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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 120965 19-Jun-2013 19:41 Send private message

Just a year ago I purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad 530E, a popular model I believe. Because, as a teacher, I depend on my laptop every day, I purchased it with a 2-year next day, on-site warranty.

On Monday June 10th my Lenovo laptop failed. Online I checked that my warranty was valid and called the support centre. Within 10 minutes the fault was diagnosed, the availability of the part was confirmed and an order placed. I was told that on late Tuesday or early Wednesday a technician would call me to arrange the onsite replacement. I was vocal in my praise at the efficiency of Lenovo.

On Wednesday morning about 11a.m., because that call hadn't come, I again checked with the support line. Long pause. I was told there had been a Lenovo system failure, sorry, it sometimes happens. For some reason the man on the end of the line asked for my current working address so the part could be delivered directly to me. I asked for further information within the hour.

About later I received a call from another service representative to say that a new order had been created because the original address given on Monday was wrong. The new order number was given to me. I replied that there had never been an address error - which is true, but I had been asked to supply another one. I asked to hear back from somebody who could tell when the repair would actually be done.

That evening, driving home, a notice was posted on my cell phone at 5:07p.m., repeating the statement that an incorrect address had been given, a new order made, but that “they do have a technician coming out there tomorrow”. (I have a recording of this call).

Next morning on Thursday 13th, at about 10a.m. I again called the support centre to check on progress. I asked all the obvious questions such as how, if the part was available on Monday was it not deliverable, from where was it coming, where was it now, who could I contact locally, why was I told there was an incorrect address when this was untrue. Because the representative could not answer these questions, she promised to contact me back within the hour and received the following reply:

This is C____  and I was just providing the follow-up information from our call.

I was looking and doing some additional research when i noticed that the location that your part is being shipped from is being flown from Sydney, Australia to a pickup point near Auckland,New Zealand. The location in New Zealand is where the Field Service Technician will pick up the part and contact you to set up an Estimated Time of Arrival for the repair of your machine.

Once again, I can not promise that you will be serviced today, I can only promise that I will do my best to get you service as soon as possible.

Thank You for all of your Cooperation!

Lenovo Think Team

Next day, Friday 14th, not having heard anything from anybody I called yet again and talked again at length with yet another representative. She confirmed there had not been an address problem but it was a system error which, she said, sometimes happens. She said there was no sign that the part was on its way or had been ordered. She promised to call me back with further information. Late afternoon I received a call from her to say that the part had now been located and would be delivered on Wednesday (that is today, the 19th June, one week late).

I didn't think it appropriate to call on Monday 17th or Tuesday 18th. After all a definite answer had been given.

However today, I called again to be told that no part was on its way but the order was on backlog with no ETA. I was told that maybe they had run out of parts and more had to be manufactured. !!!! For a popular model?

Do I give up? Maybe I should just wait a few days or will it be a few weeks? I don’t think I can submit to the torture by service centre again.

Anyway the issue is what a one-day on-site Lenovo warranty really means. Also, how is it possible for a Support Centre for a leading computer manufacturer to get it wrong so often, to be unable to answer the most basic of questions, to be unable to keep accurate records and, most of all, not to be able to contact a customer immediately a problem occurred or to keep them informed of progress e.g. by email – like most other companies do. (They were in possession of 2 phone numbers as well as my email.)

Is a Lenovo warranty more like a lottery ticket - only useful if you’re lucky?

Finally, maybe I am naïve, but I would also have thought that a company of the position of Lenovo in the marketplace would have a fall-back position in the case of inability to honour a warranty. What about a loan computer into which my hard drive could be put, for example?

Thanks for reading my story. It seems I need to purchase another laptop, urgently.

Jim Brook

Massey High School

 

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Voice Engineer @ Orcon
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  Reply # 839765 19-Jun-2013 19:45 Send private message

You will find this is common.

On HP Carepack for example, even 4 hour 24/7 contracts (which are not cheap!) do not guarantee availability of spares.  And very few manufacturers now stock any spares at all in New Zealand.

I have had a situation where a very common hard disk failed (and they fail a lot in servers) - and availability was something like 5 days.  We had a NBD warranty for this server but at the end of the day, it did not matter a jot.

Frustrating, yes.  But it is just the reality of the supply chain and the cost structures, and they're within their rights unfortunately.

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  Reply # 839766 19-Jun-2013 19:46 Send private message

How / where was the laptop purchased?



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 839772 19-Jun-2013 19:50 Send private message

I purchased it through a local wholesaler with whom I have an account as, before returning to teaching, I used to have a small computer consultancy business and still use the account from time to time. They have promised to escalate the matter but with no result yet...

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  Reply # 839777 19-Jun-2013 19:54 Send private message

We got an X1 Ultrabook for the CEO and after 6 months the screen died on it.

It was away for over a month with the usual response being awaiting parts, my manager had enough of it as a month is way too long especially if its your CEO's laptop.

He called them and escalated it and if he got no response back he called and escalated it again until he finally got it back working after a month and a half and the parts that they were waiting on were still another month away.

I can only think that they borrowed the monitor off another laptop but 3 months for a repair is not acceptable.

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  Reply # 839795 19-Jun-2013 20:16 Send private message

We're having absolute nightmares with Lenovo's on site support - first job took 6 months to complete because someone at their end kept closing the case. Just had another one that took 1 month.... and this is with a 48hr guaranteed repair contract... so I dont expect a consumer to fare much better unfortunately :(

Part of the problem I found is that Lenovo do not send the entire ticket information to the techs (contractors) so the techs are working on limited information themselves and do what they can....




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Geek
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  Reply # 839872 19-Jun-2013 21:27 Send private message

Almost happened with a Dell at my old work. HDD failed so our administrator rang them up told them the diagnostic failure code etc. Usual story of 'didn't have that HDD model, would take days'. I was nearby (nothing else to do since my computer was broken), and I said to her something like, 'Nah, we paid the premium for business next business day onsite service. If they don't have that HDD, put in a better one. Tell them to send a technician round tomorrow and they can come back every day till it's fixed' 

She didn't phrase it quite like that to them, but next day they turned up, replaced the drive and re-installed the system to factory. The machine was reallocated to someone else so don't know what replacement part was used. 

Maybe there's an art to dealing with these matters, as they seem more than happy to muck you around especially if they think they can get away with it. 

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  Reply # 839930 19-Jun-2013 22:34 Send private message

Unfortunately you're not covered by the CGA as it seems you bought the laptop with a business account, not a consumer name...





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  Reply # 839957 19-Jun-2013 23:06 Send private message

ubergeeknz: You will find this is common.

On HP Carepack for example, even 4 hour 24/7 contracts (which are not cheap!) do not guarantee availability of spares.  And very few manufacturers now stock any spares at all in New Zealand.

I have had a situation where a very common hard disk failed (and they fail a lot in servers) - and availability was something like 5 days.  We had a NBD warranty for this server but at the end of the day, it did not matter a jot.

Frustrating, yes.  But it is just the reality of the supply chain and the cost structures, and they're within their rights unfortunately.


I found this quite interesting. I have been selling HP (Compaq) Servers for 15+ years. I have NEVER EVER had a repair take more than 4 hours to fix, and I've never had an issue with a part not arriving. HP keep good stocks at least for the Proliant ml350+ servers in my experience. 

I was also surprised you made the comment about high numbers of drives failed. I would have more than a hundred servers in the market presently and I think we would get perhaps 1 drive fail every few months across the entire lot of them, some of which are 5+ years old. 

I can't speak too much of other brands, but I have found IBM similarly reliable and Dell slightly less so.

This is offtopic a little, but I think it comes down to the SERIES of device you buy. HP have consumer, prosumer, professional, enterprise etc ranges. They carry less consumer spares as you would imagine, but pretty good stocks for most of the higher end gear. I have found putting a high end carepaq on a low end device is a little like lipstick on a pig.

I am sorry to hear of the OP's issue however, and I DO understand how frustrating it is. 

I do have some contacts at Lenovo and if the OP wants to contact me, I'm happy to see if there is anything I could do to help. I can't promise anything, but I should be able to get the real information at least. 



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  Reply # 839959 19-Jun-2013 23:13 Send private message

networkn:
ubergeeknz: You will find this is common.

On HP Carepack for example, even 4 hour 24/7 contracts (which are not cheap!) do not guarantee availability of spares.  And very few manufacturers now stock any spares at all in New Zealand.

I have had a situation where a very common hard disk failed (and they fail a lot in servers) - and availability was something like 5 days.  We had a NBD warranty for this server but at the end of the day, it did not matter a jot.

Frustrating, yes.  But it is just the reality of the supply chain and the cost structures, and they're within their rights unfortunately.


I found this quite interesting. I have been selling HP (Compaq) Servers for 15+ years. I have NEVER EVER had a repair take more than 4 hours to fix, and I've never had an issue with a part not arriving. HP keep good stocks at least for the Proliant ml350+ servers in my experience. 

I was also surprised you made the comment about high numbers of drives failed. I would have more than a hundred servers in the market presently and I think we would get perhaps 1 drive fail every few months across the entire lot of them, some of which are 5+ years old. 

I can't speak too much of other brands, but I have found IBM similarly reliable and Dell slightly less so.

This is offtopic a little, but I think it comes down to the SERIES of device you buy. HP have consumer, prosumer, professional, enterprise etc ranges. They carry less consumer spares as you would imagine, but pretty good stocks for most of the higher end gear. I have found putting a high end carepaq on a low end device is a little like lipstick on a pig.

I am sorry to hear of the OP's issue however, and I DO understand how frustrating it is. 

I do have some contacts at Lenovo and if the OP wants to contact me, I'm happy to see if there is anything I could do to help. I can't promise anything, but I should be able to get the real information at least. 




Put it this way.  In terms of what fail, drives are about the highest, particularly in the first month or so of service.  For the next 4-5 years, as you say, it's not so common but it does happen (and certainly more than other parts).

In this particular case it was an MDL drive, common but as you point out certainly not high end.

Other times I have had very good experiences with HP Carepack (and Compaq before that) so this surprised me, but nonetheless it proves the only way to ensure you have spares on hand is... to have spares on hand.

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  Reply # 839970 20-Jun-2013 00:20 Send private message

Even though you may not be covered by the CGA, you should still be covered by the sale of goods act, and the FTA, in terms of what the warranty is supposed to cover.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 839976 20-Jun-2013 05:04 Send private message

Same situation here - I'm still waiting, after 2 months, for Lenovo to finally pick up the desktop computer that they said they were going to pick up after delivering the replacement one. Honestly, I sometimes wonder who the heck runs the organisation given how shonky things are.




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  Reply # 839985 20-Jun-2013 07:10 Send private message

Hmmm is there something more going on with Lenovo?

We've used the warranty repair service in the past and its always been great.
However we had to send away a customers notebook middle of May and we still haven't received it back!

Any calls to the support line always gets the same story that they'll look into it and get back to us, they never do.
We're calling them everyday now and the supplier we bought it from originally are also trying to find out what's going on.




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  Reply # 845559 26-Jun-2013 13:01 Send private message

Same here .
I bought a high spec Lenovo PC for a client from the local distributor. It had '
issues' out of the box ,brand new.
The "next day" support took 3 days for a tech to show up.

I try & avoid selling lenovo now.
I have another lenovo laptop (not bought from us), now have been waiting 3 months for a replacement motherboard . I doubt that it will ever turn up (not available worldwide) . I cant imagine them doing another
manufacturing run just for this part.
Why not just be honest & say parts no longer available.

None of this surprises me. The local techs are doing the best they can.
I used to do (contracted) Warranty repair work for a Printer Brand & a certain Well known PC Brand. What a bad joke it all was, just so badly organised by the Brands Head Office . One one job they sent me 5 faulty replacement mb's in a row. Sometimes  3++ month waits for parts & they would lie to the customer about the repair status .

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  Reply # 845588 26-Jun-2013 14:00 Send private message

Well we finally had a response from Lenovo, after we asked to escalate the job, and they have offered to replace the laptop with a new one that is much better specs.
The client accepted of course so now we just wait for the replacement to arrive...




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  Reply # 845612 26-Jun-2013 14:32 Send private message

Surely you have some recourse against Lenovo as they have failed to provide the warranty service you have paid for. Does the warranty terms set out any compensation provisions when they fail to meet the agreed SLA?

Surely you would have a FTA case against them.




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