Service quality and how Lenovo drove me into the arms of Apple

  1. Customer Service and Marketing

In a recent workshop on the marketing of services, I asked delegates to share their experience on good service: only a handful put their hands up. And bad service – lots of hands! So I thought I would share with you my tale of yin and yan. It does end on a happy note well it’s nearly Christmas!

Please note what follows is wholly my own personal experience of Lenovo.

I bought my top of the range Lenovo laptop from an online retailer. Soon after it developed a fault. The defective mousepad jumps all over the screen dragging files and documents with it and is impossible to use. In addition the touchscreen developed an annoying comet trail line that follows your finger argrrrrrh.

Armed with tears of PC frustration and some knowledge of my consumer rights – I rang to report it to the online retailer. Apparently no refund was to be had because 30 days had elapsed. I was now obliged to let the manufacturer have the opportunity to repair it. OK I said, sounds simple you say, let’s get a repair. I needed to speak directly to Lenovo to let them know about their pesky machine.

Now my service expectation optimistically was that turnaround for a laptop repair should be uber fast with an option of a loan machine, on the logic that if my car is in the garage I get a hire car. Computing today is as essential as transportation. My expectations were cruelly crushed by Lenovo who sited an up to 4 week turnaround to receive, review, repair and return the laptop and no loaner was to be provided! (Enter Service gap 1: between customer expectations vs. management perception – see the SERVQUAL Model What was I to do with no laptop!!??

Working on trying to find a spare by dusting off my old virus ridden machine, I awaited my return label and instructions by email, which disappointingly did not arrive. Ringing again to chase, I spoke with another member of the support team who apologised and promised to resend all the labels and information I needed. And for a second time……I received nothing.

I rang yet again, this time redirected to an overflow off shore customer support centre. A woman there confirmed that despite my phone calls which she could see in her system nothing has been sent out by staff, What!! She thought it best to get the returns pack posted out so I would receive it in 2 days. Guess what happened….I received nothing. I humoured Lenovo by ringing a fourth time for my pack and am still waiting.. (Service Gap 3 -service-quality spec vs actual service delivery).

Incidentally Lenovo support did not sound surprised to learn of defective mousepads and described the touchscreens as ‘temperamental’ A quick google reveals the You tube video, Lenovo Defective Trackpad…again and facebook pages lamenting Lenovo’s service oh dear.

Given up on their ability to solve my problem, coupled with poor build quality (this thing is still under warranty!) I sought help elsewhere. Under consumer law you are covered by your credit card company if goods purchased via a card are faulty and what a lovely contrast this experience was.

THANK YOU Michael at Barclaycard, your service was second to none. Your decisive, clear, fast resolution means I can sort out my IT situation. Top RATER MODEL marks on service quality for you!

What will I do now you ask? Always a diehard pc user, Apple have finally got me indirectly through my iPhone… my iPad and Apple TV. My buy-in to the circle of interoperability is complete, I’m going to stump up and switch to a Mac. Previously nauseous at the gushing from MAC users I want to now join the nirvana of near virus free computing, lighting speed bench tests, optimised hardware and software and superior service. But this time I’ll go in with eyes wide open. They are not problem free I know.

So the moral of the tale is vote with your money and always remember the wise old words buyer beware search away e.g. PRODUCT X Support issues/problems. Go ahead and share your service examples good and bad on TMF’s twitter and let’s help build a service orientated Britain!!

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About the Author

Vina Vadgama

TMF Tutor

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