Is Acer Customer Service Good? 2017 Rating
Acer continues to provide strong tech support, though the company falls just short of all-around excellence. The PC maker's website is an invaluable resource filled with detailed tutorials and helpful community posts, though its live-chat agents don't always have the most robust knowledge of the company's products. Acer's social media channels are quick to respond but not always accurate, while its friendly phone support has actually improved from last year.
|Acer Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 24/7|
To put Acer's tech support to the test, I asked the company how to activate its Bluelight Shield feature, how to manually activate tablet mode on a 2-in-1, and how to adjust my system's settings so that it wouldn't always go to sleep and then hit me with a password prompt when I walked away for a few minutes. I used a Spin 7 laptop, and tried out all of Acer's web, phone and social media options.
Web and Social Support
Acer told us that it changed the design of its already helpful website to make it flow better for customers, and the upgrade definitely shows. As soon as you enter the company's support site, you'll see a big search bar for asking a question or entering your machine's serial number, as well as big, bold links to things such as drivers, repairs, recalls and Windows 10 tips.
After entering the site's Acer Answers section, I was able to find answers to nearly all of my questions by simply asking them in a search box. I quickly found a dedicated section for activating Acer's Bluelight Shield feature, and when I searched for help on switching my Spin 7 to tablet mode, I was treated to a detailed tutorial that even included a video.
I was eventually able to find the answer to my third question about changing my PC's sleep settings, though I had to reword things a bit to find the proper answer. My Acer Answers search results seemed to be a mix of official tutorials and posts from knowledgeable community members, both of which proved helpful.
I then tried out Acer's live-chat support (which is available everyday from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET) to ask about changing sleep and password settings in Windows 10. Once you fill out a short form with your information and problem, Acer will suggest a few help articles so you can potentially avoid even needing to chat with someone, which is a great feature and one I really appreciated. One of the suggested articles solved half of my problem, but I decided to move forward with the live chat to put it to the test.
I was connected to a rep named Jean almost instantly, though the chat itself was pretty rocky. After I asked my Windows question, Jean simply said, "That is a feature from Windows," suggesting that it wasn't within Acer's range of support expertise. I asked Jean if he or she could help anyway, and to their credit, they offered to look into my problem.
After a few minutes of waiting, Jean returned with a brief tutorial, though it didn't quite match up with what I actually had to do in Windows to change my sleep settings. I then asked if there was a way to make it so I don't have to enter a password in Windows, and was told that my request would essentially violate a Windows security policy. When I spoke to Acer beforehand, the company noted that its reps will answer Windows questions to the best of their abilities, but will refer folks to Microsoft for more in-depth queries.
As with last year, Acer's social media support is a mixed bag. The company doesn't have any dedicated support channels on Twitter or Facebook, though you can get help on both social networks by sending a direct message to the company's official pages.
The official @AcerAmerica Twitter account was quick and helpful. When I tweeted the company for help with activating Bluelight Shield, I received a response in less than an hour that linked me to a useful help article that showed me how to use the feature.
Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as smoothly when I sent Acer a direct message on Facebook asking for help with activating tablet mode on my Spin 7. While the representative I chatted with was quick to respond to my messages, the person mentioned that he or she was not aware of a way to activate tablet mode, and suggested that I perform a system refresh (yikes!) or contact Acer by phone to solve my issue. It's possible that the rep misunderstood my question, but I was bummed to see how quickly I was pushed to phone support.
Acer offers free 24/7 phone support for products under warranty. For out-of-warranty support, the company directs customers to a third-party resource called AnswersBy, which offers premium support packages that start at $69 for a single PC and include phone support and remote help desk.
My experience with Acer's phone agents was largely positive; I got answers to all of my questions over three separate calls, and I was rarely on the phone for longer than 10 minutes.
My first call was with Jean on a weekday at about 2:30 p.m. ET. After fumbling with an automated voice menu that tried to figure out my problem, I was connected almost instantly with the rep, who helped me activate Bluelight Shield. Even though I had just entered my SNID in the automated menu, I was asked to provide it once more over the phone before being put on hold. I was then asked for my notebook's date of purchase, and was put on hold yet again.
Fortunately, when Jean returned this time, she successfully directed me to the Acer Quick Access menu, which allowed me to enable Bluelight Shield. Despite the frustrating stops and starts, my problem was solved within 8 minutes.
My next call took place on a weekday at 11:20 a.m. with Kate, who did a similarly good job getting me the help I needed. Acer's automated voice menu recognized that I recently called the support line, and asked me if I was having the same problem and using the same computer, which was handy. I was connected to Kate fairly quickly, and after a very brief hold period, she gave me the instructions I needed to manually activate tablet mode on my Spin 7. It took only about 7 minutes to solve my issue.
My final call was on a weekday at 9 p.m. with Edwin. Despite the very layman wording of my question ("My screen goes black after I walk away for just a minute, and then it asks me for a password. How do I change it so it doesn't?"), he seemed to understand what I was trying to do. He quickly and correctly directed me to my PC's screen and sleep settings. However, an even better answer would be to select the option under Settings >Accounts-Sign-On Options that disables password prompts when waking from sleep.
Edwin seemed to have very good knowledge of this menu, and went over the various options I had for keeping my laptop from going to sleep right away. He even gave me my warranty info, so that I knew how much longer I was covered. The call lasted 11 minutes total.
Acer's warranty options vary by product, but most of the company's mainstream laptops are covered by a one-year limited warranty. That includes a year of technical hardware support including parts and labor, as well as 90 days of software support. Select Acer notebook lines, such as the Predator gaming series and the TravelMate notebook, include a two-year limited warranty.
Acer offers a variety of extended-warranty options, starting with a one-year extension for $60 and a two-year extension for $90. It'll cost you $140 for a two-year upgrade that includes accidental-damage protection, while the three-year version of that plan will run you $190. If you want to add an on-site service option to your warranty, you can do so for $80 for a year or $130 for three years.
What impressed me most about Acer this year is the vast improvement to its phone support. While I used to struggle to get accurate answers from the company's phone agents, everyone I spoke to this year was friendly and fast, and had a good knowledge of Acer's products. Between the company's useful phone support and its ever-robust, easy-to-use website, I'd feel pretty good about getting help if I owned an Acer laptop.
Acer's overall score this year is a slight improvement over last year, and one that would have jumped higher if the company's social media support were as consistently helpful as its web and phone options.