Saturday, 19 January 2008

Purple Computer Eater; aka, Never Buy an IBM laptop

Well, after our wonderful cyclone cut off the power, we found that Purple's wonderful computer didn't work. We plugged it in, nothing happened. We checked the spare battery; still nothing. We figured it might be a fault in the AC adaptor.

Yes, this is Purple's really fantastically fancy IBM Lenovo Thinkpad T60, that already broke down in Melbourne. Even then, we had a big drama with IBM service; they said we needed a new hard disc, and then offered to send a courier to bring us a new one and take the old one.

Purple insisted that he needed to transfer the data from the old one, and they arranged to let him keep the old one on loan for 3 days. Well, it turned out the guy in the call centre was outright lying to us, and ultimately, Purple had to surrender his hard disc. So then we had to wait around for a week to have all new software shipped from Israel. Not to mention all the lost work. It was all a huge drama, and I was supremely unimpressed with IBM's service.

Anyway, eventually, there was nothing left to do but call IBM service. The guy in the service call centre said it would take 2 days to ship a spare AC adaptor to us. We thought that was too long for Purple to be unable to work, and anyway, the service guy assured us that the problem wasn't the AC adaptor (as we suspected) and we would have to send the computer in to be serviced. A courier would come to pick the computer up and it would be returned to us within 4 days.

Four days!!? That seemed totally unacceptable, so we started ringing around to computer repair places to see if they could help us. No luck there. Meanwhile, Purple went down to town to rent another computer to work on in the meantime.

Naturally, that computer didn't work, so the next day he went back down and exchanged it for another one. Then a woman from DHL (the courier) called up to say that she was shipping the box to us, and it would arrive in 2 days.

? huh! what box? The box that we should put Purple's laptop in, so it can be shipped to the IBM service centre. Turns out, that the call centre guy had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. The courier does not come to collect the computer, they send us a box, to the post office, which we then have to pick up. We then put the computer into the box and send it back to them. It should take eight business days to get the computer back.

I got pissed off and the DHL woman said she'd get IBM service to call us back. They did; a different guy this time. I explained our tale of woe to that guy, all the while complaining loudly about the terrible service on IBM warranty. Turns out that pretty much everything the first guy told us was wrong.

It would indeed take 8 days for them to get the computer back to us, and as the courier service does not deliver to our remote house, they would send us a box, which we would have to go down to town to collect. (strange, since couriers have gotten to our place before). Also, this gervice guy thought that it was a possibility that the problem was with the AC adaptor, and offered to ship us one.

The guy was actually very understanding and patient with me ranting about unacceptable errors, and whatnot. He promised to issue an official complaint about the last serivce guy. he also offered to ship us a spare AC adaptor, which could be delivered by courier right to our door. Interesting that the courier that delivers replacement parts can come right to our home, but the courier that collects the computer for service can't.

Anyway, the plan was that they would ship us the spare adaptor, and put the order for service, so the box would be sent to us. The guy thought that the box and the adaptor should arrive on the same day, so we could check if the replacement adaptor works, and if not, then go get the box and ship the whole computer to them.

The new cord duly arrived by courier, but it didn't work. of course. The notification for the empty box never arrived to our letter box though. So Purple went into the post office to ask about it. After some searching, they did actually have the box, but it was incorrectly addressed. Whatever!

So, Purple sent his computer back to IBM service, and we waited. After a few days, they called us to say they couldn't find anything wrong with the computer, so it was being sent back :/ We should get it to the post office in 2 days.

Two days later... the post office had the computer for us... BUT it wasn't the computer, just an empty box!!! The service centre actually shipped us another empty box!

Luckily, the real computer did arrive, and all is well again. We still have no idea why the darn thing stopped working in the first place. nor can I really understand why a brand-new, really fancy computer should break down twice in it's first year.

The moral of this story? don't buy an IBM ThinkPad laptop. They might have very nice features, and a very fast processor, not to mention the wonderful little touchpoint mouse button that I miss so much from my old ThinkPad, but their service absolutely SUCKS.

oh, and I still have a headache, but it's getting better

1 comment:

  1. This same exact thing happened to me with IBM regarding the box, the 4 day promise, the whole hard drive thing, EVERYTHING! Then when we called to ask where the box was, there was no record of the guy we talked to even though we had his name. I had this guy guarantee that all the data would be fine on two seperate occasions! We had a price and a time line guarantee which were both totally ficticious. I don't understand why these people would lie, except to get consumers off their backs. Totally ridiculous- if they had been honest I wouldn't have spent HOURS trying to fix the damn thing.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)