Tsk tsk, Lenovo SM Annex North EDSA customer service
I lost my temper while talking to Neil of the SM Annex North EDSA branch of Lenovo this evening. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn’t have gone off the rails like that, but I left my laptop with them on July 6, nearly two months ago, and to hear Neil ask me, “Ma’am, dito niyo ba iniwan yung laptop ninyo? (Ma’am, did you leave your laptop here?)” sent me over the edge.
Let me take you back to a time when I was younger* and hopeful, albeit a little distressed. My laptop exhibited some strange behavior, with the light on the caps lock button switched on even if I hadn’t pressed caps lock. I hoped there wasn’t any serious problem, but my suspicions of an electrical problem were confirmed when I tried to use it again that evening and it wouldn’t power on.
I took it to the Lenovo shop where I bought it the following day and explained the problem. After a few minutes of checking, Neil asked if I wanted to leave the laptop with them to be checked and repaired, which could take up to three weeks. Three weeks without my laptop sounded painful, but I figured that was the best option, so I immediately said yes. I filled out a form, he wrote down his mobile phone number and got mine as well so he could update me, and I went on my way, feeling hopeful.
Would you call me an unreasonable customer if I was indeed hoping for updates on my laptop or any news about what the problem was? A week after July 6, I called to cheerfully ask if they’d managed to find out what the problem was; I wasn’t surprised when they said it was still being processed. I understood. I’m one of hundreds of customers that they most likely have, I wasn’t expecting my laptop to be at the top of their to-do list.
More than a month later, I called again for an update and was informed that the laptop still wasn’t switching on, but parts were on their way for the laptop. Another call a week later, I was told that the parts were there and the laptop was being repaired. I was assured that they were following up regularly on the status of my laptop. Last week, I called again, feeling a little panicky since I’m supposed to leave on the second week of September and my laptop was nowhere in sight. A different guy, Harold, answered and assured me that my laptop should be ready in a week.
Which brings us to the present. I called Lenovo again, hoping for some good news, and asked to speak to Harold; I’d long abandoned hope of talking to Neil, since a couple of texts to him last week went unanswered. Harold said he’d go check and could I leave my number so he can call back in 20 minutes? I left my number and started the clock. Before the 20 minutes were up, I received a text message from Neil, asking what my laptop’s serial number was. A bit of panic was beginning to set in. A few minutes after that, I went ahead and called Lenovo again and my call was taken by Neil, who said that Harold wrote down my number wrong which was why they couldn’t call back. I wanted to say, “You have my mobile phone number, couldn’t you have texted me to reconfirm my phone number?”
The next thing he said to me was, “Ma’am, dito niyo ba iniwan yung laptop ninyo? (Ma’am, did you leave your laptop here?)” Keep in mind that this is the same person who received my laptop on July 6, who gave me his mobile phone number, and who I have been texting for news about my laptop. I stated again that I left the laptop with him specifically on July 6. Neil told me again that there still weren’t any parts available. I repeated all the information that he has given me about the status of my laptop. He said again that it just wasn’t ready. I asked him what the actual problem was with my laptop, and he said it was a problem with the motherboard.
I said, “There you go, you should have told me what the exact problem was so I know what’s happening at least.” He replied, “But I was texting you.” “No, you only text when you reply to my texts, apart from that, you weren’t telling me what was happening with my laptop. So if the motherboard is the problem, can it be replaced?” “Yes, but you said you wanted the laptop repaired.” “I did when I thought that was the only option available. If you let me know that it could be replaced, we could have done that instead.” The conversation continued in this vein for a couple more minutes until he told me that my laptop wasn’t the only one they were fixing. I said I knew that, but I’d hope for some progress after leaving it with them for nearly two months, and I would have appreciated it if they took the initiative to inform me about the problem, actual solutions, and possible cost. He said getting mad wasn’t going to solve things, so I apologized but said that if he were in my place, he would be displeased at the lack of information as well. I may have needed the laptop sooner than two months, but it would have been nice for them to let me know about its status so I know whether to take it back and bring it elsewhere.
The conversation ended with him telling me to just pick up the laptop tomorrow since he himself was already getting aggravated (“Sige, kunin niyo na lang bukas, kasi ako rin nabuburyong na eh” were his exact words.). Thus, I’ve chosen to pick up my laptop tomorrow in Greenhills, where they sent my laptop to be repaired and hopefully find some fast, efficient, and effective solution. The funny thing is, it wasn’t even a Lenovo center to which they sent my laptop, but a different repair shop altogether.
Edit, August 26: I picked up my laptop from the Greenhills shop yesterday. It turns out Neil sent it to that shop only on August 5, so any claims made in July that it was being repaired and he was checking up on it were nothing but lies. After I got my laptop, I took it to the Lenovo service center in Libis and explained what happened. The people there were surprised that Neil actually sent my laptop to an unauthorized repair shop and said what he should’ve done was to send it directly to the Lenovo service center. A day after I left my laptop with the service center, I already got a diagnosis for my ailing laptop. Awesome. However, I am still on the warpath against that Neil who basically wasted nearly two months doing either nothing or gods-know-what with my machine. It would have been fixed a lot sooner had the service center handled it in the first place.
* Two months younger.
I think I should again reiterate that while I wanted to get my laptop quickly, I fully understood that I was not their one and only customer. What I really wanted was to be kept updated about my laptop, not have to beg for information every week. I would call, give my name, state my laptop model, then be passed on to some other person. Neil asking me if I indeed left my laptop with them was the last straw, since it made me think that they just passed my laptop on to someplace else and washed their hands of it altogether. Next time, I wouldn’t go to them at all for any future problems with my laptop, since it looks like they don’t really keep track of items nor care enough to provide at least occasional updates to a customer.
More customer service lies! A letter from Citibank Philippines says that they have a 24-hour hotline, 4433000. A call to them at 9 p.m. tonight informed me that the service is available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.