Lenovo Thinkpad X200 display issue

Hinweis: Die deutsche Version des Artikels gibt es hier: [klick mich!]

Since I got my T420s my old Thinkpads R500 and X200 are waiting for new owners. A few days ago I discovered a screen issue on my X200. Its display is badly lighted when the brightness is dimmed down –  in addition to this the screen is squeaking high-frequently.

Working in dark and silent environments is nearly impossible in this way.

This is how my screen looks like:

Here’s the annoying sound of the screen: Squeaking sound (amplified)

Well – my Thinkpad is still in a warranty state and so I decided to let Lenovo repair my notebook before I’m going to sell it. And that was the beginning of a long story…

10.12.2012I still got no answer from Lenovo – so I wrote a mail for yet another time:

Hello Mr.XXX,

what is the current state of the replacement?

You know – I’m waiting since august by now which is NOT acceptable..

Later I received two mails – one from Lenovo…

Dear Mr, Stankowic,

Please be informed that our service partner MKCL should contact you shortly.
They will set collection before they will proceed with replacement machine.

Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions
Thank you and wishing you a nice day

…and one from MKCL:

Sehr geehrter Herr Christian Stankowic,

die MKCL Deutschland GmbH ist von Lenovo als Dienstleister damit beauftragt worden, sich um die Abwicklung Ihres defekten Lenovo Gerätes zu kümmern.

Wir werden Sie in Kürze kontaktieren, um den weiteren Ablauf mit Ihnen zu besprechen.

20.08.2012 I called the Lenovo hotline and described the issue. A support ticket was opened and I was asked to prepare my Thinkpad for pick-up by UPS.
22.08.2012 UPS picked up the device.
27.08.2012 A technician called me and told me that they couldn’t find an error on the screen. I describe dthe issue for a second time and requested him to call me back when the technician has the notebook on his desk. I also requested that the notebook shall not be sent back without phoning/mailing me. I had to spell the word „Helligkeit“ (german: brightness) because the technician’s german „isn’t that good“ (to his own statement).
29.08.2012 UPS handed a package to me. They sent back my notebook without calling/mailing me.
30.08.2012 I called the Lenovo hotline for a second time and asked why they sent my notebook back without calling me – my question remains unanswered. I was asked to describe my issue for a further time – they also wanted me to send some pictures of the screen issue. I sent these information in english and german.
02.09.2012 I was asked to prepare my notebook for pick-up by UPS.
04.09.2012 UPS picked up my Thinkpad.
13.09.2012 UPS handed a package to me. My notebook has been sent back without being repaired for yet another time. I got no mail or call in the last weeks.
14.09.2012 Being crossed about that I called Lenovo again. I asked for a manager or a chief to talk to. They told me that they don’t have a manager or a chief – also there is no responsible person for customer complaint cases. I couldn’t believe that and asked for a mail address for complaints. The support told me barefaced the same mail address I used for my support request.
I used Google for 5 minutes and discovered three complaint mail adresses of Lenovo. I’m wrote a long mail to those adresses:

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

I’m writing you because I’m feeling unfairly treated by the technical support.

The last years I’ve been a very satisfied Lenovo customer and always had no problems with all my Thinkpad business devices.

Some weeks ago I recognized a display issue on my Thinkpad X200 (which has still a warranty state).
The display is beeping when its brightness is dimmed down. Beyond that the display is badly lighted.
It’s nearly impossible to work with the notebook in a dark and silent environment in that way.

Of course I called the technical support and asked for help. After opening a support request my Thinkpad was fetched by UPS.

A few days later a technician called me and told me that they couldn’t find an error on my screen. I repeated my problem and the technician said that he would ask another technician to have another look on my device.
I also begged for sending me a mail or calling me before the device is sent back. I’m using Thinkpad business devices for almost 8 years now. I had a lot of those devices and I definitely know how it looks like when your screen has a problem. You can see and hear that something is wrong with the screen – even if you’re not an expert.

A few days later UPS brought my Thinkpad back – my screen was not fixed.

I called the technical support for a second time and told that I’m feeling tricked for just sending back my Thinkpad. I sent several pictures and another error description regarding the display issue.
After a few days the technical support called me and said that UPS will pick up my Thinkpad for a second time. UPS came and picked it up.

Yesterday I got my Thinkpad back – my screen wasn’t fixed again.

That morning I called the technical support (0800 / 5004618) again and asked for a manager or a boss to talk to. An employee told me that there is no manager or a boss.
The employee also didn’t wan’t to give me a dedicated phone number or mail address for the complaint department.
I find it hard to imagine that there is no one that I can talk to. I’m feeling unfairly treated by the technical support and don’t want to be treated for yet another time.
Lenovo would be the first company without complaint department I’ve ever dealt with.

After using Google for 5 minutes I found the following mail addresses for complaint management:
• CMT_West@lenovo.com
• CMT_UK@lenovo.com
• CMT_Germany@lenovo.com

Why didn’t the employee give me these addresses? Why did I have to look for them on my own?
I can’t understand why the employee lied to me.

It’s unbelievable that no one wants to help my with my display issue. Working with my Thinkpad is nearly impossible with the annoying issue.

Please, Lenovo – help me. I just want that my broken screen is being fixed.
I payed for a professional enterprise product and just want to be handled fair and professional.

17.09.2012 The complaint team wrote me that they take care of my request. They apologized for the trouble.
19.09.2012 The complaint team asked me to send a description of failure (why do I have to do this plenty of times?). On my pictures there was an Ubuntu desktop and no Windows because I dismounted the X200’s hard drive and mounted it in my new T420s. Lenovo thinks that the operating system is the reason for my issue (uhm?) – they said that Ubuntu isn’t supported. They don’t see that this is hardware and not a software issue…
19.09.2012 I asked for the progress state of my request because Lenovo didn’t get in touch with me.
27.09.2012 Lenovo told me that my request takes some time because they have to open a customer complaint case (I thought they already did this?). The responsible editor will contact me, they said.
02.10.2012 It seems that Lenovo tried to call me – it is the same number which called me the times before. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough and so the call was cancelled. Lenovo didn’t leave a message or sent a mail.
04.10.2012 Lenovo opened yet another support case for my request. I was asked to send the case numbers of the two cases before. Now they also asked for pictures of the screen issue in BIOS (and not under Windows or Linux). I took these pictures and also recorded the annoying squeaking sound. I sent all this to Lenovo:

Hello,

as requested by phone today I send you two additional pictures of the display issue while running BIOS.

I also recorded the squeaking sound which can be heard when the display is completely dimmed down.

I really hope you finally got everything you need for repairing my screeen.
As you know I’ve reported that issue nearly two months ago (20.08.2012).
You sent my Thinkpad back without reparing it twice.

The first ticket had the number XXX – the last one XXX.

Regards,
Christian Stankowic.

13.10.2012 Lenovo didn’t report any progress in the last 9 days. I don’t know if my issue will be fixed in that century and so I wrote yet another mail…

Hello,

I just wanted to know what’s the current status of my issue (XXXXXX)?

9 days ago I wrote you a mail with all the details you needed – got no reply so far..

15.10.2012 Lenovo tried to call me in the early morning. I’ve been carrying my mobile phone with me everywhere I go in the last weeks. This time I’ve been too late to get to my phone and missed the call (three bell signals).
18.10.2012 Lenovo didn’t call me back sind the 15th october. Yes, I wrote another mail to the complaint team:

Hello Lenovo,

I wrote a mail to the compliant management team a month ago (17th September 2012), because my Thinkpad X200 was sent back twice without being repaired.

The device has a squeaking and badly lighted display. It is nearly impossible to work with this issue.

Since the case was raised on 20th August 2012 the issue was not fixed.

I’ve been a very satisfied Lenovo customer – but this has changed now. I will consider my next notebook’s brand more carefully.

There are plenty of other manufacturers who know how to satisfy their customers.

Lenovo tried to reach me on 15th October 2012. Since that day nobody has tried to contact me again – neither via phone nor via eMail.

I work for first and second level support, too. One of our company‘s rules is to inform our customers about everything we do to fix their issue.

Lenovo seems to have other rules – it takes days to be called again in case of that a customer doesn’t answer calls.

I never got a mail regarding the progress of my request before I opened a complaint case.

Since I opened a complaint case I have to answer questions I have answered twice before.

Why do I have to do this? Is Lenovo the first company which doesn’t use ticket systems for customer requests?

It looks like nothing had happened since my first request in September 2012.

I’m maintaining a blog with a notable amount of readers per day – I’m sure they will be really interested in how Lenovo deals with their customers.

A few hours later I received a mail from Lenovo. They told me that a complaint case was opened for me (yet another?). The colleagues from the complaint team will get in touch with me, they said. I’m excited…

In the evening I published this blog article and promoted it on Twitter:

New blog article: „Lenovo – those who do crappy support“ http://st-devel.net/lcsen #lenovo #thinkpad #fail @lenovo @lenovopress @LenovoSupport

19.10.2012 140 people read this blog article since yesterday. Lenovo apologized for the inconveniences and affirmed giving me two additional months of warranty. In my opinion this is the least Lenovo can do.
22.10.2012 The complaint team wrote me that someone shouldcontact me (indeed!):

Dear Mr. Stankowic,

Please be informed that our Call centre should contact you in order to proceed with repair of the PC.
Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions

23.10.2012 Lenovo tried to „call“ me. My mobile phone was next to me on my desk but it only ringed once. Of course I was too slow for this again…After this happened for a second time I wrote a mail:

Hello Mr.XXX,

today someone the call centre tried two times to call me.

It was impossible for me to answer the call because my mobile phone only rang once.

That also happened a plenty of times before – nobody can answer the phone if your employees only wait a few seconds before hanging up..

Please give me a call – and a chance to answer the phone.

26.10.2012 Lenovo gave me a call and told me that my notebook shall be picked up by UPS again. In addition it turned out that my mail address in the customer database is incorrect. I can’t understand why nobody asked for my correct mail address before. The support told me that they would send me a UPS link per mail – using that link I could arrange the pickup. I got no mail so far – so I wrote another mail to Lenovo:

Hello,

Someone from the call center gave me a call today and informed me that my notebook shall be picked up by UPS again.

During the call we discovered that my mail address in your database is incorrect. Please correct my mail address for the opened tickets (especially XXXXXX) to:

info (at) stankowic (hypen) development (dot) net

The support also told me that they would send me a mail with a UPS link for arranging the pick up. I got no mail so far – maybe it’s again the wrong mail address?

Please have a look at this.

29.10.2012 Lenovo told me that my mail address has been updated – beyond that they said that they’ll resend the mail containing the UPS link:

Hello Mr. Stankowic,

I have informed the call center.
They will resend you this link again.

Later I got a mail from UPS and booked the pickup for tomorrow.

30.10.2012 UPS has picked up my notebook.
01.11.2012 In accordance with the Lenovo reparation tracking my notebook is beeing fixed:

Geraet ist im Reparaturzentrum angekommen. Reparatur wurde gestartet.

05.11.2012 The Lenovo reparation tracking tells me that my notebook is still beeing repaired:

Reparatur in Bearbeitung. Kontaktieren Sie bitte den Kundendienst.

The english version of the tracking tool tells something different:

Repair On Hold – Contact Call Center

„In Progress“ and „On Hold“ are two completely differnt things – I wrote a mail to Lenovo:

Hello Mr. XXX,

I just had a look in the Lenovo Repair Tracking System which said that I shall contact the customer support:

„Reparatur in Bearbeitung. Kontaktieren Sie bitte den Kundendienst.“

What is the current state of the repair? Is the screen beeing fixed?

Best regards.

06.11.2012 Someone from the Lenovo call center gave me a called and asked for yet another error report for the technician. The employee also added that a few mails were sent to me – I got no mails. This means my mail address hasn’t been updated as I requested. I’m really crossed about this ridiculuos story and how Lenovo jerkes me around. I wrote another mail to Lenovo:

Hello Mr. XXX,

today I got a call from the Lenovo call center.

I was asked to send a problem report for yet another time. I did this a plenty of times before and I’m not willing to do this for yet another time.

The employee told me that he would forward my last problem report to the ticket. I asked if it’s possible that the technician (who checks my X200) calls me DIRECTLY.
She said this is not possible. Above all the employee said she sent me a few mails – I got no mails so far. This means my mail address hasn’t been updated – I requested that in my last mail to you.

I’ve been waiting for more than 2 months for Lenovo to repair my notebook – it has been picked by UPS three times.

Is it that difficult to replace a broken display? It’s a STUPID 70 USD spare part! I’m sure the pick-ups by UPS more expensive than simply replacing my notebook in the first request.

I’m more than crossed about how bad the Lenovo support does his job.

As you might have seen I’m writing about this ridiculous story on my online blog and on Twitter – it seems that Lenovo is not interested in making their customers happy (at least for their image).

It would have been much easier for me to do this on my own – I paid a lot of money for a business device and got absolutely crappy support.
I’m not willing to wait for additional 2 months for repairing a expensive „business“ product.

So – PLEASE repair my notebook FINALLY or give me the money for the spare part that I can do this on my own..

Later I got an answer from Lenovo:

Hello Mr. Stankowic,

Firstly I want to apologize for the inconveniences caused to you.
I am checking with the call center what is causing the issue. They have been informed about your corrected email address.

I would like to offer you warranty extension of 2 Months for the time loss you have had.

Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions
Thank you

I answered:

Hello Mr. XXX,

I’d like to wait until my notebook has been finally fixed before upgrading my warranty.

I’m waiting more than two months by now and I’m sure that it will still take a few additional weeks.

After that my warranty could be upgraded to the time frame I’ve waited (so the additional warranty depends on the service).

What is the current state of my reparation? Nobody can tell me – neither the call center employees nor the reparation tracking.

14.11.2012 In accordance with the Lenovo reparation tracking, my notebook was repaired and sent back:

In Transit to Customer

Later I got a UPS tracking number. I’ll have a look at the notebook when it’s here…

15.11.2012 I received a parcell and read a report which said that the display had been replaced. It seems that this is not correct – I still got the same issue.I’m looking for alternative Lenovo repair shops – I don’t want to get peeved by the Lenovo support for yet another time..
22.11.2012 I wrote Lenovo:

Hello Mr. XXX,

the notebook arrived – but the issue is still the same.

What’s next?

26.11.2012 It seems like that it’s easier for Lenovo to replace the whole notebook:

Dear Mr. Stankowic,

Could you please provide Invoice for the PC – I will request replacement approval from our higher management.
I apologize for such inconveniences.

Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions
Thank you and wishing you a nice day

My reply:

Hello Mr. XXX,

I bought this notebook used from a private person.

Unfortunately I got no invoice for the notebook – only the Lenovo serial number which shows that the device is in warranty.

Regards from germany.

Reply from Lenovo:

Hello dear,

Could you please provide picture of Serial Number on the back of your machine?
Thank you

I sent the photo to Lenovo.

03.12.2012 I asked for the current state of my reparation:

Hello,

I just wanted to ask if you got my last mail with the requested picture?

What is the current progress state of my issue?

Regards,
Christian Stankowic.

Later I received a reply:

Hello Mr. Stankowic,

I have received the picture.
As soon as I receive replacement approval from higher management I will request from our service partner MKCL to proceed further.

Could you please confirm your collecting and delivering address?

Please do not hesitate to contact me in case of questions
Thank you and wishing you a nice day

I replied:

Hello,
it is the best to send to my business address like we did before:

Regards

11.12.2012 MKCL told me that it’s impossible to obtain a X200. As an alternative they offer me a new ThinkPad X230 2324-62G in the following configuration:

  • Non-glare 12.5″ LED display with 1366×768 pixel and 200 nits
  • Core i5-3320M (Ivy Bit.. eh Bridge) dual core processor (4 threads)
  • 4 GB DDR3 memory (16 GB possible)
  • n-Draft WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0
  • SSD or WWAN upgradable
  • Fingerprint and USB 3.0
  • Non-glowing keyboard, UltraNav and ThinkLight
  • 6 cell-battery
  • pre-installed Windows 8 x64 (*schluck*)

I don’t have to think about this offer very long. 🙂

Later I received pickup-information from DHL – tomorrow they’ll pick up the broken device. I hope that Lenovo doesn’t dispote it – this would be very sad because only a 50 EUR part is broken.

??.??.2013

To be continued…

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  1. Pingback: Lenovo – those who do crappy support | /var/pub/chris_blog

  2. wow that is pretty bogative support! Ever since IBM ditched their PC unit, I haven’t bothered with their stuff..

    Then again Apple gear is pretty famous for dying the day the warrantee expires…

    • Hello Jason!

      Yes, you’re absolutely right. I still don’t know how long I’ll have to keep struggling with those Lenovo guys..

      I’ll think about my next notebook more carefully.

      BTW – you’re Jason from „Fun with virtualization“? What are the odds! I just discovered your interesting blog a few weeks ago and blogged about your Linux 0.11 VMware image today. 😀
      Keep blogging – it’s really interesting stuff! 🙂

      Best regards from Germany,
      Christian.

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