• How 36-day Lenovo missing laptop saga ended

    First of all, I have lost faith in Lenovo completely after all these experiences.

    Day 6 (May 21, 2008): I got a call from repair center to ask how my case was and that's it. They just told me to wait.

    Day 7 (May 22, 2008): Then I waited.

    Day 8 (May 23, 2008): Today I called repair center again about my situation. They answered that they could track where my machine was as well. (In fact, no idea at all how this mess happened.) By the way, they promised that if they still couldn't trace it, they would issue a replacement immediately, but they had to work on that for few days first. I was satisfied for what they had done so far. I knew that sometimes things happened, so I didn't blame them. Before hanging up, they asked me to drop them a line on May 27, 2008 to ask for any progress and if there was nothing again, they would file this case as missing laptop, so that I could get a replacement.

    Day 9 - Day 10: Weekend...

    Day 11 (May 26, 2008): Memorial day, so no one wanted to work on my case for sure.

    Day 12 (May 27, 2008): I dropped them a call as they wanted me to, but the result was not as I expected AT ALL. They pretended (or real?) not to know my issue at all. Thus, I had to start over about my situation and about a replacement. Fortunately, they still spoke the same dialog, they need a bit more time to find my machine and when the time was right, they would file as a missing laptop. At this point, I doubt that I would ever get my machine back in a short time and didn't expect a replacement indeed.

    Day 13 (May 28, 2008): I called IBM customer care tons of times today because most of reps were not able to address my case. Since my case was closed and I have no evidence to show them if I sent Thinkpad T43 back already. All I had was Machine Type and its serial number. Maybe they were not enough for some reps who are lazy. Today I got a new number to contact with. It's delivery exception center. Which seems to be much better at least I didn't have to go through all menus again. The rep who took care of me was Greg. Yet no any progress so far.

    Day 14 (May 29, 2008): ---

    Day 15 (Fri May 30, 2008): I called Greg, but as you could imagine. He came up with all the same dialog, yet no new news.

    Day 16 - Day 17: Weekend...

    Day 18 (Mon Jun 2, 2008): --

    Day 19 (Tue Jun 3, 2008): Received call from Greg telling me that I have to wait for 2 days to be able to contact him since that customer was on vacation. Huh?? I have to wait for his vacation as well, right? and last 2 weeks Lenovo did nothing to contact him, didn't they? Unfortunately, nothing happened. They still couldn't contact that customer again

    Day 20 (Wed Jun 4, 2008): Vacation?? Is that supposed to be my vacation too?

    Day 21 (Thu Jun 5, 2008): I got a call again. This time crying wolf story is they already sent a box to that customer and Repair center expected to have my machine asap. I asked him about a replacement since this was 3rd week by then, the answered was what you guys guessed--he would ask his manager for this and tell you later.

    Day 22 (Fri Jun 6, 2008): wait, wait and wait...

    Day 23 - Day 24: weekend, so there is no way that Lenovo would take care of my case.

    Day 25 (Mon Jun 9, 2008): I took my mom to Atlantic City, NJ. So it's basically my vacation. However, Lenovo (Greg) called me to inform that he was able to contact the customer who got my laptop for the first time. Yes, I typed it right. "The first time." I don't know how Lenovo knew how the customer was on vacation last week and finally the box was shipped him though. Although I was on vacation, I was still be able to be reached, dude. Could you understand this? Anyway, Greg still couldn't tell me when I would get mine back, but promised that it would be pretty soon. I had asked if I could get a replacement now. The answer was the same "No way." Seems like 25 days sound like 25 minutes to Lenovo, probably.

    Nonetheless, I was really upset since I have been lied several times that they would give me a replacement if they couldn't find my laptop or it took such a long time to process and they had a contact with the customer who got mine last week. Thus I decided to call JM, the person who replied my survey that I commented,

    "Although the process was quick; I eventually got a wrong system in return which until now; almost 3 weeks; I still haven't got anything but notices that my system has been shipped to another customer......"

    JM picked my call instantly which was really impressed. Then I had to tell him whole story again. It was like the same story I speak over and over again. Eventually he confirmed that I should be contacted by him or someone else from Lenovo pretty soon about this issue. Yes, it's familiar phrase, isn't it? You will see how it goes.

    Day 26 (Tue Jun 10, 2008): I had a call from JM to tell me that my machine was in repair center already. I would get it any day soon. That's really excited, but I ask him when it's any day any way and if you have any specific date. JM didn't answered anything. Otherwise, he repeatedly told that when I get the machine, he asked me to call him if the machine is working ok; that's the most important. Also, he would give me an extended warranty for the time wasting for finding where my machine was. End of this day with quite pleased feeling and a hope to get my system back very soon.

    Day 27: waiting and waiting patiently.

    Day 28 (Jun 12, 2008): Soon after DHL came by my apartment with no box for me, I had contacted with JM once again. He surprised a bit that my case wasn't over yet. I promised to clean the mess and minutes later he called me back to ask whether I or anybody else told him that my machine was in repair center already. But when I asked if I could get a replacement now. He answered rapidly that my machine hasn't been touched, sit in the box and ready to ship why I would want a new one. That very sucks answered since if you know that my system was there, just ship that to me, why would you have to wait? And I really want to ask why I would want a new one since my system is max out everything, there is no way I can get any better at this time anyway. I JUST WANT A MACHINE TO GET MY JOB DONE, dude. I could really tell I was very pissed. In addition, I called JM again on 5:40pm, no luck, no one picked my call up.

    Day 29 (Jun 13, 2008): Jim Edwoods was the person I could contact since Jim M. didn't pickup my call (with whatever reason) and Greg had been off that day. Jim had tried to trace the note of my case. Frankly, he got nothing. More frankly, I said that Greg told me about around Jun 9 or 10 he was able to contact that customer for the first time. Jim E replied oddly that he saw that but he thought there was nothing else progress. He would go contacting manager about my case; and let repair center call me back. Hurr... the last sentence is what I always hear from them but after all these I don't think I could believe in what will happen again.

    Day 30-31: Weekend

    Day 32 (Jun 16, 2008): I got a call from Greg in the morning to let me know that I got a grant for a replacement and there will be a representative from Depot calling you about the spec and so on. And someone from Lenovo called me about the spec as Greg told earlier. She mentioned if I agreed on X61 Tablet Multitouch 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM, 160GB, Bluetooth, and 4965AGN Wireless LAN. I replied that mine is 1.8GHz. She answered promptly that she would find that and call me back asap. Yet no call back.

    Day 33 - 34 (Jun 17-18, 2008): No call at all. I just decided to let it go on their way for a bit.

    Day 35 (Jun 19, 2008): I waited until 2pm, yet there was still no call. Thus, I called them up and asked for any progress since I should know if anything happened by then. Rep told me that the person who took care of this at Depot was not there, she leave a message about a replacement and caught me back soon. An hour later, A rep called me that they found my machine (?) so that my replacement will be canceled and I would get my machine back tomorrow by overnight shipping.

    That was shock; not that I don't like my machine back, but if you were me, you would get how I feel.

    I asked again whether anything stupid happened again? she wouldn't dare answer that. I was really frustrating I could tell ya; it's unbelievable anyway that she still stayed on the line at all time until I could get my mood back to normal. She offered me to extend 1 month warranty since she claimed that Lenovo couldn't do anything else to compensate what I lost. I told her that JM would take care of that. What she answered is surprise me again. Instead of just say that she would do this then JM didn't have to do again, she said she didn't know who JM was and she didn't have to offer 1-month warranty then since JM would do anyway. Soon after she finished her conversation, she hung up.

    What a great service Lenovo was. o_O"

    I'm glad that my X61T will be home tomorrow (If there is no any bad luck again) BUT I felt like I had been slapped on the face twice because it seemed like they gave me a hope to get a new machine just to buy an extra time... I really have nothing to say...

    Day 36 (Jun 20, 2008): It's over, I got my Thinkpad X61T back. My machine works well as it used to and I found in Windows log that there were a usage on May 17, 2008--the first day it was at repair center--and May 19, 2008--the day it supposed to be at my room (or the day I got a wrong unit.) After that, there was no log of turning my machine on. (or it was deleted?) That leave me a big curiosity of where my machine was for a whole month--which no one could not find.

    All in all, I got my X61T back. I'm happy with it, but I still feel bad about IBM repair center. It's only the matter of time, I guess.

    After the saga ended, I called JM on July 1, 2008 to tell that I got my machine back and it worked beautifully as it used to be. As his position, he said he was going to extend my warranty for 3-month. I don't know whether I could ask anything more since warranty from Lenovo (IBM?) is what I still have to avoid. At least, they do something good for customer, right? [comparing to $50 coupon immediately if HP couldn't ship your order on estimated date without any complains--such a big gap between they two]

  • D-Link DIR-628 5GHz 802.11n on cheap price & performance

    I have heard a news about this router last week that it was the first sub $100 dual band router; it actually $119 MSRP, but only $79 on BestBuy. I'm so thrilled to get one to be able to achieve 300Mbps and don't have to plug in CAT5e for Gigabit anymore. Although I don't expect to get Gigabit performance with draft 802.11n, I still think I would get any better than 2.4GHz 40MHz channel width 802.11n that gives me 130Mbps connection regularly (but it's only a bit better than 802.11g in practice)

    Then I don't hesitate to grab it @ Bestbuy. It really looks better than DIR-625 the one I have.

    Dlink DIR-628 Dlink DIR-628 

    The selling point of this router is dual band; Dlink doesn't forget to remind customers that this is dual band antenna as well =)

    Dual band antenna

    Setting up part was flawless like every router. Plug and Play; change WAN MAC address a bit; then you are good to go. I, however, tested this router as only Wireless LAN (802.11n) access point; I just connected this LAN to my main router (D-Link DIR-625) and disabled DHCP server on DIR-628 also.

    300Mbps Wireless Connection status image

    It was very exciting to have 300Mbps via the air; imagine that was 3 times faster than Ethernet even though you would lose a bit throughput for header. Just so you know that this was 5GHz band and it's the only way get 300Mbps connection with Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN. In a router configuration, there were choices of only 802.11n or only 802.11a or mixed. I tried with only 802.11n and both. I haven't found any different though.

    Yep, there is no difference at all. From 2.4GHz to 5GHz, the speeds Windows reports were different, but it's different story in practice. I don't have any scientific result for this since I copied back and forth between my Thinkpad X61T (802.11n) and my media center box (Gigabit LAN) several times. What I got was only about 4-6MB/s and 7-8MB/s for copy from and to media center box respectively for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz mode. There is no reason to test for that low performance; it's so disappointed because it's only 48Mbps and 64Mbps which were only about 802.11g theoretically speed. At least, I expected to see 100Mbps throughput (approx. 12MB/s) for 300Mbps connection. Just so you know, I got over 40MB/s via Gigabit LAN, so sometimes, most of the time in fact, I prefer to plug the cable in at all time. It really has a significant difference, no lag while transferring data since most of my data were on network drive. I hope final 802.11n would gain what it aims soon. When the time comes, I'm ready to switch immediately. Now, I just have to return this and stick with what I already have.

  • Live Mesh: impression

    Live Mesh If you haven't tried or even known what it is, this is a service from Live family of Microsoft again. So far, it's only tech preview which is waiting for necessary features implemented. However, only features available now is very useful already. Basically, Live Mesh is a synchronized service which allows all our desktop and laptop PC, hopefully phone &mac in near future, to have the same share folders. You could even access this folder in the cloud. Along with this service, there is another one which I found it really useful which is Remote Desktop.

    my mesh

    As you can see, you will have all your PCs around the mesh which tells you which one is online. If it is online, then you could just click connect. That's it; very straight forward remote access. Setup part is a breeze. My sister, who doesn't even know how to turn on Wifi on her notebook, can installed this--by telling her only get into mesh.com and click 'add device'--without any issue. As a result, I could check and fix her problem while she was in west coast and I was on Atlantic side without a hitch.

    Yet another great stuff from Live team you have to check it out.

  • shopping experience @HP Home Store

    You may wonder why I have to write (or complaint? or comment?) about this; please keep reading you'll know why eventually. I was going to place an order for HP Pavillion tx2500z with a $500 off coupon; The deal was eventually $903 free shipping with max out everything possible but RAM which I can grab somewhere else. For this machine, I expected so high after very good comment from almost everywhere to its predecessor--tx2000, we'll see how good it is soon. At least I could use this one while my Thinkpad X61 Tablet is gone in a wild (sadly to think about that :'() if it comes before X61T can find the way home. Well [get back to the topic], the problem that shouldn't happen start right after I clicked SUBMIT this order.

    Everyone who use PayPal debit card might encounter this problem--card declined--as regular basis. There is no reason underneath and PayPal folk couldn't give me a good answer as well since it was randomly. Yes, fortunately it happened on this order. HP had sent me an notification e-mail letting me know that I had to drop them a line solving the issue. Sounds normal, doesn't it? Yes. I called them and gave them a new card which is not PayPal one. Then it shouldn't be any problem anymore. Basically, I used to call Dell many times solving exactly the same problem; Dell rep could give me a result right away whether a card was approved or not. But, oddly HP rep couldn't give me that info, just told me to wait for a further info via e-mail. At that time, I usually say goodbye and hang up. Luckily, I had a doubt about this order, so that I asked him how much the total was, just for sake of confirmation. His answer made me really pissed, "$14xx."

    Well, I suddenly asked how it could be like that? since my order was only $903. He answered without hesitation that he couldn't use the coupon repeatedly in the same account. Dude? I asked him why you had to create a new order then? because I called to fix the problem, not created a new problem. Thus, I asked him for a solution. He answered that I had to wait for the item arrived, then call HP customer care to credit $500 back. It shouldn't be a problem. {In my mind, surely it's not yours, but it's definitely MY PROBLEM.} I again asked him to cancel the order right away. He rejected mine momentarily and gave a non-sense answer that since he pressed SUBMIT an order, he couldn't change anything before the credit card validation was over. {How sucking is the process!!} So I decided to let it go and wait for refund credit later..

    hp order history

    With a frustrating mood, I had to double-check in HPshopping.com how my order was. It was $1442!!! I never thought if this amount at all. At the time I was listening to what he said, only fourteen... it made me very pissed already. This was not only does he place a new order w/o coupon, but he decided making this order two business days shipping instead of free shipping without any permission also. I couldn't even understand how HP rep was so ****. I picked the phone calling them immediately and needed a clarification so badly. It was a lady that picked my call;hp shipping charge when I told her about my problem, instead of telling me about the solution, she talked about "HP Pavillion tx2500z was the newest one HP really recommended.. blah blah blah." I ask her I knew that and what about my problem. She asked me back whether I would like to answer the survey blah blah blah.. {Sometimes too much like this made customer very angry, do you realize this HP?} I repeated my question again, and this time it worked. Her answer was the same as previous rep, but she told that $39 shipping was not refundable. Thus she recommended that if I insisted to cancel the order I had to wait until the credit validation was over, then I could do cancellation. This made me a bit happier that I could cancel. So I decided to make another order--for $903 via the web with another account again and would cancel the $1442 order on the first moment I could.

    a day later, $1442 order was canceled and the last order seemed to be processing smoothly. But maybe I really had a bad luck recently. HP called me to verify my phone number on billing address; {I never had this problem before since I had 2 phones on my family plan which I and my girlfriend use} probably I put the one that HP doesn't like since I put my phone number randomly every time I purchased stuffs online and surely there is no problem ever. {perhaps NewEgg is the only place that all processes are soo fast, smoooth, and flawless.} However, HP rep couldn't give me an answer if the order went thru or not again. HP rep just told me to wait for a notification e-mail later. Next few hours, they called me again {yet no e-mail} to verify the shipping address if it was right since my shipping and billing address are not the same. This time rep could give me that my order was accepted and would ship soon. It likes taking a trouble out of my head completely when I listened to that.

    Ultimately, all problems were solved while it in fact should never be a problem at all. I don't know if your experience purchasing with HP was like mine or not. But one thing I could tell, buying from HPshopping.com & HP tel are such a mess. I probably avoid as much as possible. Don't get me wrong that I don't like them to double-check everything, but about placing a new order with different price and configuration (+shipping) themselves (not customer's one) is what I really concerned. In other words, some HP rep sucks indeed, please be aware.

    note: I really don't expect 10ninox blog to be like a place to complaint any bad service, but sometimes I can't resist writing it.

  • Day 30, Lenovo's missing laptop saga still continues

    Just to let you guys know that I still haven't got my laptop; even though this is 30th day. Not only have I contacted numbers of representatives, but also from many departments as well. They still couldn't locate "really" where my laptop is while one of reps claimed that he knew; eventually that was just an excuse from a frustrated customer, I guess.

    I don't really understand how Lenovo managed laptop arrival and departure to/from their repair center. It's really a mess. I will post details later how this saga really is. Sounds like I'm not going to get my laptop back soon.