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Questions related to Asus warranty return process & with AX router

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ElonMusty

Occasional Visitor
I have an AC68U that needs to be repaired. Asus states it is under warranty, I need to send it back to them for a replacement. Can anyone that has used the Asus warranty process and is familiar with the Asus AX routers, help me with these questions? I regret this message is so long. You can just read the 1st sentence after each number, and only read further if I was not clear is the wording of my questions.

Budget: less than $130USD.

Long hardware support life cycle

To use advanced features, no requirement to grant a 3rd party archive/access to search history (i.e. Trend Micro). This last one is a deal breaker.

1. Is it normal to authorize an unknown to me, 3rd party payment process to hold $300 on my credit card? Asus is offering an AX model to replace my AC68U. Asus will release the $300 when it receives my original router. If it is damaged due to shipping, I will be charged the $300. I do not like the request to share my personal info, it is creeping me out. It also bothers me I am taking on all the risk here for damage in shipping. Are these normal and do I have options to avoid these requests?

2. How can I tell which Asus AX routers DO NOT require the end-user agrees to the terms of Trend Micro to use advanced features? I have read everyone saying it is no big deal, but I disagree. I do not want to share anything with Trend Micro.

2a. Does the firmware by Merlin allow the end-user to use advanced features without agreeing to the Trend Micro terms of service? I have used Merlin and/or John’s fork for more than a decade. I do not recall them disabling features offered by Asus, so I am guessing the Merlin firmware require I agree to the terms of Trend Micro.

3. In the event all Asus AX models require agreeing to terms with Trend Micro, what are alternative brands and models? I really like Asus routers. I have recommended their routers for years, but Trend Micro might make me seek other brands. The only requirement is a relative long hardware support cycle. I had an AC68U before this one. I know my AC68U might have inappropriately skewed my expectations. The need for long support is the person is in a different state and no one around is technical to assist with any support. The network requirements are minimal. The end user is a senior with 1 gig internet, that has three mobile devices, three “smart TVs” and three laptops. There are rarely more than four devices going at anyone time. 1 gig internet is a waste, but they got a decent deal on the package.

3a. How long is the standard support cycle for a router?

Thank you!
 
1. Is it normal to authorize an unknown to me, 3rd party payment process to hold $300 on my credit card? Asus is offering an AX model to replace my AC68U. Asus will release the $300 when it receives my original router. If it is damaged due to shipping, I will be charged the $300. I do not like the request to share my personal info, it is creeping me out. It also bothers me I am taking on all the risk here for damage in shipping. Are these normal and do I have options to avoid these requests?

Normally, you ship ASUS your dead router and then they will repair or replace it, all at your expense if it is out-of-warranty. I don't know how they do the payment because I always prefer to buy a new AIO router instead of trying to repair one at my expense... especially one that is so end-of-life like the AC68U.

I suggest you buy a new router and skip the odd ASUS swap deal you describe.

2. How can I tell which Asus AX routers DO NOT require the end-user agrees to the terms of Trend Micro to use advanced features? I have read everyone saying it is no big deal, but I disagree. I do not want to share anything with Trend Micro.

Trend Micro powers certain ASUSWRT features. If you do not want to use TM features, then don't... keep them disabled by enabling Privacy\Withdraw in the router webUI:


If you read the TM ToS and filter out what only applies to the TM features on ASUS routers, you may determine that the 'personal data' TM sees is not very personal.

2a. Does the firmware by Merlin allow the end-user to use advanced features without agreeing to the Trend Micro terms of service? I have used Merlin and/or John’s fork for more than a decade. I do not recall them disabling features offered by Asus, so I am guessing the Merlin firmware require I agree to the terms of Trend Micro.

ASUSWRT-Merlin adds features to ASUSWRT... it does not change how the ASUSWRT TM features work.

3. In the event all Asus AX models require agreeing to terms with Trend Micro, what are alternative brands and models? I really like Asus routers. I have recommended their routers for years, but Trend Micro might make me seek other brands. The only requirement is a relative long hardware support cycle. I had an AC68U before this one. I know my AC68U might have inappropriately skewed my expectations. The need for long support is the person is in a different state and no one around is technical to assist with any support. The network requirements are minimal. The end user is a senior with 1 gig internet, that has three mobile devices, three “smart TVs” and three laptops. There are rarely more than four devices going at anyone time. 1 gig internet is a waste, but they got a decent deal on the package.

You don't have to enable/use the TM features.

3a. How long is the standard support cycle for a router?

Thank you!

ASUS warranty seems to vary from 1 to 3 years depending on the router and market. Firmware support tends to continue for the useful life of the router... longer for mainstream/performance routers... not as long for more fringe or troublesome product.


If your AC68U is out-of-warranty, I would buy a WiFi6/ax router and skip the payment monkey business you describe.

OE
 
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1. Is it normal to authorize an unknown to me, 3rd party payment process to hold $300 on my credit card? Asus is offering an AX model to replace my AC68U. Asus will release the $300 when it receives my original router. If it is damaged due to shipping, I will be charged the $300. I do not like the request to share my personal info, it is creeping me out. It also bothers me I am taking on all the risk here for damage in shipping. Are these normal and do I have options to avoid these requests?
They have different after-sales policies based on different regions, but honestly this is the first time I've heard them ask for your credit card information at the beginning.

Make sure you contact genuine Asus after-sales service. you can always share more information in this forum so other members can help you identify whether it's a credit card fraud scheme.

2. How can I tell which Asus AX routers DO NOT require the end-user agrees to the terms of Trend Micro to use advanced features? I have read everyone saying it is no big deal, but I disagree. I do not want to share anything with Trend Micro.

2a. Does the firmware by Merlin allow the end-user to use advanced features without agreeing to the Trend Micro terms of service? I have used Merlin and/or John’s fork for more than a decade. I do not recall them disabling features offered by Asus, so I am guessing the Merlin firmware require I agree to the terms of Trend Micro.

3. In the event all Asus AX models require agreeing to terms with Trend Micro, what are alternative brands and models? I really like Asus routers. I have recommended their routers for years, but Trend Micro might make me seek other brands. The only requirement is a relative long hardware support cycle. I had an AC68U before this one. I know my AC68U might have inappropriately skewed my expectations. The need for long support is the person is in a different state and no one around is technical to assist with any support. The network requirements are minimal. The end user is a senior with 1 gig internet, that has three mobile devices, three “smart TVs” and three laptops. There are rarely more than four devices going at anyone time. 1 gig internet is a waste, but they got a decent deal on the package.
As OE explains in detail, you can disable them. In fact it is not enabled automatically, Trend Micro is optional. You don’t need to use Trend Micro to get tons of features. there are also countless scripts at SNB forums that provide Trend Micro alternatives in open source form.
3a. How long is the standard support cycle for a router?

Choosing the high-end model with the most users usually results in a longer software life support cycle. The simplest method is to compare the download volume of each model on the firmware download page.
 
1. Is it normal to authorize an unknown to me, 3rd party payment process to hold $300 on my credit card? Asus is offering an AX model to replace my AC68U. Asus will release the $300 when it receives my original router. If it is damaged due to shipping, I will be charged the $300. I do not like the request to share my personal info, it is creeping me out. It also bothers me I am taking on all the risk here for damage in shipping. Are these normal and do I have options to avoid these requests?
This is actually fairly common in the industry. It`s typically called "Advanced Replacement". I remember my company used to do that quite frequently with Western Digital when we were returning a defective HDD for RMA. Basically it allows you to receive a replacement device ahead of the company receiving the defective product, reducing your downtime (as you don't have to wait 2 weeks for a repaired or replacement product to be sent back to you). To ensure you do send the defective product, these company will reserve the value of the device, until they receive the defective one, and will only withdraw the funds if they never receive your shipped defective.
 
Welcome to the forums @ElonMusty.

I would expect to see zero options for the requirements and budget you have right now.

1. This is par for the course. They need to protect themselves too. Your recourse is to ship with insurance of $300 or more.

2. There are no routers that offer what you want. To use the features, you need to accept the terms. Just like anything else today. Take it or leave it, but searching for such a model will be futile.

2a. Yes, RMerlin firmware doesn't change the terms of use. If you use certain features that require TrendMicro, you will need to accept the terms.

3. Forget the exceptional support the RT-AC68U has received. That will most likely never be seen again. Asus is the long-standing undisputed standard for long-term support. There is no other consumer router manufacturer that offers anything to match what Asus does and has been doing, for so many years already. Not to mention how much more updated (and therefore secure) their code and components within the firmware is too.

3a. Warranty varies according to region/country, but anything offered after 3 years is already in the 'exceptional' range, today.


The cheapest router I would be looking at would be the RT-AX68U. Note that this model will fail to provide 1Gbps up/down speeds. But for the users and amount of devices in the environment you describe, it may not matter. It will give greater than 600+Mbps performance (sorry, I do not know the upper limits of that model), and it will do so with very little latency too.

There was a link here for this model in the $75 range. Well worth considering.

I too don't suggest you take a 'trade' from Asus. I would be looking for a refund instead. Or at least a 'store' credit, if available. The biggest reason to do so? The second router you buy will reset the return/exchange and warranty period. Not the same thing when you accept a warranty replacement unit.
 
@OzarkEdge , @Yota , @RMerlin and @L&LD , thank you for your quick responses, especially to a fairly long post.


OE, Asus is doing what RMerlin stated, an Advanced Replacement. I must return the old router within 14 days of receiving it to avoid the $300 charge.


Yota, I am concerned about fraud. The 3rd party payment processor looks to be Paypal. I included the payment page and a partial of the URL. Another odd thing, and why I reached out to this group, is over the last four days, I had more than 12 emails with Asus support and interacted with 10 different support techs. This is almost a different tech for each email. Adding to my concern, the most current tech always asks for my phone number and other data when I provided it to the previous techs. This has happened at least 6 times.
1697009275247.png



RMerlin, yes Asus seems to be using Advance Replacement to keep me online while I wait for the new router.


L&LD, thanks for you answers. You are correct, getting 1Ggps does not matter, her internet is overkill. She barely needs 100Gbps internet.



I regret Asus require its users give up privacy and allow data collection in order to use Traffic analyzer, Adaptive QoS/Game boost, Web history, as well as other features. It is maddening when you consider this is required AFTER dropping a respectable amount of money for an advanced router.

I decided to go for a refund. I was hoping one of the smart members at SNB could help change my mind. For more than 10 years, I have REALLY been happy with my Asus hardware. I have recommended Asus routers to family, friends and coworkers. Since no one in this Asus-centric forum suggested an alternative router, I will ask in the general networking thread (←that was a bad joke lol).

Thanks to each of you for your feedback!
 
I regret Asus require its users give up privacy and allow data collection in order to use Traffic analyzer, Adaptive QoS/Game boost, Web history, as well as other features. It is maddening when you consider this is required AFTER dropping a respectable amount of money for an advanced router.
Note that technically it's not Asus requiring the agreement, its Trend Micro.
FAQ ASUS Router Privacy Policy

One can search through SNBForums to see many past discussion on those specific features and their sometimes questionable usefulness, particularly depending on one's use case.

As indicated or alluded to by others; if one doesn't need, or isn't using those specific features, one simply doesn't enable them (and agree to the Trend Micro data collection). Further one can ensure they have disabled all Trend Micro features by going to the router's GUI, navigating to Administration > Privacy and clicking on the Withdraw button(s), if present, on that page.
Administration - ASUS NOTICE( for privacy )

Please note that users are required to agree to share their information before using DDNS, Remote Connection (ASUS Router APP、Lyra APP、AiCloud、AiDisk), AiProtection, Traffic analyzer, Apps analyzer, Adaptive QoS, Game Boost and Web history. At any time, users can search the contents of the terms at this page or stop sharing their information with other parties by choosing Withdraw.
 
The cheapest router I would be looking at would be the RT-AX68U. Note that this model will fail to provide 1Gbps up/down speeds. But for the users and amount of devices in the environment you describe, it may not matter. It will give greater than 600+Mbps performance (sorry, I do not know the upper limits of that model), and it will do so with very little latency too.

There was a link here for this model in the $75 range. Well worth considering.

I too don't suggest you take a 'trade' from Asus. I would be looking for a refund instead. Or at least a 'store' credit, if available. The biggest reason to do so? The second router you buy will reset the return/exchange and warranty period. Not the same thing when you accept a warranty replacement unit.

@OzarkEdge , @Yota , @RMerlin and @L&LD , thank you for your quick responses, especially to a fairly long post.
...
L&LD, thanks for you answers. You are correct, getting 1Ggps does not matter, her internet is overkill. She barely needs 100Gbps internet.
...
I decided to go for a refund. I was hoping one of the smart members at SNB could help change my mind. For more than 10 years, I have REALLY been happy with my Asus hardware. I have recommended Asus routers to family, friends and coworkers. Since no one in this Asus-centric forum suggested an alternative router, I will ask in the general networking thread (←that was a bad joke lol).
...
Thanks to each of you for your feedback!

@ElonMusty, you're welcome.

Please note that I did recommend an Asus router for you. And I was the one that suggested a refund instead of an exchange too (for reasons you may not have considered).

There really is no better option at the consumer/prosumer and even entry-level business class/enterprise level when you want the best experience at the lowest prices overall.

As mentioned by others above, TrendMicro is who needs permission, not Asus. Check out the specific EULA for use with Asus routers, it is not as onerous as you may think (the link was provided in previous posts earlier in this thread), and the benefits to users are real.
 

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