Thursday, 20 March 2014

Chromebook woes - again !

Until it started crashing, I was enjoying my Chromebook.

Since then the wheels have kind of come off the experience, due to Acer’s inability to resolve the issue.
To recap, in the middle of January, it crashed so badly that it would not boot. Knowing my predilection for playing with things, you might ascribe this to my doing something odd, but I didn’t - in fact my Chromebook was incredibly vanilla. Apart from playing with, all I used it with was gmail, twitter, Inoreader, Docs and Stackedit.

Anyway I phoned up Acer, and the helpdesk were responsive, efficient and arranged a return.
They did whatever they did, I suspect a severe poke, and shipped it back. Except it didn’t boot. I phoned the helpdesk again and while I was on the phone it booted after sitting looking like a lump of plastic for fifteen minutes. Sod’s law.

A week or so later it crashed again, I phoned the help desk, and this time when we returned it to factory defaults it booted again, and appeared to run normally. At this time I was still tempted to blame a memory leak in ChromeOS rather than hardware.

Then, in early February it crashed in such a spectacular fashion that you couldn’t turn it off other than by pulling the battery out - and no it didn’t boot after that either. So off to the help desk again, and the return, severe poke and the rest of it.

This time when it came back it did boot, but into developer mode, not user mode, which showed a degree of sloppiness on the workshop’s part. Anyway, I treated it as a learning experience and flipped it into user mode.

A week or so later, it started crashing again, just like in January. By now I was suspecting a hardware fault, so when I phoned Acer again I asked them to either replace it or refund my money, given the sequence of faults and returns. Not only was it wsting my time, it was probably wasting their time.
Quite properly, they told me that the couldn’t authorize a replacement or refund, but told me to email their problem escalation people.

Now I thought they’d be as responsive as the rest of Acer.

Mistake. I emailed them, I faxed them, to no effect. No response. I actually got so far as opening a case with our local consumer protection people.

Coinicidentally, about then they suddenly came to life and contacted me to ask for the machine to be returned for evaluation.

Since then, nothing. I know via Autsralia Post’s tracking system they’ve had the machine for over a week but no acknowledgement, nothing.

Now, I’ve been acting as a private individual here. The days when I looked after hardware supply contracts are firmly in the past, but if one of my clients had been treated like this I’d have wanted the Account Manager in my office for a ‘Please explain’ session and apology.

So where does this leave me? Out of pocket certainly.

I still like the Chromebook concept and would be happy to buy another, it was a really useful bit of kit, however, if I do, it won’t be an Acer ...

No comments: