Friday, September 2, 2011

Falling off the cluetrain

(I posted this to Google+ earlier today. I'm loving the engagement over there, so feel free to comment on the post over there. Don't have a Google+ account yet? Click here to sign up!)

How times have changed. Just had a miserable post-sales experience with Lenovo. Ugh.

From my overwhelmingly positive experience 5 years ago (!), to this:

My nephew starts college next week, and my wife and I told him we were going to buy him a laptop as a graduation/welcome to college gift. I was going to buy a MacBook Air, but he has several games that are only playable on a PC, so I reverted to my preferred PC brand, Lenovo.

In purchasing the laptop, the estimated ship date was clearly indicated as the 6th. Not ideal - in an age when Amazon can ship things out in what seems like minutes after you complete your order, the week's delay to get a preconfigured machine out the door seemed unnecessarily long. But it'd still be there in his first week of school.

I checked on the order this morning to confirm that it was in order; the website shows the order (3 days later) as still "in process", and the estimated ship date has been updated to 9/12. The site helpfully says for more info I should call, so I called the post-sales line. Turns out the post sales line's touch-tone recognition is borked, so no matter what you do, no tones are recognized in response to their prompts, and you get repeatedly disconnected.

I followed up by calling the pre-sales line, where the touch-tone recognition works, and got through to a rep. All he could offer was that in his experience the shipments often go out much sooner - but could offer no way to improve things, no explanation for the week's delay in estimated ship time, and no promise to do anything other than follow up in two business days with any new info he might have at that time.

In '06, I wrote the following:
Lenovo cares about its customers. Lenovo customers are passionate about Lenovo’s products. And in this age of decreasing customer loyalty, you can’t put a price tag on that.
Maybe the laptop will get shipped out sooner, as my rep suggested it might. But that'll feel like an accident, instead of evidence of a company trying hard to do right by its customers. A lot can change in five years.


  1. Rick,

    Sorry to hear that you are having problems. I don't think that things have gotten worse over the last five years - we are still listening to our customers and try to make things right when we find out that they are not. Would you email me with your order number and we will do our best to sort this out for you.

    Best regards,


  2. Thanks Mark. Just sent you a note - really appreciate the follow-up.