DO NOT BUY FROM XoticPC

Discussion in 'Reseller Feedback Forum' started by tbschemer, Sep 6, 2019.

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  1. tbschemer

    tbschemer Newbie

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    On July 22nd, I placed an order for a Clevo P970RD from XoticPC. I chose them because their online reviews here and elsewhere suggested great customer service. Visual quality is important to me, so I paid $99 for them to select a display with minimal backlight bleed and $49 for professional color calibration. Quiet cooling is important to me, so I paid $59 + $35 for them to install cooling pads and improved thermal paste.

    Total cost: $2345

    I received the laptop on August 9th. I was immediately appalled by several problems with this laptop:
    1. The calibration file had not even been applied. I had to dig around the hard drive to find it.
    2. Even once applied, the calibration was far too green.
    3. No matter what sort of recalibration I attempted, I could not get this laptop to display the color red. At all. The color gamut for the P970RD is so narrow that red is displayed as dark orange.
    4. The display panel is SO FLIMSY that opening it with one hand causes stress ripples across the entire LCD screen. If I hold the laptop with one arm under it, with my fingers resting on the back, the lightest pressure actually BENDS the lower portion of the lid, between the hinges.
    5. The speakers for the Clevo models these days are TERRIBLE. Voices sound metallic, like they're coming from over an old phone.
    6. The fans are ridiculously loud, and even after undervolting, come on under the slightest load.

    My 7-year-old P170EM has a great color gamut, quiet fans, a sturdy build quality, and decent speakers, so I just could not believe how low Clevo's standards have fallen since then.

    Hence, I contacted XoticPC about these problems. I told them I would like to consider returning the laptop and started the RMA process. Before returning the system, I asked them if I would be receiving a full refund, and they said IN WRITING, that yes, I would be getting a "full refund" if all components were returned.

    So I packed it up and sent it off to the RMA address on August 20th. I had to pay $120 for the return shipping. They received the system on August 26th. The refund finally posted to my credit card on September 4th (though it didn't appear on my account until today, 9/6).

    Total refund: $2187

    Wait, what? Where's my "full refund"?

    I contacted XoticPC about this, and they stated that they would not be refunding me for the "XoticPC services" of giving me a top-20% monitor ($99) and the thermal pads ($59). So, they charged me an extra $99 for a premium monitor, and even when they got the monitor back, they still kept the charge. Same with the cooling components.

    So because I made the mistake of doing business with XoticPC, I'm out $120 + $99 + $59 = $278 for nothing. They got the laptop back and still kept $158 of my money. This is unacceptable.

    Do not do business with this company. They provided an inferior product. They lied to me. They made me 100% responsible for return costs. And they kept their profits and their computer too. But they did it all with a smile. :)
     
  2. Vingard

    Vingard Notebook Consultant

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    Lesson learned, I guess. At least you got most of your money back and didn't get stuck with an unsatisfactory product.
     
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  3. joluke

    joluke Notebook Deity

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    Now to buy from a reliable store :)

    Lesson learned. Sadly the hard way
     
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  4. electrosoft

    electrosoft Tick Tock Clarice....

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    Looking at your list of complaints, I’m really having a hard time finding why XoticPC is at fault.

    Did the display have a lot of bleed?

    Services were rendered, but they did refund you the actual cost of the laptop with no restocking fee.

    Thermal upgrade is an XoticPC service.

    I could maybe see an argument for the $99 since they did get the panel back, but again it is an XoticPC service / custom part/mod.

    Right under their return FAQ they state “Custom parts are NON-REFUNDABLE if the order is canceled or returned.”

    Did they state they would make an exception and cover return shipping?

    XoticPC’s return policy:

    “You must ship the products within 5 days of receiving your RMA Number to XOTIC PC in its original packaging, prepay shipping charges, and insure the shipment or accept the risk of loss or damage during shipment. You may return software for refund or credit only if the sealed package containing the disks is unopened.

    Returned products must be in as-new condition, and all of the manuals, disks, power cables, and other items included with a product must be returned with it.

    Returns for External Accessories purchased with laptops must be returned unopened and in their original retail package to be eligible for refund.

    *XOTIC PC will not refund shipping, rush services, XOTIC PC Services, special ordered parts, or any Shipping Warranties. If Windows or Microsoft Office has been activated, it will not be accepted back for refund or credit.”

    The P970RD is a thinner, poorly cooled, BGA, flimsy model. That isn’t XoticPCs fault. They didn’t design it. They just sell it.
     
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  5. Felix_Argyle

    Felix_Argyle Notebook Consultant

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    Start a chargeback process. You are entitled to receive what you have paid, regardless of modifications. All the extra parts you paid for, such as thermal pads, XoticPC has received back, and they can resell the whole laptop with those parts, same goes for display calibration file or a "pay $99 to receive panel with less backlight bleeding than on most models" service - you don't even know if they will choose the panel with least amount of backlight bleeding or will give you whatever they have in stock.

    As a personal suggestion - I would recommend you to take a look at other alternatives such as Gigabyte Aero 17 or Lenovo Y740 if you want a slim laptop with good cooling and good display quality. Or Dell G7 if you don't mind repasting yourself.
     
  6. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    They can't resell it as new once opened.
     
  7. tbschemer

    tbschemer Newbie

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    I was specifically told, in writing prior to returning the product, that I would be receiving a full refund.

    I'm not holding them responsible for the shipping costs (even though more reputable organizations, like Amazon, Micro Center, and even HP and Dell will cover that return shipping). But that extra $158 for "XoticPC services"? No, they do not get to keep that. They got their "backlight-bleed free" display back. They got their cooling pads back. They can collect those fees from whoever they try to sell it to next. To try to still make a profit at my expense, when I got nothing of value from them, is just plain wrong.

    I've already tried getting this resolved with them through emails. If they're not going to correct this when called out publicly, I absolutely will initiate a chargeback, citing their promise of a "full refund."

    I don't know if HIDevolution or other resellers are any better, but from my experience with XoticPC, I'd have to recommend that people just not use these specialized resellers at all. Buy from Amazon. Buy from Micro Center. Buy direct from manufacturers if they have good return policies. Don't buy a laptop without the opportunity to try it out with a full money-back guarantee. And then make any necessary upgrades (e.g. thermal paste, cooling pads) yourself.

    With laptops these days, there are just too many different ways in which the product can fail you, and these aspects are not captured by the specifications posted on company websites. In fact, I would venture to say that these companies are actively trying to hide the model numbers and full specifications of the individual components of their laptops, so they can use cheaper components than their competitors while still technically having the same listed specifications. The only way to know if a laptop will be satisfactory is to try it, and the customer should not be on the hook for those costs. If these companies don't want a lot of returns, they need to sell quality products, or at least be far more transparent about what they're really selling.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  8. tbschemer

    tbschemer Newbie

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    @Meaker@Sager, I don't know if you have any influence with Clevo's design teams, but it would be great if Clevo could revisit their success with the P170EM model and compare it to the junk they're making today.

    I don't care how "thin and light" a laptop is, if the build quality is flimsy, or the color gamut is narrow, or the speakers sound like an old phone, or the fans are noisy under the lightest load, or it suffers extreme thermal throttling when the CPU and GPU are being used at the same time for more than a few minutes (*coughcough* Dell), then it's useless to me.

    I saw another recent thread here with the exact same complaint, after trying to find an upgrade from their P170EM with the glossy 90% NTSC display. There is literally no gaming laptop on the market that is also usable for creative work, and there is no creator/media laptop on the market that is also usable for gaming (at least, in the <$3000 range). Video-editing on laptops is an underserved market. The Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED checks all the right boxes on paper, but the coil whine and fan noises on that model are horrible.

    Clevo used to be better than this. They can and should do better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  9. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    There is the thicker PB series if you want better cooling. Otherwise that Gigabyte runs hot too.
     
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  10. tbschemer

    tbschemer Newbie

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    Sure, the base looks thicker, but what about the lid and the speakers? Does the PB series have the same type of flimsy lid that I found on the P970? Does it have the same metallic-sounding speakers?

    Opening the P970 lid literally sends stress ripples down the LCD screen because it's so flimsy it bends.
     
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