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.

Interesting Things

Remember a few posts back when I said that you can see some interesting things while on the road?

Well, being “on the road” to Germany is no exception.

This beauty was parked outside a local grocery store a couple of days ago. There was another guy taking a picture of it with his cell phone while I was standing there, so it obviously is not a typical sight.

On the way back to the apartment from the grocery store I saw this guy riding down the street. I had to put my bags down and get my phone out to take a picture so he got a little farther away than I’d have liked…but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a sidecar on a scooter.

I wouldn’t think it would have enough “oomph” to go with anyone in the sidecar. Maybe it’s just for looks.

And, finally, an example of your typical German street.

Not enough room on the road for parking? Easy, just park half on the sidewalk.

This seems to be SOP for any narrow street with fairly low curbs.

You see some interesting things on the road.

Bad Blogger!

I’ve been remiss in updating for a while because there’s been a lot going on and I’ve just been pretty much on the run.

The week after Kellen was born, I headed out on a business trip.

Some of you may recognize this skyline.  The white skinny structure to the left gives it away.

Yes, that’s the space needle.  I spent the week in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately, my time was taken up with business so I didn’t have a chance to get together with any of the fine gun bloggers in the area.  There are a bunch in the Washington State area and it’s a shame I didn’t have time.

Maybe next time…and there will be a next time.

BTW:  for anyone who’s never been there, the above shot was taken from Highway 5 on the way into town.  There’s a place where you come over a hill and around a curve and the skyline just appears before you.  It’s breathtaking the first time you see it.

Of course, the weather for the week was typical Seattle spring:  cloudy, drizzly and dreary.

After I got home from that trip, we got ready for the next one…back to Indiana in a whirlwind 4 day round trip.

Since the crash and the miracle that is my sister’s recovery, she has become all to conscious of the fact that life is too short and precious to let any of it go to waste.  She and her fiance of several years finally decided to tie the knot.  Once the decision was made, they didn’t want to waste any time, so it happened pretty quickly.

It was a beautiful, small and tasteful ceremony and The Wife and I were thrilled to be able to attend.

I present Mr. and Mrs. Bart and Yolanda Butler.

Her eyes look a little off because she didn’t want the pictures taken with her glasses on…but that means she was essentially blind while they were being taken.

That minor point aside, they make a great looking couple don’t they?

I haven’t seen her that happy in a long time.

I got some pretty good pictures so I’m going to share a couple.  I may put more up on Flikr or something.

The bride and step-dad Bill

The flower girl was Yolanda’s daughter Paradyse

She’s a cutie isn’t she?

She’s smart as a whip and is very affectionate too.  She’s gonna be a heartbreaker.

Cutting the Cake

Anyway, it was a great day.

In a couple of weeks, I’m going to be going to Germany on a business trip, during which time The Wife is going to go on a road trip back to Indiana to spend time with the happy couple and also to Wisconsin to see some of her family, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any less busy any time soon.

Oh well…keeps life interesting.