For years I had a weakness for IBM Thinkpad’s. They were never very sexy but they were build like a tank and IBM’s service was always quite good. A couple of years back my Eee PC crapped out and to replace it I bought a Lenovo Ideapad to replace it. Granted, the Ideapad wasn’t a Thinkpad but at least it was from the same company that actually build the Thinkpads.
Now, I should probably mention at this time that I don’t run Windows, so unlike Windows users I don’t really have to replace my hardware once a year. My two year old Ideapad still run quite well, so there’s absolutely no reason to replace it. That is – there were no reason until today.
Two years old, the battery in the Ideapad is giving up. It’s a 6-cell one and when the Ideapad was new, battery life was quite nice (around 6 hours with more than enough to charge my phone now and then). Today, Linux announced that the capacity was down to about 30 % and that is really not enough to be productive, so I decided to get myself a new battery.
First let me repeat that the original battery life was around 6 hours, so I really did not want some unoriginal Chinese copy nonsense, but decided to get an original replacement – even though that would probably set me back a small fortune. So I went down to the local IT warehouse (Low Yat Plaza) and approached all the “authorized” Lenovo shops there (and there are quite a few of them). Without exception the story was the same – they could not help me with a replacement battery, but they were quite happy to sell me an overpriced Chinese copy battery. After 4-5 shops I’d had enough, so I decided to call Lenovo in Malaysia. After a while I managed to get through to a girl called Mei-Ling. Unfortunately the best advice she could give me was to try more shops in Low Yat. Even when I suggested it, Mei-Ling absolutely refused to make a few calls on her own to locate a battery for me. She also couldn’t really grasp why I found it bizarre that the authorized Lenovo outlets tried to push copy crap down my throat.
After some explaining, I finally did manage to make Mei-Ling understand that I expected some service from Lenovo and she promised to find out where I should go and call me back. 40 minutes later – having heard nothing back from Mei-Ling – I went home. Once home, I called Lenovo again and managed to get the same person again. This time I did admittedly raise my voice a bit and made it crystal clear that if Mei-Ling did NOT figure out how to get a replacement battery, she would be able to read the story online the next day. Mei-Ling once more promised to return my call, and once more – surprise surprise – I heard nothing.
So that is why I am writing this blog post now. Lenovo have gone from being a hallmark of quality and service to being – well – exactly the opposite. I have today wasted several hours trying to get a replacement battery for my Lenovo product only to be lied to by Lenovo’s own staff and their authorized dealers.
I will never – I repeat never – purchase another Lenovo product!