Why Acer Sucks: A Cautionary Tale

Earlier this week, I had a major technology fail.  Let me share the “short and sweet” version, with some fun animated gifs to keep this a little more lighthearted than it’s been.


Why Acer Sucks

A Cautionary Tale

In July, 2012, I purchased a little Acer Aspire One netbook, for the sole purpose of not having to be tied to a desktop computer when I was writing, researching, or otherwise wasting time and creative energy on the internet.  All was well.  For the most part. The wireless adapter never really worked right, but I soldiered on.

Until December, when everything started locking up, refused to restart, and required several system restores.

Sebastian is irritated


It seemed that a patch in one of the Windows Updates didn’t like my computer, or vice versa.  Either way, the issue seemed to be resolved.  I continued.

From January 20th through January 27th, I participated in my local RWA chapter’s January “Book In A Week”.  I had a very lofty goal to revise 20 of the 37 chapters of the HFMO Part One, plus 5000 words on my chick lit romance.  Revisions went great, the 5k new words didn’t happen so much.  Still, I was pleased with how much work I’d gotten done in a week.

Minion at work

On Monday night, as I was researching/surfing the Interwebz, my Acer Aspire One started doing these weird hiccup things and freezing up again.  I figured I probably needed to restart, but after the issues in December, I was wary of doing so.  I uploaded all my new work onto my Google Drive, and restarted.

And then nothing happened.  So I tried a hard reboot, which led to an endless Startup Repair loop that did nothing.

Chandler can't believe it either


My husband played around with the boot settings, but still no luck.  So he had to do an eRecovery.  There’s supposed to be a way to do so without losing all your files, but the Acer didn’t like it.  So he had to completely reinstall Windows, thus wiping my hard drive of everything.

Jack Sparrow

Fortunately, it went through its whole reinstall cycle and seemed to be working again.  The hubs thought it was most likely a software issue, rather than hardware. I proceeded to download the programs I use, like Open Office and Write Way Pro (and Chrome, because I hate Internet Explorer).

And then the wireless adapter forgot our network security key and didn’t believe me when I typed it in correctly five times.

Merida feels my frustration

Incidentally, this is the same issue I had the first month I owned the Acer Aspire One, and I wasn’t even going to bother trying to download the driver, because when I tried that in August, it said it was the incorrect driver despite being the exact same driver listed in the hardware properties.

Jon Stewart is also frustrated.

So I decided to send an inquiry to Acer’s tech support, explaining the history of fails this netbook has had since I bought it.  The response was that the wireless adapter probably needed to be replaced, and I would have to send it in to a repair depot, with the assurance I would have it returned in 7-10 days from their receipt of my netbook.

Scully says, "Yeah, right."


Curious about this “repair depot” situation and wondering if I couldn’t just take it to Best Buy to handle the repairs, I learned through a variety of internet reviews that:

  1. People were told by Acer that their machines arrived at the repair depot with damages not covered under the warranty (despite these people’s insistence that the damage was not present when shipped), and therefore the issue requiring the repair in the first place would not be fixed,
  2. Computers sent to a repair depot weren’t returned for upwards of eight weeks, and
  3. Computers that were returned sometimes were not the correct computers

I also read a comment by an Acer employee, who basically said what amounted to, “If you buy one of our $250 computers, you have to do so with the realization that they’re cheaply made. So don’t expect it to work for very long.”

Clint senses the bull

When my husband got home, I reported on the lack of wireless adaptability, and he promptly ordered an Edimax wireless USB adapter, which came in 2 days thanks to our Amazon Prime subscription, and so far is working not only great, but better than the Acer installed wireless adapter ever did.

Plus, all my writing was safe on Google Drive.

Emma Watson feels my relief


As of today, the Acer is “working”, and I just hope it can limp along for at least another 6 months, if not longer. Because, other than the wireless adapter sucking and Acer’s customer support sucking and the weird apparent software issues, it’s meeting my needs.

However, I am going to start shopping around for better quality netbooks and slimline laptops, because if this machine goes on the fritz again, I’m not giving it another chance.

Moral of the story? You get what you pay for, and I should have just bought a Dell in the first place.

12 thoughts on “Why Acer Sucks: A Cautionary Tale

  1. ED Martin says:

    About 7 years ago, my one-year-old Dell laptop stopped working. We looked it up online, and it needed a new motherboard. Dell said they’d ship the part to the nearest computer tech, who’d install it for free. A week later, we heard from the technician. Only probably was, we’d bought the laptop in Indiana and were now living in North Carolina, and Dell refused to acknowledge that; despite us telling them our new address, they sent the Indiana guy the part – twice. Finally they sent the part to a tech near us in North Carolina. He called on a Saturday morning when we weren’t home. When he couldn’t reach us that once, he marked our ticket as closed and sent the part back! It took two weeks of constantly being on the phone with Dell before we got them to send us the part, thus voiding our warranty, but at that point we didn’t care. We were able to fix it ourselves, and the laptop worked fine for several more years.

    When it finally because obsolete, I got an EEE-PC netbook. It’s now 3 years old and still runs great.

    Moral of the story – sometimes customer service just sucks. 😀

    • jlynnrowanliterature says:

      I’ve heard of similar problems with Dell (both in terms of longevity and customer service) in regards to people’s laptops. I’ve had very good luck, fortunately, with the desktop systems we’ve had, as well as with the customer service. With my first Dell, the power supply came loose inside the CPU, and after walking me through some troubleshooting steps over the phone, they sent a technician to my house to make the repair (for free, as it was still under warranty). Then with our new desktop, the multimedia keyboard went kaput after about a month or two, and they sent us a brand new one free of charge, and didn’t even ask for the old one back.

      Granted, my last experience with Dell customer service was three and a half years ago. The only benefit I see to it is that, at least when you call Dell, you’re calling Texas. At least, you did 3 years ago.

      So far the Acer is limping along, but I’m still going to shop around so I know my options. I’ve also heard really good things about Toshiba.

  2. Laura Haglund (@Matera_the_Mad) says:

    I regularly deal with two Acer machines, a desktop and a laptop. The desktop is a travesty, trying to run Vista with 1GB RAM. WTF were they thinking. Constant problems. The laptop would be OK for the average luser, but I needed to DO a few things on it. Ended up in re-install hell, never mind the long-story details of how I got there. The restore partition crap didn’t fix a boot problem. That’s why I found out it won’t boot from a DVD unless I use an external drive. Needless to say, this didn’t make me love Acer all the more.

    • jlynnrowanliterature says:

      Since my husband reinstalled Windows, it works okay. It freezes up once a day, but only when I have Chrome open so I think it’s a Chrome issue, not a computer issue. I just make sure I back up everything everyday, just in case.

  3. ChrisB says:

    I bought an Acer Aspire E1-572-5870 July 2004. The placement of the pad is horrible. Like many people, I rest my palms below the keypad in order to type. My left palm is constantly touching the pad which makes the curser jump across the page all the time. Many times, I will even unknowingly highlight an entire section and if I continue typing, I will type over the section that was unknowingly highlighted. It is terrible typing on this thing. It also occasionally has a hard time coming out of sleep mode.

  4. Jon says:

    Chris, most laptops touch-pads are too sensitive. There is a free download called Touchpad Blocker which will take care of that.
    Oh my ACER laptop display went out after 6 months and I am sending it today for repair to the company.This is why I am here in this blog.

  5. eldrin says:

    acer is terrible. i have an aspire for a year and a half the keyboard is already broken. Some keys does’nt work and oddly enough works when pressed with shift. I believe its the circuitry. It also heats up fast even when browsing only . and lastly it underperforms even with the promised specs.

  6. Anti- Updates says:

    I miss Windows 98, every time I finally get one system broken down to an advance user, stupid updates or software or something throws a wrench in my routine and another fail, if I’m not downloading I’m updating and then smashing the DAMN thing against the wall and throwing everything but the hard drive in the milineum graveyard that used to be my garage with the rest of the new and over rated technology that I could have done just as easy if not faster if I hadn’t moved outside of city limits where only internet available is the hotspot on my mobil or satellite dish, and don’t even get me started with the satellite service out here. But at least I still have all my hard drive I will one day be able to retrieve all my crapola from haha… I HATE ACER!!!!

  7. Unimpressed says:

    I just bought an ACER today. The computer is going back to WalMart tomorrow. While it seems to have a fast processor, it is very intrusive, demanding a lot of personal information from me. (Thanks, Microsoft.). It wants my name, email address, phone number, and birth date so it can tailor “advertisements’ to me. After I entered this bogus information, ACER would not let me download apps — telling me it would only allow me to download apps, like Firefox, which block tracking of information — with “permission from a parent” even though I am well beyond legal age. It then refused to accept information from “parent” (ie, birthdate older than mine purports to be.) and then refused to allow me to download apps altogether. This piece of crap computer is going back tomorrow. ACER is desperately trying to capitalize on the meta data revolution by harvesting as much of your personal information as possible for its own financial gain…..On top of that…the laptop sucks and is going back to WalMart tomorrow. I paid $400 for this garbage. It’s going back.

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