Customer service isn’t dead yet

It took me six months but I finally got around to buying a new laptop. But I got less — and more — than I bargained for.

Stuck in the habit of buying IBM ThinkPads because they’re rock-solid and reliable, I put in an order for a new T500 via the Lenovo website — after careful exploration of a number of user forums to assure myself that IBM-level quality is being maintained. ThinkPads aren’t cheap so you expect to get something for your money.

Much of the wait between decision and purchase was as a result of Lenovo’s lousy website, which didn’t permit individual product configuration. At first it presented a list of different machines — dozens of them — then it reduced to about three, none of which floated my boat. Yet I knew that the company did have configurators in Germany and in the US, so I waited and, eventually a UK-specific one arrived.

So I ordered one. The checkout price seemed pretty cheap but I assumed there must have been a special deal on that day, or that I’d missed a special offer. Quite pleased with achieving what appeared to be a UKP300+ discount, I waited. And waited.

Two weeks later, it hadn’t arrived and the online tracking system had not changed its status, so I emailed customer support and asked where it was. Turns out that the website was having a bad day when I ordered and had sold it at the wrong price — a price that would have been correct had I decided to buy it without a motherboard. Hmmm…

After some correspondence, Lenovo agreed to ship the unit to me at the discounted price because I’d bought it in good faith. More waiting.

Two weeks later, no laptop, so I emailed again. This morning, I received a reply containing an apology because the factory was unable to build the machine I’d specified (not sure what that was about), an exhortation to re-order, and a discount code for the under-charge. Oh yes, and the offer of a free IdeaPad S10 to compensate me for the hassle factor.

Nothing’s actually arrived yet (and if it doesn’t, this post will get an update) but, for now, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. I’ve waited six months before ordering, so another week or two isn’t that big a deal — my slow but robust five-year-old T42 is soldiering on in the meantime.

So five stars to Lenovo for customer service (usual disclaimer applies).


One Reply to “Customer service isn’t dead yet”

  1. Codicil to this post: The T500 has arrived and is everything I expected. The IdeaPad has proved immensely useful. Well done Lenovo.

Comments are closed.