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07-19-2019

US

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X1 Carbon Service Horror - 1 month, 3 service visits, no machine.

2019-07-19, 18:10 PM

07/11/2019

I initially reached out to Lenovo for what appeared to be a battery issue. My machine was only able to run for about two hours on a full charge. When contacting Lenovo Support, the representative seemed to concur that the issue was a battery problem. After a few days I received a call from a technician with IBM to inform me that the parts required for the repair had been shipped and that we should schedule a call. The call was scheduled, and he met me at my office to begin disassembling my laptop. The part he was sent was a system board. “That’s strange. I thought they would have sent a battery”, I said. He replied “Sometimes they want you to replace the system board first to rule it out as a cause”. He proceeded to remove the existing system board and replace it with the new board. After installing the new board, he noticed that he has forgotten to replace the SIM-card blocking device that was in my machine. He asked if I wanted it to be replaced. I simply stated that I would prefer it to be returned to its previous state. So after installing the system board, he had to uninstall the new board, replace the SIM-card blocker and reinstall it. “It really freaks me out how these things start to warp when you handle them”, he commented. I ignored the comment.

After booting up the system, we realized that no precautions were taken to ensure that my BitLocker key was backed up and available. The machine prompted for the key, which after some Google searching and experimentation, I discovered had fortunately been saved to my Microsoft account at the time I configured the machine. This prevented me from losing all of my data. Then, after the machine booted, we realized that the Windows Hello mechanism, along with the fingerprint reader, were no longer working. This issue is not yet resolved. Further, the battery issue persisted (as we both expected) and he left with the promise to inform me when the battery had been shipped so that we could schedule a follow-up appointment. Shortly after he left, my machine began throwing errors related to CPU temperatures. Upon further inspection, it appeared that my CPU was operating at temperatures in excess of 96 degrees Celsius, far above safe levels. Windows then proceeded to shut off the machine after a few minutes of this. I went from a functioning laptop with low battery performance, to an unusable machine after this service visit.

After the new battery was shipped, I received a call from a new technician who informed me he would be performing the replacement. He came to my house and worked on my machine with a great care and attention to detail that was not present in the first technician. The battery was successfully replaced, but the thermal issues persisted and he informed me that more parts would be required to return my machine to a usable state. I requested that it be he who returned to perform the additional repairs, as he demonstrated a real concern over the state of my machine and my experience as a customer. Later, I was informed that the parts that had been ordered would not be available for about two more weeks. I called Lenovo to see what could be done about sending me a new machine, as the issue I was now experiencing was the express result of the errors committed by the technician who handled my first service visit. This request was met initially with much resistance, until it was escalated to Lenovo Corporate. The manager I spoke to, was dismissive of my request and was not helpful, but agreed begrudgingly to forward my case through the escalation process. After two days, I decided to call back and check on the status of the escalation, mainly to see if it had been approved. I was told that the status had not changed and was still pending approval. I asked to speak to a manager, and found myself again speaking with the same call center manager as before. This time, however, he was outright hostile. He barked at me – quite literally yelling – that my request was no more important than anyone else’s and telling me that I would simply have to wait. I explained that I thought my case was an exception, considering that fact that it was the very service visit that was intended to fix my machine which caused my ordeal, to which he replied only with more hostility and raised-voice condescension. I’ve never actually had an experience like this with a customer service representative before – to be literally yelled at over the phone by someone who I have paid to provide me support is shocking and very disappointing. At this time, I am still waiting on the outcome of the escalation, but it appears that no one except the second technician has taken my case seriously.

I am a working software developer that has many commitments that make being without my laptop for a month a very serious problem. This impacts my livelihood and my ability to perform my duties to my customers. I purchased the Lenovo support plans precisely to prevent such an issue, and now it appears that engaging Lenovo for services has resulted in the exact issues I sought to avoid. This situation has been mishandled by the customer service manager I spoke to at the call center, by the first IBM technician who caused the damage that left my laptop unusable, and the parties involved in sending out a system board to fix a battery issue in the first place. That said, I understand that people make mistakes, as do organizations comprised of people. As there is no guarantee that the expected parts will fully resolve my issue, Lenovo has an opportunity to make this situation right for me by simply sending me a new machine. This is what it would take in order to fulfill the obligation that I feel Lenovo has to me as a customer at this moment.

Update: 07/12/2019

The IBM technician called and informed me that the system board and fan assembly ordered on the previous service visit had arrived, despite initial shipping estimates. He agreed to install them later the same afternoon. After he arrived, he began working on the machine and discovered a loose screw that had been left underneath the system board from the original technician. He installed the new board, configured the machine, restored the disk using the BitLocker recovery key, and we began to assess performance. We encountered two problems. First, the thermal issues have not been corrected and the CPU exceeds 96 degrees Celsius under no load. Second, the system board that was sent has 8GB of RAM, when the invoice for my purchase clearly says the machine should have 16GB of RAM. It is becoming clear that the support system sold by Lenovo is profoundly broken. The degree of inattention and carelessness that could result in a customer experience such as mine thus far is difficult to imagine from an enterprise of this size. 

The fix for my system was a simple battery replacement. This was apparent to everyone from the beginning. We are now, however, on my fourth service visit for an issue that Lenovo caused, and I still do not have a functioning machine. The only remaining option, as far as I am concerned, is to provide me with a new machine of the same model and specifications as the machine I purchased.

 

Update 07/19/2019

I have not heard from the Lenovo Corporate Customer care case manager, at all. No email, no phone call. I received an automated email on 7/12 informing me that I would receive a call in one business day. We are way past that, and I have heard from no one. Currently, I have a machine with the wrong system board (8GB RAM instead of 16GB) that can't stay in for more than 20 minutes because of overheating. And honestly, nobody even pretends to care at this point. I had a system board show up at my house, and I called the IBM technician and he will be out here today to replace the third system board. Egregious.

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6 Posts

11-02-2018

US

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  • Posts: 6
  • Registered: ‎11-02-2018
  • Location: US
  • Views: 96
  • Message 2 of 2

Re: X1 Carbon Service Horror - 1 month, 3 service visits, no machine.

2019-07-19, 21:07 PM

Lenovo's OAuth mechanism forced me to bind an older account to this identity. Not sure why.

 

 

I'm posting to say that I've filed a complaint with the BBB. They are awaiting a response from Lenovo at this time.

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