I finally got around to ordering a new laptop via the Acer Factory Outlet. In a nutshell, they refurbish systems and sell them on. I settled on an Acer Aspire V5-573G. The specs were quite good:
- CPU: 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 4200U 1.6GHz (Turbo boost upto 2.6GHz)
- RAM: 4GB DDR3-SDRAM 1066MHz (1 slot free)
- HDD: 500GB Hard Drive 5400RPM
- Screen: 15.6" HD 1366x768 LED LCD Screen
- GPU: NVIDIA Geforce GT 720M 2048 MB Dedicated Graphics
- 802.11a/g/n, bluetooth etc etc
It came in at $599AUD including shipping. My old Asus EeePC 1005P netbook was getting rather slow (some web sites would tax the CPU to death - even on scrolling) - so I decided to take the plunge.
I was very surprised when the laptop arrived in under 12 hours from placing the order. This was a very good sign - however more surprises were in store - it didn't work.
Being the techhead that I am, I played around - using the keyboard shortcuts to attempt to turn the screen on or try the external HDMI port. Everything resulted in the same - power light coming on, no BIOS beep, no display, no signs of life. Tried the hard reset button, nothing. Damn.
I then gave the Acer Support Line a call. Firstly getting told I'd have to ship it back to them for assessment and repair. I wasn't too happy at this option - after all, it was dead out of the box. One would assume that even though it is a refurbished laptop that item #1 in the Q/A check list is "Does the machine power up". After voicing my opinion that a DOA should be replaced by a working laptop on arrival, not sent for repair the moment it arrived I was transferred to "The DOA team".
What these guys actually do, I'm not sure. So far, I've been given a case number and told "Someone will contact you in 24 to 48 hours". When I chased this up at about the 44 hour mark, I was again told "someone will contact you in 24 to 48 hours, so it may be Monday". So now I'm at a point wondering if their standard reply for everything is "24 to 48 hours".
While on this same phone call however, I was told that my only options may be to have the unit repaired, that they may not have this model in stock anymore, have it replaced with a model of the same value, or a refund. While this sounds good in theory, they don't have anything near the model that I bought. The closest is ~$100 more with no dedicated graphics onboard. As such, this is starting to sound like a classic bait'n'switch tactic by Acer.
This leads me to wonder - has anyone dealt with Acer before for problems like this? Did you get a refurbished laptop that worked? Did you get one that was DOA? I'll update this post as things progress, but for now, I'm not a happy camper!
Update 25/02: I got a call from the 'Account Manager' today. Apparently now I have to talk to the web store people to get a refund. Someone from there should contact me in (you guessed it) 24-48 hours. I can see the path this is going down - so today I also started the process for a chargeback on my credit card. Lets see who issues a refund first ;)
Update 27/02: Still chasing this up today. Today I got transferred to someone in accounts. After going through the case history, I was told someone would get back to me in (you guessed it) 24-48 hours. At least this time I have a direct contact number to talk to the same person tomorrow. Progress? Time will tell....
Update 05/03: Today I got sent a connote via email after following this matter up with the Australian contact centre. Attached it to the box today and its ready for pickup tomorrow. Hopefully, this should be the end of this saga!
Update: 10/03: Well, I think I spoke too soon. The dead laptop still hasn't been picked up. Today is a public holiday though - so at best case, I can expect a pickup tomorrow. I really wouldn't think it would be so hard to do basic logistics.
Update: 23/03: This issue still isn't resolved. A whole month and nothing to show for it. The pickups haven't happened, the refund hasn't been processed - and I still am none the wiser as to when this will be resolved.
Update: 04/04: Still ongoing. I have been told I should receive a refund by today - but (surprise, surprise) nothing as yet...
Update: 12/04: A couple of days ago I figured I'd had enough. I had given Acer enough rope - and they hung themselves. I contacted the new Managing Director for Australia Pacific - Darren Simmons. I got a reply within an hour asking various people to chase this up. Yesterday, I still hadn't heard anything so I asked Darren if there was any update. The reply was encouraging - the refund had been processed! Today, I look at my credit card statement - and behold! A refund!
Thankfully, after nearly two whole months of frustration, I can bring this saga to an end.