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Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-10-2019
Location: AQ
Views: 214
Message 1 of 2

Thinkpad P52: $2000 hot ticket to customer service hell

I have been a longtime Thinkpad customer, for both business and personal machines. Gone are those days. I spent about two thousand dollars on a P52 last year (i7-8850U, Quattro P3200), knowing I would need to turn in the Thinkpad P50 I'd been using for work. When I got the new P52, I turned it on, verified it worked, installed Linux, updated the firmware, and then shelved it. Boy was that dumb. I've been buying Thinkpads long enough to know that every purchase is a lottery, but it's been some years since I lost the Thinkpad Thermal Lottery, so I let myself get complacent. Early this summer, I finally had to part with my P50. I grabbed my new P52, updated the software, updated the firmware, and started working with it. But it gets hella hot after a day or so, just sitting idle. I check the kernel logs, which spew line after blood-red line of thermal alarm messages. 


Unreal. Now I am no spring chicken, and I've been at this a long time. [admin edit] No one needs to repaste or undervolt a brand new two thousand dollar business machine. This is a heatsink geometry error that didn't get caught in QA before it flew out the door. So I call to get a depot repair box sent out, and while I'm trying to explore possible remedies in the BIOS, well, the machine bricks itself. All the more interesting considering that I was very deliberate not to mess with the Thunderbolt settings until after a proper fix was issued (since one of the versions supposedly was issued to fix the Thunderbolt bricking problem, but merely bricked machines in a new and novel way). My machine bricked itself by changing the discrete/hybrid graphics setting. Whatever, I write a note on the bottom of the depot paperwork about the new catastrophic problem affecting my [admin edit] Thinkpad and drop it off at a FedEx location to ship it to the mainland -- I live in Hawaii, which is not as great as you think it is, and anyway all of the nice things are negated when it takes seven days for my two-thousand dollar, overheating business machine to get to the repair depot. Then I wait a few weeks. Can't check the status, because the website does not work with my case number, which is fine for Lenovo, since they already have my money. So I get an email the approximately the same day that I learn I need to cancel whatever I had planned so that I could be waiting at my house to sign for the FedEx package. FedEx is the second-worst company on the planet, by the way.


Open the box, plug it in, seems they did actually change the system board and the heatsink / fan assembly. Okay, cool. I will get to stress-testing it, but I've got some work to do first. So I grab my cheap [admin edit] $500 Asus that I bought in the meantime. That's right! I had to buy another computer to use so that I could pay rent while my two-thousand dollar, overheating business machine was in the repair depot for weeks waiting on parts! Anyway, I come back to the Thinkpad less than 12 hours later, and by golly, the fans are going ape [admin edit] and my office is warm. Can anybody guess why my office was warm? Right again! My two-thousand dollar, overheating business machine was overheating again!


Okay, so I call up the number Lenovo gave me in my service email, and asked to have a replacement machine sent, since there is obviously something wrong with the geometry that isn't the heatsink / fan assembly and/or the system board. My guess is the chassis is the likely culprit. But they don't want to hear about a replacement. They want me to send the machine back to the Depot for a second go at a repair! It takes the nice guy on the phone a minute to coax me into agreeing to that [admin edit]. But he does, and sends out another FedEx box. I put my two-thousand dollar, overheating business machine into the box and then go back down to the FedEx drop location, and then wait yet another week for it to merely arrive in Memphis. Again, because Lenovo already has my money, they don't give a **bleep** whether or not I can see my case status updates on the repair depot support site, so of course I can't. I just have to keep using the $500 Asus I bought to use for work while the repair depot waits for parts for another couple of weeks.


The return trip by FedEx was pretty funny, though. I record my front door like most sane people living in the city. And I guess that day the FedEx guy was having some trouble with his route, because as I sat five feet from the front door in my living room -- working on my $500 Asus that I bought to work on while my two-thousand dollar, overheating business machine was in the repair depot for weeks on end -- this FedEx guy brought nothing but a door tag, gently stuck it on my front door, and then literally ran away. No box, no knock. Well, I couldn't get down to pick up my "priority overnight" FedEx package until a couple of days later, early on a Sunday morning.


Guess what, folks? I'll give you one guess.

[admin edit]

Lenovo already has my money. But would you believe that it actually gets hotter and throttles faster than it did before either of my "repairs"? Because it does. That does not matter to Lenovo, as they just suggest sending it in again for a third time! Third depot repair's the charm!


Except now I have discovered that in fact, there was no way I could get a replacment unit sent out, because the number I have been calling, the only number I have been given, only connects to utterly nontechnical people who can do one thing and one thing only: They can send boxes with labels for shipping to the repair depot. Any attempt to escalate to any other solution, they have one number (855-253-6686), which supposedly connects to someone in "sales" who "might" be able to help replace this [admin edit] worthless garbage, but who in fact cannot do so (or at least according to them). That is when the number connects instead of hanging up on me, or going self-referentially back into phone robot hell.


So here I sit, having spent two thousand dollars on a business machine which I am unable to use, unable to repair, and unable to replace.




Admin note; post edited in accordance with the Community Guidelines.

Posts: 7,130
Registered: ‎09-03-2014
Location: SK
Views: 81
Message 2 of 2

Re: Thinkpad P52: $2000 hot ticket to customer service hell

Hello and welcome to the Community,


I'm sorry you haven't had the best experience and it's unfortunate that your time period after purchase for requesting DOA had expired. If you are unhappy with the decisions of a service provider you can request that your case be escalated to a complaint. To do this you need to call support, 800-426-7378 for the USA, and request the representative, based on your previous case numbers, open a complaint on your behalf for the reason you provide to them. They will then be able to explain the next steps in the process.




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