Upgrading Voids Warranty?!
The next day, Adrian, Chai and Zen joined Leian and I on our hunt for new notebooks. First stop - the Acer booth!
After some questioning, we found out that while the Acer Aspire comes with 512MB of memory, it is in the form of two 256MB DDR SO-DIMMs. Because the Aspire only comes with two SO-DIMM slots, that effectively meant the notebook's memory was no longer upgradable!
Adrian and I are big fans of large memory sizes and 512MB just won't cut it. So, I enquired about changing it into a single 512MB module so that I could upgrade the notebook with another 512MB module.
Zen, Adrian and yours truly checking out the Aspire 1681WLMi
To my surprise, the distributor said that it would not only cost me an extra RM 100 (approximately USD 26) to make the swap, it would also void the notebook's warranty! Adrian and I were literally dumb-founded.
I took a moment to calm myself and collect my thoughts, before asking why swapping the memory void the notebook's warranty. The dealer replied that Acer insists that only Acer memory can be used in Acer notebooks and the Acer memory must be installed by authorized Acer distributors. Otherwise, the notebook's warranty was null and void.
Unfair Business Practices
As if that wasn't bad enough, the dealer told us that Acer do not sell any 512MB modules. Although he expected Acer to eventually release 512MB modules, no one knows when. It could be this year or 5 years later! And even if they did, it would be very expensive.
When I digested what he told me, it suddenly occurred to me that it didn't make sense for the dealer to charge me to swap the two expensive Acer modules for a cheap third-party memory module! In fact, he should be giving me a discount! When I told him that, he claimed that while Acer sells their memory upgrades for twice the standard market price of a similar memory module, they pay very little for trade-ins of their own memory modules.
When I protested that it was an unfair business practice, the distributor replied rather insolently, “Who would want to buy your Acer modules, if not us? The warranty of your Acer modules will no longer be valid if you sell them yourself!” Imagine trying to intimidate me into accepting the paltry RM200 (USD52) trade-in value for two expensive Acer 256MB memory modules!
I then changed tactics and asked him how much it would cost me if I wanted them to upgrade the notebook to 1GB of memory, ignoring the fact that doing so would void the warranty. Guess what he told me - an extra RM 700 (USD 184)! I couldn't believe my ears. That was the current market price for two 512MB SO-DIMM modules! In other words, the trade-in value of the two Acer memory modules was now effectively NIL!
Who would want to buy a notebook on such terms?
Furious, I left the booth, feeling so insulted that I went straight and purchased a better albeit more expensive BenQ notebook. Buy an Acer notebook after that? You gotta be kidding me!
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