ASUS may have managed to turn aftersales gold into PR misery, using spec sheet small print to explain why many Eee Pad Transformer Prime owners won't get a free GPS-fixing dongle. The company was praised earlier this week for agreeing to send Transformer Prime owners an add-on to address shoddy positioning performance; now, though, ASUS not all buyers will actually be eligible, since marketing materials in some places never actually mentioned GPS location functionality.
According to a comment on ASUS Italy's Facebook page (poorly converted to English by Google Translate below), outside of the US, Taiwan and certain European countries, the Transformer Prime was billed as offering "localized" positioning rather than full GPS suited to in-car navigation. That means, the company argues, that no "broken promises or misleading claims" about the Tegra 3 tablet's abilities were made.
"Guys confirm that the initiative is reserved for those territories where Prime was marketed with the GPS between the specifications of the product. So mainly the U.S. and Taiwan. In Italy Prime has been marketed under a Localized atore and not with a GPS "Full" as car navigation. Function that we believe the rest is useless in combination with a tablet. Customers who bought Prime has done with the understanding that GPS is not present, then from our side there were no broken promises or misleading claims. We do not understand then what the reason of your critical Riccardo . Among other things, the satisfaction level of users who bought Prime is very high. In sharp contrast with what you say. It means that the product performs its function very well" ASUS Italy [machine-translated]
ASUS actually removed mentions of GPS navigation from Transformer Prime specs after the first complaints about the tablet surfaced. Therefore, it's only those who got in early - basically, back in 2011 prior to the amendments - who will be eligible.
As for whether that means you'll get a GPS dongle or not, it's best to contact your local service center to see if ASUS is operating the free accessory scheme in your country. Still, the way ASUS has handled the situation is hardly ideal, and we can't blame those users left out for being frustrated.
[via Notebook Italia]