The Sports Techie Lenovo Ideapad customer service experience was far below average.
When you are gifted a new Lenovo G580 Idea pad laptop, the Sports Techie community expectation is that it works out-of-box, or else will be fixed or replaced. I believe the Better Business Bureau calls it the “lemon law.” I decided to write a blog about the Lenovo customer service experience I had several weeks ago not so much as to bash on Lenovo because I like them. My Ideapad is now fixed and operating well. I also like their sports business relationships as the official computer sponsor of the NFL and with endorser, RGII, the Washington Redskins quarterback. Instead, as your trusted global sports technology resource, I wanted to blog and shed light on what customer service problems happened to me, because it could happen to you, with any technology company or product.
Robert Griffin III is an Ultra Sports Techie and was this year’s spokesperson for the Lenovo Fantasy Coach Season Pass giveaway. The winner of this contest received trips to the NFL combine and draft, your Favorite teams’ games, and next season’s Super Bowl 48 and ProBowl games. I personally entered this unique football promotion and shared this exciting information with Lenovo and RGII via social media on Twitter. Unfortunately, I was ignored by both and ultimately did not win the Fantasy Coach giveaway.
LenovoVision YouTube video – Lenovo Fantasy Coach Season Pass Giveaway: http://youtu.be/mcciYYljQ8s.
My Lenovo G580 Christmas gift is a massive upgrade from what I had been using. When I purchased a HP Pavilion a442n at the local Fred Meyer, I enjoyed that upgrade as much as I do this one. The HP has an Intel Pentium 4 processer while the G580 has an intel inside Core i5 computer chip, a big difference with computer performance. At the same time I went from Windows XP to Windows 8. I know many of you fellow Sports Techie have gone through the exact good feelings that a long overdue PC or other system upgrade produces.
Since the new laptop was turned on for the first time on Christmas of 2012 until two weeks ago, I was consistently getting booted off the Internet while other programs had functionality issues. During a recent Skype session with Catapult Sports in Australia, we had to reconnect twice during the online conversation because of this issue (sorry, Mate). I was so used to the mishaps of my a442n that I expected a few hiccups with any new computer, but not at the rate it was escalating on the G580, especially when using media rich YouTube or Facebook.
Microsoft Windows 8
The Microsoft Windows 8 operating system tiles worked fine until trying to connect to the web. The only web access that actually did work was by going through my Explorer 10 browser, but after a while, the Internet would get rung up with the familiar forever hourglass that signifies you are not connected to the web anymore. I had enough and decided to contact Lenovo Support. The only recourse of action left was a phone call after I had searched their web site and Microsoft’s for any software or driver updates that might need to be installed like a good Sports Techie should do. I was unable to find any.
Lenovo Customer Service
Getting someone on the telephone was actually a breeze. I was connected with Lenovo hardware support and from here on forth my customer service ride got hairy. This first representative went through the Lenovo check list of possible fixes with me. What made it easier to explain my issue to him was relating the fact that my girlfriend’s older Lenovo laptop connecting over the same wireless router had no problems with the Internet and neither did our two smartphones (iPhone and Galaxy) when connected through Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi.
This call ended up at web site Rescue123.com. I was able to get on the Internet fine as before but when I clicked the Rescue123 download it would do nothing. What was explained next was I had two options to consider: use the OneKey Rescue System, or send it back in. Both of these options simply would not work for me. Sending it back in when I felt like the fix was simple was not ok. The OneKey recovery option would have wiped out everything I did not save at that very moment after it reset the operating system to out-of-box specs, so that fix was out too. He arranged for me to get a phone call back from another Lenovo hardware support specialist in 30-60 minutes. No call came.
I called back the next day and another hardware customer service rep took me down the route of trying to download drivers as a fix. He mentioned the adaptor might be the issue and eventually said it was probably a software issue, so I was routed that way. It was explained that someone on his hardware team would be calling me back in 30-60 minutes before I was to call on software support, and you guessed it, no call came. This second customer support specialist did give me a direct number to the Lenovo software support team so I got proactive once again and called it.
Of course now I began to wonder before I called them whether or not I had a defective laptop from the very beginning, or perhaps a complicated software fix was actually the real answer. This software support person troubleshot with me for a while until he decided that I might indeed have a hardware issue, although it might still be software related. I was given another case number.
In order to go any further with this new case number, I was being asked to either purchase a one-time or 12-month option to speak further with Lenovo software support. In other words, if I did not pay he could not go down his software fix list with me. I explained that this problem was ongoing since the new G580 unboxing to now. Understanding the issues presented to me, I asked to speak with his Manager.
Calm, cool and collected Manager Mike came on the phone after a wait and explained that he was inflexible with his options and he meant it. Yes, I had to either pay for software support, go back to hardware (which he assured me was the issue), or send it in. Sending it in would take much too long with the approaching Super Bowl ahead, so after I rather lengthy discussion with Mike explaining my thoughts on the horrible Lenovo customer support thus far, I reluctantly transferred back to their hardware department in hopes that the fix was there.
For the first time I was connected with a woman. She was based in the Philippines and seemed to have another level of knowledge base, expertise and confidence. Over the Internet she was able to access the NetGear wireless router settings and reset a few things. The laptop and Internet seemed to work well for the first time, imo. She promised a call back in 30-minutes and did call back in 60. I reported back to her that all was good. Yeah, I thought.
The very next morning these same computer issues started happening once again and when I tried to reboot it, the laptop completely froze during the reset process and stopped operating. Panic that the computer was now toast began to set in like it probably would for any level of Sports Techie. I called back the hardware support direct number and spoke with a different woman. She too had fierce confidence about finding a solution. I was told to take out the laptop battery and plug the computer into the AC power source only. Then I needed to hold down the start button for 30 seconds and reboot it. She speculated that a Windows update had not downloaded all the way when I restarted it so it froze. It fired up like it was brand new, what a relief.
She told me to reset a few of the wireless router settings and then mentioned that if this did not work, I should directly call NetGear customer support because she was certain it was a faulty wireless router setting for Windows 8 because the other computer and phones operated fine, and other Lenovo users have had the same issue. This was the same assessment four previous customer service employees failed to acknowledge and understand. Finally, days after calling Lenovo the first time, it felt like I was on the right track for a permanent fix.
The final piece to this time consuming process and tech puzzle required me to then call NetGear and drill down as to whether the router was indeed at fault. Like this entire Lenovo experience, the NetGear support specialist call did not originate here in the United States, this time it was in India. I spent the next hour getting to know another customer support person who at times had a challenging accent to understand. I am good with accents because my Ecuadorian Mom has one which helped train my ears as a lad, so I was able to handle any language issues just fine. The same cannot be said for every Sports Techie though.
This guy had me connect the G580 directly to the router and took virtual control of my system using Yogi.com, but he was soon booted and unable to log in again. I had to physically delete the Yogi file from the hard drive and then give him permission once again to control my PC using Yogi. Finally he was able to reset the router correctly for Windows 8 operation. After all these long and taxing days and hours spent troubleshooting, my G580 finally worked correctly for the very first time in my mind.
Sports Techie, I was thinking about our community and those of you that might not have a resource to assist you with new technology problems. Most of you would have never made it this far with a technical customer support experience such as I went through, with any tech company. Most of you would probably have gone with what the first Lenovo customer service agents advice was, to either send it in or do the OneKey System Rescue button.
The Internet is now slower on the other Lenovo laptop and on the blue-ray player by Samsung that plays wireless Netflix movies with a hitch now because of the new NetGear router settings, I think. This laptop finally seems to finally be optimized for Windows 8 and Explorer 10 and it does not kick me off the Internet anymore.
I called Lenovo customer service again the other day because the Explorer 10 browser is telling me it is not compatible with Google and I need to upgrade browsers to see my Sports Techie Google+ interactions. A new customer service support specialist took over my laptop with Rescue123 and before I knew it, reset my Explorer browser back to new without asking me if it was ok. This browser reset fix worked for a day and now it is telling me the same error as before. My best guesstimation is this new computer issue is actually a browser war problem between Google and Microsoft and will be fixed when enough users like you and me voice public displeasure about this known issue that has no released fix yet.
The moral of this blog is to be sure to have an experienced techie helping you with customer support if you are in over your head like my parents would have been for sure. Do not take what the front line support teams tell you as the only realities, when in fact, your fix options might take you down a number of undetermined hardware and software paths until final resolution… or not.
Bottom line, I am satisfied and happy with my Lenovo G580 but not this overall customer support experience. That said, I would still consider upgrading to a sweet Lenovo Ideapad Yoga or a Thinkpad X 1 Carbon Touch if I was searching for another PC.
Enter to win a monthly Lenovo laptop in their monthly sweepstake here: http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/special-offers.workflow:ShowPromo?LandingPage=/All/US/Landing_pages/NFL/nfl-partner&menu-id=none#/nflsweepstakes.
I want someone who is Sports Techie to enter and win a new Lenovo laptop, good luck. Let’s hope though that none of you have to go through hardware or software issues, and customer service problems, like it did.
Have any fellow Sports Techie undergone similar customer support experiences with a new technology products or Solutions? Let us know in this blog below or by posting at any of our social network platforms.
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