Is Razer Customer Service Good? 2018 Rating
For Razer's sophomore appearance in our annual Tech Support Showdown, we asked how to protect our Razer Blade Stealth from the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability, and how to get Cortana to respond to "Hey, Cortana." We also asked a brand-specific question about accessing in-game Chroma lighting, and got mixed results.
|Razer Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 12 pm - 8 pm|
In Razer, you have a company willing to improve its customer support by adding live chat, an expanded FAQs page, a bustling community forum and faster response times on social media. You can also expect a fast response from the people working the phones at Razer's call centers -- if you can reach them. During our test period, Razer's phone system was effectively offline for several days: Every time we called, we were put on hold for 30 minutes and then hung up on with no warning or explanation.
Web and Social Support
One thing I appreciate about Razer's website is the tile format that the company uses to help users navigate. The pictures are nice and vibrant and the titles are easy to understand, which is important since Razer constantly refreshes its products year after year with no discernable name change. So it cuts down on the possibility of someone clicking on the 2016 version of the Razer Blade, as opposed to the 2017 version.
After choosing the correct system, I was taken to a FAQs page and was happy to see information about the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerability issue right at the top of the page. From there, the page covers a larger range of topics than last year, including Windows 10, the warranty, replacement parts, WiDi and even Nvidia questions. While I wasn't surprised to see any Cortana-related questions on the page, I did notice a distinct lack of Chroma-related issues.
That meant my next stop was the Contact Support button at the bottom of the page, which would let me speak to someone via phone, live chat or email. Since June 2017, Razer has extended these services to its global audience. I started my outreach with the live-chat client (available 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. PST, seven days a week in both U.S. and Canada) where I spoke to Ken Michael D. at 11:17 a.m. EST to ask about protecting my Blade from Spectre/Meltdown. After taking a few minutes to check which system I had, he informed me that outside of keeping Windows and my antivirus software up-to-date there wasn't much else to do. It's one of the better answers I received for that question.
When I went to Razer's Facebook page to ask the same question, the rep got it half right, saying that I just needed to update my antivirus software. Speaking of Facebook, Razer still hasn't created a support page on the popular social networking site, but messaging the page got me an answer in under 2 hours. When I went to Twitter to ask about enabling specific Chroma lighting for Killing Floor 2, I received a direct message about an hour and half later.
But if you don't want to wait for the Razer reps, you can check Razer Insider. A massive forum broken up into numerous Razer-specific products and gamer-centric topics, there's sure to be something to help. I found answers for my Chroma-centric questions in the Armory section,-and discovered a dedicated post for Spectre/Meltdown concerns. However, I didn't see anything concerning Cortana.
If all else fails, you can email Razer, but since questions will be answered within one working day, you better not require immediate assistance. I sent an email on Feb. 26 about getting Cortana to respond to me saying "Hey Cortana." The next day, I received an email that correctly listed the steps to enabling the digital assistant. The message also gave a few alternative fixes, such as checking for updates, restarting Cortana and resetting the laptop.
Based out of Irvine, California, for U.S. and Canada calls, Razer's phone support is available from Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. It's annoying for early risers on the East Coast because you'll have to wait until noon to get any assistance if you're dead set on getting help via phone.
I made my first call to the U.S. number at 2:38 p.m. EST, and sat on the phone for 29 minutes and 17 seconds before the system unceremoniously disconnected the call. This happened two more times over a period of days, with each attempt to reach a Razer representative ending with me on hold until a little past the 29-minute mark, when the call would drop. I also called Razer's international number, and had the same result.
After so many unsuccessful calls, I asked Razer's PR team what was going on, and they claimed that the company was in the midst of switching phone-support call centers as a way to support the growing customer base. The switch-over was supposed to be relatively seamless, but the previous center "did not fully execute their obligations." Although that's a reasonable explanation, it doesn't explain why Razer didn't post any notifications on any of its online portals or inform callers that they weren't going to reach a person. It also won't get back the 2.5 hours I spent on hold. This lack of attention to detail leaves us concerned about what users might experience in the future.
Thankfully, the problem has been solved since March 1. So when I called the U.S. line at 12:03 p.m., I had to wait only 4 minutes before I was speaking to Joey. After I gave Joey my serial number, I asked him how to access the Chroma presets for Overwatch. He quickly walked me through setting up the Synapse software and making sure that the Chroma Apps tab was set to on. From start to finish, the call lasted 12 minutes and 14 seconds
During my second call, at 3:47 p.m., I asked Chona how to protect my laptop against Spectre/Meltdown. After confirming the correct spelling, she put me on hold in order to find a solution. After 2 minutes, she told me the partially correct answer of updating Windows. When I inquired about doing anything to my antivirus software, she said that was unnecessary. Our call wrapped up after a fairly quick 7:09.
To find out how to enable Cortana to respond to me saying "Hey Cortana," I spoke to Zion at 9:05 p.m. He promptly but politely informed me that I would have to contact Microsoft, as it was a Windows question and not a Razer-specific inquiry. He did offer a few suggestions, such as making sure the microphone was on and rebooting the laptop, but he couldn't assist me any further than that. However, other vendors we tested were more than willing to help with this question. We ended the call after 11:37.
Calling tech support is never great, but the experience can be worse if it's not under warranty. Every Razer laptop comes with a one-year warranty, with free shipping in the form of a two-day expedited shipping label in case you have to send it in for repairs. Razer currently does not include free accidental damage coverage for any of its systems.
But unlike some other laptop brands, Razer will let you toy around under the hood. The company doesn't void the warranty for consumers that upgrade either the RAM or storage -- unless an issue arises due to consumer error. Keep in mind that while you can upgrade the storage in every Blade laptop, you can swap out the RAM only in the Razer Blade Pro HD 2017 iteration.
Out of the many methods Razer employs to assist consumers, the new live-chat feature is by far the best, yielding near instantaneous connection with reps. The representatives themselves are every bit as patient and knowledgeable as the phone reps. And the folks manning the social networking pages aren't slouches by any means.
The FAQs page has been expanded to include an even wider suite of topics. I was especially impressed to see information about Spectre/Meltdown prominently displayed on the page. The Razer Insider community forum page is also a font of information, even though I would prefer that the tech support sections were available directly on the Razer Support website.
Razer's phone support is fast, polite and pretty knowledgeable about most things Razer Blade. However, the company was unwilling to answer our Cortana question by phone, something every other laptop manufacturer was more than happy to help with. More important, the company's phone system was out of service for at least two days (we don't know how long it was down before we started testing), and nobody thought to inform customers or even fix it so that they were not put on hold and then hung up on. The company claims that it was just performing a system upgrade, but this experience doesn't bode well for future callers.