Friday, June 16, 2006

IBM/Lenovo - Another Positive Customer Service Story

This has been kind of a crappy week for me. I woke up Monday morning with a huge headache. And when I reached for my much needed first cup of coffee, my hand wobbled, and I wound up 'pouring' it all over my new Lenovo ThinkPad. Although I reacted quickly and managed to drain most of liquid out of the darn thing, it fried the keyboard. The irony is that I bought a ThinkPad precisely because I love the feel of the keyboard. Anyway, I didn't have time to deal with it right then, so I waited until evening to call tech support. I know this sounds really cynical on my part, but I was expecting to get the run around from some call center rep in India. Instead, I was connected to an IBM Tech Support Center somewhere here in the U.S. I spoke to two separate individuals, and one had a Midwestern accent, while the other had a southern drawl. They opened a trouble ticket for me and then offered to ship me a new keyboard in 2 days, no questions asked! Now that's what I call good customer service. The only catch was that I had to install it myself. In the words of the tech support guy 'If I can do it, you certainly can.' Umm, yeah, okay, right.

Thankfully, he pointed me towards some excellent videos on the IBM support website that had installation and removal instructions. Honestly, he was right. It wasn't all that difficult, once I got the case open. Except that the sugar in the spilled coffee had carmelized and managed to glue one of the hinges shut. Yuck.

The funny thing is that once I had the laptop apart, I realized that I had spilled the coffee in the exact spot where it could have done the least damage because the drive bay was covered by a thin piece of sheet metal. Any further towards the middle or the left of the keyboard, and I would have fried the CPU, which surprisingly is not encased in a separate box. I guess my guardian angel was working over time that morning. I would have been really upset if I needed to replace the darn thing when I just bought it 2 months ago.

Anyway, no more eating or drinking near the laptop.

On a related note, the acid from the coffee managed to etch several visible lines into the metal case above the drive bay. It's making me think that I should cut down on the amount of caffeine that I drink. If a tiny bit of coffee can do that to sheet metal, I shudder to think what 3 cups a day is doing to my stomach lining.

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