Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What's going on in Thinkpad land?

"I have just been billed $953.41 for a new screen on a two-year old laptop," a reader recently wrote. "I have a three-year parts and labor warranty on the T40. My wife and I, who are in are mid- to-late 60's and retired, have been accused by IBM /Lenovo of damaging the screen."

The reader's laptop had long displayed some lemon-like tendencies, but he had assumed he could rely on IBM's warranty. "Back in April I'd had to send it in to IBM's repair facility in Tennessee because it had crashed to a blue screen," the reader wrote. "I went through the diagnostics with the support tech over the phone and they thought it was a problem with motherboard or the video adapter. I don't know what was done specifically, but I got it back in just a few days."

At first the reader thought the laptop was fixed, but then a new problem developed. "Shortly after receiving the machine back I noticed, from time-to-time, a 'blink' every once in a while on the screen," the reader wrote. "After a couple of months it got progressively worse, so much so that the screen started to go black intermittently. After a couple of weeks of this nonsense I called IBM Tech support. We went through all the diagnostics again and everything passed. I then hooked up the laptop to another monitor and saw the screen clearly and there was no 'blackout,' so they concluded it must be the monitor."

Again he was instructed to send the computer to Tennessee. "A few days later I got the call telling me my computer was being held hostage for $953.41 because I damaged it!" the reader wrote. "The gentleman who told me this was not a tech support type - he admitted he was in Atlanta and hadn't seen my computer himself. I guess he's the heavy who is in charge of telling customers their warranty isn't going to be honored."

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