What should I do with all of these Lenovo cases?

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.

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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:

Greetings!

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 protected]
For Think Products: Think: Toll Free: 1800 419 4666 / E-Mail: [email protected]

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.

Should I mediate these international Lenovo cases?

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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 protected], 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.

Bhavana Jaiswal
Manager – Digital Marketing & Tablets
India

37 thoughts on “What should I do with all of these Lenovo cases?

  1. First, locate delete button in email, select all Lenovo cases, click delete. You are an advocate not technical support.

    Second, not everyone supports your move to general advocacy, especially since you’ve relocated virtual shop to “Boarding Area”. I don’t go to the airport when I need my flu shot. We’ve discussed the rest of this issue in the past, no need to beat a dead elephant, but there is a dead elephant in the room.

  2. If you are truly going to move towards a general consumer advocacy, then you need to take cases like this.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the decision, but if that’s your choice then these are the situations where you need to advocate for the consumer.

    But my question is are you looking to do this internationally or just in the US/North America?

  3. I’m in the middle here.. I do think they need attention, but I think that should be via the proper process and channels.. While it sounds like you’re getting involved “by accident”, I don’t think that obligates you, nor really invites you, to intercede..

    I think those emails should go to Lenovo first — then, IF the customer still isn’t pleased — and wants your help, then it’s time to step in.

    What concerns me here a bit, is that it sounds like some of these folks think you ARE Lenovo and to me, to do anything that further perpetuates this, or to use information that rightly was not destined for you, isn’t right.

    1. Yeah, no one said these cases would be easy. Agree with @taxed2themax:disqus – some of the posters seem to think I am Lenovo. I’m in touch with someone who works for the company now to see if we can remedy the situation.

      1. That’s somewhat standard procedure in India. Interest rate is somewhere in the range of 6 – 10% PA. Other thing to be aware of is that even if you buy the same products across the globe they could widely vary in quality. A simple example: the Swiss chocolate sold in the local store probably came from somewhere in PA 🙂

      2. Maybe the person you know in Lenovo will forward a copy of this article to his contacts to show what happens when they don’t respond.

      3. If I suddenly had that fall in my lap as a lay person, I would send a form e-mail to everyone stating that they have contacted me in error and that these are the e-mail addresses to contact the Lenovo execs. Beyond that, it’s really up to you whether you want to mention that you’re a consumer advocate and say “Hey, give it a try. If it doesn’t work, feel free to let me know and I’ll see what I can do.”

  4. I am sure are plenty of Domestic cases with Lenovo as well. I have been trying for a month to get Lenovo to verify the warranty status of my tablet (purchased in July) The website says it went out of warranty in early December, however, my purchase receipt is dated July 4th and has a 1 year warranty. I have sent the receipt, and a photo of the serial number sticker multiple times and just keep getting asked for the same information.

    I guess the bottom line is that true Customer Advocacy in these days of global information exchange is going to transcend old fashioned concepts like borders and counties as more and more companies expand a global reach.

  5. I thought you were spreading yourself thin, but if you took this on you would be going graphene – one molecule thick.

    What I want to see more about is the young man who has been sued by United and Orbitz over his site that lets travelers search for hidden-city airline routings that can be taken advantage of. In this filing they are making the claim, for the first time so far as I know, an airline rule applies to people who are not passengers.

    1. Since he has been sued by Orbitz and United, it is up to the courts to decide. This is the stage past advocacy, not before…

  6. I would find out why you receive these emails and try to put a stop to it. These are the type of issues that will take away the amount of time that you want to devote to your main task. Do not allow yourself to get sidetracked.

  7. Chris, since your site is now a general consumer advocacy site, you don’t have the time or resources to take on every problem that occurs throughout the world. Concentrate on problems brought to you by consumers who reside in the United States and Canada and you can be much more effective. Perhaps among the more than one billion people who live in India, there is another person like you who is willing to go to bat against Levovo for his countrymen.

  8. I think you should forward these cases to Lenovo, period. Then as someone has suggested if a person asks for your help separately, then take on the case.
    I also think you should stick to N.A. as you seem to have your hands full just here. Going from travel to all over the board Consumer Advocate will more than keep things busy. Personally I hope you did not bite off more than you can chew.

    1. Jerryatric, why should Chris stick to consumer issues from North America only? His blog is online and therefore anyone in the world can read it and he should be willing to address issues from any part of the world. People from Africa, Spain, etc, do business with U.S. based companies, should Chris ignore them because they are not from the U.S. or Canada?
      I agree with you on Lenovo, they need to fix their own problems, which are too many to count.

      1. Why stick to US/North America consumer issues?

        1) Familiarity with consumer laws
        2) Familiarity with language, customs, mores and expectations
        3) Time constraints

        1. True enough Jeanne, but… a lot of the issues relate to companies that are U.S. based, Phx based US Airways for instance. Chris should be working on these issues and not so much ones for a foreign based company.
          I agree that Chris is spread too thin but when you set out to have a blog like this you take what comes to you and where it comes from and you run with it.

      2. I say this for a simple reason! Like several others I think Chris is spreading himself way too thin.
        First stick with N.A. complaints as in the past with travel issues, then go worldwide. TEST THE WATERS as it were.
        It seems he has been working for a very long time to get his list of executives to contact updated. Is this going to now be the case taking on all problems? Just wondering.
        Besides, different countries many different rules & regulations, could get messy.

      3. …he should be willing to address issues from any part of the world

        No, he shouldn’t. It’s his site and he should address whatever he wants.

  9. RE: Your update

    Kudos to Levono to sending that, and trying to work with you to rectify the problems. So, now that you have a good contact, I think sending those messages on to that address would be your first and only step. Unless YOU are specifically asked to help after the “proper” channels have failed to resolve the situation. Then you might consider it…

    1. Why? What nefarious deeds will take place if someone sees a serial number for a computer that someone bought in India? I’d be happy to post the serial number for my 5-year-old Dell, but I need a magnifying glass to read it.

  10. Looks to me as Lenovo is the premire expertise in mastabatory practices when it comes to customer support. Their response to the letter is blather, showing they didn’t read the communication, and the horse you rode in on, etc.

    Thanks for the highlight of this company; will avoid.

  11. You now have a decent contact with Lenovo. You also have complaints that should be addressed to Lenovo de novo (sorry, I couldn’t resist). So, see if your Indian friend at Lenovo can send you the list of all the worldwide Lenovo customer contacts. Then, when a worldwide customer contacts you, forward the list.
    As to being a worldwide advocate, there is no downside to taking on a few interesting cases, if you feel you can do it, as long as you don’t get bogged down by language, law, and cultural differences.
    You must follow your own path.

  12. If you use Gmail, the solution is simple. Filters!

    If message contains LENOVO but not ELLIOTT —> DELETE.

    I agree with the previous commenters who said you should only intervene if the consumer reaches out to you after traditional channels have failed.

    1. What would be even better if you could set up a bounce-back to the emails: I AM NOT LENOVO. Please call their corporate headquarters at…..

  13. Well, the first Indian case looks a business-to-business matter and I don’t see why a “consumer” advocate needs to step in. The second case is about warranty and I always thought laptop warranty is very straight-forward and no brainer. It’s not like a fine print in travel industry. A replacement part should be covered until the main warranty expires or in some cases 90 days after replacement. I bet the reason why Renovo refused to extend her warranty is because it sells extended warranty already. There are tons of online forums discussing how to diagnose and fix laptops. So I don’t see much reason to meddle in this case, either.

  14. I have my own Lenovo horror story (thank the dieties for Squaretrade), but that’s not the point of this tale. The point is that, with what sounds like few exceptions, they are not contacting you directly saying, “Please help me, I’m trying to get Lenovo to listen and they’re not helping.” Either they’re honestly misunderstanding why they should contact you (or think they should do so) or, possibly, somehow hoping you’ll see their emails and take up the cause. I suggest you don’t feed bad behaviour.

  15. Great God in Heaven, don’t get involved with people and their malfunctioning computers!! We’ll never see you again. Can’t you just forward the emails to Lenovo? The timing of this post couldn’t be better … I’m in the market for a new laptop so can avoid Lenovo.

  16. I think it’s great that you are moving to general consumer advocacy, but I still think people should go through the proper channels if they want your assistance. Charles had some problems with his Lenovo and he had no problems finding the correct contact information to get it fixed.

    1. Right there with ya, Candy. As a rule, we do require that our customers go through the proper channels before Chris steps in. We send them a link to the applicable Company Contact page along with instructions on how to approach the contacts listed there. We ask them to make all of their contacts by email, then, if they strike out, forward their “paper trail” to Chris to see what he can do. It’s a great system!

  17. It seems as if Lenovo is a *dead zone*.

    It might be useful to establish a spot on your website that is an alphabetical listing of companies and a record of how many of your customer advocacy attempts have been
    resolved and how many have been ignored.

    It might be a good resource for consumers to see graphical/numerically, just how seriously
    various companies take Customer Relations.

    I, for example, am usually well served when I contact a company. Usually, a sense of humour and fairness has resulted in some kind of fair compensation.

    However,I am totally disappointed with Sandman Inns Canada, who has absolutely
    ignored two emails I’ve sent them in the last month. I’ve sent the third today. It’s really disappointing for a large hotel chain to ABSOLUTELY ignore emails from a customer. And reports of something like that when NO response from a company are returned, that could make it onto a website like yours. Do others REALLY want to deal with companies who have NO response to them?

    So,again, what about a graph/numerical listing of companies you’ve dealt with and a plus minus or something as to how often they treat a customer fairly?

    Or have I missed something on your site and you already have something like this?

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