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Is MSI customer service good? 2022 rating

MSI customer service rating 2022: Undercover tech support review

Nobody wants to be a perennial loser but that is where MSI finds itself after finishing in the bottom half of the Tech Support Showdown for several years running. The Taiwanese laptop maker isn't sitting on its heels; the firm made several improvements to its tech support services in the last 24 months or so, giving customers more ways to find answers to pressing questions.

Those additions, especially the new live chat feature, give MSI's historically low tech support grade a lift. Sadly, whatever ground MSI gained was undone by non-existent social media channels and a phone line that only occasionally answers (and never calls back). It's a shame because every question I asked was promptly answered by a friendly support agent — the problem was getting a hold of someone in the first place.

MSI tech support

Overall Web ScoreMobile App ScoreSocial Media Score Phone ScoreWarranty Score Avg. Call TimePhone NumberWeb Support
60/10017/30N/A5/1520/3018/205:45 888-447-6564Link

To test the phone and online support agents in this year's Tech Support Showdown, we asked about my Stealth 15M: How do I change the keyboard lighting effects, how do I enable the microphone noise cancellation, and how do I change the touchpad sensitivity? For the MSI Prestige 1, I asked: How do I enable the blue light filter on the display? 

Web support

There are plenty of ways to contact an MSI agent online, and this year, its web-based tech support gets a huge upgrade with the addition of a live chat service. That useful tool joins a community forum, social media pages and an online form as methods for getting help from MSI on the web. 

As I learned in my investigation, not every method is equally effective. The brand-spankin' new live chat feature turned out to be a much-welcomed addition while MSI's historically sluggish social media support continued to drop the ball (more on that later). 

Last year, we used the online customer service form to submit a request, but now there is a better option in the form of a live chat. When you enter the MSI customer service page, you'll spot a small Live Chat button floating on the bottom-right of your screen. Pressing on it opens a new page that presents three options: I would like to talk to a person; I would like to check some support articles before talking to a person; Click Here for Video Tutorials. 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I love that first option. No hoops to jump through, just get me to a living, breathing being. And it did just that. In no time, I was messaging an agent who promptly answered my question, explaining that I could turn the blue light filter on by going to the MSI Creator Center. He went a step further by explaining that a similar feature exists in Windows 10 called Night Light. 

MSI gets some points for its active forums where helpful members of the community will act as agents by answering your technical support questions. This is the second year in a row having success with this method. I posed a question on March 31 at 9:15pm about enabling the microphone noise cancellation on the Prestige 14 and received instructions on how to do so by member nysmeee155102da on April 1 at 10am.

Social media support

MSI has Twitter and Facebook support pages but don't ask me why. I bombarded them with questions about these laptops and never received an answer. My first question about changing the Stealth 15M keyboard lighting was sent to the @msiUSA_Tech, @msigaming and @msiUSA accounts on March 23. It's two weeks later and my question hasn't even received the sound of crickets chirping. 

Already fearing the chairs at MSI's other social media channels were just as empty, I turned to the MSI Facebook page. Unfortunately, I got the same result. Several weeks have gone by since I sent a note to the MSI account on Messenger asking about how to change my keyboard lighting and I am still none the wiser. That is a resounding 0 points for social media. 

Phone support

This section will be much shorter than anticipated, and not for a good reason. I called MSI four times during my investigation but could only reach an agent twice. I never received a call back when I left a message with my name and phone number. It's a shame because when someone did answer, they were friendly, knowledgeable and patient. 

Before I get into my experience with MSI's phone support, let's go through some details. MSI call centers are located in Walnut, California and are open 24/7 from Monday to Friday. Those hours are extended from last year when the support was available from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PDT. Your weekends, however, will be left open because MSI's phone support does not operate on Saturday and Sunday. 

MSI was on track to ace this test until it made the critical error of failing to answer the phone. First, the good. I called MSI on March 23 at 11:45 a.m. and was promptly told to register my notebook before proceeding. I hung up, went on MSI's website, and it took two or three minutes to do just that. I called the number back and got someone on the other line within a minute. 

In my first call, I asked how I could change the keyboard color on the MSI Stealth 15M. The agent asked for the serial number before proceeding. Once I provided that info, his first intuition was to direct me to the SteelSeries Engine software. The thing is, the Stealth 15M doesn't come with that app. I told him the issue and he changed directions, pointing me instead to the MSI Dragon Center after a long pause. Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. 

Once I opened Dragon Center, the agent walked me through navigating the app by selecting the Mystic Light tab and picking an effect from the drop-down menu. It took a bit longer than expected but I was eventually directed to the correct location where I could bling out my RGB keys. The entire call took about seven minutes — not bad.

My second call, made on March 24 at 8:52 a.m. CT also went well after a strange flub. I was first put on hold, then the phone rang, but instead of someone picking up, I was put on hold again. Someone, thankfully, answered after a second ring. This call was a breeze. I asked about changing the touchpad sensitivity and the agent immediately directed me to Windows 10 Settings>Devices>Touch Pad>Change Cursor Speed. The call took 3 minutes and 28 seconds. 

I wish I could walk you through my third and four calls, but they never happened. I called on March 30 at 3:14 p.m. and was promptly put on hold. I hung up after an hour and 20 minutes. I then called on March 31 at 3:56 p.m., but hung up after being on hold for 47 minutes and 33 seconds. I then tried a new tactic: leave my phone number and a message then wait for a callback. Sadly, it never came.

Tech Support Showdown 2022 results

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In my first call, I asked how I could change the keyboard color on the MSI Stealth 15M. The agent asked for the serial number before proceeding. Once I provided that info, his first intuition was to direct me to the SteelSeries Engine software. The thing is, the Stealth 15M doesn't come with that app. I told him the issue and he changed directions, pointing me instead to the MSI Dragon Center after a long pause. Now we're getting somewhere, I thought.

Once I opened Dragon Center, the agent walked me through navigating the app by selecting the Mystic Light tab and picking an effect from the drop-down menu. It took a bit longer than expected but I was eventually directed to the correct location where I could bling out my RGB keys. The entire call took about seven minutes — not bad.

My second call, made on March 24 at 8:52 a.m. CT also went well after a strange flub. I was first put on hold, then the phone rang, but instead of someone picking up, I was put on hold again. Someone, thankfully, answered after a second ring. This call was a breeze. I asked about changing the touchpad sensitivity and the agent immediately directed me to Windows 10 Settings>Devices>Touch Pad>Change Cursor Speed. The call took 3 minutes and 28 seconds.

I wish I could walk you through my third and four calls, but they never happened. I called on March 30 at 3:14 p.m. and was promptly put on hold. I hung up after an hour and 20 minutes. I then called on March 31 at 3:56 p.m., but hung up after being on hold for 47 minutes and 33 seconds. I then tried a new tactic: leave my phone number and a message then wait for a callback. Sadly, it never came.

Warranty

MSI laptops come with a one-warranty through some workstations and Modern series laptops come with a standard three-year warranty. You can upgrade the basic warranty by an additional two years for $80 for one year or $140 for two years. 

There are also out-of-warranty RMA (return merchandise authorization) services so you can pay for parts and send your notebook to MSI for repairs. Customers pay for shipping when their device needs to be sent in for service; MSI pays for return shipping.

The standard warranty includes one-time accidental damage protection for all laptops which covers drops, spills and electrical surges.

Upgrading the memory and storage of your machine, if possible, does not void the warranty although MSI recommends using a professional.

Bottom line

Oh MSI, how reliably unreliable you prove to be each year. It's such a shame because so many MSI laptops make it out of our review gauntlet with top marks. Consistently poor support, should something go wrong with your system, is a legitimate reason to avoid the brand. Hopefully, MSI can turn things around next year but I know where I'm placing my chips given its past performances. This year, failing to answer calls was the coffin not responding on social media were the nails. The only thing keeping the heart of MSI support beating are an excellent new live chat feature, useful web tutorials and a community forum.  

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.