CHOICE membership

New Computer (un)reliabilty & warranty

4 ASUS desktop All-in-One computers were bought at about $500 each. One would not start at all after about 18 months and the machine went back to ASUS for repair. They quoted almost $400 to repair it and would not cover it under warranty (12 months only). After requests to repair it at their cost - as it was not fit for purpose, as well as representations by Fair Trading NSW - they flatly refused to repair or replace it. So we cut our losses and had it returned to us. About 6 months later a second machine also stopped working, so did not bother contacting ASUS. Not likely to buy ASUS again!

Nearly all computers fail in some way sooner than we’d like.
And always at our - the users inconvenience!

It would be useful to know further what Fair Trading NSW advised concerning this failure?
Noted the item was repairable, although at significant cost relative to the original purchase price.
Are there any details on what had failed?
Did either FT NSW or ASUS comment re “fit for purpose”?
Was any precedent noted here that limits the application of “fit for purpose” because it was of lower value or able to be repaired?

You might expect the same reasoning re repair after nominal warranty has expired would apply also to mobile phones, tablet devices, smart watches etc. What is reasonable? EG No failure, no major failure or no failure due to a manufacturing defect missed in QC.

p.s. The previous reviews I’ve seen of ASUS for reliability and service have generally been positive.

My 3 year old ASUS laptop has never had any problems so I have never had to rely on their service department. I think when I bought it the warranty was for 2 years but I paid more than $1000 for it as it was a “top of the line” at that time.

I guess you could say why do you think they were $500? I think they were a lot more costly than that in the beginning maybe?

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I will never buy a HP desk top again. It is disappointingly slow and freezes continually. The wifi doesn’t work. I have had a technician check it out, and in his words “rubbish”
Sadly I can not afford another computer as I am on a low income.
Anne

Hi @sibajak I’m no expert but is there any possibility that more RAM can be added to your desktop? This can help speed things up for your computer’s operating system.

Like everything else computers seem to last for a less time. And I think companies rely on everyone upgrading every 2-3 years to keep up with software etc., so they don’t have to make them last!

I bought 3 laptops 3 years ago, 1 x Dell and 2 x Toshibas. All 3 needed repairs after 18-24 months. Both Toshibas had serious problems with the graphics cards; and the Dell touchscreen stopped working, then eventually the inboard mouse also played up.

I don’t usually go for extended warranties but I did with all of these and I’m glad I did. In fact the Dell warranty was for in-house service–a repairer was sent from Canberra to Bega to fix my laptop within 2 days of my warranty report! Now repaired, all three are working fine and we’ll keep them for as long as they work.

PS. I had completely forgotten that I had the Dell warranty, and it was only an email from them suggesting I extend it for a further couple of years that twigged me to it! I was straight onto the phone to request the repairs.

So I don’t know if there are any brands that are reliable–it would be great to know.

I use computers for my pro photography and touring business. I do not purchase computers from stores. I always work out exactly what I am going to use my computer for then visit my local computer supply and repair business. They build me a computer to meet my requirements after planning and discussion… Not cheap in the short term but very economical in the long term. I replace my computers only when operating systems and software will no longer operate which can be a considerable time. Generally the components are high quality and reliable. It is rare that I have computer issues. Keyboards, monitors, pointing devices I purchase separately. I have just purchased a new computer because the old i7 was hopeless after the Windows 10 upgrade. At the same time we upgraded to NBN. Adobe and Windows have now gone to the Cloud system which made these purchases essential. We purchased a Laser printer after reviewing feedback on the Choice site. Thanks everybody. We made a great choice and are delighted with it. The old printer which had been in storage from new was used for 4 months became a casualty of the Windows 10 platform upgrade.

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HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc have two lines of laptop products, a consumer centric and a business centric. The quality of the latter is well above the consumer variant. Some buyers confuse the lines and go for the highest spec for the lowest cost and get a consumer product.

The consumer product is built to jam in as much kit as possible for the price. The business variant is built for reliability so has relatively boring specs in comparison.

HP has (had?) less than a stellar reputation for quality but their business products are usually excellent. Lenovo Thinkpads are quality too. The business products can fail as can the consumer, but much less often. I had an IBM (now Lenovo) T520 that was about as bullet proof a notebook as one could get, but a quirky firmware problem surfaced and they replaced the motherboard, total turnaround time 2 days from my call.

On the other extreme is Acer that builds to price, and services to their protocol. If you need a replacement HDD and they don’t have one in the country, you wait until they do even though it is a $75 part available at any computer store. YMMV.

I had issues with my top of the line HP laptop some years ago when the graphic card failures happened, the US users started a class action due to the premature graphic card failures. I approached H p even though my laptop was 18 months out of warranty after reading the federal consumer laws. Since I paid top dollar and the expected life of the product was well below expectations I had a case. HP took some convincing but they had to give in once I countered all their scripted BS from the help desk. I even commented that some cheaper brands had two year warranty coverage their comment was “that’s because they will know it will fail” I countered with “if your product is so good then why only one year do you not have faith in your product” instance silence. While it was getting a new graphic card which meant a new mother board, I complained about the failed pixel that was right in you main view, not good for a laptop that was meant to be a premier media entertainment machine. So after three mother boards and seven screens it worked but was still held back by that rubbish OS Vista! The seven screens came about because someone in Singapore HP
factory was putting seconds screens into 1st grade boxes.

Hey ii need a hand with an ASUS computer i bought only a few years ago which from the very start was a lemon as it crashed within days of purchasing it. At the time i took it back to the retailer which they kinda helped but very soon after a short period of time it failed again. So i contacted ASUS and i had to book it in for a service to get it repaired. Ever since it has failed and crashes regularly and it freezes.These computers are not worth the money we pay for them are rubbish. But i still feel like I am left out in the dark as far as I am concerned. I even complained to ASUS via social media then I am told i should contact them. Why is it my problem when there product failed from the very first day i purchased it. The retailer didnt want to know about it after a short period of time either. I feel they have failed with me big time and broken the law to.thats my opinion about it.

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I tell you what dont ever buy an ASUS this computer is rubbish but its just like everything else we seem to buy.they don want to know know about you when you buy electrical things now adays. So much for the consumer law where are you choice this is just not good enough. Me having to pay for getting it repaired when it was new.Stupid warranty waste of time.

I have an ASUS UX31A Touch purchased in 4/2013 that has been faultless. On the other hand I have found ASUS (company) to be wanting in product support.

It was delivered with Win8.1. When Win10 was released mid 2015 they did not want to know about it re the UX31A - no product specific drivers/packages released. The product was abandoned. Being a techie I found everything I needed ‘shopping around’ their support web site, installed it and Win10, and it works fine no credit to ASUS. Abandoning a top end product only 2 years old is beyond just ordinary.

I recently emailed their service group for a price to replace the battery. They danced and weaved and referred me to their local warranty shop in Melbourne. I bought an OEM battery on ebay for $65 delivered and changed it no problems, 10 minutes all up. I just needed some small size torx screw drivers, cost $1 on ebay.

The above is why I will not buy another ASUS. They don’t want to know you.

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I’ll send you a PM that might help.

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My problem is on a product that did not last as long as it should have. My Lenovo Yoga laptop cost more than $2000 and I didn’t mind the investment as I thought I could keep it for a few years. Well after I year the R key stopped working. It seems the keyboard is part of the case, the part costing around $800 so with labour it would cost over $1000 to fix with no guarantee that this one would work any better. My son has a Lenovo and got an extra 3 years warranty. His needed a new motherboard after a year but that was all done under the extended warranty. I’m sure a laptop is supposed to work for more than one year. The moral of the story I suppose is to pay for extra warranty. I continue to use mine with an external keyboard but it’s messy.

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Not necessarily. When in warranty or with an extra warranty it might be easier, but.

The Australian Consumer Law will provide protection beyond the manufacturer warranty period, although sometimes it takes persistence and following the letter of the ACL process to make one’s claim. I had success getting an iPad repaired via the ACL although it took some research and I was able to make my evidence based point it failed prematurely.

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Hi Marie - I agree. A laptop needs to work for a lot longer than one year! Have you tried approaching Lenovo to get a refund or free repair under the ACL?

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Extended warranties have been covered by Choice in the past:

As @ErinTurner has indicated, even though the manufacturer’s warranty may have passed, a $2000 laptop should last many years and be fault free for many years as well. Even though you may not have purchased an extended warranty, the same rights to seek a repair from the retailer/manufacturer still exist under the Australian Consumer Law as outlined by @PhilT.

If you have already paid for the repair, I would be approaching Lenovo outlining your rights under the Australian consumer law and seeking a reimbursement of the repair costs. Your Consumer Guarantee rights are explained here:

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OK. I’ll try it on them. I’ll check out the Consumer Law link. No I havent paid for the repair yet. I bought a $15 bluetooth keyboard and use that instead.

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When trying any approach it is always good to produce the ACL detail so the company is really aware that you are savvy about your rights and know how to use them.

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