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[OCLUG-Tech] Getting Asus parts?

I've been getting the runaround from Asus service folk for the past couple of weeks.

On our latest Eee 1225B the right hinge is wobbly. I suspect insufficient lubrication and it has failed. There's a video on the net (Russian) showing the fix. Messy but doable. Even make a point of lubricating the hinge.

Now the problem. Asus folk (including the e-store) are fanatical in 'you must send it in' and 'you must leave the hard drive in'. The latter is not going to happen -- drives leave my possession very, very scrubbed, and I can buy several new machines for the cost of my time doing that.

So I asked where to get (buy!) the part, even though this should be a warranty thing. Well, after asking for model and serial number (4th time), they say they don't have it in their parts store, but the service center does. And back to the 'you must send in the machine' etc.

I have liked Asus products, and have bought 7 over the same number of years, as well as leading others to buy them. However, unless I can get past the zombies in the call centers and email booths, this will be my last. I'm also going to be looking very carefully for quick-remove drives in future. The small Eee's can have drive really buried.

Does anyone know how to obtain parts or have a contact above the "read the script" level in the Asus hierarchy? My fallback position is to build a hinge out of some metal and epoxy it on. Two L shaped pieces will do it, but it will look ugly. However, I could have done this 3 times over for the time taken to fight with call center folk.

Oh. Watch out for the Asus Web site. Bits of it such as the service center locator are broken and wasted my time. Guess their website supplier told them to ship their server complete with all corporate hard drives to the depot in Vladivostok.