Is MSI Customer Service Good? 2017 Rating
MSI is known for its gaming laptops and workstations, but we weren’t terribly impressed with its tech support last year. With its score of 75.5, we were hoping it would improve in 2017.
|MSI Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 8 am - 10 pm|
The company’s tech support, both online and on the phone, assumes the caller has a certain level of knowledge about computers. Instructions on the website’s deep-dive tutorials and videos, and from members of its forum, are all aimed at people who know a CPU from a GPU.
Overall, we received lackluster tech support from MSI, especially on the web. I used an MSI GT83VR Titan SLI to ask about adjusting the computer’s fan speed, reducing blue light on the screen, and increasing the amount of time before the computer falls asleep and asks for a password (we asked all laptop manufacturers this question).
Web and Social Support
Getting web and social support through MSI is surprisingly difficult and not for those who don’t have at least a bit of technical knowledge. The process began with registering the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI I was using.
It sounded simple — download the Register Helper app, enter your information and serial number and be done with it. Except when I used the app, I continuously received error messages. Clicking on a button to “Try other register way,” led to an online form as well as an option to answer more questions to extend the warranty by three months.
Both forms were peppered with broken English. One question on the warranty extension form read,“If you ever considered to purchase gaming notebook from other brands this time?”
I found the support form easily enough. It asks some of the same questions MSI requires for registration, which was annoying. The form assumes knowledge about how computers work; the “symptoms” field was filled with specific part names, and MSI requests your current BIOS version. These are useful to know, and most dedicated PC gamers will understand how to gather this information, but newbies might have a hard time.
I sent a request in at 3:45 p.m. on a Monday, asking how I could change the fan speed on my laptop. I was surprised to get a response just 10 minutes later, but it lacked detail. In fact, it was less than one sentence: “by using the MSI dragon center utility.” The note didn’t mention where I had to click in the program (System Tuner > Fan Speed).
MSI also offers Facebook support (though the link on the company’s site is broken, so I had to find it myself). But when I messaged the company through its official Facebook page, all I received was an automated message apologizing for not responding right away and directing me to their support page. I never heard from an actual human.
MSI doesn’t advertise Twitter support, but the company answered our support questions last year. This time around, I heard nothing when I asked on Twitter for help with reducing blue light at both @MSItweets and @MSIUSA. Social media was a complete and utter miss this year.
The company’s website is a treasure trove, though, particularly if you’re technically inclined. There are a ton of video tutorials, including one that fully answered my fan speed question in detail, but the site had nothing on using MSI True Color to reduce blue light.
There’s also a massive forum filled with users who have solved each other’s problems (particularly the extremely technical ones). When I posted asking about blue light and fan speeds, though, no one responded. Still, the forum is a great option to search if you think someone may have encountered the same issue you have.
MSI has introduced a new desktop app entitled Help Desk. It makes it easy to find your BIOS version and serial number, which is helpful, but most of the other help options redirect you to the website.
I was dissatisfied with web options, and the phone support wasn’t much more helpful, MSI’s California-based representatives got only one of my three questions completely right. They seemed to lack knowledge of their own software’s capabilities. The company has expanded its hours for all-in-ones and notebooks this year, starting at 8 a.m. ET and ending at 10 p.m. ET.
My first call was at 11:59 a.m. ET on a Friday. I wanted to see how well the reps could answer any Windows questions. After 1 minute and 24 seconds of dialing through a phone tree and a prerecorded message advising me to register my computer if I hadn’t already, I was paired with Lucas in MSI’s headquarters in City of Industry, California.
When I asked Lucas if there was any way I could keep my computer’s screen from going black so often so I wouldn’t always have to put in the password, he looked up step-by-step instructions.
Over the phone, he patiently relayed each step for both adjusting when the screen shuts off and when it goes to sleep. In 4 minutes and 41 seconds, we were done. From dial tone to hanging up, it took 6 minutes and 5 seconds. This was easily the best call in my testing.
My next call was at 3:57 p.m. on Wednesday, when I asked about a way to reduce the amount of blue light from the display. I was put on hold for a little over a minute (during which I was prompted to leave a message, if I wished), and was greeted by Bernabe, also in the City of Industry office.
While the MSI rep pointed me to the correct software, MSI True Color, he didn’t know if it had anti-blue light options. (It does.) While he was polite, he was far less confident in his answer than Lucas was, and didn’t seem to know all of MSI True Color’s capabilities. Still, he got me where I needed to go, and the call was fairly quick at just 5 minutes at 16 seconds (including the hold time).
My final call was the same day at 8:21 p.m. I spoke to John, whom I asked if I would be able to adjust the fan speed on the Titan. His initial, immediate reaction was no, I couldn’t, that the laptops didn’t allow it. But then said that some models had a physical switch. After looking up my model number, he found the switch and told me where on the laptop it was located.
However, John didn’t know of any software that could make the tweaks I needed. I was hoping he would instruct me to use MSI Dragon Center and go to System Tuner > Fan Speed to make adjustments. On the bright side, the call was quick. I was off the phone in 4 minutes and 55 seconds.
MSI offers one- or two-year warranties, depending on the product, and pays for shipping one- way during returns. You can extend your warranty by three months when you register your laptop online.
MSI’s tech support caters to its primary audience: gaming enthusiasts. The website’s videos and forums are a treasure trove if you’re willing to tinker, but it expects that you know what you’re talking about, and online support assumed we knew how to use MSI’s apps.
Customer representatives were courteous, polite and U.S.-based, but they didn’t all know the fine details about the company’s own software. I never got social media responses and there are no live-chat options, so the primary means of support is to do research yourself. If you foresee needing help with your next gaming PC or workstation, you should be prepared for at least some disappointment.