Asus-Flipkart e-commerce warranty

Asus India does not have any different warranty policy with respect to online shopping portals and its post sales services are the same for both online or offline purchases, the company has told Medianama. Asus India also mentioned that it doesn’t intend to “portray online purchasing in bad light”.

Last week, a BGR India report had alleged that Asus is denying warranty services to customers for products bought from Flipkart. It said that Asus was offering warranty as per the serial number or date of manufacture instead of the date of purchase, which is the normal practice. It also said that if a customer wants to avail warranty from the date of purchase, they would have to go through a protracted approval process administered by Asus.

This issue came up when a Nexus 7 tablet, that is manufactured by Asus on behalf of Google, purchased from Flipkart by a BGR India employee stopped working. The tablet apparently was only 10 months old but still the warranty was denied by Asus and the employee was informed that he had to go through an approval process.

A Flipkart spokesperson told BGR India that they usually contact the manufacturer once a product is sold to update the warranty for the product. In this case they had made a mistake and not informed Asus, and hence the tablet’s warranty as per Asus’ record had expired. Flipkart reiterated this stance to Medianama.

Asus India also told Medianama that in this particular case the customer was unable to produce the invoice which led to warranty being determined based on date of manufacturing. The company said –

“In case of invoice being missing, team Asus resolves it through tracking the manufacturing dates. As the case reaches the factory, it involves few more days.This process has been designed in order to provide service even when the reference details aren’t available in order to resolve the user’s concern. With invoice being available, team is able to contact the reseller and assist the consumer on immediate basis.”

On Asus India’s E-commerce advisory

It’s worth noting that Asus India had issued a notification on April 1, 2014 which stated that it:

“does not assure the genuineness of ASUS branded products and also does not assure the validity of warranty on those products being sold by any sellers through e-commerce websites like Snapdeal.com, eBay.in, Amazon.in, Flipkart.com, etc. ASUS India appeals to all consumers to buy its products only from ASUS authorized partners or retailers and to ensure they buy Genuine, Brand New (Non-Refurbished) products with Valid Warranty.” A screenshot of this advisory here.

However, in response to a Medianama query, Asus India told Medianama that it advices its customers to be cautious on the pre & post sales terms and check the authenticity of the product irrespective of the channel of purchase. We are currently awaiting a response from Asus on why they specifically called out these online sites in its advisory when they treat both the channels equally. We will update the story once we hear back.

This also raises a question on whether the responsibility to check whether the product is genuine or not rests with the customer who is purchasing it or with the brand and the channel of purchase. Any thoughts?