In past years, ASUS has consistently ranked among the top half of tech brands, with accurate phone support and a support website redesigned in 2013. The site seems largely unchanged from last year, but unfortunately, even with a history of good performance, it feels like ASUS has taken a big step back this year. The company's performance across the board was worse, and while the customer service agents were cheerful and did not try to push extra products, their ability to correctly answer my questions was disappointing.
Correction: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that ASUS’ website did not offer FAQs.
For testing, I used an ASUS Zenbook 13. I attempted to get answers to the same two questions we asked every brand in the showdown, and one question tailored specifically to ASUS. That question was: How do I upload files to ASUS WebStorage?
Web and Social Support
ASUS’ support site is simple and easy to use. I had no trouble finding downloads for drivers and manuals. The company also offers a knowledge search and FAQs like how to enter the BIOS or do a system recovery. However, these are not located on the support site, but instead on the individual product pages. I wish these were combined so that there is a single place to go when looking for help. Unfortunately, after reading the FAQs and typing our sample questions into the search bar, I was not able to find any answers.
I turned to Twitter and Facebook to test the brand's social media response, seeking help. I posted questions to the same Facebook and Twitter accounts used in 2013, but after a week I had yet to receive a response.
The ASUS live chat is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is enter your name, product and serial number before being connected to a service agent. The question I asked the live chat agent was how to prevent my laptop from going to sleep when closing the lid.
I was greeted by Shadeen R, who was located in the Caribbean. He easily solved my issue with clear and direct instructions. I was surprised by the speed with which the ASUS rep solved my problem.
I made my first support call to ASUS on a Friday at 11:37 a.m. I was almost immediately connected to a support agent named Andre located in the Caribbean. Despite some curiosity about my identity, Andre was one of the best tech support representatives I have ever dealt with. He spoke clearly in perfect English, and was able to swiftly answer my question about how to set up a picture password without even a moment's hesitation to check a manual or consult a supervisor. It was clear he knew his way around Windows 8.1. After completing an optional 2-minute phone survey, the entire call was concluded in 9:58. Little did I know the next two calls would not be as easy.
On my second call, at 1:53 p.m. on the following Monday, I was helped by Caribbean-based Okal. I asked him to prevent my laptop from going to sleep when closing the lid. He seemed unsure of what do and placed me on hold. After a few minutes he directed me to the power options menu from the battery icon in the bottom right quick
launch tray. He incorrectly told me to select "Change when the computer sleeps" and select "Never" for the sleep options for both battery and wired power. When I informed him that didn't work, he put me on hold again.
Next, he told me to restart the computer while repeatedly pressing F2 in order to boot into the computer's BIOS. From there, he instructed me to reset the computer to default configurations, save and restart the computer again normally. I was directed back to the "Choose when the computer sleeps," which again did not solve the problem.
MORE: 5 Best ASUS Laptops
After that the ASUS rep seemed to run out of ideas and suggested that this system may not have been designed to not sleep when the lid is closed. He also incorrectly said that I may need to do a full system recovery. After 35 minutes I could see that this agent would not be able to solve my problem and decided to end the call.
I made my last call at 10:48 a.m. on a Sunday. This time I asked ASUS support to help me upload files to ASUS WebStorage. I had already made an account and installed the software, so all ASUS had to do was instruct me on its use.
Almost immediately I was connected with an agent named Dave located in Jamaica. To my surprise, the agent admitted to me that he had never used the software, and therefore was unable to tell me how to upload anything. This is software that's promoted heavily on ASUS laptop and tablets. ASUS even makes its own Android and iOS apps to provide access to almost any tablet or smartphone user. Unfortunately, while Dave could describe the various features of the service and inform me that I had 5GB of WebStorage for life, he couldn't help me.
I was expecting a lot from ASUS because of its history of solid support in our Tech Support Showdown. There were some positives, including a very useful live chat session and one successful tech support call. However, its support materials did not help and two out of three times ASUS phone agents could not answer basic questions about its products. This caused them to drop from A- to C- in Web support and a B to a D over the phone. Hopefully, ASUS can make changes to crawl back up the ranks.