Opposite Of EECB Gets Delayed Lenovo Laptop Order Expedited, Plus $5000 Loaner

When the Lenovo laptop Rick ordered for his college-bound daughter was super-duper delayed in arriving and he hadn’t heard anything from the company, he did the opposite of an EECB (executive email carpet bomb). Instead of blasting his complaint to every single executive he could find, he wrote a well-crafted letter laser-targeted at a single individual, the SVP of operations. The result? An email from the Chief of Staff in the CEO’s office. His order was expedited, and, in the meantime, they got a $5000 “Reserve Edition” leather-wrapped laptop as a loaner. Here’s his letter that got him the fix:

Rick’s letter to Lenovo:

As the Senior Vice President for Operations, I want to bring to your attention an operations business practice which I believe is bad for your customers and is leaving Lenovo with a negative public opinion.

First, a little background…

My daughter will be starting her freshman year at Portland (Oregon) State University in the last week of September. Since she will be a commuting student, I was looking for a small and lightweight laptop for her to carry daily. I have been following “netbook” development activities of several companies, including Lenovo. As soon as I learned the IdeaPad S10 was available to order, I placed an order via Lenovo.com (Order # ) on August 19.

I knew I could count on a Lenovo product; for eight years, a previous employer provided me with a series of ThinkPads which served my flawlessly.

A few days after I placed my order, I was able to log-on to my account. I saw my order had an estimated ship date of 09/16/08. Though this was four weeks away, it would arrive before my daughter started her studies.

As September 19th approached, I started checking the ship date more-and-more often; it never changed. With less than one week until September 19, I started getting worried. Using Google, I found a number of message boards with commentary from customers who had ordered S10s, had their estimated ship date come-and-go, and had heard nothing from Lenovo. Some people have called Lenovo, only to be told there would be a two month delay in shipping any S10s!

Today, I too called Lenovo. I was told there was a 50-day slip in shipping. This is very, VERY disappointing on two points:

* The huge amount of time between ordering and shipping
* Lenovo has made no effort to update its customers

On a personal level, this means my daughter will not have her S10 until mid-November — too late for the start of her first term.

This also means I need to reevaluate my decision to order a Lenovo S10 and either buy a larger laptop or to consider a Dell Mini-9, Asus Eee, or MSI Wind.

I’d much rather buy the S10….

I urge you to look into error in your processes which had led to the second bullet above.

Rick S.
Sherwood, OR

Rick’s letter to us after he sent out the first one and heard back from Lenovo:

The next morning, I received an email from the Chief of Staff in the CEO’s office! He again apologized for the issue and looked into my order. Over the next week, we exchanged several emails but the bottom line is that unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to ship the S10 any sooner than October 14. He then offered to ship me a loaner laptop – a Lenovo “Reserve Edition”. I discovered this is a $5000 limited edition leather-wrapped laptop! While a bit worried about handing-off this über-laptop to my daughter, I accepted this generous olive branch. I was then handed-off to a woman in the “Office of Bill Amelio, President & CEO”, who arranged for the Reserve Edition laptop to be shipped overnight. She even included the labeling for Lenovo to pay the cost of the eventual return to Lenovo.

It’s going to be difficult to return this sweet notebook in a few weeks and downgrade to the S10. I must commend Lenovo for their handling of my concern. As I told the Chief of staff, “This is analogous to loaning a Maybach when having a Hyundai serviced.”

To other Consumerists, I offer this advice: If you have a problem with a product or service, reach out, be polite, and take the time to craft a well-written letter. Your efforts may be rewarded.

Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t the opposite of an EECB be if all the executives emailed YOU? ;)

    All kidding aside, that is a great effort at making it right by Lenovo. Whenever they ditch the IBM styling I’ll have to seriously consider giving them some of my business.

  2. laserjobs says:

    A $5000 “Reserve Edition” leather-wrapped laptop. I hope his daughter is not a vegan.

  3. yungjerry703 says:

    instead of carpet bombing send a smart bomb? that sounds like a splendid idea.

  4. blankhorizons says:

    Too bad they can’t sort out the Switchable Graphics bugginess in the T400 and T500 series. But other than that Lenovo has been top shelf.

    • Anonymous says:

      @blankhorizons:
      I’ve been using the T400 w/ switchable graphics for a month now, never experienced any bugs, I’ve been very pleased with the performance. i use the discrete when docked to output 1680×1050 to a 22″ lcd, use the integrated when unplugged, adds 1+hrs to battery life.

  5. Cap says:

    nicely done I suppose. most of us who ordered a black S10 got shafted with an extra month of waiting (white ones were shipped first).

    extra tip for all those still waiting on a Lenovo S10, if your estimated ship date has came and went 3 times, shoot off an email, phone Lenovo, and ask for a $25-$50 rebate/compensation. They’re handing out rebate/comp to people that had their orders delayed from estimated ship date (3 times). Remember to ask as this isnt some auto goodwill on Lenovo’s part.

    (Mid October: I asked for a discount and magically next day I got a shipping confirmation).

    Lastly, if for whatever reason you just cant get a customer rep to give you the discount and your flame for a S10 is wore out – feel free to cancel. With the new 10 incher from Samsung, HP Mini 1000, and many more to come… choices for the netbook market will be a plenty (with Asus noting a $200 machine in the distant future).

    I love my black S10 but if I’m still getting assed around by Lenovo, I’d have cancel already and bought a different machine.

  6. XTC46 says:

    I love Lenovo for things like this. We used only T series ThinkPads at my last company, and ordered dozens of them. Any time anything went wrog with them (which was rare) I quick call to their support got me the parts i needed to repair it. I would rarely spend more than 10 minutes on the phone with a rep (most of which was confirming shipping address and checking part stock)

    They have earned my business and I recomend them to anyone looking to buy a solid laptop.

  7. midwestkel says:

    I would just cancel the order, they probably already forgot they sent you a laptop so just keep it.*

    *I don’t endorse theft, paid for by no one.

  8. cccdude says:

    When it comes to netbooks, I got an Acer AspireOne for 399 @Amazon. LOVE IT. I do have a Lenovo T60p as a work laptop I do like, but in the netbook market, I don’t think anyone’s beaten the price/quality ‘bang for buck’ that the Acer provides.

    • waybaker says:

      @cccdude: As someone who has serviced them in the past and a current user of an Aspire notebook (not by choice, company purchased for me) I would say stay away from Acer machines.

      For those that do not know, Acer, Emachines, and Gateway all fall under the Acer banner now, and since the acquisition of Emachines/Gateway, Acer’s quality has quickly started to swirl the drain.

      Their service is lacking as well. As stated above, I have one of their machines and I sent it in for a locking up issue and they replaced my power cord and sent it back, the issue was not resolved. I sent it in again to receive it back with a bios update. The issue still persists, but I work around it because being the only pc I have to use in the field (I have a desktop in the office), losing it for a month really put a damper on business. I can’t afford another 2 weeks.

  9. dragon:ONE says:

    This is why I preach to family and friends to buy Lenovo products. Excellent support and quality products.

    And if I only had $5000 for one of those Reserve Edition laptops…
    … the personalized support, their “reach a human that speaks your native language in 4 rings or less” support, and their “we can have a specialized technician to your house within 4 hours or less or else overnight” support for this laptop just seems so awesome.

    • XTC46 says:

      @Dakota Courtois: Yea, a lot of people look at the price of their products, especially this one and immediately reject it. In the case of this laptop, you pay for it to work all the time, and it being fixed damn quick if it stops.

  10. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    Wow, with such glowing reviews I will strongly consider the Lenovo for my next laptop… No joke. Thanks everyone!

  11. gatewaytoheaven says:

    He gets a $5000 loaner? That costs more than my car.

    It’s also more than the $150 extra savings I got for having Dell delay my Studio 15 order for so long.

    Kudos!

  12. twophrasebark says:

    Wow.

    - The OP’s letter is short, polite, to the point and grammatically proficient.
    – Instead of being boorish and emailing 90 people, he targeted his letter to one person he thought he could most help.

    All I can say: kudos to you sir! Kudos!

    Maybe Consumerist should give out awards to the best complaints every once in awhile. Complaints like this must be encouraged.

  13. f0nd004u says:

    That’s really funny; I go to Portland State and live in Sherwood, where this guy’s at.

  14. bnelson333 says:

    I can say from personal experience, this works just as well as the EECB, if not better.

    I had a problem with a laptop I bought from Office Depot and it was just a few days past the 14 day exchange period.

    The store manager wouldn’t let me exchange it, so I politely emailed the single executive I thought would be most helpful, instead of all of them.

    I got a call the next day telling me to come in to exchange it!

  15. handyr says:

    Next time just buy a Mac.

  16. Preyfar says:

    I’m not blaming the original poster here, but… I wonder how much him stating he’s “Senior Vice President for Operations” influenced Lenovo’s decision? I can’t imagine why else they would send just anybody a $5,000 loaner.

    His letter was excellent, but I know a lot of companies will go above and beyond to keep companies happy. Hard to say, really.

  17. sljepi says:

    God darnit, Mr. Rick, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore! Well written letter!

    • engfish says:

      @sljepi: As the Senior Vice President for Operations, I …

      That’s not really written correctly, as the writer is NOT the SVP for operations. But the honey, not the vinegar, caught the fly anyway. :-)

  18. zomgorly says:

    Lenovo was delayed on all shipments because they shut down the factories during the Olympics. There were probably plenty of students that were in this situation, she is just lucky she received a notebook most people would have canceled their order and went elsewhere. Lenovo probably sent out this notebook just to get some good press on their company with all the canceled notebooks they never sold.

  19. FixinTo says:

    The letter was not grammatically correct, and Preyfar’s comment proves it. The customer was writing *TO* the Senior VP for Operations. The writer was not claiming to be a Senior VP, despite his bad sentence structure. The first line should have read “As SVP for Operations, *YOU* should know (about a business practice, etc., etc.”

  20. dreamcatcher2 says:

    Lenovo is pretty bad about shipping on time – after my laptop didn’t ship on its appointed ship date, I had to call them for them to tell me that my order was delayed by 6 weeks. Needless to say, I canceled (ordering an Asus EEE 4g from newegg and receiving it almost instantly…)

  21. digitalgimpus says:

    Lenovo is pretty good about taking care of problems. I had a laptop they tried to repair and only made worse. An executive email (not even a carpet bomb) got me a call from “executive relations” on the Friday of labor day weekend. They couldn’t repair my laptop, so they replaced it. The replacement was backordered so they ended up trying to ship it from a retailer who had one in stock. Through that process I had a direct line to 1 representative, no call center. They ate a decent cost to remedy the problem, and that’s likely why I’d still recommend them. They didn’t stop until the job was done.

    As a result, I’m not surprised to read this.

  22. Hershey says:

    I own both Lenovos and both are the best ever!

    Lenovo Y430
    Lenovo Y510

    Have there bugs. But they are the best built ever! I will most likely never buy anything other then lenovo again!

  23. GrandizerGo says:

    Ha, this is the opposite of Dell.
    Every time I order a Dell it comes days if not weeks earlier than expected / indicated on their site.

    However, when I replaced an old Compaq lappy with a Lenovo, I got it exactly when they said I would.

    No complaints!

  24. Devizier says:

    i’ve been trying to find my way into lenovo’s management, but it appears that a lot of the vps have been axed in the past few months.