A New Reason to Love ThinkPad

Home, Elsternwick, Australia, 2008-02-29

#gear

The cooling fan in my two-and-a-half year old ThinkPad T42 had started making death rattle type sounds and it was clear it was on the way out. I called the local service number to arrange to get it repaired under warranty. The process went something like this:

Wednesday roughly midday

I called the service desk number listed in my warranty info. I was all set to provide whatever proof of purchase info the guy needed, but I guess when he looked up my machine’s serial number and found there were no previous warranty calls under any other name he was happy.

The guy asked me if there was anything else wrong with my laptop aside from the faulty fan. I told him that one that my Print Screen key was gone, since I accidently dropped a travel alarm clock on the keyboard while I was somewhere in Asia. He asked if I wanted to get a quote for a replacment keyboard, which I agreed to. The service guy told me I had to watch my email for the quote, because my laptop would be held up while they waited for a response to the quote.

When all the fault report details were sorted, the service desk guy told me they’d be sending a courier to pick the machine up. How cool is that? The biggest hassle with warranty calls is usually packing the hardware properly and traipsing off to the post office to send it.

The service desk guy told me the courier would be in touch to arrange a pick-up time.

Wednesday, 2pm

A DHL guy arrived at my Melbourne office to pick-up my ThinkPad. I guess he was too busy being fast to worry about arranging a pickup time, but I was happy - only 2 hours after making the service call my laptop was on it’s way to be fixed and I hadn’t left my office.

Thursday

I diligently checked my email through the day waiting for the quote for the keyboard repair. None came.

Friday 10:30 am

I’m currently on disc 5 of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series. This is only relevant to the story because it’s the reason that I slept in and missed the DHL guy when he tried to deliver my laptop at 10:30. When I got the card he left I called DHL and asked them to arrange delivery later in the day. My laptop arrived back at around 2pm with a new cooling fan AND a new PrntScrn key!

It could be that the key replacement was some kind of oversight, but given the efficiency of the rest of the process, and given the service report clearly has a line item for “QUOTE ON MISSING KEY FOR KEYBOARD”, I think that the Lenovo people just said “you know what? We’re awesome, lets just fix this damn keyboard.”

On the DHL tracking website I can see that machine was delivered to the service center at 07:24 on Thursday, and left at 16:55 - that’s same-day service baby.

Summary

In the space of less than 48 hours, my laptop was picked up from my office, had it’s faulty cooling fan replaced and was delivered back to my office. In addition they replaced the keyboard even though it was me that broke it. Of course they also gave the chassis and LCD panel a good clean too. It was all done with the minimum of hassle.

I’ve long been a ThinkPad guy since I got my first ThinkPad 600E 8 years ago. I’ve always been happy to recommend them to friends based on the build quality and excellent design which as far as I’m concerned makes them the best laptops around for getting work done. Now I can also recommend them on awesome after sales service.