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Is it time for an apology/compensation?

saffref
Level 9

First, let me be absolutely clear: I am no "hater". I do not regret purchasing the Ally and I still think it is a great handheld PC. It is unquestionably more powerful and has a much nicer display than the Deck, which alone makes it an excellent choice.

This being said, the microSD card reader issue has not been handled well by ASUS. There have been thousands of reports about it failing after a few days of use, sometimes rendering the SD card itself unusable, sometimes not. Yet there has been no official acknowledgement of this obvious design flaw. As far as I can tell from personal experience, if a user complains long and hard enough about it, ASUS will grudgingly accept to repair the device (which I guess means replacing the reader with a new one). However, the process to send the faulty unit back is so long (several weeks) and cumbersome that it essentially deters the customer from exercising their rights.

Furthermore, since ASUS has not communicated *anything* about the actual cause of the fault or the steps that can be taken to prevent it from reoccurring, the unfortunate customers who do RMA their Ally (at a huge inconvenience cost) have absolutely no guarantee that the repaired unit will fare any better, making this option even less attractive than it already is!

ASUS made the decision to include a microSD card reader in the Ally, presumably to compensate for the limited storage capacity of the SSD and because their main competitor included this functionality. This decision was poorly implemented and early adopters have found themselves with an additional storage option that is basically unusable, which is tantamount to false advertising. The company must be held accountable.

Accordingly, I believe that it is high time for ASUS to apologise, issue a statement acknowledging the microSD card reader problem and offer some other compensation than an impractical and quite possibly useless return policy.

I have suggested elsewhere on this forum that offering a free Ally high-wattage dock (marketed at 70€ in my region) to those customers who have reported a faulty microSD card reader would be a good commercial and PR move. Such a one-off settlement should be acceptable to many (myself included) as the additional USB port would also help alleviate the limited onboard storage problem when docked. It would also only cost ASUS some lost business to the tune of a measly 10% of the price of the Ally itself, which is no doubt cheaper than the work and parts of a repair (so the only reason they would refuse such an arrangement is if they hope that most users won't bother to RMA their faulty unit anyway).

Let's see if this post gets enough traction to make ASUS take my suggestion seriously!

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22 REPLIES 22

Glen1991
Level 8

I get what you mean, ASUS have had my ally for all most 2 weeks. The Machine stopped reading SD cards.

It’s had a new Mother board few other things apparently according to my emails from ASU’s repair. It’s still not working.

it’s less than 3 months old and the list of replacements just because SD card failure it would have been quicker and easier to send new one. But no they now want to do further fixes.

I’m wanting a full refund, I love the machine but it’s terrible service and shouldn’t be failing as much as it it.

my fix time has added extra 2-3 weeks for repair.

 

 

kaytracid
Level 8

I had some money to burn and I knew perfectly well that ally's support would be null and void from Asus (as with all their products).
I burned two 1tb micro sd and I decided not to try again and not to send anything in RMA because they don't solve the problem.
Simply Asus is and remains what it is:
A large company that does not take care of customers post purchase.
I convinced 20 friends to cancel the purchase of the product.
Keep it up asus!!!

fahdriyami
Level 10

"Thousands of reports"? I'm pretty sure people with MicroSD issues are part of the vocal minority, as only people with issues are likely to come online and search for solutions.

Check out this post on Reddit of people with absolutely no issues with their Ally and fully working SD card slots: https://www.reddit.com/r/ROGAlly/comments/15zzpo6/please_post_if_youve_had_no_hardware_problems/

Not saying the issue doesn't exist, but its not as blown up as you may think it is for Asus to have to offer some public apology.

First of all, many people in the post you mentioned said that they do not use SD card at all. So theirs may be already broken too. Also, based on many polls posten on X.com and Reddit, SD card issue affects approximately 20 % of the users, e.g. here: https://www.reddit.com/r/ROGAlly/comments/14hxrx2/does_your_sd_cardreader_work_poll/  This poll includes also users not testing SD card slot, which is something you did not include in your conclusion. From such poll you can see that about 40 % of people did not use or test their SD card slot at all. From people who use it, 23 % had the issue. This post is two months old and since SD card reader can degrade / fail over time, actual failure rate can be even higher.

This is problem also for people who never used micro-sd because when ASUS try to hide problem with micro-sd port they increased speed of left fan from 3000 to 7000 rpm. They need lower temperature in left part of device from 90C to 70C. But because left fan is now much louder than right one they also broke stereo sound in next BIOS update. Now left speaker is 3x louder than right one. Not only in games when left fan works like crazy. I can't even use Spotify because it is hard to play any stereo music where left speaker is 3x louder than right

Asus should give us option to return this device. I was great when I bought in june but they destroyed it with BIOS updates when they discovered problem with overheating of micro-sd port. I never used micro-sd and yet Asus broke my device with BIOS updates

rkok000
Level 9

Let me add to this post - maybe someone from Asus who cares enough will read this too. 

Firstly, I was one of the first ppl here in Australia to get an ROG Ally. My first impression is that this is a generally cool device. I purchased my Ally along with a larger capacity SSD to upgrade and a 1TB micro sd. While my micro sd is still working till this day despite all the firmware updates and driver updates, I have treated it very delicately and ever used it to transfer files from my laptop. The fear of my Ally's SDCard Reader suddenly dying or my Micro SD getting damaged in the process, has however prevented me from using it as often as I would have liked. 

Now, this issue with the card reader may be isolated (or may not be), and the recent firmware with a ramped-up fan curve may have solved this issue (or may not). The fear of damage is still present despite the firmware updates. Since the last firmware update, Asus has remained silent on this issue. The lack of any follow-up clarification on this subject is rather concerning to me and is the main reason why I am so hesitant to use my Ally to its full potential. The biggest gesture of goodwill from Asus to me, would not be to provide me with a cheap charger; it would be to follow up on issues that are troubling their users to show that they actually do care about their users. 

Partially agree, which is why I said "apology/compensation". It would be nice to have the former at least, but the latter would demonstrate a sense of responsibility (owning one's mistakes and trying to right a wrong for those who suffer from it). Regarding the firmware update and supposedly improved heat management, sadly, it doesn't accomplish anything for those of us who had already experienced a microSD card reader failure prior to its release (i.e. ASUS's most enthusiastic customers and earliest adopters).

I was just fortunate by the fact that I opted to charge my Ally through a USB hub. The Ally had a bug prior to firmware 3.23 which prevented most USB hubs from allowing PD charging to run at the full 30W. This actually prevented me from running my Ally at the full 30W which prob has helped me avoid the SD Card Reader issue until now.  I occasionally still run the Ally at 30 for things like speeding up a Windows Update install. In majority of the time, I usually just run the Ally at 10/15W. 

I think the reader is probably fine for file transfer and the likes. The problem is that, in the early days of the Ally, many assumed that a microSD card would be a convenient place to install a secondary Steam library with older games that do not require fast transfer speeds, saving SSD space for new titles. ASUS did nothing to discourage this practice as it would have been an implicit acknowledgement that there was a design flaw in their device. The rest, as they say, is history... 😕