Archive for July, 2009

Lenovo Sucks

On May 23rd I ordered a new laptop from, while I had been planning to get something cheaper, a good sale on the Ideapad Y550 was available, and Lenovo had a good reputation and reviews and I decided to go ahead and spend a bit more to get this system instead of a lower end laptop I was looking at elsewhere, that was cheaper, but not as powerful.

The computer shipped far earlier than estimated when I ordered it. Three days instead of two weeks. Had I known it would ship so much earlier than estimated I would have waited to order it until the end of the sale. The new timing was very inconvenient as I was out of town. A shipping estimate is only an estimate, and I get that, but the difference between 3 days and two weeks pretty much speaks of them not really bothering with estimates, and they are simply supplying random information which they think is least likely to make customers angry with them.

At first the timing only seemed annoying. It meant that nobody was home to get the delivery, so my husband was forced to leave work and chase a FedEx truck around while on the phone with the FedEx dispatcher in order to try to meet up with them. It took over an hour out of his day, but he got the computer and it sat at home waiting for me.

When I returned from out of town and was able to check out the new computer, it would not work properly. The DVD burner was unable to burn. I spent a great MANY HOURS troubleshooting the problem, not that I should have to troubleshoot a brand new computer, but I did, because I’d rather fix it myself then deal with support. Eventually it became clear that it was a hardware problem and I looked to submit a trouble ticket. I was horribly disappointed to discover you do not offer online tech support. I tried posting in the forum to no response. After a week, I gave up, and had to resort to calling tech support.

The person at tech support was very polite, which is lovely, but I do not want to have to make phone calls. I purchase online so that I can deal with things online. The first thing she wanted to do was to take control of the computer using Because I had never used the computer, I went ahead and agreed to this, but if it was a computer I had already put into service, this would not have been acceptable to me, especially not as a first step. While polite and helpful, she was not overly knowledgeable. For instance, she typed in ‘rededit’ and then when surprise surprise that did not work, she needed me to hold on while she looked up the command she needed to type. I didn’t bother to tell her the command and waited for her to figure it out herself. She found the right word and then found that it did her no good. She put me on hold to ask somebody else what to do and was then able reach the same conclusion I had. She said that the part could be sent to me, or I could send the machine in for repairs. She went to look up the part information, and determined that the DVD drive was unfortunately not in stock and not customer replaceable on this model, and while I could send it in for repairs, this was a brand new computer that I had never even used, so I decided to return it instead. She then was forced by policy to make a sales pitch for an extended warranty. It was embarrassing.

She gave me the case number from support to use when calling sales to return it and told me what number to call, but I wasn’t able to call until Monday, because they were closed on the weekend.

Unfortunately the return center cannot actually look up case numbers. I am then stuck waiting while the return center CALLS technical support to ask them about the case number, and apparently they don’t have any better of a connection to technical support than customers do, because they were put on hold for a long time before they could get through.

Then customer support came back on the line to ask me what was wrong with the computer. I asked, doesn’t tech support have it in their notes? Yes, but they need to verify.

Now they are making me talk to tech support yet again, because apparently you hire tech support that your other tech support doesn’t trust.

Now I am having to jump through those hoops again.

All I want at this point is to return this defective machine. Which is what I called to do. Even if I should choose to give Lenovo a second chance and have it replaced, this excessive handling as I try to manage it, is making it less and less appealing by the minute. In the literally dozens of laptop purchases that I’ve made in the past, not even beginning to count all of the desktop purchases, really, this is the most unhappy with a computer purchase that I’ve ever been.

So, tech support guy number 2 says, oh, it is totally customer replaceable “you just need to remove one screw”, and we have it in stock. The thing is, because of the shipping early while I was out of town, I am now on the final day of being allowed to return it. I point this out, as at this point we are only assuming that the DVD drive is the only problem with the unit, I haven’t actually worked with it further.

Both sales and tech support say that I will be able to return it beyond the normal return time, if I will accept the option of trying to replace the part. I agree to it because I believe American Express will back me on the matter should it come to that.

Tech support tells me the drive will arrive in two days.

It doesn’t.

I call back to ask about the drive and am told it isn’t in stock. I am told it should be in within a week, and I agree to give it a little more time, because other things in my life were becoming very complicated and I didn’t have enough energy to fight with them about it right then. He verified my email address (which was wrong, STILL – I had actually already been through the email address thing 3 times before, and every time I corrected them, and they said they would fix it, but it was still wrong in the exact same way it was the first time the read it back to me. “So, your email is F – O – R – E -M…” “No! It’s FAMILY F – A – M – I – L – Y the word, ‘family'” “Okay, I’ll change that”.) and said he would send me shipping confirmation.

A week went by and no sign of the drive or the shipping notification arrived. I called again and was told it was still out of stock and to give it two more weeks. I refused and told them that it needed to be returned. I was told that somebody would call me back to start that within 72 hours, but hopefully sooner. Yeah. Hopefully sooner.

The next day, the drive appeared on my doorstep.

It is nice to know how organized and on top of things they are. Obviously, not at all.

I was able to install the replacement drive, but it was not just “one screw”. I’ve done a lot of repairs and replacements on laptops and am comfortable mucking about with the hardware on a laptop. I’d have to say that for the average consumer, that was probably not really a consumer replaceable part.

I got it put back together and it didn’t work properly AT ALL. I fought and fought and fought with the system, and eventually after much fighting with drivers and updates I was able to get it working. The brand of the replacement they sent was different than the one I pulled out, although according to online research the core manufacturer was the same. Lenovo really should be shipping with all drivers and software installed that is needed to make the basic functionality of the product WORK. After all, the first thing THEY recommend that you do is burn recovery discs, so…


Well, that is more or less my tale of Lenovo woe.

I am not a fan.

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