Help, my Lenovo laptop is cursed

Santosh Thakur’s laptop is plagued by problems. He wants Lenovo to take it back. Why won’t it?

Question: I bought a Lenovo z500 laptop last year. Since then, I’ve had several issues with the computer, including problems with the battery, the keyboard, USB, headphone jack and Bluetooth driver.

I’ve contacted Lenovo’s technical support repeatedly. I have an email trail of 35 messages, and I’ve had at least 25 support calls. But the problems persist.

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Lenovo has changed the keyboard, for example, but it still doesn’t work right. I’ve reached the end of my patience. I’ve asked Lenovo to replace the laptop instead of just fixing defective parts. I believe their actions of repairing each individual component are just creating more problems instead of solving them.

Lenovo refuses to exchange the laptop. I don’t know what to do. I’m contemplating legal action. Can you help me? — Santosh Thakur, Delhi, India

Answer: Your laptop is cursed. It’s the only explanation. By your account, so many things have gone wrong with the PC, that there must be something wrong with the machine that even Lenovo can’t fix. I think your request to replace the machine is reasonable.

Durable goods like appliances and computers get possessed every now and then. Not so long ago, I mediated the case of a refrigerator that had gremlins in it. Seriously, gremlins.

You did the right thing by creating a paper trail between you and Lenovo. That’s the only way to document all the problems and get them fixed.

If I’m reading your warranty correctly, then your PC is still covered under Lenovo’s limited warranty. Since replacing the defective parts is not working, the manufacturer should acknowledge this and replace what seems to be a gremlin-infected laptop.

It is not immediately clear why it didn’t. As I review the correspondence, both your emails to Lenovo and its responses were in fragmented English. (I have edited your initial letter and Lenovo’s responses to smooth things over — more on that in a minute.)

A brief, polite appeal to a Lenovo executive might have prompted the company to act. I list those names on my site. Then again, maybe not. Lenovo has country-specific teams, so you may have had to do some research. Emails are formatted [email protected] For example, if I were a Lenovo employee, my mail address would be [email protected]

This case wasn’t easy to resolve. I managed to find someone inside Lenovo in the U.S., thanks to the help of a colleague who re-routed your case to Lenovo India. A representative contacted you and said it would “make sure” you had a working laptop. The company extended your warranty another three months and agreed to fix the computer — this time, for real.

Did Lenovo do enough for Santosh Thakur?

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17 thoughts on “Help, my Lenovo laptop is cursed

  1. At some point, it makes sense for both parties to just throw in the towel and replace the thing.

  2. Ok, let us know, in a month or two, how many times the laptop broke down, in the mean time.

  3. The last I heard was that it was in the process of being fixed, once and for all. But it’s taken far too long, if you ask me. Maybe they should have just replaced the machine.

  4. Hmm I also have both personal and Lenovo laptops. My corporate one is fine, but my personal one is driving me crazy. Keyboard issues, random graphics issues, etc… When I called the first time, I was told that if I required 3 repairs/service calls, they’d replace it. Now, I’m wondering if *gasp* customer service lied to me…Time to start documenting a paper trail, methinks!

  5. If the description of problems is accurate, I don’t know why anybody would even attempt further repairs without replacing the machine. The odds of that many parts being bad in one machine are pretty small. It’s likely something much deeper than that contributing to all the problems.

  6. Many years ago when I used run the small computer shop at Rhein-Main AB we had a similar host of problems. As I recall, it turned out to be something to do with the voltage regulator. It managed to damage just about every component in the laptop. After replacing most of the replaceable parts, Zenith (I know, showing my age) finally just replaced the laptop.

    I’m not saying this is the same problem but by this time Lenovo has already spent more that it would cost them to just replace the thing.

  7. I voted for a replacement. Chris is totally right, every once in a while a product is a lemon, there is some strange fault in it, and it will never work correctly. I can’t explain it, but I have seen it on occasion. A company with good customer service will recognize this and replace it.

    I bought a battery powered portable charger a few months ago and the charge indicator lights were indicated it was discharging when I was charging it, and it didn’t seem to hold a charge. I e-mailed the company and they apologized profusely for the problem, and apologized for not catching the defect before it was sold. They over-nighted me a replacement with a return label to send back the defective one. They even said they don’t want to waste my time troubleshooting it, they would rather just replace it. Now that is good customer service.

  8. How horribly frustrating to work with a company who doesn’t stand behind their product. Having a defective laptop has got to be at the top of list of “things that drive us insane”.

  9. If I’m not understanding wrongly, the OP case is with Lenovo India. Different country, different rules. You may be luckier than him.

  10. “As I review the correspondence, both your emails to Lenovo and its responses were in fragmented English.”

    One Indian talking to another, through a US entity. They were probably just down the street from one another.

    Lemon Laws differ vastly. Perhaps there is no such thing in India for electronics?

  11. At some point, you would think Lenovo would get tired of trying to fix all the things wrong. Just replace the darn thing and you’re done with that particular computer. I had a similar problem with an acer computer several years ago. The computer never worked properly, I got no satisfaction from circuit city or acer, so I refused to shop at circuit city and won’t ever buy an acer product. Given that circuit city has disappeared, I must not be the only one who didn’t like the place.

  12. It amazes me that some companies would rather have their techs spend hours and hours on the phone and then spend a lot of money to replace parts rather than give the customer a new (or refurbished) replacement product. Last year, I spent several hours every evening for a week working with HP tech staff attempting to fix a printer problem. It was only when I asked to be escalated to a higher level supervisor did the supervisor that i was dealing with decide to replace my printer. She did so by providing a generous credit at the HP store which was enough to pay for a higher level model plus new ink cartridges. Second day shipping was free. HP could have saved me a lot of time and themselves a ton of money on ineffective attempted repair expenses by providing the credit several days earlier.

  13. I believe that Lenovo support in the USA is handled by Americans. Incidentally Lenovo is neither an Indian nor a US entity.

  14. I despise the concept of warranties that ultimately companies will not honor. There are always loopholes and caveats.
    In this case the computer is a POS. However, Lenovo is doing what most companies will do in a case like this, give the consumer the run around in the hopes the buyer will simply surrender and move on.

  15. 3 strikes and you’re out, Lenovo. Stupid of you to let it go … now we all know you can’t be trusted.

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