11-06-2009 01:41 PM
My X61 Tablet is currently warranty but I have been repeatedly dismissed by Lenovo's "techincal" liaisons declaring that this is billable damage caused by the user. Apparently I've been applying too much pressure on the LCD causing it to crack - repeatedly.
Here's the chronology of events that displays the incompetence of their so called engineering team.
=> Around end of August 2009 I see a bubble surfacing from the behind the bezel 2" off the left bottom edge of the screen
=> I follow the routine of opening a ticket, receive a box, copy and backup up data, box/ send the machine and prepare of weeks of loss in productivity without a laptop
=> After close to two weeks I receive communication regarding the bubble and am told immediately that the fix would be billable (around $700 for replacing the LCD if i chose to proceed)
=> I ask for an escalation and a more precise report of what they thought the problem was. This whiles away several more days and I get a picture from their repair center
=> They put a sticker next to the bubble and claimed that it was a crack caused due to pressure on the LCD. "Even the slightest pressure can sometimes cause a crack to appear". Never mind the fact that a tablet is meant to be use with a pen that [U]must somehow make contact with the LCD screen![/U]. I also explained that the laptop wasn't used with a pen for the longest time so the question of applying pressure doesn't even arise.
=> Three weeks into the debacle I get another call saying there's nothing Lenovo will do since this is a damage caused by the user. I really wanted to know how this was determined so I started to probe further. Now the explanations get really outrageous -
"Lenovo: A crack on an LCD screen is just like one a car's windshield. It can get bigger over time."
Note that a crack in a windsheild does not drift a few inches over time. It may grow but it doesn't move
"Lenovo: Sir, Our technical department is the final say on this problem and they have determined that it's a billable repair"
At this point I'm getting argumentative and challenge that competence of the people who are making this diagnosis.
"Lenovo: If you think we made a mistake you are free to go to a small claims court. Is there anything else we can help you with?"
Way to go Lenovo. Customer service at it's best
Fast forward two months and on Nov 05 2009 yet another bubble starts appearing from behind the bezel from exactly the bottom right corner. Once again this happens out of no provocation whatsoever. I first see a tiny line on the edge as I'm working which slowly develops into a semi-circle.
This time I wanted to make sure the movement of the bubble is recorded so I took another picture a day later
=> I open a ticket and get the usual first technical support call. I ask them to refer to the previous ticket DNHDGY8 before I take on the hassle of being without a machine an indefinite preiod of time.
=> Needless to say I got the same response that once again I had put too much pressure somewhere.
[QOUTE]We can't determine what caused the damage but once it's here and our team determines it's damageed we can only do a billable repair. We can't determine what determined what caused the damage because we wern't there when it happened[/QOUTE]
So regardless of how many bubbles appear out of nowhere or no reason, it is somehow my fault. I did suggest that this clearly looks like a problem in manufacturing. However the incompetent repair team has the final say so I don't know how it can ever be termed as a build issue. It almost seems like these acclaimed set of experts are required to report issues that they don't understand as customer mishandling.
Now I don't say this is a mfg. issue for no reason. If you notice, the bottom right corner of the screen on an X61 gets quite hot. The LCD itself is made up of many layers and bound together with the edges open to the air. Continuous heating and cooling the sealant can deteriorate over time. If even a spec of air is trapped during this phase say between the glass and the polarizing film, what happens during the next heating cycle? The bubble will firstly expand and due to the pressure variation, try to move away from the heat source thus rising up.
That's what I could deduce so far. One thing any dumb technician willl confirm is that it's surely not a crack!
LAST STATUS UPDATE NOV 06 2009
I was written off once again but I have kept the ticket open so let's see how this goes time. It's not a matter for $700 but more about writing off a problem with the wrong diagnosis and with inadequate techincal reasoning. This is almost on the verge of being fraudulent.
I would assume many have faced this problem had haven't said anything. Hope this helps someone. I will update here as this case unfolds.
Solved! Go to Solution.
11-08-2009 07:34 PM
you just need to reapply the top layer or the polariser. But this is definitely not a user fault (unless you touched the LCD itself), but rather a glitch in the manufacturing processes, where the layers are not applied properly, so air was allowed to enter to create the bubble.
12-14-2009 10:42 AM
So it seems that big names are not exempt from total incompetence. In my previous post I had detailed the proliferation of air bubbles onto the LCD screen (X61 tablet). This case has been put on billable hold twice in the past due to the same misdiagnosis - stress crack. Those here who think the LCD is cotton candy, are mistaken. Normally about a 20lbs force is required to damage the screen. Not to forget that this is a tablet we are talking about and it is meant to be used pen not a feather duster. This is normally designed to be tolerant to 5-8lbs of force.
People on this thread may be glad to know that this issue has been fixed by Lenovo under the warranty.
After a few long physics lessons and describing to them how their diagnosis was speculative to the point of defying basic physical laws, the customer service person finally agreed to review the case with engineering.
Now I yet have to find out if the LCD was replaced in it's entirety or just a new polarizing layer was reapplied (which is not exactly cost-effective in terms of time). This is evident from the fact that the screen is now pristine and totally scratch free.
A word of advice to those that face a similar situation - The fact that they fixed this issue should not be viewed as exception. Incompetence is widely prevalent and this case is proof. So if you clearly believe that a problem is not abuse and is caused due to defective manufacturing, you need to document the progression of the problem and provide a persistent explanation to the people in the warranty dept. who act as a barricade between you and the morons in 'engineering'. Avoid being belligerent with these people because [U]they can do nothing[/U] but take action on the report filed by the technical group. Note that this is the root cause of the problem - the technical report is treated as sacred etchings in stone that remain unchallenged by everyone down the chain. Ask for an escalation to a customer relations manager so you can present your theory on why the techs are wrong.
The time I have wasted with Lenovo on this issue over the past both on the phone and in terms of lost productivity from not having my PC is equivalent to 10s of such LCD replacements. The only reason I have endured through this is for the matter of principle. Denial of service due to misdiagnosis borders on being fraudulent. I'm not sure how many customers have been brushed off since they couldn't do the required research or didn't have the knowledge to understand such a problem.
I hope this post helps in saving some people some money but more importantly a LOT of time and aggravation.
Search terms: Delamination, Layer separation, LCD X61, Air bubbles
07-16-2010 03:37 AM
Hi, I have the same problem with this air bubble.
I contact Lenovo and they don't want to take it under warranty.
Unfortunately, link of your picture don't work anymore.
I will try to contact Lenovo again.
08-02-2010 10:20 PM - edited 08-03-2010 04:38 AM
A post which violated the Community Participation Rules was removed.
08-04-2010 12:35 PM
Please let us know how this turns out - if you are unable to get this repaired, we'd like to have a look at it.
Please send me your contact information via PM.
08-04-2010 01:16 PM - last edited on 08-04-2010 01:34 PM by andyP
I don't know why we are even posting on a lenovo forum for that matter as if someone from lenovo gives a crap about your whining.
Anyways as the last post indicates the forum admin seems to be occasionally reading these posts. Let's hope it's someone from Lenovo.
I will say without a doubt that the layer separation issue is a clear manufacturing issue. It goes beyond what any of the regular technical support guys can possibly understand. This problem is easy to reproduce - just work in the sun for a while. At the end of the day bubbles in liquids will appear when it is heated. An LCD is no different except that the only inlet for the air is where the edges end. All that's really required is a better sealent around the edge during manufacture. Someone goofed that process and now the problem has come back to bite everyone in the ass. They just don't want to honor the warranty because it's almost half the cost of the laptop.
Moderator note; comment removed that contravened the forum rules.
08-04-2010 03:04 PM
I try to get involved to help out with exceptional customer service issues and to gather information and escalate pervasive issues that affect multiple customers. Yes, I'm an employee.
It is helpful for customers to share and compare experiences and symptoms - that is one of the purposes of the forum. We allow a fair amount of freedom in the comments, but I'd ask that we keep a reasonable tone. You were the first to report this, and that makes it kind of a unique thing. Now, some 8 or 9 months later, two more customers have issues with their LCD and have rather different looking symptoms - it's not clear they are the same, nor have the same underlying cause.
I can understand that support may not have seen this as an inherent defect and to a customer who has not abused their system, that would be very frustrating. I empathize. I'm sorry that you had a difficult time getting your system repaired, and I'm glad that you finally were able to get it resolved.
I really would like to arrange for us to have a look at these two most recent cases - sorry we missed out on yours last year.
08-05-2010 09:02 PM - edited 08-05-2010 09:24 PM
I could catch this message board by searching google with two words, x61 and bubble. I think that I am talking to the right person here who had the same issue I have with my x61t now.
In my case, the bubble happened at the lower part of LCD (the windows task line at the bottom) yesterday. When I found it first, I thought there might be some crack causing this bubble to come from the edge of LCD, but based on the observation for one day, it looks as if chemicals happen to have the phase change (e.g. from solid ice to liquid water) for some reasons because
1) it is not showing any movement, which seems to result from the crack (e.g. the movement against the gravitaion, like air bubble moving up in the water tank due to the density difference)
2) it is not contacting the edge of LCD as if it happens in the way it is there, not coming from the outside.
I'm feeling that it seems no help to contact the customer service, but I'd like to hear anything from others who have similar issue and hope that Lenovo engineers can read this report, if possible.
08-05-2010 11:19 PM
I'm glad that you are following up these threads with some concern. However it would be incorrect to assume the severity of the issue to be proportional to the number of complaints on the forum. Since I started to research this problem I've personally uncovered a number of friends and colleagues that have faced this problem. However of those most were out of warranty and those who did raise issue were apparently dismissed as being misinformed about the nature of this problem. For that matter even I myself accepted that verdict the first time I was turned down.
Thanks for your empathy but I think people need a more tangible solution to this problem without requiring a physics degree to argue the case. From the newer posts it seems like even as we speak Lenovo tech support continues to actively turn down these air bubble claims. I don't think that's the right direction to take and I do wish you best of luck in changing that course.