01-02-2009 07:33 PM - last edited on 01-02-2009 07:51 PM by JaneL
I thought I would share my experience with everybody (sorry its so long), as I used this board and NBR (where I have posted the same message). I thought it only fair I give back and post my experience and thoughts.
I spent about 3 or 4 months reviewing notebooks and waiting for the right sale to come along. My ideal notebook was the X301, but due to the crazy high cost and little to no deals on it I had to pass it up, I ended up with the X300, as a week or so before Christmas Lenovo decided to give some great discounts on it. Before I got that I was thinking I would end up with a T400, which I think is probably a great option still. I have been a fan of Lenovo for some time now, I have used T30, T42, X61, T61 for work for over the past 6 or 7 years. To take it a step further of how much this story is going to slide, I should also mention that I work for a major corporation (Fortune 500) and I actually and one of the decision makers on which computers we purchase and I handle those relationship.
I spoke with multiply Lenovo rep's about Lenovo's price match policy and return policy, so I have a good understanding. Lenovo will match and credit you the difference if the price drops within 21 days of purchase; and if you want to change or cancel your order BEFORE the item has shipped you can do so. With that knowledge I went ahead and pulled the trigger on an X300 and I started watching and following closely as to when I would get my new laptop as well if any price difference.
Then it happened, the price dropped and a discount was being given on the X300 that made my system almost $200 cheaper at the same time I saw that the price on the T400 had dropped to its lowest price in months. After a day or two of waiting I called Lenovo (before my laptop had shipped) and asked them to please cancel my X300 and I would instead purchase an T400 and I also decided I would purchase an S10 (both for roughly the same price as the X300). The FIRST call I made the sales rep told me there was some issues and he could handle it for me but would have to call me back. After hearing nothing I called the next day and again requested the same thing, only this time I received and answer that shocked me. I was told that I could cancel my order BUT they would have to charge me a 15% fee, even though my order had not been shipped yet. I asked about the policy and the sale rep said that is all he could do and if I wanted he would escalate my call to a manager and I would get a call back. Never happened. Two days later my X300 was shipped out and I still called Lenovo stating my case and all my previous conversations, but due to the rep would simply state that I could return the X300 but a 15% fee. At that point I had come to terms I would take the X300 but now I needed to get the price match. After making another call, I walked the rep step by step through the site to show him the price on the exact same configuration and how it was almost $200 cheaper. He said that he would submit a request and in 7 to 10 days I would see a credit on my credit card. During that same conversation I told asked the rep since I have not received my laptop can I still purchase an extended warranty, he said not a problem and submitted a request and that I would receive an email confirming the purchase and see the charge on my credit card.
After watching the UPS tracker my X300 finally arrived, the first thing I noticed while unpacking it was that there was no Vista Business CD/DVD (Systems was configured with XP Pro). Maybe a simple mistake, I'm sure a simple phone could resolve it. After starting the system and going through the initial startup the system had to restart, upon the restart an error popped up. Strange since it has was only been turned on for less than 5 or 10 min?? I then thought with no backup/recovery DVD I should go ahead and create one using Lenovo's nifty toolbox system... guess what? After a number of tried the DVD burner would not work, not with DVD's or with CD's (trying almost every format and multiply brands). I still decided to move on, I then wanted to start to configure it to my home network, everything was going great until I tried configuring the Bluetooth components. I tried anything and everything I could think of, but still no luck (yes, the system was ordered with Bluetooth PAN installed). So now I am excited because I get to call the famous IBM/Lenovo tech support.
With my first call the rep could literary not speak legible English, it was so bad I had to ask politely to be transferred to somebody else, and guess what? He decided to just hang up on me. Ok, so I call back and its a slightly step up, I explain there are two new problems and the system is literally less than an hour old. So here is what genius one had to say, first with the error message... I need to reinstall XP as not all the system was loaded. Before I say how that ended, we worked on the Bluetooth and the DVD burner situation, I told him that I don't believe the Bluetooth module was ever installed from my testing. We went through about a one to two dozen steps and tests with both the Bluetooth and DVD burner and his response.... It appears there is no Bluetooth chip installed in your laptop and you have a faulty DVD burner and the only way to get them fixed will be to send them to Lenovo which will take 4 to 5 weeks!!! Now back to the XP problem, after I was told I need to reinstall XP I asked him how since I never got any back up/recovery CD/DVD and I could not even make one and never getting a DVD to upgrade to Vista Business. His response... sorry to hear that, you need to call sales and they will get it to you.
So, I now have to call back and speak to sales, went through everything and guess what, I have to PAY to get the XP disks even though Lenovo didn't install it properly BUT he will send me the VIsta Business one. He said he would but in a request and it should be sent out in the next 3 to 4 business days. Still no confirmation on that yet.
At this point I am loosing my mind and I am most seriously regretting not taking advantage of some of the other great discounts from the #1 and #2 computer companies. But that would require me to eat the 15% restocking fee, so I deal and I call and try to keep things moving forward. After a few more calls I am told that my situation is being sent to a high level manager who will return my call in 24 to 48 hours. We are now in over 120 hours and NO CALL!!! I just got off the phone with a rep and apparently they only have 2 of my calls on record (not including the tech support) out of the 9 I have made.
So where am I? I have a brand new laptop that runs with errors and will not run office because of them. I am owed almost $200 and there system says I only am owed $70. I am still waiting for the Vista DVD. I have no Bluetooth and need to send it in for review and repair and will be without it for probably a month. I have been trying hard to be able to purchase the extended warranty but nobody at Lenovo wants to sell it to me.
I finally gave it, spending a significant amount of money on a computer should not be this much of a horrifying experience, I called and asked for a return authorization. I am going to decide over the weekend and go with it, I mean should an experience really be this bad? All the calls and things I was told would happen and be made, not ONE has happened, NOT ONE!!!!
So my advice to Lenovo, give Sprint a call, ask them how having bad customer service can ruin a good product. Ask them how it will destroy your business and drive all your customers to your competition. Oh, and as I mentioned earlier I have meetings next week about purchasing anywhere from 2000 to 3500 new laptops. Guess who is going to suggest we explore other options and other vendors?
My advice to anybody that has managed to read all of this, RUN do not walk past go. I am not saying don't buy Lenovo, but certainly know what you are getting into. And one last thing, the reports or posts about the screen not being that good on the X300, not true, I think its great and love it!
Also, curious to see if Lenovo will keep this post up or take it down.
01-06-2009 11:52 PM
Wow. Just... wow.
We had to order new laptops at work. We ordered gateways. I couldn't in all good conscience recommend Lenovo because of their horribly customer service record.
When I ordered my laptop, there was a checkbox for including the vista cd media at no cost. I checked it. I did not get the media. I was told there would be a $45 fee to get the media I had quite clearly checked off. The CSR was most impolite about it, and just wanted me off the phone. There was NO sense of making the customer happy / fixing a mistake.
If I'd been in your position I think I would have packed up the laptop, told Lenovo I was sending it back, and if they didn't issue a full refund I'd be disputing the charge with my credit card company.
The gateway laptops btw, work just fine. I love the engineering that goes into thinkpads / ideapads. The company that's selling them, however, sucks. The two times I've dealth with lenovo for warranty repairs and customer service I've been very disappointed.
oh well, at last we aren't stuck with Dells at work.