ASUS TF101 Review – Incompetent RMA Process

Asus TF101 ReviewAlrighty folks, as most of you know, I’m pretty easy going. I don’t tend to get on here and rant about a bad experience because I realize that unfortunate things happen and I just tend to roll with it. This is precisely what I did when my brand-new ASUS TF101 Transformer I received as a gift (which I was able to use for all of two hours that first day) decided that it no longer wanted to power on any more.  The story only gets worse, which will probably reflect itself in this ASUS TF101 review.

Day One – 02/06/2012: Got the ASUS Transformer TF101-A1 and charged it for a while using the included charger brick and official power cord (which is WAY too short by the way, exactly why they think 2.5′ is long enough to be of ANY use I have no idea. Perhaps in Taiwan everybody sits on the floor right next to their outlets if they want to use a tablet while it charges). I then began to use it and was quite pleased. My apps installed fine, was able to get a decent video player on there, configure my user settings, and get it to sync with my gmail account (which my Android phone syncs with as well) all incredibly easily. As I needed to go to work soon I turned on Pandora and left it playing music for a while and left it in my room to go take a shower. When I returned it had locked up. No biggie I figure, I held down the power button for ten seconds and then it powered off. From this point forward it never turned on again. By this I do not mean that it’d try to boot and lock, I mean that it was a $400 brick best suited as a pretty looking paperweight.

I did an extreme amount of research on various sites, XDA-Developers being the most helpful. Nothing helped. I left it plugged in to the charger overnight and tried again in the morning. No luck.

At this point I sent an email to ASUS via their support site, which I was informed that I should get a response within 24-48 hours. The response came two weeks later with a canned response telling me to try a few of the various things I had already researched for myself. No matter, by that time I had called the ASUS support line at 888-678-3688 and the rep set me up with an RMA. I then packed up my fancy new tablet and paid something like $20.00 to FedEx it to them.

RMA # USG7220567

Day Nineteen – 02/25/2012: Received the Transformer back along with the charging brick and the all-too-short power cord I mentioned earlier. Charged it for a little while once again and powered it on. The Android 4.0 ICS update had come out for the TF101 by this time, so I applied it. Again I did a factory wipe just to be on the safe side, played with it for a while, and then reinstalled my apps, rearranged my icons in the fashion I like, copied a couple movies on to it, and took it to work with me. As I was at work it became more and more difficult to power up from the lock screen and I had to keep holding down the power button for ten seconds in order to get it to fully shut down and then boot it back up. After perhaps an hour of this it once again would not turn on. After I got home I charged it more (yet again) and was able to get it to turn on once using the power button + volume down combo. I elected to have it factory wiped once more. It booted up once, but as soon as the display turned off after not continually using it it never powered on again regardless of what I tried.

And so again I called ASUS support. I explained that I wasn’t terribly happy that they sent the tablet back without apparently doing anything to it (aside from perhaps some voodoo that reanimated its corpse for a short while). This time around I got the rep to pay for the shipping back to the Grapevine, TX repair center and was assured that this fix would be expedited. I filled out the RMA form I was sent in painstaking detail, repackaged it, and dropped it off at FedEx for the second time.

The asus tf101 arrived at their facility on 2/29/12, and apparently evaporated for a couple of weeks. I was not able to check the status of the RMA via ASUS’s service site like I was the first time around. I finally got notice that it was being worked on on on 3/13/12. Notice that it was being shipped back was rec’d on 3/15.

Ah, as a rather random side note, here’s a notice I got during my first two RMAs:

Dear Valued customer,


Rma No=USG7222976 was issued for SN: B7OKAS012612 Model TF101 but we received SN: B6OKAS247032 model TF101 instead.

We will process SN: B6OKAS247032 model TF101 received under this RMA
Thank you,
Ritendra P.
ASUS Product Support

I haven’t a CLUE where they got the B7OKAS012612 serial number from. I never provided it to them, since it’s most definitely NOT the serial # on my tablet, nor is it close enough to be a typo.

RMA # USG7222976 – Here’s a link to my rather detailed RMA form I sent in for round two.

Day Forty-Four – 03/21/2012: So today, 3/21/12 (after ASUS having my “expedited” RMA for three full weeks) I received the package. Yet again, charged, factory reset, applied the update that was apparently released on 3/20, and played with it for a while. This time around I was actually fooled in to thinking that it was going to keep working. It would come out of the lock screen fine with a quick tap of the power button and was running splendidly. Oh how foolish I was. I left the house for around 30 minutes for a quick run to the store and left no apps running on the tablet while I was gone. Got back, picked up the asus tf101 Transformer, and of course it no longer would power on. For what seemed like the 50th time I went though all the usual steps by holding the power button down for 1, 3, 5, 10, 30 seconds, then the power + volume down button for 30 seconds. And again no response.

So – what did I do? Called ASUS support for the third time of course. I was as nice to the rep as I could be considering how livid I am and was basically told “too bad, so sad, send it in again. There’s nothing we can do”. I told him I’d like to speak to a supervisor. His response was that all supervisors were busy but one could call me back. “Fine” I said, “About when can I expect a call back?” – The answer? In 24-48 HOURS. Maybe less. If I’m lucky. I told him I’d hold.

The supervisor finally came on the line and gave me all the same platitudes. I demanded that they cross-ship me a FUNCTIONING tablet as I have no interest in waiting another three weeks to hopefully get a tablet that actually works since they obviously hire monkeys in the Grapevine, TX location. I was again told this isn’t an option and that it’d have to be sent in again. I told him I wanted overnight shipping to the facility, the repair expedited (and actually fixed this time), and then overnighted back to me. Again, I was told this is not an option. So – my only recourse is to ship it back to them yet again, wait another few weeks, and simply cross my fingers that they actually fix the fucking thing this time. I really would like to use it for more than 30 minutes at a time before playing more FedEx tag with these idiots.

Worst. Customer. Service. EVER.

RMA # USG7233081 – So here we go for round three. I will, once again, be extremely detailed in my writeup on their RMA form and probably include this rant along with it. I’ve been a loyal user of ASUS motherboards for 15 years now, but will most definitely be switching to eVGA for pretty much everything from now on. Maybe they’ll start making tablets…


  1. At the point of the second one, why didn’t you just send it back to the seller, get your money back, and either buy a different one or a different tablet altogether? You had the first one for under 30 days. Where’d you buy it from?

    Rather foolish to just keep playing tag. If it doesnt work, send it back, get a new one.

  2. I would genuinely love to, but I got it as a gift. By the time I got it back from RMA #1 I was no longer able to take it back.

  3. Yeah, ASUS is terrible with RMAs. I had a Transformer Prime crap out on me and have had to send it in twice. The Texas repair center SUCKS!!!!

  4. Update: I’ve filed a complaint (Case# 57221067) with the BBB against ASUS, we’ll see if that goes anywhere…

  5. I feel you bro, sent in my Prime twice already. Talk about “Persistent Perfection”…

  6. I can’t believe they actually said ‘too bad’ to your concern? Now that really ticks me off. They should treat the customer more fairly. I mean, you paid for that stupid piece of device and your money is basically what pays for their income, so why not serve you the best way they can?

  7. The grapevine shop ruined my tablet. I sent it in for a loose back and they sent it back “fixed” with nearly the whole damn back falling off…. Worse decision I made. Now the screen will not stay on unless plugged in. I had it going for a while with the wipes but it keeps happening….. I did send it to a shop in Cali who fixed it right but it still has the sceen issue and they noted for that test ‘tested fine’…. yeah right….

  8. Out of curiousity (having a broken TF101 now myself), what happened next?

  9. I read with interest your horrid experience with ASUS. My condolences. I had similar experiences with HP and ACER desktop computers. I have learned my lesson – I will stick with Dell PCs (can’t afford to go to Mac yet) and as much as I hate to say it, my iPad is an awesome toy. I hope you publish this in as many forums as possible and I certainly will direct folks here if they even LOOK like they’re thinking of buying ASUS. Poop on their heads for being such jerks!!

  10. I agree with all of the above. I have sent mine in twice and i am going to have to send it and dont want ot deal with the idots that are in the service. I love the device when it is working. I beleive that I too will launch a case with the BBB. THis is crazy.

  11. I know this is probably a dead letter issue by now but I think I know whats wrong with your tablet. There is a ribbon cable that for some reason unlike the others is held in its socket with(wonder of wonders)TAPE. It has a tendency to loosen up and creates intermittent issues. I wont write a long dissertation here but it explains a great may things.

    We went through a similar situation to yours with my wife’s tablet although when it happened the second time I decided Id just fix it myself. It took about 30 minutes and now its fixed for good.

    Its a relativity simple repair. I think the manufacture reticent to recognize this issue as is clearly a design flaw.

    Here is a you tube video on the repair.


  12. I actually almost purchased this tablet but after reading the reviews I decided to go with a samsung. Now im glad that I did, Im quite happy with it.

  13. Ian, your link was MOST Helpful, I read this story like most because I have a problem with my TF101. I am happy to say that after all the googling the youtube video you posted was the savour. I also want to say that after reading this long diatribe of what happened I decided NOT to send mine in for repairs (even though it is still under warranty). Instead I voided the warranty, opened it up and fix the problem.
    Hurray for these types of sites and people like the guy who posted the how to. I highly recommend if you have these problems and you watch the youtube video and you have the simptoms to do this yourself, Do not do the RMA.
    In my situation I knew I had the ribbon problem, because when i docked the tablet (after charging it over night) I was able to turn it on (no screen picture) and press the play button the the dock and i could here music.

  14. Great, glad that worked for you Matt. I was hoping somebody with the same issue would stumble upon this and find the answer. Power to the people :-)


  15. Same here but I got it for my girfriend as a gift. She act like I got it from a thrift shoe bc its so bad.

  16. that was suppose to b store

  17. I finally did get a working tablet back from ASUS, it just took like two months. On the final RMA I had to include a complaint I had sent to the BBB, as well as the write-ups from the three previous RMAs I had done. At the time I was totally done with ASUS as a company altogether, unfortunately they do make great motherboards so I wound up getting a Z77 Sabertooth from them when I built my new machine as I could not find another board I liked as much. Hopefully they pull their Taiwanese heads out of their collective asses.

  18. I’d have returned it to the store before even doing the RMA. Unfortunately I had purchased it from a third-party seller [who of course did not have the receipt] and so I had no option but to go with ASUSes horrific RMA process.

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