch screen, he should have a 17-inch screen (and Bluetooth) if that's what he wants. The offer Asus made might have made someone else -- tired perhaps of carrying the big screen -- very happy. But it wasn't right for Kevin. He liked that gorgeous screen. So this being the Gripe Line, I went looking for the right person at Asus to talk to about getting him just that.

Before I got far, though, I received another e-mail from Kevin. This one arrived a mere 24 hours after the first.

"Did you already read my e-mail and ask Asus what was up?" He asked. "Today I received my old laptop back. It is fully functional and repaired. If it was you that caused the outcome, thank you! If it was my constant nagging that did it, please tell your readers that persistence can pay off."

Frankly, I wish it was always this easy. But Kevin is right, of course. Persistence can pay off.

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