“At ASUS, we realize great products must be balanced with great principles.”
Realizing that the vast majority of Eee PC buyers aren’t aware that their CPUs have been cut to two-thirds speed, I decided this was something I couldn’t just let go.
Recap: For those that haven’t followed the situation, retailers are advertising the Eee PC as having a 900 or 800 MHz CPU. In reality, the Eee PC has a down-clocked CPU that runs at a maximum of 630 MHz… due to the device overheating at higher speeds.
So, before mounting a war on ASUS… I decided to call their 24/7 tech support. Yes, I knew well going in that this would be mostly for comedic value… I didn’t expect ASUS to admit that they were downclocking the Eee PC 700 series.
After about 12 minutes of talking and hold time, the representative I had reached realized the severity of the matter, Or, at least, I thought he had. He then transferred me to “someone”.
After several minutes of nothing but a ringing phone… someone aware of the situation finally answered. The top-tier support agent stated that ASUS does not advertise the speed of the CPU in the Eee PC 700 series. He also added that he was aware of the BestBuy.com Product Page, which clearly states that the CPU runs at 900 MHz. ASUS is working with Best Buy to have the product page modified. The rep added that “it hasn’t been an easy process to get fixed.”
For reference, you can find the offending Best Buy product page (clearly showing the 900 MHz CPU speed), here: Asus Eee PC with Intel Celeron M Processor – Galaxy Black
So, wanting to return my Eee PC to Best Buy (sans 15% restocking fee), they created a case number. Now, I have to go to Best Buy, have them call Eee PC tech support, access my case number, and have the support technician confirm to Best Buy that the BestBuy.com product page is in error.
This is, of course, insane. Best Buy should have the product page online corrected, and send a memo to all stores to wave any restocking fee on the Eee PC. Further, ASUS should have protocol to return any Eee PC units that are beyond the 14-day return period (since, many units sold obviously are).
And, this needs to happen, now. I’ve already forwarded this on to a couple of class action attorneys who are expressing a lot of interest…
On a more positive note, Best Buy did return my Eee PC without charging a restocking fee. They did note however, that if I had been one day later, I would have been stuck fighting upstream with their corporate office. I was on the 14th day of my 14-day return period.
Update 2: Despite initially promising to fix the offending product pages, now ASUS and the retailers are keeping quiet. Read more to get the full update.