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dxps26
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: New York, USA
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Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

I Have always regarded Thinkpads as the ultimate portable computer, ever since I laid my eyes on a T-series back in the day, I knew I wanted one. it is really disappointing to see my faith being shattered like this, after 12 years of lusting and longing.

I bought a Brand New T420 (4178-6VU) on the 14th of March, and I supplemented the 3-year warranty with a Thinkpad Protection Plan on the 31st of March, within the stipulated 90-day period. The TPP was bought over the Phone, and my Credit card was charged in exchange for a Case number.

Within 2 weeks of taking possession of the system, I began to notice quality problems throughout -

1. Warped Plastics above the Thinkvantage Button and Delete Key
2. loose, free moving and flexing palmrest above the HDD bay - the plastic felt loosely fixed.
3. at least 3mm of flex on the keyboard in the lower right corner, enought to hit the chassis below and make unaaceptable noise.
4. a buzzing right speaker - it would pick up digital interference from the motherboard and amplify the signal - and this is a machine that boasts a whole platoon of certifications. 
5. worst of all, a failing Trackpoint that would start jumping all over the screen on its own.

despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback about the T420, I think this is a poorly put-together system. I can forgive a single part failing suddenly within the first two weeks (as they often do- HDD's fail early or really late) but this computer just feels tardy and unworthy of a $1200 price tag.

I shipped the system to Memphis, TN on the 6th of april, and had to talk to 5 different people to confirm that I was covered by TPP - this was the worst part- nowhere in lenovo's records did my $163.65 spent translate to a TPP for my system. I was told by a Sales Rep from GA that i need to register my TPP with the unique serial number that is issued to every TPP sold, and linked to that machine. Nobody told me this until after i had to beg for my money's worth. Even after talking to people on two continents, I have not received an email from anybody confirming my Coverage, no mention of a Serial number, and I feel my money has been STOLEN by Lenovo. The Thinkvantage tool still shows my base 3-yr warranty, and no word of TPP. 

So I recieved the system on the 10th of april, and this is what I found - 

1. Keyboard Replaced - the 3mm of flex is still there-so much flex, the keyboard actually rattles when i use the arrow keys!!
2. Speaker replaced - the speaker still picks up interference from the motherboard
3. LCD bezel Replaced - This wasnt even a problem area to begin with. Why this was replaced, i have no clue.
4. Palmrest replaced - indeed - with a part that DOES NOT belong on the 4178-6VU - no Fingerprint Reader, and no Bluetooth!!! The quality of workmanship is suspect as the palmrest is still loose and makes noise like its been carelessly joined with duck tape or something. there is a new wierd bump in the plastic over the left speaker grille between the Shift and Fn key


After calling 1800-883-9902, the Rep asked me if i'd like to send the machine in again. 

Having worked in the hospitality service industry, I have the tenets of Service Recovery baked into my bones by now. This is not how an organization should respond to negative feedback. when your customer feels that your services have been wanting, you don't simply repeat the process and hope for the best. you take it up without worrying about what the customer is eligible for, and respond proactively.

I asked for a Total Refund, of both the Machine and the TPP I have purchased, and i was simply brushed off to take it up with sales.  sales told me they canot do a thing becasue this machine was not bought online. so i was pushed to warranty dept. Now these guys said that there is no way i can return the machine and get a refund, in spite of this being a defective product. they are sending me a box again, to send it to the same people who failed to fix the machine right the first time. The operator asured me that an engineer will look over the machine this time (why not the first time??)

 

How can an organization that deals with business customers have such a 'that's not my department' attitude? My desk is littered with post-its to help me deal with the crisis of owning a Lenovo Product. I have no confidence in the abilities of Lenovo, both engineering-wise and business-wise. if sending a machine in for service means losing features you paid for, then I don't think Lenovo deserves to be in this business.

If a Lenovo Rep is reading this, understand this - this is how you lose goodwill. the Thinkpad brand will lapse into irrelevance soon if this sort of thing goes on.

BUYER BEWARE.

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tripplec
Posts: 1,472
Registered: ‎03-08-2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

I feel for you. It never have happened if IBM owned the product line in their day.
I am dubious about my repair as well. Waiting to see if its resolved.
T520 Model 4239 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2860QM CPU @ 2.50GHz
Intel Sandy Bridge & Nvidia NVS 4200M graphics Intel N 6300 Wi-Fi adapter
Windows 7 Home Prem - 64bit w/8GB DDR3
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ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

dxps26, what was the original date date the machine shipped from Lenovo?

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dxps26
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: New York, USA
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

The opening post erroneously mentions the purchase date as 14 march. It was purchased from J&R in New York on the 8th of march this year. The system was shipped to easyserv on 6th April, and received on the 10th.
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ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE


dxps26 wrote:
The opening post erroneously mentions the purchase date as 14 march. It was purchased from J&R in New York on the 8th of march this year. The system was shipped to easyserv on 6th April, and received on the 10th.

http://www.jr.com/information/help.jsp#returns

 

Might want to give them a call anyway.

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dxps26
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: New York, USA
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

J&R have washed their hands off the affair. I gave them a call first and foremost, and they said if the product is found to be defective after 2 weeks, the manufacturer is supposed to deal with the customer by invoking the warranty. 

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dxps26
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: New York, USA
0

Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

i've made a quick video to show where the physical defects appear on the machine, for everybody to see.

 

http://youtu.be/s8EoETbLvTY

 


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ColonelONeill
Posts: 6,641
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

Huh. I have the same strange tapping on the corner of the palm rest next to the left Alt key, although not as severe.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1090/695/1390, 22GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
TPT1: 1839-23U, stock ICS
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
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ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA

Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

[ Edited ]

dxps26 wrote:

J&R have washed their hands off the affair. I gave them a call first and foremost, and they said if the product is found to be defective after 2 weeks, the manufacturer is supposed to deal with the customer by invoking the warranty. 


Yea, I figured they would say that.  You have 2 weeks if you buy in the store.  You have 4 weeks if you buy on the web to return a machine to them.

 

Looks like it's you and Lenovo Support for warranty service now.

 

Buyer beware is right.  When you buy a machine, know the return policy.  Test the crap out of it during that initial period.

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dxps26
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: New York, USA
0

Re: Thinkpad T420 BUYER BEWARE

buyer beware indeed.

How does one test the crap out of a notebook computer?

the thing about my system was that it progressively got worse over time, until it got to a state where  I was no longer willing to put up with the increasing list of issues. and now to add salt to my wounds, the "repair" work that was done resulted in a machine without key parts I paid for. That is what makes me so mad at the dismal quality of service.