My Lenovo Odyssey
New job, new home, new laptop, right?
Well, not that easy. But turns out, job and home is easier that laptop.
Today I read this story about Lenovo Support and then I thought, I could share my story as well. I already ranted about the Lenovo Support on Google+ but apparently Google+ is not Twitter.
But let’s start at the beginning.
On June 20th…
…I decided that my five years old HP laptop has reached its end of service. It still runs quite fine (this blog post is written on it) but over the years more and more components gave up. I wrote about some of it earlier but now I could add some more components to the list.
So I went to Alternate (a German retailer) and looked around a bit. After a few hours and a good night sleep there were two laptops in a rather uneven race. One 13″ HP ProBook and one 15″ Lenovo Thinkpad. Both around 800 EUR. I decided for the Thinkpad because I liked the keyboard better and because of its higher screen resolution (1600×900 vs. 1366×786). So I placed the order and felt good about it.
On June 26th…
…the order arrived and I was happy like a child in a candy shop … until I realised the Enter key being a bit clunky. As long as I hit it exactly at its center, it was fine but to the corners it got worse to the point where it was not pressed at all but wedged somehow. I wrote an email to Alternate asking what to do. They told me to send the laptop back and that they could not send a new keyboard. With my new job starting a few days later, I did not want to do that. They also gave me a telephone number of the Lenovo support so I decided to go that road instead.
Before that, I had to move homes though, so I postponed the call.
On July 2nd…
…I called the support of Lenovo Germany. My call was answered by a recorded voice asking me several questions about my laptop model and such that I answered by pressing the phone digits. The call was ended by the voice by telling me that the hotline has been moved to another number. I had to call a second time because I did not have a pen at hand fast enough.
So I called the second hotline; still Lenovo Germany. Another recorded voice asked me similar questions and after a few questions it sent me to the website. A bit pissed I ended the call early and went to the main website instead. At the bottom there was a link called “Warranty” (“Garantie & Gewährleistung” in German). That link lead to an error page saying that the page did not exist.
I called the hotline again checking if I might have missed something at the end. But no, the call was just ended after the naming of the website. I looked around on the website again and finally found the page the hotline was referring to.
So I checked my warranty. Unsurprisingly it was still valid for almost a year. The assistant had me state some more information about my location and stuff and then gave me the phone number of the hotline I just called.
I called the hotline again just to be sure, but still nothing. I spent another half an hour on the website to see if I had missed something there but did not find anyhing helpful.
On July 3rd…
…I left a comment on the warranty assistant page that I did not find it very helpful, threw all my frustration into my Google+ stream and then sent a message to some “do you have questions” email address I found on the Lenovo website.
On July 4th…
…I decided to sent another email to Alternate, describing what I experienced. They answered the same day, telling me that they are sorry for the inconvenience and that, if nothing else worked, I could still send the laptop back. After another day of waiting for Lenovo to respond to something, I sent the whole thing back to Alternate …on July 5th
Since I did not anticipate the issues I would have with the Lenovo support and thought I would receice a spare keyboard within days, I prepared the laptop for my work, installing Debian and stuff. I told Alternate several times that I could not send the device back in original condition. They never responded to that particular bit so I guess it’s alright. Or I at least hope so.
So today on July 6th…
…I work with my old laptop at home and with a loaned device at work. And I am looking for another new laptop. Lenovo disqualified themselves this week by hiding from customers and not responding at all on several channels. So I guess it will be another HP. I just hope they solved the “fans become annoyingly noisy after some time” issue that haunted my current laptop’s series.
In general I would like to have a laptop with:
* that brand new non-glare display technology the manufacturers are advertising recently (forgotten are the days when that was standard and “glare” had to be advertised for all the DVD watchers and fish tank screen savers)
* mouse buttons that can be pressed (not those pads that just click) and are adjoining so I can press them both simultaneously with one finger (I really like the Thinkpad in that regard)
* a quiet to silent fan; currently I go to bed with a ringing in my ears from the noise of the fan (no, there is no dust carpet in there, I clean it every other month or so) and I want to change that
* a normal keyboard; not those “separate keys in a punched plate” thingies. I work with one of those once in a while and mistype quite often.
Suggestion are appreciated. :)
How it could have ended
Last year, I bought a new guitar. Since I lived in a small town I ordered it just like I ordered the laptop last month. Thomann is a really great retailer in Germany (selling Europe-wide, I think). You can test everything like you would in the store and send it back if you do not like it without a problem. Well, I had a little problem with the guitar. The tone switch vibrated while playing makin a little vibrating sound. I wrote Thomann an email and at the same day they told me that a new guitar would be sent to me the next day and that I should send back the one I had with the shipping sticker they sent me as a PDF. Umm, well, that was a bit overkill, so I called them. It’s a normal phone number so it does not cost a thing for me and a real person answered the call after about 10 seconds of music, who I could ask for a less intrusive solution. They offered to send me a new switch, if I could attach it myself. I agreed (not knowing that it would be a pain to do so with that particular guitar model, but well :D) and the next day they send me a switch that was about 10 times the value of the one built-in originally; basically the most expensive one they had.
I bought quite some stuff there after that and will continue to do so because I know that I can call them and talk to real people in case I have a problem.
Back to Lenovo. I cannot believe that what I experienced with them is supposed to be the way they want to handle customer support. That’s why I tried everything several times (and paid several EUR for their “value-added” phone numbers for nothing). So, what did I do wrong? Did anyone else have any experience with the support of Lenovo or Lonovo Germany? Please leave comments. :)