Is an SLA a requirement?

One of the outstanding negatives of our project has been the hardware failure of one of our  Lenovo tablets.  It highlights one of the effective selling points that have made Apple products in education so workable. Apple promote their own Apple Solution Experts for Educationindependent service providers who have been selected by Apple for their proven expertise in providing technology solutions to education institutions.  When there is a problem the Service Level Agreement ensures continuity of service. In many cases a replacement device is sent out immediately.

Clearly a manufacturer’s warranty service is not adequate, particularly in our case! After a catalogue of Lenovo customer service errors we have decided to ask for a refund.

Nearly a month ago (22nd February) I posted about a hardware problem with the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet (1838-2BG) and detailed the start of the warranty process.  Lenovo stated an estimated 10 working day warranty repair/replacement service. 4 weeks later we are no closer to having the repaired tablet.

Warranty Timeline

5th March – Telephoned the repair centre (Medion) for a progress update.  They informed me that they had received the tablet on 28th February and it was currently under repair.  They said they would email me when it was being returned.  I didn’t receive an email.

12th March – Tablet returned still broken!  No letter of explanation.  I posted to the thread on the Lenovo Community Forum to update and telephoned the repair centre, Medion. Medion couldn’t explain why the tablet had been returned unrepaired and said they would collect again.  I was privately contacted by a Lenovo Forum Staff member for the tablet machine type and serial number and my contact details to help speed up the repair.  I replied with the information straight away.

13th March – Tablet collected by courier.

15th March – Another Lenovo Community Forum Staff member privately messaged me asking for the tablet machine type and serial number and my contact details to help speed up the repair.  I pointed out another member of staff had already taken my details but also included the information requested.

16th March – I was privately messaged again, notifying me that the escalation team had a query for me to respond to on the forum thread. At this point I discovered the tablet had been sent to the wrong repair centre twice!

19th March – I was emailed by the correct repair centre instructing me to send the tablet to Colchester within 7 days.  I telephoned to explain the tablet was currently residing in a repair centre in Germany (Medion).

21st March (today) 9:50am – Lenovo Customer Complaints telephoned me to explain that Medion had received the tablet on 16th March but for legal reasons, it is not possible for them to organise the delivery of the tablet from Germany to the correct repair centre in Colchester.  I would need to receive the returned tablet from Germany first and then send it on to Colchester myself. I explained that I was not happy with the customer service I had received and that a month later I am still no closer to getting the tablet repaired, with at least another 2 week delay likely.

I asked for a refund.

I have just received an email apologising for the inconvenience caused, but suggesting that a refund would take longer than a repair and am I sure I still want to take this option?

I think I have been patient enough – I’ll take the refund thank you!

Lenovo Community Forum follow-up post

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