csberry: (cocktails)
I've avoided addressing this issue lately, but I just feel like letting loose now.

Fast background: My laptop started having a freezing problem in the middle of December. Over the past few months I've sent it off 7 times to get this addressed only for the laptop to return not only not fixed, but also having new problems. Supposedly, at least one piece of hardware was replaced during each of these repairs. At this point in the story, I was still getting the freezing, along with getting a blue screen NMI memory hardware error and my monitor (which they JUST replaced because the monitor was flickering and had a black spot in the corner of the screen that was exceptionally hot) now had a dead pixel that always glowed yellow/green.

Two Thursdays ago (April 29th) around 7-8pm my cellphone rang. D'oh! I didn't get to it in time. From the area code of the number, I was fairly certain it was Lenovo's escalation department finally getting in touch with me after I was told they'd call me earlier in the week. I waited a minute for the voicemail chime to go off for me to confirm. As soon as I confirmed it was Lenovo and jotted down the phone number, I called right back. The phone rang twice, someone picked up and then disconnected. I called back again and went straight to his voicemail. I left a message and then listened to the message he left the whole way through. Jamie was calling to let me know that he was going to be out of the office on Friday and wouldn't be back until Monday. He then went on to say that "IF" I called and left him a message, he'd get back to me on Monday morning.

Late Monday afternoon, I got a call back. They were going to send a box and ship the laptop to their engineers in North Carolina. I was pleased to finally get someone looking at the laptop that reputedly had IT expertise and possibly less of an assembly line attitude. This guy would spend time with the laptop and solve the problem. Tuesday the 4th of May, I shipped it off. I had it back in my hands two days later. WHA??

The box contained the laptop and nothing else. No report on repairs done. All work with the "repair depot" had varying amounts of info included on a sheet each of the 7 times the laptop was returned to me. I called Jamie and left a voicemail asking what the engineer did. The oddest thing was that the wrist-rest area's cover was different. Jamie called back later and told me all of these software updates the engineer did. And he stopped.

Wait! This laptop, which has had two different HDs in it would be affected by a software update?! I was highly suspect of this and started airing my displeasure with Jamie. I asked about getting some kind of replacement laptop. He said that Lenovo would never give me a replacement laptop since mine was now 3 years old. I asked about how long we would be continuing this pattern of shipping the laptop back and forth replacing parts before they either tell me to leave them alone or finally do get a replacement. He assured me that they would help me fix this problem. I asked him for how long Lenovo would do it. If I was still having this problem in 4 months, would Lenovo still continue to try to fix it? He refused to answer that question and argued that I was getting worked up over a hypothetical.

*sarcasm*Why, OF COURSE, Jamie, you are absolutely right!*/sarcasm* So, I decided to swallow the remaining words in my mouth and give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, the monitor didn't have the dead pixel, so maybe the NMI error was also taken care of. My worst case scenario was now that only the freezing remained. He set me up to spike him with a "I told you so" and I decided to go for it. I told him I'd try to have faith and politely ended the conversation.

Thus, it was with both tremendous anger and sadistic joy that I stopped what I was doing this morning to grab my cellphone. My laptop had just popped up the damned blue NMI error screen. Doing my best to sound pleasant but not gloating, I, of course, got his voicemail and left a message about how the blue screen had popped up and I wanted to know what to do next. Late this afternoon, I decided to follow up my voicemail and got to Jamie.

"Hi, Jamie?"
"Hey, it's Cory Berry from Huntsville, Alabama."
*mumbles real fast*
"Sorry, what did you say?"
"I've escalated your case and someone from Lenovo will be calling you in the next 48 hours."
"Okay, thanks."

He disconnected immediately.

Now I'm wondering if the 48 hours will equal 6 days since I was told previously they'd call me in 24 and it took Jamie 3 days to call to leave the message he wouldn't be available for three days more. I swear, I wouldn't mind them keeping it for a week or two to investigate the machine. What is the point of them only having the laptop for 24 hours or less at this point and not verifying the work they did actually did something?

Seriously folks, any good recommendations on a Linux-friendly laptop other than Dell or Lenovo?
csberry: (cocktails)
The laptop returned from its FOURTH trip to Lenovo's repair depot in the past 45 days. I came into the office, opened the box, saw the repair sheet from this last visit, and became PISSED OFF beyond words. Despite the history of this support ticket; the list of repairs and replacements which includes replacing the mobo, CPU, and other parts as well as reimaging/reformatting the HD twice (I even include copies of the repair sheets from each visit when I send the laptop in); and the recommendation of the phone support guy to investigate the cooling system...the tech assigned to my laptop this time decided he knew better. Vincent decided that the only problem with my laptop was that I hadn't installed the updated Lenovo Toolbox software on the hard drive. Never mind that I wrote on the repair sheet that the HD was reimaged twice and every diagnostic (including the full suite of the Lenovo Toolbox) has always shown that every piece of hardware passes.

Vincent was too stupid or egotistical to believe all that documentation. So, Vincent apparently worked on my laptop on Friday, installed that software, and then immediately shipped it back to me. HOW THE FUCK DID HE THINK THAT SOLVED THE PROBLEM!

I'm getting to the point that I'm convinced that the repair guys in Memphis take a stab at the problem, do a token amount of diagnostic software, and then ship it back to me so *I* can actually test the laptop to see if what the did fixed it. Well, guess what! I've received the laptop back from you 4 times now and the previous 3 returns resulted in the laptop freezing before 24 hours have passed. Don't be proud that you "fixed" and returned the laptop in 24 hours. Keep the damned thing for 3 or 4 days to actually see if the problem occurs instead of shuffling it back to me in some crazed version of "laptop hot potato."

I immediately called Lenovo to complain about this. I was escalated to a "repeat repair" rep and he said that they couldn't take an action until there is actual indication that the work Vincent did didn't actually fix it. We ran the HD diagnostic and it, of course, said everything is peachy. So I have to wait until it freezes (history says it should happen before lunch tomorrow) and then I can have them send me a replacement HD since that is what the repeat repair rep said was the only other logical hardware solution. If that fails, then I get to have the engineers at Lenovo give it a look over and determine if I get a replacement.


But other than this experience, I have been VERY HAPPY with Lenovo and their support staff.
csberry: (cocktails)
I don't immediately recall if I've said much about my problems with my laptop. About a week before Xmas, my laptop started freezing. There has been no pattern to when or why it is freezing other than the computer is on. It happens in both Linux and Winders. BUT every single diagnostic run on the laptop has shown the hardware is performing fine.

I sent it off a week ago and got it back on Monday...still not fixed. Yesterday, the guy was adamant that the next thing I HAD to do was to re-image the HD. Since we installed Linux to make the laptop dual-boot after buying it, it seems that the ways someone would otherwise access the embedded image partitioned in a corner of the HD were no longer possible...I would need a Windows disc. Unfortunately, I can't find a disc for the laptop; not at the office, not at the FIL's office, or at my house. I discover that I have WinXPPro for my PC and the disc should work for the laptop (using the product key on the sticker attached to laptop).

I called Lenovo this morning to update the info on the ticket with my situation on how I was having to reimage. After trying a few other suggestions by tech support that didn't work, I was assured that if there was a problem with this, then they would help me with a disc or whatever. I hung up, took a deep breath, and popped the WinXP disc into the laptop.

It took about 45 seconds for the setup program to stop working because it couldn't detect any hard drives. I called up Lenovo and after running through a summary of the situation, he guided me through a couple of tweaks in BIOS as well as trying one other trick to try to access the partitioned image Lenovo had embedded. The process was started again with no troubles at all during the "installing Windows" process.

But as anyone that has ever installed or updated Windows knows, it is NEVER actually ready to go when the install program says it is. There are always a ton of drivers to be found and installed, configurations/wizards to complete, and then hours of trying to figure out why certain things aren't working. It was during this extended process of getting the laptop to actually work that the computer froze up.


Overcome by anguish that my current stress level from reimaging the HD was seemingly for naught, I left the laptop off and went to call Lenovo for psychiatric assistance. Of course it was when I was the most upset and impatient that I reached the tech support person with the most foreign accent of all the support folks (God bless my calls going to the support center in Atlanta and getting a good mix of folks with Southern accents I can understand). At first I'm told that it would cost $45+ for them to ship me a reimage disc since my adding Linux and making it dual-boot invalidated the warranty on the OS install. I pointed out to her that I ONLY did the reimaging at Lenovo's insistence and had received reassurance that this was going to be the solution to my problem. Now, on their advice, I was out $45 to fix something they essentially had me break and my laptop still had the original problem. After being on hold for a minute, I was told that a re-image disc was on its way at no charge.

As soon as the disc arrives, I'll do that process just for the sake of getting the laptop to working order. It will be then that I'll see if the problem continues before shipping the laptop to them for extended testing.
csberry: (cocktails)
Upon returning from Atlanta the Sunday before Christmas, I started having a problem with the laptop. About once a day, the laptop would completely freeze. After several days, I was able to witness the freezing in numerous programs and then in both OS's on the laptop. Strangely enough, in the middle of last week, the rate of freezing started to increase. Yesterday I tried to use the laptop about 9 times. About half of the attempts were in Ubuntu/Linux and the other half in Winders. The damned thing crashed within a minute of the OS's completing the load of the desktop. It seems to be a hardware issue.

Despite the fact the Lenovo support page states the support phone number is open 24/7, I never got a ring or anything when I called the number yesterday (30-45 seconds of silence than a click of disconnect). Today, the call went straight to the calling system w/o a ring, so I guess the phone number was correct, but the 24/7 service must now be a thing of the past.

I've talked to Wes at Lenovo's call station in ATL. The laptop has behaved well enough that I was able to download the latest version of their diagnostic software. It is currently 63% done, all the tests have so far passed, and there hasn't been a freeze on the laptop yet. I'm going to be severely pissed if the diagnostic can't find anything wrong and the laptop won't freeze today. Problems are annoying; "intermittent problems" are exercises in torture from Satan himself.

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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