We recently covered a report from US PIRG concerning Chromebooks and how they have become an e-waste problem. The Chromebook has gained massive popularity among students and schools. A Chromebook can cost a fraction upfront, and they are not as complicated to maintain in terms of software. But the US PIRG Chromebook Chum article made several points advising against using them.
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While US PIRG included all Chromebooks in its reporting, it did mention Acer, and Acer has a response to this report. Below is the company’s response to the article provided to Techaeris by an Acer spokesperson. We have not edited or added anything to the below response and are providing this to our readers to come to their own conclusions over the matter.
Acer Responds to US PIRG Chromebook Article
From our perspective, the parts that are inaccurate regarding Acer are related to the fact that we don’t sell new spare parts or otherwise support repair, that we don’t offer spare parts or repair services, that we don’t directly sell spare parts for Chromebooks, that we particularly don’t support screens/hinges/keyboards, and that replacement keyboard are out of stock and 1/3 priced over $89.99.
We suspect part of the misunderstanding is that the US PIRG may have conducted searches online for Acer spare parts; we don’t believe they ever contacted Acer directly. Most of our Chromebook sales are to K-12 schools/school districts. Since our schools are primarily supported by the Acer Premier Support Team, the schools contact the premier team to obtain spare parts for free (in warranty) and at a discounted price (for out-of-warranty) needs.
Here are some data points regarding Acer Chromebooks and our repair stats, service and support, spare parts, etc.:
- Acer has over 3.5M Chromebooks in the warranty install base (covered by an Acer warranty). The annual failure rate for these Chromebooks runs at or below 3% for in-warranty hardware failures. This is very similar to the failure rate for Windows-based notebooks.
- Acer provides US-based Premier Support to over 6,000 different school districts in the United States and Canada. This includes 450 authorized service partners and over 500 self-maintainer accounts who are authorized to do both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repairs for our important education accounts. We even have the Acer Repair Certification eLearning Program, a program to train students to handle simple repairs at school.
- Acer also provides in-warranty and out-of-warranty repairs at our US-based repair facility in Temple, TX. In 2022, we performed over 83,000 repairs on Chromebooks for education accounts.
- Acer supports our in-warranty customers with spare parts for a minimum of 4 years for our education accounts. Our spare parts availability was 95% within 24 hours of the order being placed. Acer supported spare parts for our customers who are out of warranty through our Premier Support Team. In 2022, Acer made available over $5M in out-of-warranty spare parts for our education accounts and their service providers.
- The average price of keyboards sold to our education accounts is under $25 if purchased through our Premier Support Team.
- Acer covers keyboard repairs under the manufacturing warranty for our education accounts, even if the keyboard is damaged by the student (picked off keys, for example – a common issue with students).
- Acer designs our Chromebooks specifically for education accounts with ruggedization in key areas including the hinges which extend the length of the LCD assembly for increased rigidity to prevent flexing and cracking of the LCD screens, honeycomb design in our plastics to make them more rugged, keys that are difficult to remove, and easy-to-repair keyboards which now take less than 5 minutes to repair on our newest model Chromebooks. Here’s an announcement about some of our latest Chromebooks for education and their many ruggedized features.
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