Posts Tagged ‘lenovo’

I had ranted about the hard time that I had with Lenovo, when my Netbook had some problems, and it was impossible to get service from Lenovo.

I was extremely upset and I had gone and shared these emotions across multiple social media platforms. Besides this blog post, I had posted on my Facebook page, tweeted extensively about it, and also tweeted to many specific Lenovo accounts, both from India as well as outside India. And what happened after that?

I had a whole host of responses to the Facebook update and my tweets. From friends and others who saw the tweets. And ALL of them, bar none, either sympathized and encouraged me to go to consumer court or thereabouts, or added their own sorry tales, working with Lenovo.

I figured that the brand selection had been wrong!!

There were other responses to the Facebook update. Two of my Facebook friends had good connections inside Lenovo, and offered to put up my case to the higher levels at Lenovo. And which they did.

Soon enough, on the one side, I got an email that my case was being attended to, on priority, and I also got a phone call from Bangalore. A person calling from the company asked me to give them one more chance to repair the machine.

I had been quite clear that I did not want more experimentation on my netbook, and I had demanded that the machine be replaced or I be given a full refund.

This person from Bangalore said that he had understood the details of the matter, and he needed someone to get only about 15 minutes with the machine, and it will be fixed. I agreed to give them one last chance to work on the PC, under the condition that should it now not be settled, than I only want a replacement or refund. He stuck his neck out and agreed to my condition.

Sure enough, the person came by next day, and sure enough, he fixed the Netbook, in a matter of a few minutes too!! And he needed no CD or DVD that the other person was frantically looking for and failing to get!

So the Lenovo Netbook is back in working condition. On email, the company asked me to now write a good feedback!! That was of course, high expectations! I was on the verge of going to consumer redressal forums, and if they saved me a trip there, it certainly did not merit a ‘good feedback’ now! And I told her in so many words!

Having said that, although my machine is back in working condition, lot of questions remain unanswered:

1. If not for the intervention of my friends, would I have got the service that I ultimately got?

2. Are customers of Lenovo products expected to have such connections? And if they don’t, they can kiss good service goodbye??

3. Does Lenovo have pathetic service representatives or what? What were they struggling for so long, for a CD, which ultimately was not required at all?

4. Is restarting a simple netbook PC, where I was okay to let the disk be formatted again if required, such a big deal??

5. What they finally understood, from a remote location of Bangalore, that the machine could be fixed in a matter of 15 minutes, why could someone NOT understand this, even with a PC in their hands here in Mumbai??

6. Does Lenovo service believe only in kicking the customer around, giving excuses, losing time, no matter if the customer does not get the use of his PC in the meantime?!

Overall, I was certainly NOT satisfied with the level of service that I got from Lenovo. I have a working machine now, but just that. I am going to pray that it does not give my any more trouble as this kind of run around is not my idea of fun at all!

And at the end, I would NOT recommend anyone to purchase a Lenovo product. Period!

This is wisdom in hindsight for me, but I would like this to be a warning to anyone who ever considers purchasing a Lenovo product. DON’T. Unless you want to get stressed out, want to throw away good money, want to be frustrated with an incapable and insensitive service team.. you get the idea, don’t you?

I had purchased a Lenovo Netbook in January, 2010. As a regular traveler, this light weight personal computer was my perfect productivity companion, and I depended on it totally, to run my business, from wherever in the world I was.

It had some niggling issues from the beginning.

Most times when I restarted the machine, the specific keys with “function-digit” connect, would go to the numeric mode, without so much as a warning. I would not know why the keys will not work. After a few hours of challenge, I found the answer in some user posts online, and figured this out.

It still beats me though, as to why they would set the machine into the num lock mode, for those letter-digit shared keys, every time I boot up??

The second problem that was faced was that in the sleep mode, the computer would get EXTREMELY HOT. So much so that I needed to keep a kind of insulator between my lap and this machine, else I would get burns!

And the third strange thing that used to happen was that the machine would not work on board a flight?! The hard disk would not be detected in air?! I tried to find answers for this online but never got them. Once I’d land on ground, usually, the machine would restart fine. I could not replicate the problem on ground, and found it very very strange.

Managing with these woes somehow, I continued using this machine. Till I got into a worse problem. This time around, the hard disk detection failed to happen, even on the ground. And this happened at a time, when I was a speaker at a conference, and was totally stuck, on account of being unable to use the PC.

Coming back to office, I was able to access the PC in safe mode, and get some of my data backed up.

After that, it has been ONE LONG SAGA trying to get the machine repaired by Lenovo. It is close to ONE MONTH now, and I remain without this computer.

We sent the PC to their service center. They sent us back. Said that someone will come to the office and repair. Got a case number and all that: Case # 4270053609.

Someone did come in a few days. Tried to fix. Could not do so. Said he needs to come with another Engineer.

Came again, still could not fix. Now said that he needs some CD / optical drive. Took like 15 days, and could not find the CD. Called us to ask if we had it. Nothing had come with the package. So no, we did not have it.

Finally got good news that they found the CD. But it still took 4-5 days for person to come to our office.

Oh, tough luck now.. CD did not work. And they did not have anything else.

Now we are given the internal saga. That they are only a service representative, and this will have to be escalated to Lenovo directly. Ok, do I care what they need to do internally?? And I always thought I was talking to Lenovo anyway!!

Whatever that escalation was, was clearly a slow escalation (so much for ‘escalation’)! Nothing moved for another few days. Now I am told they have found something in Bangalore and it has to be sent to Mumbai. And I am sure they are using snail-mail for the same.

Waiting.. waiting.. more waiting.. :((

Meanwhile IN THE WARRANTY PERIOD, I am without the computer for nearly a month now. On account of expecting the machine to start working soon, I have not gone and purchased a new PC (why should I spend more, when I have already spent on this one? And if I do spend, will Lenovo reimburse??). And due to which reason, on my commutes, and during my travel, I am not able to use my time to work on the computer. And my productivity has suffered tremendously.

Total and complete frustration!

My losses are much higher. But can I expect a refund of the money paid, and then let them take the computer and dump it away if they like.. I will take my business elsewhere. And if they cannot do so, maybe they can give me a fresh new piece, and then I will pray and hope that it just works!

What do you think??

** Update on 6th Sept, 2010 at 10-30 pm **

I had shared my agony as described above, on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Many have confirmed their own impressions on Lenovo to have pathetic service levels.

I also wrote to Lenovo HQ with specific mentions to the Chairman, CEO and Global Services in charge. No response.

In my various tweets, I had included the twitter handle of Lenovo India (@lenovo_in). Not a single response tweet from them. I had also added other Lenovo twitter handles like @LenovoCares (that is a joke, of course!) and others. No response from anyone yet!

A couple of friends with connections in Lenovo, who saw my Facebook post, offered to connect my case to the concerned persons in Lenovo. As a result, on Ms. Poornima Matthan, in charge of communications, wrote back to my friend (I was in cc) saying that they had spotted my blog, and were keen to sort this out at earliest.

But the service center was ill-equipped and incapable, as can be seen from the update I shared with her, at 10-15 pm roughly:

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Here’s an update..
– there was NO plan from the service center to sort out my problem today,
– perhaps due to pressure from Lenovo or whatever, they diverted a person who was on another call, all the way from World Trade Center to my office in Govandi
– person reached at 6 pm in the evening
– at the outset, I told him that today was the last day that he had to fix my PC; if not done today, then I do not want any more experiments of repair etc. – only replacement hereafter.
– he worked for an hour or so; found that the CDs he had with him were not the right ones 😦
– said that there was some place in Chembur from where he could get these, and he will come back
– I agreed to allow him to do so
– He went out and returned at 8-45 pm
– I was waiting for him
– He worked on this till 10 pm now
– He could not fix it – said CDs were not correct
– He clarified that these were not original CDs but CDs that were written into, from original CDs
– He also informed that he was to leave the job from this service agency, but he was asked to continue as there was no other service person who could handle these kinds of computers – shows how ill-staffed the agency is

At 10 pm, the service person got me to speak (in all of this one month, for the very first time) to some Ops Manager at his end. The ops manager wanted to send him again tomorrow, and also asked me what the real problem was!!

I refused to have anyone try to repair the piece anymore. I conveyed that Lenovo was INCAPABLE of servicing its machines!! And I don’t want any more experiments at my account.

Also I refused to tell him what the problem was. Does he not have access to logs?? After one month, he is doing me a big favour by asking me what the problem is??

He pleaded and requested for an additional day and one more attempt to repair the piece.

I have not accepted. I will take whatever further actions that I need to, including going to the press, burning the netbook and putting the video on YouTube, or going to consumer court, or anything else.

But I do not have time nor energy, or patience, to have him keep trying to solve the problem, when he clearly is not capable of doing so.

Either give me a replacement machine or full refund or I take suitable further appropriate actions, as I deem fit!!

– Sanjay

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So this is where matters stand..Lenovo sucks big time, and their service center, Maitreyee is also pathetic!