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My Acer Netbook Died. Then Customer Service Died With It.

As connectivity has become more ubiquitous (and more of a constant necessity), I’ve learned new ways to stay connected. I’ve told you about how my netbook computer—an Acer netbook computer—makes it easy to keep going; this little thing was inexpensive, is light and small, works for eight hours on a single battery charge, and acts as my constant conduit to the Internet.

Or it did. This weekend, approximately nine months after I bought it, My Acer Netbook just … died.

As an old computer geek this struck me as amazing, simply because my experience is that computers either die almost immediately after you start using them, or they work until new software outpaces old hardware and they become too slow to be useful. But this weekend my Acer netbook just stopped working. There’s not a POST boot-up error; my netbook simply won’t turn on.

My netbook is nine months old. It’s in warranty. I had to work a bit to confirm those facts to Acer, but I jumped through the hoops and Acer acknowledged that my computer needed to be fixed and that they had the responsibility of fixing it at their expense.

And then, customer service ineptitude broke loose.

After Acer acknowledged their responsibility for fixing my netbook, I found myself needing a few details in order to get things moving. So I followed the link in the e-mail Acer had sent me, and found that my support ticket had been closed. Since the Acer netbook was not fixed and there were details missing, the ticket shouldn’t have been closed out, but I didn’t know what to do to re-open it and Acer’s web site isn’t exactly user-friendly. So I opened a live chat with a representative, hoping to cut through things before a customer service mess broke out.

Bad move.

Acer’s customer service representative asked me questions that I had already answered, both in the original support case and in my dealings with him. And then, despite my computer being nine months old (the warranty is a year), despite him having that information, and despite me having pointed out that I had already received confirmation that my Acer netbook was still in warranty, this customer service person told me I was out of warranty.

Here’s the transcript of that chat:

Apologies for my snarky tone at the end of the transcript, by the way.

The problem is this:

When there are multiple ways to contact you on a page at your web site, and when they lead to two different areas of the company that don’t have access to the same information (really, Acer??!!??), you’ve done your customers service efforts a disservice, you’ve done your customers a disservice, and frankly, you’ve done your employees a disservice.

And by the way: following Acer’s directions, I spent nearly forty dollars to ship the netbook to them. Maybe someone at Acer will read this and do the right thing, but … I kind of doubt it.

If we had named it the Answer Guy Customer Disservice Wall of Shame, that’s where we’d be inducting Acer today. This will have to do:

Welcome to The Answer Guy’s Customer Service Wall of Shame, Acer.


    • Sounds pretty bad, David. We’ll see whether Acer can at least redeem themselves on this one when the computer returns.

  1. […] recently become enamored of Ubuntu Linux. I’ve installed it on my Acer Aspire Netbook, and I run it all the time—except when I need access to the VoIP, Windows-only application for […]

  2. I have only had my Acer Netbook for about a year and a half and the same thing happened; it just died. To make matters worse, I cannot read the serial number or the snid number on the back of the netbook to even get through to a representative. Very, very disappointed in the product.

    • Anita, that stinks. You’d think they’d have some way to make it easier for you!

      BTW: I never followed up here, but I’m happy to report that Acer did repair my Aspire One Netbook and return it, along with all accessories, quickly, intact, and without hurting my data!

  3. acer told me to send my laptop in after i told them its a harddrive issue so i thought okay im busy right now all send it in so they called me and told me that i spilled liquid on the netbook and they need to replace the motherboard for $99.99 so i had enough i told them let me speak to your technician then i said forget it send me my damn laptop all fix it i just didn’t want to spend the time fixing it so i received my laptop back and sat and decided to install a different os and now it works ahhhh i just cant believe they tried to get me for a hundred bucks damn liars

  4. I received an a500 from Acer through Fedex yesterday, problem is I did not ship one for service, and I sold the one I had months ago on craigslist. Now they want me to jump through hoops to send the unit back. Hey, come and pick this thing up from my house, it is not mine. I have spent three hours of my time trying to fix and issue that I had nothing to do with. Gotta love Acer Customer Service.

  5. Im using Acer Aspire 5920G for about 5 years, no complain.
    Recently I discover VGA card need to be replaced.
    Old VGA was nVidia GeForce 8600M GT 512MB DDR2 MXM II.
    Could someone help me, which VGA card compatible with
    previous model, because GeForce 8600M GT was discontinue.
    Some supplier told me, I can use HD3650 or HD3470, but Im not sure.

    • Andy, much as Acer’s customer service is . . . well, this story makes clear how bad Acer Customer Service is, I’d start with them and honestly they’re the only ones I’d trust to give you an answer.

      But dude . . . I really think spending money on a new graphic card for that computer is a bad idea. Better to buy a new computer; it wouldn’t cost much more than the graphics card, and it would be A NEW COMPUTER!

  6. I bought an Acer Aspire One notebook to take on vacation and load photos,check email. After 3 weeks it crashed, the hard drive clicks which means it is a hardware defect. I asked if the recovery lab could open it to retrieve my hundreds of photos since I will sell some of them. They said it will void the warranty, so now I am in a position to have them make good on a $350 computer I got 3 weeks usage and or pay $650 to recover my photos and be at a loss of #350 for the computer…so over $1000 for 3 weeks use of a notebook. Then I said the lab will open in sterile enviroment and he replied, well as long as they don’t change anything or damage the hard drive we should warranty it, fix it and return it. I told him it was liable to crash again and I wanted an upgrade, but he couldn’t help. Never again Acer, your products are too cheap. i was recommended to buy them but now I see only the high end are reliable, not these notebooks.

  7. I took my Acer Aspire One Netbook AOA 150 to STAPLES for the “free” check-up because it had some error messages. They said it would cost $289 to repair it. I think I paid $279 for it in the first place so I declined. later when i turned it on at home it said “the WLAN card is disabled”. I opened the back of the computer to discover that the technician stole my WLAN card. I don’t even see the little wires that connect to the WLAN card so who knows what else he stole. CROOKS!

    • Cynthia, I think that comment goes to the value of the services you received at Staples, rather than anything that we can be certain Acer is responsible for. And Yuck!

      I’ve never heard of such a thing, and I sure hope the boob there made a mistake rather than stole from you on purpose. It does kind remind me of some Geek Squad/Best Buy Stories, but that’s a whole ‘nother animal.

  8. I have an Acer Netbook Aspire One A0A-A150 a moldy oldy and the only way you can fix it and it is free by the way…..Acer has a restore partition….Turn it off and when you turn it on hit Alt + F10 and let it go and do nothing as it will turn itself off and on several times during the process. Now since my netbook is out of warranty all I have to do is to go to win zip and update my ancient drivers for $29.95 per year. Free scans weekly to make sure your drivers are cool. Do not call Acer Support because all they want is $179.00 and still there is no guarantee that anything they have you download will work.

    Take my advice if you will with a slight grain of salt if you wish to… what I have told you to do and it will work.

    So many humanoids do the stupid thing and call but you don’t have to.


    Beverly M.Noble
    Acer Officinado

    • Fair enough, Beverly. I was talking about an Acer that really had died, but you make a good point!

      • An email from Beverly, 1/29/13, 8:52 PM Eastern:

        Mine did die…it still had a slight spark of Life and I am still using it today. Your drivers need to be updated as well as the OS to Windows 7

        • Very smart sometimes, but not correct in this case.

          The computer was running Windows 7; it always did … it came that way. And while updating the drivers is a good idea under any circumstances, bad drivers aren’t the issue until the operating system starts loading and dies. That didn’t happen here; when this particular Acer Netbook died this particular death, it was TOTALLY dead, save a short flickr of the power light. Never got to Windows. Never even got to the BIOS of the computer.

          Sometimes, dead motherboards really are dead motherboards. And when Acer repaired it, it came back perfect, including everything on my hard drive. It booted (multibooted Windows 7 and Ubuntu, actually) perfectly, the moment I turned it on. And did for about 15 months for me, until I retired it in favor of a Google Chromebook. And has since, for one of my sons.


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