Does Lenovo really provide international warranty service for ThinkPad users?
Category: Personal, Web & Technologies

ThinkPad / ThinkCentre Let me start by saying that I’m just an unsatisfied customer of Lenovo and the story I’m about to write will be a complaint about their services. I do not like complaining about things, but when I do – there’s a reason behind it. Out of all the brands on a notebooks market today I had the impression that ThinkPad users are the most satisfied by the customer service provided, but apparently I was wrong, or should I say it was before IBM sold ThinkPad to Lenovo. If you do a quick search on the internet for customer service provided by Lenovo you will come across loads of articles, stories and complaints about their service.

I don’t want to make it a long story of what I went through, I’ll just tell you the facts:

1. Lenovo does not provide international warranty service! Well at least not in mainland China (home of Lenovo) if you bought it elsewhere, they will however ask you to register your product in China and supposedly you’ll be entitled to the service. The only trouble is they further make it almost impossible to register your product. Be ready to provide beside your computer’s serial number and type/model code: operational system’s code, the copies of your passport, visa’s and entry stamps and extensions in the country you bought your machine as well as the country you are in, receipt of your purchase or a credit card report.
Don’t you think it’s a little bit too much? I mean I can easily check my warranty details on-line for my machine and the database will tell me when my warranty expires, all I need to do is navigate online from my machine! I registered my product on-line and they do have already the details regarding the place I purchased it, the date, my name, email and all sorts of information like that.
Frankly, it seems to me that they just try to avoid to provide the warranty, and that seems to be Lenovo’s policy our days. I came across some other issues on the internet when customers were complaining that Lenovo is trying to make it impossible. So, in my humble opinion of an unsatisfied customer – your international warranty offered by Lenovo does not worth a dime! The email address to inquire about your international warranty: iws@lenovo.com

ThinkPad Battery from Lenovo/IBM
2. Do not hope for a free battery replacement of your ThinkPad’s faulty battery. Lenovo states on their web-site here that they will replace your battery free of charge if it turns to be from this faulty batch produced with a specific FRU part numbers and for specific models. Models affected: R60, R60e, T60, T60p, X60, X60s, X60 Tablet, Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, Z61p, Z60t, Z61t. They certainly did not replaced mine when I brought it to their authorized center. There is a small program provided, available for download online with which you can check if your battery is from this faulty batch.
If you do get lucky and somehow you’ll find out the address where you can replace it make sure Bringing the faulty battery along with your laptop and warranty service details will not get it replaced. You’ll just end up spending your time on customers service unable to help.

Although there’s an announcement on Lenovo’s web-site regarding this issue, they did not let the customers know about this problem. And when it happened to my battery I did not knew I’m eligible for a free replacement, since nobody let me know. That makes me ask why did I provided them with my email address and other contact details?

3. The toll-free telephone number they provide in mainland China for free battery replacement (800-990-8888) is not accessible from mobile phones, and of course there’s no announcement about that. During a period of time I was trying to reach it from a land-line it was playing just a greeting message in Chinese without offering you any other options. The customer support line in mainland China (800-810-3315) although very polite and talking English (and I do appreciate that) wasn’t able to provide any information regarding that issue. Moreover without further investigating the issue the customer service was just saying sorry we cannot do nothing about it because we haven’t heard about it. When insisting to find out, since the information is available on-line, the customer service did get back in touch with me (very fast) but again with no details on how I can solve my issue. When asked to provide me with a written address of an authorized Lenovo/ThinkPad center they agreed, but no reply was received. Oh, and by the way there’s no information in English available on-line regarding the Lenovo/ThinkPad service centers in China. Emailing to logistpe@lenovo.com (the email provided for battery replacement program) and asking for the address in Beijing where you can replace the battery will get you back to 800-990-8888 phone number for mainland China (surprisingly it was working this week).

4. The customer service although well-trained and very polite follows everything by the book but will be of no help to you if facing some issue they never heard of. Same applies to their supervisors who are unable to take correct decisions in critical times. They will also refuse to offer assistance minutes after working time, even though you’ve been involved in the very same discussion for a quite long time already.

It is a pity that a well-known brand like ThinkPad ended-up to be managed by Lenovo who happened to be a disgrace our days. I was lead to believe that Chinese brands like Lenovo care about their image and will not play their dirty games with customers, but I was wrong. And just to think of all the ThinkPad users who chosen Lenovo (IBM’s ThinkPad) mainly because of the international warranty service. That will be such a disappointment for them. I think we’ll have to look for some more reliable brand who cares about their customers first of all. Although I do like my ThinkPad Z61t machine a lot, such an attitude is a major draw back and I doubt I will ever buy another Lenovo product in the future!

Here are a few links confirming my statements:

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11 Responses to “Does Lenovo really provide international warranty service for ThinkPad users?”

  1. gary says:

    cell phone can not dial a 800 number, that’s a common sense.
    btw, iws is really helpful other than in mainland China.

  2. Yes, Gary… I guess it is common sense if you’re informed, but still if dialing from land line it used to play a message in Chinese and hang-up (and that was during working hours). I did like their attitude when actually talking to somebody, better then most hot-line assistance on the phone I knew, but in the end, even if they are polite and do try to help you – they are useless if unable to solve the problem!
    … and things like … “sorry we don’t know about that” or “we cannot check it now because we don’t have internet” or “just go to any lenovo service center…. give me an address please… well just go to any…” – do piss you off a little bit.

  3. True says:

    Actually, it is IBM who revocated the International Warranty Service in China. And this happend BEFORE it sold the notebook department to LENOVO. The current warranty policy in China is recovered by Lenovo. Wanna know why it is so hard to get warranty there? That is because Lenovo want to prevent any kind of impact to chinese market by huge amount of smuggle. Thinkpad China charge twice as much as it is in America on an T61 with identical configuration. So many customers in China tends to purchase smuggle product which is much cheaper.

  4. lophiomys says:

    My goodness. This is just an annoyance.
    On one side there is always an argument “because of
    Globalization” on the other side those big companies
    fooling their customers, when the promised global service
    is actually used.
    That is completely unacceptable.

    The consequence is that I will ignore any sale promises
    of this kind in future.

  5. T400 T500 says:

    Talk about IWS, I was thinking of buying the new T series ThinkPad (T400 and T500) and here is what I have found:

    ThinkPad T400 integrated graphics 7474
    ThinkPad T400 discrete graphics 2764

    ThinkPad T500 integrated graphics 2242
    ThinkPad T500 discrete graphics 2081

    ALL THESE MODELS return the same warranty status:
    This Machine Type is not eligible for International Warranty Support.

    What is this? IS Lenovo stopping to provide international warranty support from the new T series onwards?

    I do not check the other new model (SL,X, R,W) but I suspect the same result will be return.

    If it is not, maybe Mr. Mark Hopkins can use his connection with IBM or Lenovo to check with his IWS department guy who is handling the data entry. Check whether the guy is sleeping/dreaming/busy with other more important stuff.

    Thank you,

  6. Chris says:

    I have a similar experience with the very bad customer service from LENOVO.

    I bought my laptop T60p in Switerland. The warranty page of the Lenovo website indicates that the warranty run until 2010 according to the type and serial number.

    Unfortunately, I’m living now in China, when LENOVO’s headquarters are and when the world “customer service” was definetely washed away during some revolution. After calling many times the customer service in Beijing and having listened to all their songs on the answer machine, I finally got to know that I have to provide an endless list of document before they can consider my warranty in China: passeport, visa, purchase receipt, etc.

    Given that the customer service refuses to give the contact details of the service center, I guess I will be facing an endless list of demands before been taken into consideration. I guess I had better leave it than spend 2 weeks chasing them for an unprobable fulfilling of their promise.

    That’s the last time a buy a LENOVO product and I strongly suggest you do the same because customer service doesn’t seem to have the same meaning in Greater China. Once you’ve paid for your product, you seem to land directly in the forgotten files of LENOVO.
    Moreover, quality is definetely getting worse and worse. Bad quality components, missing services, etc.

    Think twice before buying Lenovo…

    Chris

  7. John R says:

    Had similar problems with a G410 bought last year in HK, now in the UK. I was told by the shop that it had an international warranty – which I required. When the machine went wrong in the first week, Lenovo UK said that since they had no record of the machine on their system they wouldn’t warranty it. They more or less said it wasn’t a Lenovo if it wasn’t on their system!

    It’s broken again and this time I see that the IWS web-page says I can get warranty service in Sri Lanka or India!

    Amazing it doesn’t cover HK where it was sold.

    This is my second Lenovo. Build quality has deteriorated and I used the warranty on the first but it looks impossible for this one – I won’t be buying another Lenovo.

  8. Dr. Sunil Pevekar says:

    First contacted Lenovo toll-free on 9 June. On 4 occasions on same day, just music for 15 mins each time. Thereafter kept trying but can't get beyond the music. On 14th (after 4 working days) contacted staff of MD (Lenovo) and was promised action. Next evening (after 24 hrs) some Ranjan called and said he would get back in 30 mins. He just disappeared off the face of this earth and has not been located till now (21st). Somehow on 18th (9 days after my problem occured) I got through to the toll-free number and was given contact of service centre. Service centre staff was most polite, courteous and helpful and solved the problem within 2 hrs.
    I believe Lenovo is only interested in Sales but not in support. This even after getting MDs office to push the matter. And to top it all, to rub salt into my wounds, Mr. Jitender Nagar (of Lenovo, Gurgaon) implies in his mail that customer is trying to get free service (when I have specified that I am not looking for free service), as if customers are here only to rip-off Lenovo. What an attitude !! What actually took just 2 hrs required customer to wait for 11 calendar days. Lenovo service is not sinking, it has reached ocean bottom.

  9. Qing says:

    Really freak me out, my laptop's warranty is recorded on their website, why do they ask for purchase receipt when I contact mainland china IWS for repair. ridicular, are they fool us? also ask for entry date of passport and passport photo page which is private info. why do they need it? (even if the laptop is smuggle into China, but at least it is still on warranty, people still pay for that service). moreover, when I wanted to speak to their manager, the girl said they don't have manager. – in fact, IWS just don't wanna to get into repair service (mainland China) even if you paid for it.

  10. Peter says:

    I had a brand new laptop from them break after 3 months and they did get it in for warranty repair (I'm in Canada) but they said it would be 7 a business day turnaround and now it's 3 weeks later and it's still there with no answers as to when it will be back.
    My recent post Lenovo Customer Service Complaint

  11. Petar Smilajnic says:

    No. That is a direct answer.

    They also try to hide any possibility to contact them and complain.
    At the same time their services are trained and directed to refuse any warranty issue.

    Petar

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