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Problems with Lenovo support?

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Problems with Lenovo support?

#1 Post by Kielbasa » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:44 am

Someone else (not me) wrote:3 years ago (in 2014)....Wife asked me to research/purchase a solid business-type Laptop for her business.
Ended up purchasing a T500 with 4 year onsite warranty.
1st year - Problem with battery - Lenovo replaced
1st year - problem with booting on - Lenovo replaced system board
2nd year - problem with booting on - Lenovo replaced system board
3rd year (this past week) - problem with display not working - Lenovo replaced display (did not fix problem)....
3rd year (same week) - problem with display not working - Lenovo replaced system board (mobo)...(did not fix problem).

I Called Lenovo to report the T500 still is not working after they just sent a Tech 2x in past week to replace the display and yet another system board.
They asked me to send the unit in to their depot....(Not a desirable option for us)...!
I asked for a replacement and the rep said I could call back during regular business hours to speak with a supervisor about this.
Called back today (during regular business hrs)...and rep takes all the information then tells me a supervisor will call me with-in 72 hours...(Further irritation_).

Completely dismayed with this experience and discouraged with Lenovo's terrible support.
My wife's been tolerant but can't see us throwing any future money in a Lenovo product after such a dismal track record here with our first Thinkpad.
My Wife's business is impacted because her laptop is down AGAIN.

This is a lemon!


I don't see how I can assist with the diag and repair of this machine, but having worked for a manufacturer and evaluated similar cases, I might offer the following thoughts, in no particular order:

First, don't use the "L-word" (lemon), as this has certain legal implications. No one likes to be threatened with legal proceedings. Even though you are not threatening the Customer Service reps personally, legal cases always involve a ridiculous amount of unpleasant paper work, finger pointing, depositions and general drama. You do not want your case to be transferred to the Legal Department, except as an absolute last resort. Do not resist, or otherwise obstruct a two-track approach. The Service folks are separate from the Customer Service folks. While they may periodically coordinate, they each have their separate tasks. The service folks will be tasked with repairing your machine, whether you continue to own it, or not. This is completely separate from the Goodwill gesture which you will be requesting from the Customer Service folks.

Be factual and have your documentation well organized. Prepare a script for yourself, so that you get your facts and dates in the correct order. This will also ensure that no important details will be overlooked. When you prepare this document, avoid the temptation to tell your entire life's story, no matter how fascinating it may be. Unless you own additional Lenovo products, remain focused on the T500. Briefly mentioning other Lenovo products that you may own, the fact that Lenovo has always been an aspirational brand, or that you have close friends and family who are thrilled with their Lenovo products, which you recommended to them can help, so long as you don't over do it. Always be pleasant and professional. Do not rant, rave, swear, threaten, or otherwise be a drama queen. Do not be obsessive. Even if you are polite, contacting the Customer Support folks several times a day will quickly annoy them. You do not want to annoy them! They are busy and they have a crap job; if you annoy them you will not realize the resolution that you desire ... it's human nature. Remember, it is possible to be both firm and persistent, without becoming annoying and disagreeable.

It is unlikely that the person who answers the phone has the authority to make the decision. Do not disrespect them though, because they will likely own your case from start to finish, regardless if someone else makes the critical decisions. Keep in mind that every link in the chain has a certain amount of discretion to continue to escalate your case ... or not. The supervisor may, or may not have the authority to make the decision. Even if he/she does have the authority, they have to answer to their superiors for their decisions. In all likelihood though, you may never have a chance to speak directly with "the boss." The object is to be engaging and persuasive with the folks with whom you do speak, so that they will become your advocates within their organization. In order for them to be your advocate, they not only need to feel like you deserve special treatment, but they need to feel motivated to do something about it. They will also need to have a clear and concise statement of the facts to back up their assertion that you have been wronged and that the company needs to make a special gesture, in order to kiss and make up with you. Threatening to never purchase another Lenovo product will get you absolutely nowhere. They will not go out of their way for someone who intends to go away and no longer be a customer.

Finally, have realistic expectations. Your machine is well over ten years years old. They aren't going to send you a brand spanking new T570, at no cost to you and they are unlikely to have refurbished T500's sitting around that the can use for a swap. But, perhaps there is a T560, or a T570 in the outlet store that they can work a deal on. Or, perhaps they can give a discount on a new machine. You need to work out a reasonable request. For example, if you tell them that you will not be happy with anything less than a new P71 and $1k for inconvenience, pain and suffering, you are wasting your time. Asking them to spend $2500, or more on you is unreasonable. Therefore, from their perspective, it makes no sense for them to spend any money on you at all. If you won't be happy with anything less than something that is unreasonable, spending any amount would be no different than flushing the money down the drain. In other words, if they spend money on you they want to get the desired result - a happy customer. If you have a compelling case and you make a reasonable request, they will likely make the extra effort to make you happy.

In a nutshell, you are asking them to make a business decision to assist a Lenovo enthusiast who has both a reasonable request & solution that will quickly resolve an ongoing, unresolved problem.

Sorry for the wall of text, but there are nuances and psychology involved, which must be appreciated.

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Re: Problems with Lenovo support?

#2 Post by w0qj » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:04 pm

We understand your predicament, and it feels frustrating to have limited support from ThinkPad for your 10-year old T500 model.

A number of our key corporate notebooks use the ThinkPad 5-year on-site warranty.
Our experience has been good.
On-site repairs gets done properly.
Only one case of referring our ThinkPad to repair depot for (multi-day) repairs, and we have experienced 10+ years worth of on-site warranty repairs.

Once your ThinkPad is out of warranty:
Our ThinkPad/Lenovo repair depot said they can no longer support our problematic T410.
We reached out to Lenovo/ThinkPad's business partner/reseller, and they repaired our T410 (at a price).
Especially look for those partners/resellers which service *exclusively* to ThinkPad/Lenovo notebook computers;
there is a better chance of repairing older ThinkPad models with these folks.

In our region, the official Lenovo website listed its suggested business partner/resller; that was how we got our T410 notebook repaired recently.
We even upgraded our T410 (+RAM, +SSD +battery) too!

Try to look at it this way, from our own experience, other notebook manufacturers may consider even a 5-year old notebook computer
as ancient and not worth supporting. In fact, some of these other brands no longer keep the parts for it after 5 years.
No parts = no service. End of story.

Which is why we stick with ThinkPad, for its 5-year on-site warranty.
For ThinkPad keeping spare parts around closer to (but not quite reaching) the 10-year mark.
And for that ecosystem of ThinkPad/Lenovo business partner/reseller network willing to service (at a price) older 10-year old ThinkPad models!

[Edit: As an aside, it really does seem that you have somehow had a problematic ThinkPad T500, perhaps bad luck.
Our own corporate experience with ThinkPad models have been good; we did not encounter the problems you have described...]
Daily Driver: X1 Extreme 1st Gen (X1E1): i7 | 16GB | 1TB | IPS
Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
~~IBM Thinkpad era computer bag !

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