Customer Service

I’ve recently been fighting with Lenovo customer support to try to get a tablet computer repaired under warranty.

First they told me that the repair wasn’t covered because I used an aftermarket standard USB cable to connect to the standard USB port on the tablet rather than their branded Lenovo standard USB cable.

Um…which part of “standard” is confusing here? If it’s a standard port, it shouldn’t matter that I used a standard cable, as long as it comports with the same…er…standards…and nothing in their documentation indicates that only their Lenovo cable will work or that using other cables voids the warranty.

Anyway, I finally talked them into doing the repair under warranty (which took several weeks and several escalating phone calls).

Finally, about 5 weeks after shipping the tablet to them, I finally got it back…and discovered that they only fixed half the problem. Yes, the USB connector was not working, but neither was the HDMI connector. All the argument was about the USB cable I used, so after they agreed to fix it, that’s ALL they fixed…they didn’t fix the HDMI connector.

End result, another phone call to customer support and yesterday I shipped the unit back to them to get the REST of what was wrong with it repaired. We’ll see how that goes. I wonder if they’ll refuse to fix it since now, over a month after initially shipping the unit to them for repair, the warranty has expired…or they’ll claim that using a non-lenovo HDMI cable (I don’t think they even make HDMI cables) voids the warranty. I’ll let you know.

Anyway, my diatribe was prompted by This Post at author Michael Z. Williamson’s blog that relates how a company can do customer service the RIGHT way (it’s a very short post so I won’t excerpt any of it, please follow the link for more info about a company you really should do business with).

I still don’t understand why companies will insist on trying to save a few bucks by treating customers the way that Lenovo has treated me. They turned me from someone who was fairly satisfied with their product and would probably recommend it to others, into someone who will say “don’t buy their stuff…it’s not built well enough to be reliable and if it breaks they’ll do anything they can to get out of fixing it”.

It seems to me that good customer service is much more economically rewarding in the long term than the $100 or so they tried to charge me for a repair that is expressly covered under the warranty.

Heck, if you don’t want to have to make warranty repairs, don’t sell junk that breaks within a year. That’s a much better solution than alienating customers who will never purchase another product from you again…like…me, for instance.

One thought on “Customer Service

  1. I think that the problem is one of numbers, specifically number of units being dealt with; when the number is in the millions, as it is with computer gear, customer service tends to get impersonal, whereas with merchandise that is shipped in the thousands only (and MZW’s tumbler is probably one of these) there is still time to savor each sale and build a relationship with the buyer. It might also have to do with customer service being farmed out to 3rd parties in foreign countries, also.

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