Lenovo Replaces Lemon Laptop… In Theory

The Lenovo laptop that Aaron bought at Best Buy just a few months ago was clearly defective. The company admitted it, and granted him a new computer. In theory. While he was told that a computer was on its way two weeks ago, there’s been no sign of it, and no indication of when it will ship.

Please help me, Consumerist! I bought a laptop from Lenovo, through Best Buy, the end of December, 2011. For a month, it’s a wonderful laptop, but the end of January, it won’t turn on at all. Great. After sitting on hold with Lenovo for hours, I send it to Lenovo – having to pay for shipping – and wait for two weeks to get it back.

When it comes back, it has a different problem – now it turns on, but it hard freezes every half an hour. Again, sit on the phone with Lenovo, they advise me to send it in. I ended up holding onto it for a few weeks to try to fix it, no luck. They had replaced the mother board (for “no power”) and I was out of options that I could check without voiding the warranty.

So I send it back – again paying for shipping – and two weeks later, when it comes back – the document stating “Replace CPU. Run stress tests. Unit passed all functional and hardware tests.” And yes, the exact same problem is popping up! After two weeks in the Lenovo customer service nightmare spiderweb, I’m assigned D, a customer relations rep, and the first time I’m given a direct number to contact someone. D said they would be replacing my laptop as it seemed like a lemon.

That was March 13th. I haven’t been told a ship date for my replacement, and I’ve been trying to get hold of D this week, to zero luck. I also haven’t had any luck finding any e-mail address to contact higher-ups. I sent a direct e-mail to the COO, with no luck. I’m trying to use this laptop for work, but it’s coming up on a three month hassle, and I’m pretty much fed up.

Please, Consumerist, please please help me get my laptop replaced!

We referred Aaron to a Lenovo contact who has reached out to Consumerist readers before. Let’s hope that he can wrangle a ship date out of them, and finally get a working computer for work.

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Lenovo is a Best Buy brand, correct?

    Perhaps they can just send a voucher so he can pick up a laptop at a Best Buy location? Or they can contact a Best Buy disctrict manager and he can give him the replacement?

    • rpm773 says:

      Nah, Lenovo is sold elsewhere as well. It’s the brand that bought the Thinkpad trademark from IBM.

    • kouotsu says:

      Best Buy doesn’t produce any computers, though they do produce their own computer accessories. The electronics they do have in-house brands for are mainly televisions and television equipment (Dynex and Insignia).

    • Villnius says:

      Nope. It’s a separate company. It’s a Chinese manufacturer that bought IBM’s Thinkpad subsidiary. If it’s shipping directly from China, it’s going to take a few months.

  2. Gehasst says:

    Lenovo bought the Thinkpad / Ideacenters brand from IBM. Doing a fairly decent job with them. We use them here at work. When we order new machines, they ship from China, so it can take a bit for them to get here depending on lead time.

    Thankfully we normally order large shipments of them at a time, so we can keep stock on hand.

    We currently have an X220 that has a bad mainboard that is on a hold as the parts are not available for 3 weeks, we shipped it out for full replacement, but lead time on that is showing at 2 weeks. They could be having an issue with production of parts here recently.

  3. Randy says:

    Say what you will about Best Buy but stop dealing with Lenovo. Go into Best Buy and have the Geek Squad send it off for repair that way you don’t have to #1 pay shipping and #2 worry about these issues happening time and time again. Worst case scenario even if Best Buy messes it up (which ill admit they arnt perfect but since they repair MILLIONS of computers every year your bound to have a percentage that get messed up) they WILL replace it for you if stuff like this happens repeatedly .

  4. nishioka says:

    Kitteh knows the score… lemon or not, laptops = warm places to take a nap on.

  5. Invader Zim says:

    They have had a shortage of parts evere since the tsumani. However Im sure they have something that they can send him for a laptop exchange.

    • nishioka says:

      This isn’t really a parts shortage issue. It’s an incompetent technician not fixing a laptop issue, followed up by a disappearing customer service rep issue.

  6. ajaxd says:

    My experience with Asus was more or less the same. In the end it takes a lot of patience to get a functioning product but there is no other choice: you just have to keep sending it back (you can demand free shipping vouchers for subsequent repairs). Customer service of these Asian companies is a nightmare.

  7. IGetsAnOpinion says:

    I bought a Lenovo laptop in October directly from Lenovo, and even though it was a preconfigured model, it took about 3 -4 weeks from when I ordered it until it shipped out. So I wouldn’t stress about it just yet.

    I did get a tracking number through Lenovo though where I could see online where in production it was, and when they believed it would ship out. On the day it was supposed to ship it was updated that it would take another 10 days, but ended up shipping about 5 days after they originally predicted it would.

  8. gman863 says:

    How did the OP pay for the original PC?

    It it is still accumulating interest on a credit card or financed as “same as cash” on the Best Buy card, the OP may be able to file a chargeback with the credit card issuer over defective goods that have been returned and not yet replaced.

  9. dandadan says:

    I have experienced the Lenvo difference. Getting a hold of customer support is like going through a maze. I am a laptop technician and often time deal with factory service on machines that have warranty.

    Want a reason not to buy a laptop? Factory service that sucks! I will list my experience with various laptop companies service departments in order of quality:

    Dell – Outstanding support, fast intuitive online support. Fast response time, fast turn around time generally the best support out there hands down. That is why Dell gets my 5 star rating.

    HP – Believe it or not, they have improved quality overall on their products and service for laptops.They rate number two. No BS, and fast turn time and efficient process to get laptop fixed

    Acer/Gateway/Emachines Very good service and return policy, prompt repair and no BS. Quality of the machines leaves something to be desired however. Stay away from their budget models.

    Lenovo – Horrible! Takes 45 minutes to talk to a real person, they charge you for shipping, and the company is so screwed up you might get your computer sent to IBM?? if it is a Thinkpad. Computers are good but good luck getting it serviced. Huge time waster, you’ll give up before you get your computer fixed. Stay away from them for that reason.

    Sony – The worst! Let’s be clear on something, Sony hates its customers to start. They will fight you every step of the way to get any warranty service. The probably won’t fix it right, if you can prove to them, IN WRITING where you bought computer. Never under any circumstances purchase a Sony laptop they are overpriced crap, parts are outrageous, the company really hates you and service is at the bottom of the barrel. We don’t service the laptops in our shop and will not even buy them for parts. Please Sony, get out of the laptop business because you suck so bad and are losing market share faster than the demise of VCRs when DVD came out!

    I hope that helps. I deal with all the majors and that is my experience.

    Toshiba – Not as good as Dell or HP but acceptable return and repair policy. Personally I would stay away from their machines as they are getting flimsier and cheaper by the minute.

    • wackydan says:

      Hmm… My service experience with Lenovo has been exemplary. * But I buy ThinkPads and ThinkCentres… not the consumer gear. Only takes me minutes to get a tech on the phone too.

      Ironically, both Dell and Lenovo use the same vendor to perform on site service work.

  10. AD8BC says:

    I was having trouble with my Lenovo Lemon until I posted a (nice but frustrated) letter on the Lenovo Forums (see http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/IdeaPad-Y-U-V-and-Z-series/Quality-of-warranty-repair-parts-Levovo-U460/m-p/664669).

    Within a few weeks I received a brand new (not refurb) better laptop 16 months after I bought the bad one.

    Maybe someone will see your post on the forum and help?

    • Anne Noise says:

      As the Aaron in question, that was my first line of action, actually, and it went absolutely nowhere – my post was just as well thought out as my letter here, and it didn’t do shit.

      • Mark_Lenovo says:

        Aaron,

        That’s not quite fair. We did escalate your case which led to your replacement delivered on 3/29.

  11. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    I’m left wondering if this guy didn’t ask Geek Squad first, or if he didn’t like the quote time they gave him.

    • Anne Noise says:

      I am the Aaron in question – I didn’t go to Geek Squad because I worked at the Best Buy I bought the laptop from for two years, still know most the guys there, and wouldn’t trust them to repair my computer if their lives depended on it. But since you so condescendingly asked, yes, I would turn down the quote if I didn’t like it, and I can already tell you Geek Squad service is much, much more expensive and time consuming than any of the three, decent local computer repair shops in my area.

      • CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

        Hi Aaron. Since you so condescendingly responded to my comment(not sure how mine was), how about this: if you worked there you would know it wouldn’t have cost you anything. They would have sent it to service, costing you nothing. So because you decided to handle it yourself and not use the options available, you spent your own money and still don’t have a working computer.

  12. Ayanami says:

    Lenovo is on a tear lately and is having trouble keeping supply up. I just ordered a U series through work and it’s going to arrive in like 3 weeks. As someone who has been a PC guy for 30 years, these are the best built things you can get, ever.

  13. Press1forDialTone says:

    Lenovo + Apple + China = Junk + Suicides

  14. Press1forDialTone says:

    Dell Optiplex + Dell Service Express Code + American Final Assembly and Testing =
    Desktops that last a decade without a service call’ non-Optiplex Dell is consumer-grade
    which is junk like all others

    • Mark_Lenovo says:

      Laura,

      I think this is one of those times where the replacement system and this story just missed each other. Aaron’s replacement was delivered to him on 3/29.

      It is regrettable that he had trouble with his system and that there were some component supply constraints which slowed delivery of his replacement. Aaron should have our contact information and hope he will follow up with us directly if he needs any additional help.

      Mark

  15. Mark_Lenovo says:

    Laura,

    I think this is one of those times where the replacement system and this story just missed each other. Aaron’s replacement was delivered to him on 3/29.

    It is regrettable that he had trouble with his system and that there were some component supply constraints which slowed delivery of his replacement. Aaron should have our contact information and hope he will follow up with us directly if he needs any additional help.

    Mark