Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Service manuals

padgettpadgett Posts: 3,996ACE Pathfinder
edited January 2018 in Acer Ideas

One thing I ran into trouble with early on (sorry Phil) was Acer's apparent policy on considering service manuals as proprietary infomation.

 

For one thing I can point to both HP and Dell as being very open with such information. For another many Acer service manuals are already online (particularly in OZ).

 

It makes sense to caveat the information and make it clear that they may not be republished and that any work may void the warrenty (and legally the word MAY is important - if you say it will void the warrenty then that obligates Acer - one of the hazards of the English legal system).

 

But having the information available does two things:

1) When a user has a problem like a dead CMOS battery (happens), you can point them at chapter and page of the manual and point to the URL. Can even do that with a script - no knowlege required.

2) The gurus see Acer as providing information openly and nod. And for every guru nod that translates to more sales.

 

The world of PCs is a cut-throat one. This is essentially free and will dramatically cut support desk calls. With proper disclaimers there is no down side.

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Comments

  • Acer_IdeasAcer_Ideas Posts: 285Member Practitioner

    Thanks for this idea, padgett. It seems like a simple and reasonable suggestion. We are taking this under consideration and reviewing it with the appropriate folks. I'm sure a lawyer is involved somewhere. :-) We will get back with you as we get some responses.

  • CharithaCharitha Posts: 131Member Enthusiast

    Hi

    Realy worth idea... All the Best.

     

    Thanks

  • Acer_IdeasAcer_Ideas Posts: 285Member Practitioner
  • kirkerskirkers Posts: 8Member

    Thanks for taking this idea under serious consideration, Acer_Ideas! 

     

    To help you think through the implications, let me give you my point of view as a first-time Acer purchaser and new V5-573PG owner.

     

    I come from the world of Dell and before that HP.  Both offer online service manuals as a regular feature for virtually all models, and have done so for years.  I am accustomed to having this kind of "off-line" support for figuring out how to do the essential chores of replacing/upgrading drives and RAM.  Now that Acer is going with what looks like an industry-wide trend to eliminate access doors and bays in order to create ultra-thin laptops, it becomes even more imperative for users to have some guidance in how to deal with the innards of their tightly packed laptops once they remove the bottom cover.  

     

    That is where the online service manuals come in.

     

    For the slightly more ambitious, there is an opportunity to install mSATA modules and replace/upgrade Wifi modules.  The safe and satisfying way to accomplish this is with the guidance of a service manual.

     

    From what I can tell, Acer makes excellent equipment that can outdo Dell and HP at an excellent price point.  I looked very carefully and weighed a number of factors before choosing Acer, including taking a risk on what for me is a new company.  Providing the service manuals would definitely tip my vote in favour of Acer when recommending to IT clients and friends.

  • Acer_IdeasAcer_Ideas Posts: 285Member Practitioner

    All very good points, kirkers.  And your perspective from using other brands is also a great point.  I have reviewed this topic with our Service team in the past, but will update that previous plea with this new info that you have provided.  Thanks so much for your input!

  • ItalickItalick Posts: 2Member

    Come on, when can we see the service manuals?  I end up opening every computer that I get, and I thought that I would be able to see the service manual after buying an Acer just as I had for computers sold by other companies.  I consider the denial of a service manual to be a needless and deliberate reduction in value of a machine.

     

    I ended up opening my Aspire V5 561P 6869 that I got a few weeks ago.  I wanted an extra hard drive instead of a CD drive.  It is no problem to get the CD drive out without opening up the computer.  However, there was some kind of a metal tongue installed above the CD drive bay, which served to snag and trap my hard drive caddy that was made to occupy a CD drive bay.  Getting it out required an open-up.

     

    Seeing that the metal tongue was a non-essential part, I rocked it up and down until it separated off.  Now the computer is the way I want it.

     

    I keep my computers for years, and I find reasons to open them, like cleaning the fan and resoldering the power connector.  I would also like to know about diagnostic signals that have been documented in the service manual.

  • Acer_IdeasAcer_Ideas Posts: 285Member Practitioner

    Your timing could not be better, Italick.  My first attempt at getting the Service Manual policy changed didn't get far.  But we are just preparing to take another run at it, and with more support from a few executives this time.  Your message is perfect to illustrate the reason we should be doing this.  Maybe we can get some progress this time.  Thanks!

  • Ams098Ams098 Posts: 2Member New User
    I'd like to see rg service manual policy change as well. As someone who isn't an authorised Acer repairer I don't have easy access to important repair information including manuals. I would be pleased if Acer could offer service manuals to idependent repair technicians for no cost or for a small fee. Hope Acer's executives in charge of service manuals and repair information will consider changing the policy to allow for this.
  • orbsplateauorbsplateau Posts: 9Member

    removed comment so that I can revise it, sorry about the incovenience.

  • ocumoocumo Posts: 6Member

    Tinkerer

    Dear Acer_Ideas and Acer, in general,

     

    Please could you, once again, reconsider and make the original request possible as soon as possible.  Consider my point:

     

    I have arrived to this forum and this specific thread, exactly because I am in the long process of collecting all information I need to make a solid decision to buy a high end laptop, where until this moment the Predator 17 G9-791 is at the top of my considerations.  I need it mostly for professional production, including developing and graphic arts work, not really so much for gaming.

     

    Among many other considerations, this exact topic of Service Manual would be the final killer point to go ahead and just click the "Buy now" button without any hesitations.  Yes, I have gone through so many reviews, from more emotional/superfical to more technical.  I have tried to be very thorough in eliminating the Dell Alienware from my list, and it turns out that from the technical point of view, I have not trouble in inclining to the Predator.  However:

     

    I am in a situation where I would need to have the laptop localised in English/US/International, but forced to buy it in Germany, where physical keyboard is only in German layout.  I have spend so much time and frustration with Acer customer support to see whether I could order my laptop with US/International keyboard, but Acer doesn't even consider such customer's situations.  Note that Dell offers such possibility.

     

    So I have finally figured it out with lots of grief that it is possible to buy the spare part 6B.Q04N5.001 COVER.UPPER.W/TP/SPK/KB.US.INT/B-LIT  here.  And now I bump my head against this wall:  No disassembling instructions.

     

    I must quote the previous comments: "I consider the denial of a service manual to be a needless and deliberate reduction in value of a machine" and most importantly: "Providing the service manuals would definitely tip my vote in favour of Acer when recommending to IT clients and friends."   And to make it even more clear for the commercial side, another quote from above: "The gurus see Acer as providing information openly and nod. And for every guru nod that translates to more sales."

     

    We are talking here about high end product, the kind that real gurus would be looking for to make their things.  Business laptops and home laptops are unsuitable for power demanding jobs.   You need gurus support.   It is not like a Predator is going to be used only by kids to waste their valuable time playing games.   Those arriving to this thread and spending their time researching and ending posting here deserve a lot more attention, as they are more likely to be the "gurus" that you want to have on your side.

     

    I really wish you could offer some good news that at least you can revive this idea and really, really bring Acer to the same level as its competitors in this arena.   I would love to become a member of this comunity as a happy Acer customer.

     

     

  • ocumoocumo Posts: 6Member

    Tinkerer

    This is an extremely powerful selling argument; please have a look:  Alienware M17 R3 Service Manual  

     

    http://downloads.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_alienware_laptops/alienware-m17x-r3_Service Manual_en-us.pdf

    That's what we are talking about.   Why Dell can do it and Acer won't?

     

  • padgettpadgett Posts: 3,996ACE Pathfinder

    Many times the issue has been addressed externally (e.g. how to replace a CMOS battery or the odd clip used on HDD cables) and all we can do is point to the external video and not to Acer. It is frustrating to know the answer and not be able to point to chapter and verse of the approved method.

     

    Consider my R3-131T-P344 (and knowing the last four is important). Upgrading the memory is as easy and done much the same way as a MacBook but we are not allowed to tell a user how. All I can say is "Ask Crucial".

     

    As Acer products become more modular, having access to the Service Manuals is becoming every more critical.

     

    Or at least a subset detailing common things (e.g. battery replacement, RAM upgrades).

     

    And I can anticipate the lawyer response: "but then they could clear the BIOS passwords". Guess what: anyone who wants to just needs to look online for how to replace the CMOS battery.

  • ocumoocumo Posts: 6Member

    Tinkerer

    Having been tied to a big corporation since many years, I cannot dissociate this discussion from something called Net Promoter Score, (NPS) which is a management tool that is popular in many industries, as a powerful driver to focus commercial strategies and measure of their success.  This method classifies their customers in three categories: "Promoters" (loyal enthusiasts that buy from the company and urge their friends to do the same), "Passives" (satisfied but unenthusiastic, can be easily attracted by the competition) and "Detractors" (unhappy customers, that won't recommend a friend buying from the company).  The assessment is easy:  basically, take the percentage of customers who are promoters and subtract the percentage who are detractors.   While the NPS method itself has its own "Promoters" and "Detractors", we can still use its principles in the context of this thread.

     

    Reading the general tone from this particular thread, a common denominator and clear message to Acer from these customers is:  "Dear Acer, we think we are Promoters, we want to remain Promoters, please don't let us go to Passive and from there to Detractors".

     

    In a very practical way, if a colleague would ask any of us (authors in this thread) advise about buying one of these products, and if we know this person would consider important to have access to some degree of technical information (even if a set of it), we would be forced to recommend this friend to consider looking elsewhere, (see my previous post for a clue).   That would make us, effectively, Detractors, no matter how much we would otherwise enjoy the product we have.

     

    Telling otherwise such a friend: "Well, you can buy it from Acer, but whenever you would need to know the correct procedure to certain tasks, you are on your own, you better go to youtube where you may find some guys posting their experiments, some more competent or crazier than other, some may be just kids... perhaps you are lucky and don't break your 3000$ box".   That would not be a professional and sensitive advise to anyone.  At least not the kind of professional advise I would give to anyone I care for.

     

    I have spent a lot more than 3000$ in a Predator, not for playing games, but for serious stuff, and I still have these very mixed feelings.

     

    Why Dell can do it and Acer won't?

     

  • Hunter-999-Hunter-999- Posts: 3Member New User

    I'm a retired system tech and I too seem to be running up against the gauntlet of Corporate inertia when it comes to providing service / tech manuals. This also translates to "customer service" in general. I agree with the prevailing sentiment in this forum that manufactures must supply the tech manuals to it's customer base.

    I've been building and servicing computers for over 40 years and these recent withholdings are unacceptable. I'm sure they are motivated by the bottomline on a spreadsheet somewhere.

    While some other companies do provide manuals, Acers' reluctance is not acceptable.

    I echo the earlier post that conveyed; that the lack of manuals  de-values the products. I most certainly concur.

    If I can't service the computers I build, then I can no longer patronize the vendors of these de-valued components.

    Maybe the bottom line on declining sales will make them rethink the spreadsheet approach to bussiness practices and customer service.

    Cheers

     

     

  • Acer_IdeasAcer_Ideas Posts: 285Member Practitioner

    Yes, I know and understand the views that ALL of you have expressed.  Thank you for your comments.  Internally the issue is also raised from time to time by employees and it is NEVER approved at the corporate level.  I and others will continue to raise the issue from time to time when we see a potential opportunity.  Perhaps someday we will be successful.

  • ocumoocumo Posts: 6Member

    Tinkerer

    Thank you for your comments and for keeping this idea "alive" (or at the very least the thread). It would seem that some of us here (in the thread) have a good understanding of what life is in Corporate context, which seems to create a bit of natural empathy.

     

    Unfortunately, and for the same reason, we probably know all too well where these kind of processes lead to. But I should not say what my knowledge of it tells me to say, because I don't want to discourage others that aren't 'burned' by the 'Corporate way' disease that may get to this thread to simply express they wishes and their reasons, as paying customers, fully entitled to tell Acer about their expectations.

  • CPC-WorldCPC-World Posts: 1Member

    Many Acer service manuals have made there way to online resources despite this insane policy.  I am a one man PC service specializing in helping seniors.  This is a recent undertaking, so I have just encountered this lack of information. 

     

    My intention is to disassemble my own Spin laptop in order to become familiar with the internal design.  I do not have the resources to be authorized by Acer to work on their products, and I will certainly recommend a boycott of their products to anyone I encounter.  I'm sure changing a hard drive or upgrading RAM can be done without documentation, so I will ignore any recommendation or mandate against such activities.  I deeply regret buying an Acer laptop for myself even though I was satisfied before researching upgrade options.

     

    As best as I can tell, this thread has been going on for over three years.  That is an indisputable indication that nothing will change.  These will be my only comments on the matter, and I suggest others stop wasting their time on it.  The best and really the only way to express one's opinion on this subject is to boycott all Acer products.  The new A+ exams cover laptops extensively, but there are few conventions for design.  That will change as it did for desktops a very long time ago.  I believe Acer will have long since become a non-contender in laptop sales long before the changes in the industry evolve.

     

    Furthermore, I don't believe that Acer is holding out on providing technicians and users with information for proprietary reasons.  It is much more likely that they are hiding the use of design and technology obtained unethically from other companies.  There is no other reason to keep this thread alive for so long.  If they were being truthful, they would have declined to consider this issue much sooner.  They have never considered the concept, but they continue to lead us to believe that they may change their policy in the future.  That is a devious contradiction since the future of purpose has long since passed,

     

    The only coarse of action available to have this problem looked at in earnest is to stop buying Acer products.  If my beliefs are correct, it will not change anything.  It will, however, put an end to Acer's violation of intellectual property rights and their dishonest claims about their products.  If this post is disallowed, my Acer purchase will need to be refunded to prevent it from appearing elsewhere.  Without the means to upgrade or replace components, it is not what it was represented to be.  I sincererly feel that I have been wronged, deceived, and cheated in order to lure me into this regretable purchase.

  • KatzinAZKatzinAZ Posts: 6Member New User
    I too must add my concern that Acer does not supply any information on how to tear down a system.  I received a G6-710 for Christmas, and after talking with the sales folks at Acer, was told I could add memory and hard drives to upgrade the system, and that the system supported multiple monitors. (Note:  I do not do gaming - but rather video/photo work.)  The first thing I found was that the system only supports ONE monitor, and ACER will not swap the vid card for one that supports multi-monitor (I offered to pay the difference).   I've worked with multi=monitors for over 30 years, so going back to a single just won't work.  Having to fork out $600+ for a multi=monitor video card after being told I already had that functionality - that makes for a very dissatisfied customer.  But, back to the issue at hand....

    I purchased the hard drives and memory upgrades.  The hard drives were straightforward to add, once I found out how to take the side off of the box to get to the internals.   However, I haven't found any information on how to remove the power/cooling modules in order to get to the motherboard to add  memory.  

    I called Acer tech support and their answer...  "we can't tell you that as we won't support the system if you change anything".   Huh??   I can't find any manuals/tech docs online that explain how to correctly disassemble the system for memory (or other) upgrades.   The tech specs and sales folks both tell you that the system can be upgrade (memory for example).  Yet, they will not provide any information on how to actually get to the internals to add memory?   If they won't let you add the memory/hard drives/video cards to customize the original purchase, then they darned well should provide the tech specs so that we can do that after the system has been purchased.

    Right now, I agree with CPC-World, " Without the means to upgrade or replace components, it is not what it was represented to be.  I sincerely feel that I have been wronged, deceived, and cheated" into what might be a regrettable purchase. 

    I am hoping that Acer executives will realize that this thread has been going on for years - the issue is NOT going away... but if they don't provide users with the information, their customers will start going away.  
  • eikoeiko Posts: 1Member New User
    I just bought an Acer Spin 1 today. I went to Microcenter and asked for the 8 GB model, was surprised when they handed me the 4 GB model along with an 8 GB DDR3 card. I thought nothing of it, since I've serviced computers before.

    I pop off the back of the laptop, and the DDR3 isn't immediately visible. I remove the battery (more low hanging fruit), and I still see no DDR3. At this point, I check online for the service manual. No service manual.

    So now my options are a) detach several ribbons and remove the entire motherboard, risking damage and a voided warranty for my new laptop, OR b) get the Lenovo Flex which had been a close contender to the Acer Spin anyway.

    I have owned this laptop for less than an hour and I will be taking it back because it lacks a service manual, something every other major company readily provides. What an embarrassment. 
  • AxlinAxlin Posts: 1Member New User

    Yes, I know and understand the views that ALL of you have expressed.  Thank you for your comments.  Internally the issue is also raised from time to time by employees and it is NEVER approved at the corporate level.  I and others will continue to raise the issue from time to time when we see a potential opportunity.  Perhaps someday we will be successful.

    Dear "Acer_Ideas",
    as a professional working with computers since before the PC, I must agree with the rest of people in this thread!
    Coming from IBM/Lenovo and Dell PCs, I was extremely surprised when I found out that Acer have this strange and totally illogical approach to service manuals. 
    If I had known it upfront, I would never have invested my money in a Acer PC!
    Best Regards

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