Is MSI Customer Service Good? 2017 Rating

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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
63/100 35/60 28/40 5:25 888-447-6564 Link
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.

tss 2017 report card msi

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?”

Screenshot-(5)_rs
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.

Screenshot-(4)_rsThe 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.

Phone Support

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.

tss 2017 bar chart v2 3071181489011446.2 3071181489011446

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.

Warranty

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.

Bottom Line

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.

 

Tech Support Showdown

Author Bio
Andrew E. Freedman
Andrew E. Freedman,
Andrew joined Laptopmag.com in 2015, reviewing computers and keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Twitter @FreedmanAE.
Andrew E. Freedman, on
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9 comments
  • eric wais Says:

    I bought a factory sealed MSI gaming laptop and within 4 months the sound, HDD and RAM all failed. MSI support claims the RAM isn't OEM, despite the fact the laptop was never upgraded or customized. I'm now in the process of trying to get a working laptop back from MSI support. This company is a joke and their products are garbage.

  • Avner Falk Says:

    MSI’s managers do not give a hoot about the people who give them their living. I bought one of the most expensive MSI motherboards and its USB3.1 ports never worked. Then I received very rude treatment from of their techs on the phone I e-mailed CEO Joseph Hsu and his deputy Jay Wu several times. They ignored all my messages and deleted the relevant support ticket from their website. They have also locked their own web page where customers complained about their service (see https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=175683.0). Never buy any MSI product. Their quality is dubious and their “service” will drive you up the wall.

  • Gordon Shure Says:

    This holds true with my experience. MSI customer service is bad - extremely bad. I live in Spain, and spent €1800 on a brand new MSI GT72VR 6RE Dominator Pro. After three months, one of the 3.5mm audio jacks snapped, revealing the disgustingly cheap plastic housing.

    Via email (the only option available for customer care) MSI Espana customer support apologized, and said they'd post a warranty extension to us. Fair enough, right?

    So I gave them my address...nothing arrived at our house. Told them, they said they'd received the papers back after we'd declined them. Er...no we didn't? So, they supposedly sent it again...and we didn't get it.

    By this time I was so frustrated with what should have been a simple process, that I asked to chat with a superior - after that, stony silence. So now I'm down a speaker port, with nothing but wasted time to show for it.

    Up until this, I'd been a loyal customer to MSI. Now I'm anything but.

  • Sergio Sanchez Says:

    Bought a Stealth Pro GS702PE a couple of years ago... The wi-fi card stopped working, and it´s still not working. Been using a usb dongle for two years now. Had an HP, if something failed, they send me a guy to replace the part, TO MY HOME!... No charge.
    For the price, I´ll go Alienware next time.

  • Paul R. Lewis Says:

    I just bought my GL72 7rd-028 and about ready to take it back. The shady downloads to register, the ridiculously tedious email support form (RIDICULOUS!!!!) and the GD marketing BS popping up with other MSI products. The fact that it doesn't return from hibernate/sleep and has been going on for more than 4 years and they only provide phone support Mon-Fri makes me want to use a company that cares about customers and not exploit them. Its's pathetic and extremely disheartening to want to game and feel used and abused and not well supported! If they put half that effort into making the LAPTOP (they are NOT notebooks) experience pleasurable, with minimal bloatware and a feeling of some consideration, they might have better than 67% complaints on BBB. WAKE UP MSI!!! WAKE UP!!!

  • Ryan Kasper Says:

    I had purchased the MSI Notebook about 2 months ago and I already have to send it in with my warrenty because my CD ROM drive somehow dissapeared off of it. Cannot use any discs.

  • mefil Says:

    We bought a laptop for our son nearly three years ago. It stopped working less than a year after. We don't know why. We managed to contact the main company in NSW-Australia and after being given the run around, they agreed to fix it as it was under warranty. Less than a year after, the same problem. We sent it back and it was fixed. Less than six months later, the damn thing happened again, and now they're quoting over a 1000 to fix it. I'm disgusted and want to complain, but don't know where as the MSI site is a pain in the ass to navigate and the support is crap. Any suggestions?

  • Maria rodriguez Says:

    My MSI laptop is damaged, where can I bring it to fix it?

  • Maggie Furga Says:

    The worst customer service ever.

    I will never, ever buy anything from this company again even though they do have good equip.
    They are not the only company with good stuff in if they do not know how to treat their clients who are spending loads of money in their shop they will never see them again. Definitely not me.

    If you have time to read explanation why this low rate:

    Firstly we have been trying to reach them over the phone than sending emails on website which did not went through than we called again an the guy (first time speaking to human being) send our note about faulty item to the wrong MSI email address (?!??! very competent staff...) Then we used the website contact form again and describe what is wrong (damage could not have been made by user) and what they can do about it and after 2 weeks of trying to get to them, finally we got email response that they will take the computer and they prefer it to be packed in original box as they don't provide any package (Of course. I do keep all the boxes of equp I am buying... I mean all of them. I have special container reserved for them boxes just in case...) They wrote that they may keep the computer for a month and if nothing is wrong with it as we suspect than they will charge us... its like I do love to get rid of my very expensive and precious computer for a month during Christmas time for no reason, yes. Just to have fun. This is my hobby... I paid so much money for stuff to than pretend that its broken and give it away. God sake... I dont know what kind of moroons are working there and who made those ambelivible rules of how to treat customer but If I would know how thing can go with silly thing I would never go for this company.

    FYI We did try to find out what is wrong with it and maybe there is simple solution but there is no other tech support they can provide apart from this...



    I DO NOT RECOMMEND TO BUY ANYTHING FROM MSI if you do want to have piece of mind in a case where something is faulty.

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