ASUS ROG Phone screen cracked form inside for many, RMA denied in most cases

I am sure while buying any new and expensive electronic item, most of you would run through its terms of warranty. After all, these terms form the entire basis for repair, return and refund process just in case things go south after purchasing the product.

Until there comes a situation where one has to claim the warranty, there is no confirmation about whether what the company claims and what end-users comprehend is the same. Only a subset of users get to the phase of claiming a warranty, and not all of them may have a good experience.

One such case of poor user experience for a product from a reputed OEM is now surfacing. The spotlight is on Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS. And no, we are not talking about the recent half-baked Android Pie release on ZenFone Max Pro lineup of phones that disappointed a lot of device owners.

Rather, today’s section is about how ASUS handled some recent RMA cases. So lets get started.

I am sure most of you must be aware of ASUS’ first gaming-centric ROG (Republic of Gamers) Phone that debuted last year. Powered by Snapdragon 845 SoC, the phone shipped with Android 8.1 Oreo, ROG Gaming X UI and integrates a game cool system to avoid overheating while gaming.

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ASUS ROG Phone

ROG Phone is not even a year old yet, and users have already been asking for RMA due to defective screen. Affected users say, after a few months of use, out of no where their phone just blacked out while they were either playing a game or doing the regular stuff and refused to work afterwards.

Basically, the display somehow crapped up without users doing anything crazy with their unit.

On a closer inspection, some of the users said they could see the screen had cracked form inside. Phone owners clearly affirm no drop, no external damage and yet the screen had an internal crack. Here’s what a couple of affected users said:

Regular use, no drops, no hits. Using a silicon case. Playing some games and put in my pocket. Minutes later I take it out of my pocket, unlock the screen, it lights up for a second and then it goes black. Try to unlock again and it’s all black. Try to turn it off and I can feel vibration feedback.Upon closer inspection I discover cracks beneath the glass, the display cracked from the inside !

I submitted an RMA warranty request as my phone screen was cracked from the INSIDE. Prior to noticing that crack, I had left my phone on my bed charging for about 20 minutes. When I reached for my phone, I pressed the power button to verify the time and noticed the screen was cracked from the inside. There was NO visible physical damage or impact point outside of the phone and both the glass protector and the actual outer glass of the phone had no cracks. I was extremely disappointed to see a crack on my new/ expensive smartphone.

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User shared image of internally cracked screen

Looking at their bricked devices, baffled ROG Phone users immediately approached ASUS support for an RMA only to hear that this kind of damage is not covered under warranty.

I go online and ask in Asus tech chat. Not covered under warranty they say. Phone is pristine on the outside. Did some research turns out it’s a commom issue with this phone! How could it not be covered by warranty?? Please take this under warranty! People say you charge $400+ to repair this. It’s so common and happening under normal use. Cracking from the inside cannot be the users’ fault. What if it was the battery exploding or the chip burning? Would that not be covered either??

Even those users who were asked to ship the device to ASUS for further inspection, were informed after inspection that the damage will not be covered under warranty and they’ll have to shed ~USD 400+ to get it fixed.

Asus received the phone and immediately proceeded to bill me $423.75 (50% of the phone price) to fix the screen and the back panel due to physical damage.
I am EXTREMELY SHOCKED that the screen cracked from the inside and that I am being HELD LIABLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL ISSUE I DID NOT CAUSE such as the report of a crack on the back panel that was NON-EXISTENT when I mailed the package.

To top it all, users who sent their phone for RMA say they were sent pictures of phones that at first place were not theirs, and secondly, only displayed some external damages that again their unit reportedly never had.

Take a look at the following user shared images of the picture that ASUS sent them and what the user themselves clicked right before sending the phone for RMA.

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ASUS shared image of user’s phone

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User shared image of the same phone before shipping for RMA

Here’s how the concerned user who shared the images word their experience:

I continued on to disputethe charges that same day with a supervisor and was told that the phone was not covered due to physical damage and they sent me pictures as proof. THESE INCONCLUSIVE IMAGES show the exterior of the phone on the front and back. THEY DO NOT REFLECT THE WORK THAT WAS SUBMITTED FOR REPAIR as fixed (which was the inner glass). My phone is being held hostage until I pay$423.75 for damage that was caused while in the care of the ASUS repair technicians. The $423 is to replace all the parts that were listed as damaged(inner screen and back panel) when it should only be for the inner screen. I am not responsible to pay anything as the crack from the inside is a manufacture issue and is usually covered under warranty.

In one of the cases, a user said their phone had no internal crack, just the screen went black. So they sent it to ASUS and were sent back pictures of a phone that as per them wasn’t theirs. In addition, they were told the damages won’t be covered under warranty and they’ll have to pay ~USD 500.

The agent sent me pictures of damage to a phone, BUT THE PICTURES ARE NOT OF MY PHONE. The pictures may be of the same model phone, but the phone in the pictures has wear and tear, deep scratches, dirt in USB port with missing cover, etc. These are not the types of damage that would occur in transit. But my phone was pristine. No visible wear. No scratches. Never dropped.

Apart from the company’s official help forum and other online discussion platforms, similar reports can be seen posted across Amazon’s customer review page for ASUS ROG Phone.

Some of the complainants even routed to Twitter to bring the matter to light.

Coming to what could have damaged the screen, one of the complainants shared they were told that the display might have been damaged internally due to finger impression and keeping the phone is pocket. Like really?

they were also saying silly answer like inner display might be get damaged because of finger impression and placing the phone inside pant pocket.

While in most of the cases, the company straightaway denied under warranty free solution for this issue, one of the affected ROG Phone users said ASUS agreed for a free repair for the internal screen damage/crack and later on refused. Here’s what the user said:

After agreeing to repair my malfunctioning screen, under warranty at no charge, ASUS Product Support rescinded its offer.

And now. after all this–after ASUS explicitly admitted the pictures it itself took of
my phone in its service center show only cosmetic damage and no damage to the screen–it spams me with another invoice for $492.40 and no way to dispute it.

While users are confused how an internal display damage can be fault at customer’s end, it’s worth highlighting that all these complaints have been actively addressed by an ASUS forums moderator and in some cases they asked users for some time while they look in to the matter.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused. I have checked with the relevant department about this. Please allow them some time to look into this case and reply to you.

What’s weird is that after the moderator intervened, a couple of users shared that their phones were repaired (or are now being repaired) under warranty for free.

Here’s the confirmation from the first user:

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ROG Phone user 1 screen fixed for free

And the confirmation from another user:

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ROG Phone user 2 screen fixed for free

What about rest of those affected? Are they also going to be entertained in the similar manner? We don’t understand why are ROG Phone user being troubled this way?

Why is ASUS telling users that internal screen damage is not covered under warranty, then asking them to pay about USD 400-500 to get it fixed, sending images of other damaged phones and finally agreeing to resolve the damage for free? Why all that hassle?

Not only that, how come the display or screen of a phone that’s not even an year old getting damaged internally without users doing anything crazy with it? There’s no clarity. We just hope this internal screen damage turns out to be an issue with limited ROG Phone devices.

Have you faced the problem discussed here on your ROG Phone? If yes, drop a comment and share with us your observation.

NOTE: Interested in more ASUS-related news and stories? Head here.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.