Note: Today marks the beginning of a new journey, as Elliott becomes a general consumer advocacy site. This feature is being renamed “Should I Take This Case?”
It’s like an old Twilight Zone episode.
Every few weeks, I’m copied on a complaint from a Lenovo customer outside the United States, begging for help with a computer that’s on the blink.
The reason? The search engine gods played a prank on my company contacts page, giving it a high ranking for Lenovo.
I think some readers believe I am Lenovo. (I am not.)
Question is, what should I do about them? As you know, we have a new mandate in 2015 to be a general consumer advocacy website. Yes, you’ll still find travel cases here, but over time, we’ll be shifting the balance of our coverage to general topics, like malfunctioning laptops.
Here’s one of the cases from R.K. Saxena, the director of business development for an engineering company in Udaipur, India.
“We are fed up with your services, customer support and quality of the product,” he writes in an angry email to Lenovo. “Now we don’t want to keep Lenovo products in our office, we will neither purchase any Lenovo product for our personal/official use nor suggest them for anyone to purchase. Please refund our full amount with interest and collect all your products from our office.”
The thread is pretty interesting. There’s the standard response from a technician:
Regret to hear the issue that you are facing with the Lenovo machine.
For any technical queries/assistance please feel free to reach out to the below posted numbers,
For Idea Products: Toll Free: 1800 3000 5366 / email@example.com
For Think Products: Think: Toll Free: 1800 419 4666 / E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
And there’s the impassioned response from R.K.:
PC of Serial number ES11963158 is not powering ON, Probably Failure of SMPS.
QUESTION MARK ON THE QUALITY OF LENOVO PRODUCT, PLEASE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.
And here’s the thing: I have dozens of these exchanges. From time to time, I’ve investigated them and tried to forward helpful information to the customer. The international warranty is a favorite page.
I’ve also reached out to a personal friend who works for Lenovo in the United States to see if these cases can be resolved. So far, they’ve fixed one case.
A few weeks ago, Zorica Arsova, who lives in Macedonia, sent me a note.
“As I can’t find another email to contact you about warranty issue, I’m writing to you,” she explained. “I have bought a PC a year ago. The warranty expires soon.”
Arsova explained that her screen stopped working. It was repaired under warranty but she was concerned about the quality of the replacement part, and asked for the warranty to be extended by a few months. Lenovo refused.
“What if the spare part is again faulty?” she asked.
I didn’t see the response from Lenovo, although it sometimes copies “all” and lets me see its form letter.
Call us, Lenovo says. We’ll try to help you.
I don’t know if these cases are indicative of a faulty product sold internationally or if they’re the result of an SEO wormhole where I’m somehow getting copied on customer service emails that aren’t meant for me.
Should I jump in and send these to Lenovo, even if they aren’t addressed directly to me? Or should I wait until someone fills out my help form?
By the way, thank you for supporting my move to a general advocacy website. This is a little scary, but I think it’s the right thing.
Update (8:30 a.m.): Just received this from Lenovo:
I am writing to you as the Digital Marketing lead for Lenovo India, on behalf of the senior management of Lenovo Global. We have an issue for which we would like to reach out to you.
Lenovo Group Ltd. (stylized as Lenovo) is a multinational computer technology company with headquarters in Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina, United States. Lenovo designs, develops, manufactures and sells personal computers, tablet computers, smartphones, workstations, servers, electronic storage devices, IT management software and smart televisions with operations in more than 60 countries and markets in 160 countries.
Over the past few months, two of our top executives – Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo and Peter Hortensius, Senior Vice President of Lenovo have been copied on several e-mails on complaints sent by Indian consumers.
Customer satisfaction is something that we take very seriously; and we would like to ensure that these customers’ voices reach the right authorities. In an endeavor to enable this, there is a dedicated email ID email@example.com, which is available to Indian consumers to reach out directly to Amar Babu, the Managing Director for Lenovo India for any grievances they may have faced. We request you to kindly update this email ID to your records so as to guide customers who may visit your website to the right touch-points.
Looking forward to your cooperation. Please feel free to reach out to me for any queries you may have.
Manager – Digital Marketing & Tablets