Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lenovo Offers Crappy Support

I'm still trying, now and then, to fix my Thinkpad T40's problem.

A friend tells me that my problem is that since I replaced the hard drive, installing a new Hitachi TravelStar 80 gig 7200 rpm drive in a laptop that was released in 2003, I likely need to update the BIOS. He says this can easily be done. Just put the new BIOS onto a USB flashdrive. When the laptop boots up, it will first go to the USB port, and update the BIOS.

I don't know if that's easy. I went to the Lenovo website, searching for the right BIOS update. Nothing clearly related to my hard drive, and no mention of a BIOS update that can be put on a flash drive. Instead, the website was full of info on how to burn the BIOS update onto a DVD.

So I called Lenovo's toll free help line. Plodded my way though their horrible and annoying phone menu. (Are there any large companies that don't have horrible and annoying phone menus?) I finally connected to a live person.

I spent more time giving him all sorts of numbers from the underside of my laptop. After which he told me that my laptop was past warrenty, so I didn't qualify for assistance on the free help line. He said I could only seek help on the website.

I know my laptop's past warranty. I'm not looking for Lenovo to replace the hard drive or DVD drive. (I already replaced both, out of my pocket -- and bought a new edition of Windows XP since Lenovo doesn't include Windows DVDs with their systems.)

I told the customer service rep that all I wanted was for someone to email me the correct BIOS update. He said I didn't qualify for help on the phone line, and "I am now disengaging this call."

His exact word. "Disengaging." I was "disengaged" by Lenovo. A nicely sterile way of saying "F--- you."

I felt like I was brushed off by Hal 9000.

Since both Lenovo and the HAL 9000 have roots in IBM (even if unintentional), this seems appropriate.