Off-shore tech support...
Friday, September 19, 2008
Off-shoring technical support may result in customer dissatisfaction.
Last week I ordered a ThinkPad X200 directly from Lenovo, Canada. Unfortunately, Lenovo uses UPS for deliveries
. I have to say here that I almost canceled my order when the salesperson told me they use UPS. I relented, and completed the order. Lets give the small company a chance.
A few minutes after I had placed my order, I received the typical email with my order number. About 4 or 5 days later I received an email telling me that my order had shipped. I said cool, but because of the problems I have with UPS not delivering to my building, how will I ever know when the computer is in my area?
The Lenovo email doesn't have a UPS tracking number, so I decided to call Lenovo and get it. This is when things got interesting: I made two consecutive calls to their toll free number 877 884 4659.
For the first call, I pressed 1, which is the option for order status reports. The phone call was answered immediately by a female representative. I asked for my UPS number and I was told that I needed to call after "some time" to find the number because the "systems were down." I asked, "what do you mean call after some time? Like a week some time?" The representative said, "no, not a week." I interjected and said "so some time like 30 minutes?" She said, "yes, that's right. Exactly 30 minutes." Grumble, grumble, fine.
Note that I didn't wait 30 minutes to make the next call.
For the second call, I decided to be clever and listen to all the options in the menu. Option number 6 is for sales. I pressed 6 and waited a few seconds. The phone was answered promptly and a male voice said: "how can I help you?" I said, "I need the UPS tracking number for my order." He said, "sure, what's your order number?" I gave it to him and he checked the system and said that it's shipped but it hasn't made into a truck yet. Fair enough. I'll call back next week for the number, as told to do so.
Hm? I thought the systems were down.
And I'm back to the beginning of my entry: one of those calls was off-shore; one of those calls left me dissatisfied.
It's hard to control quality, but such variance in service should be worrisome for Lenovo. If I didn't think ThinkPads are the best computers out there, I wouldn't waste my time with UPS or Lenovo's tech support. However, this time I had a good discount when I placed my order and I'm waiting for top of the line hardware: X200 - 2.4 GHz, 160 GB 7200 rpm drive, 4 GB DD3 RAM, 2 GB Flash RAM, latest Wi-Fi card, and Vista Business 64-bit (OK, this may not be wow factor, but it comes with it--I may, however, downgrade to XP: my package comes with it, too).
I can't wait to get my hands on my new toy...er...work machine.
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