Since our last tech support showdown, Razer has made strides toward making its systems more affordable to a wider swath of consumers. But the company has also been working on improving the quality of its tech support. Whereas last year, I couldn't reach anyone on the phone due to the company being in the middle of a call-center switch, but this year, Razer's phone representatives were on the line and ready to help.
|Razer Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (PST): 9 am - 6 pm|
I used a 2017 Razer Blade Stealth to put the company's tech support to the test. I asked several questions, including how to switch the Fn keys functionality, adjust fan speed, disable the webcam and turn off automatic Windows updates. Outside of a misstep, Razer low-key has some of the best tech support out there.
Web and Social (58/60)
Although most people frown on a stranger sliding in their DMs, Razer encourages it. In addition to Twitter and Facebook, you can also reach the company online via Reddit. There's also the Razer Support website where you can send an email or talk to an agent with Live Chat.
When I reached out to Razer about how to disable the webcam on Twitter at 1:58 p.m., I got a response at 2:15 telling me to direct message the account. When I did at 3:06, I had a correct answer 7 minutes later via a link that walked me through the process. I also got a correct answer from the Facebook rep when I asked about changing the functionality of the Fn keys.
Razer’s Live Support is on point. I connected with Jan Roy S. at 8:04 p.m EST to ask how to change the fan settings on my Blade Stealth. After exchanging a few niceties, the rep correctly pointed out that I could change the speed, but that it depended on the version of Razer's Synapse software I had installed and the notebook model. Jan showed me how locate Synapse and instructed me to look under the System tab and click Power. From there, it was easy to locate the fan speed options. The entire interaction took only 13 minutes from start to finish.
I also sent Razer Support an email inquiring about how to stop forced Windows updates. Emailing the company is by far the slowest way to get through to Razer, as it takes up to 24 hours to get a response. I got an email 30 minutes after my email informing me that Razer was on the case and would contact me within the allotted time with an answer. Speaking of which, anytime you interact with tech support via the Razer Support page, you can expect an email with your case number and methods to contact a rep if you’re still experiencing problems.
If you're not in the mood to talk to anyone, you can give the Razer Support forums or the Reddit threads a shot. However, it will take a bit of luck finding the right keywords to bring up threads that can point you in the right direction, especially since Razer doesn't really differentiate its laptops' naming convention outside of changing the year.
One day, Razer will have 24/7 phone support service, but today is not that day. The company's support team is reachable from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. PST (12 p.m. - 9 p.m. EST) seven days a week (U.S. only). That’s an hour longer than last year and covers every day of the week instead of just weekdays, but it still means that East Coasters will have to wait until noon to get any assistance via phone.
But we were already off to a great start compared to last year, as I actually spoke to someone. My first call to Razer's phone reps started at 8:40 p.m. on a weekend with Shauna, who was located in the Philippines. Once we were connected, I asked Shauna how I could change the default functions of the Fn keys. The call started off a little rocky as she guided me to the Macros tab. However, after she ascertained that it was a dead end, I was put on hold for 3 minutes while she searched for an answer.
Once Shauna came back on the call, she informed me that, according to my serial number, I was probably using Synapse 2.0 and she needed to put me on hold again to find the answer. After 1.5 minutes, she returned and directed me to the System tab, where she instructed me to hit Keyboard. Next, she walked me through how to manually change Fn keys using the dropdown menu. She also gave me a quick lesson on the F-keys Primary Behavior switches — but only because I asked about it. The call ended at 8:55 p.m. for a total time of 15 minutes.
During my second call, I spoke with Marvin at 1:18 p.m. and asked him how to adjust the fan speed. He quickly pointed me to Synapse, but since I didn’t have the version he was referring to, he put me on hold for 3 minutes to do some research. He incorrectly said that my version of Synapse could not change the fan speed. He did have a backup plan, however. He instructed me to go to battery settings and walked me through adjusting the power usage settings. Next, he told me to restart my computer.
While waiting for the system to restart, Marvin inquired which apps I was running, explaining that certain apps can make the fans work harder. Once the restart was done, the laptop was indeed quieter so I bid Marvin adieu, but not before he asked for my email and instructed me to reach out if the problem persisted. The call concluded after 12 minutes and 41 seconds. However, he did call back 5 minutes later to ensure the laptop's fans were still behaving.
My final call took place at 5:34 p.m. when I asked J.L. how to turn off Windows' automatic updates. Most of the call was spent getting my information and giving me a case number. Once that was done, J.L. quickly walked me to the Start menu and showed me how to access the Updates and Security menu. He then showed me how to disable automatic updates as well as how to schedule them for a more convenient time. The call lasted 12 minutes and 46 seconds.
Similar to the Razer Support page, the phone reps send you an email at the conclusion of the call, detailing what took place and including contact info if you need more help. One such email also gave me a link with steps on how to protect against the latest Intel vulnerability.
Razer stands out in the warranty section as it's one of the few companies that will let you play under the hood of your laptop. Not only can you swap out the storage, you can also change the RAM without voiding your warranty. Every Razer laptop comes with a one-year limited warranty. However, this does not cover accidental-damage protection.
If you're particularly clumsy, you may want to invest in the Elite version of the company's new RazerCare Protection program. Starting at $299.99 for the Blade Stealth, jumping to $369.99 for the Blade 15 and topping out at $449.99 for the Blade Pro, RazerCare Elite's extended warranty covers your device for three years against accidental drops, spills, falls and collisions with zero deductions.
If that’s a little too rich for your blood, there's the Essential plan ($199.99 Blade Stealth, $249.99 Blade and $299.99 Blade Pro), which also covers your system without a deductible and gives you 24-hour phone support. And just like the Elite plan, it covers against mechanical and electrical failures as well as surge protection. However, you miss out on accidental-damage coverage.
If you have to send your laptop in for service, Razer provides a prepaid shipping label and pays to send your system back.
Razer's tech support continues to improve. The company offers relatively speedy responses via social media and near instantaneous connection via live chat. The phone support is friendly and knowledgeable for the most part and I like that Razer has instituted follow-up via email. Thanks to Reddit and Razer’s support-page forums, there's a wealth of knowledge and advice, if you have the patience to trawl through the stuff.
But if you don't feel like fishing for answers, Razer's online tech support is batting a thousand with a perfect score. The phone reps could use a little work on learning the ins and outs of its many versions of Synapse. Still, the reps were polite, patient and managed to get two out of three questions correct. It's a big improvement from last year, when I couldn't even speak to a rep over the phone.
Tech Support Showdown