Tech Support Showdown 2012

Lenovo

Lenovo Tech Support Results
Average Call Length 12 minutes
Phone Grade 2012 A
Web Grade 2012 C
Overall Grade 2012 B
Overall Grade 2011 B+
Overall Grade 2010 B+

support.lenovo.com
@lenovoforums
 800-426-7378 (Thinkpad);
877-453-6686 (IdeaPad)

 Lenovo has averaged a B+ over the past three years and introduced big updates to its online support site last year. Since then, the company has made minor adjustments and tweaks only. For instance, Lenovo Virtual Assistant, a tool for filtering users’ questions into prepackaged answers, has been rebranded as Lenovo Assisted Search.

In addition to our questions on how to enable multitouch gestures and improve battery life, we asked Lenovo how to add a second user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230.

Web & Social Networking

When first browsing support.lenovo.com, users must choose to identify their device by product number, auto-detect or search. The auto-detect feature only works with Internet Explorer, but was fast and easily recognized our notebook with the quick install of a Lenovo-supplied application. Search was also straight-forward, and we found the landing page for ThinkPad X230 support with ease.

We tried Lenovo Assisted Search, but found the answers either confusing or unrelated. First, we asked about adding a new user’s fingerprints to our machine and couldn’t find an answer. Asking about three-finger swiping was equally fruitless. We asked Assisted Search about lengthening our notebook’s battery life and were immediately asked if we wanted to enable “battery stretch.” Selecting “yes” brought us to helpful information, but we were a bit thrown off by the “battery stretch” terminology.

Lenovo has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. We asked @lenovo about adding a new user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230 and received a response less than 4 hours later telling us to direct our question to @lenovoforums. We sent the tweet to this forum Twitter account, and received a response three days later with a link to a video slideshow about the fingerprint scanner. After watching for 10 minutes, we got to the section on fingerprint enrollment.

We asked about enabling three-finger swiping using the support section of Lenovo’s Facebook page and received a response the next day by a support specialist named Hiro. Unfortunately, he confused three-finger swiping with the fingerprint reader. Luckily, another forum user going by the name of steady_yeti jumped in and helped.

Phone

Lenovo’s call center is located in Atlanta. We spoke to Hakeem around 3 p.m. EST. We asked him about enabling three-finger swiping, and he asked us for the four-digit machine type, which is located under the battery on the X230. With this information, we were put on hold for 2 minutes. When Hakeem returned, he guided us to the mouse settings and explained the multitouch gestures. The call lasted a total of 11 minutes.

On our next phone call to Serena at 10 p.m., we asked how to extend our ThinkPad’s battery life. She collected more information than our previous rep, including our phone number, address and whether the computer is company- or personally-owned. Then she put us on hold for 3 minutes. Upon Serena’s return, she helpfully took us step-by-step through changing a few power settings. The total call time was 12 minutes.

Tammy answered our last call (7 a.m.) within a minute. We asked her about adding a second user’s fingerprints to our ThinkPad X230. After collecting our machine type and serial number, she put us on a 2-minute hold while she investigated our question. When she returned to the call, she asked if she could remote into our computer, and we obliged. We entered a simple URL, submitted a six-digit code provided by our representative and installed the software.

Tammy had access to our computer in a little more than a minute, and immediately opened the ThinkVantage Fingerprint Software and explained that we could delete one of the 10 fingers we’d already scanned and enter the new user’s finger in its place. We mentioned that this option wasn’t ideal because we used our fingerprints to enter computer passwords as well, and asked about setting up a new user account. Tammy said that this was another option, but that the second user’s fingerprints would be invalid under the first account, and vice versa. We left the phone call understanding the steps needed to add an additional user’s fingerprints to our machine. The call lasted a little more than 13 minutes.

Verdict

Lenovo continues to offer efficient and helpful phone support and features a robust online support presence. However, the site can be difficult to navigate; we were unable to find answers to two of our questions. Lenovo’s social media channels provided mixed results. We wish Lenovo would add live chat support, but the phone support reps offered fast and accurate help.



Tech Support Showdown 2012

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  1. Not Phil Says:

    Dell service stinks. They also don’t stand behind their equipment. I’ve had nothing but problems with Dell and will never purchase another.

  2. don Says:

    then if the sony is the top 1 at tech support..

    what is the brand that is best for gamings..

    i mean which brand is best for gamings..

    including the price the kind of specs the kind of products.

    which is the best brand of laptop that is good for gaming..

    mostly and surely about durability and performance through out the year.

  3. Al Says:

    “Acer Tech Report Results” is shown as the title on the Sony page.

  4. Karen Says:

    I have to agree with Not Phil – I’ve never in my life encountered such appalling “service” as I just did from Dell! Will never buy from them again (not that they care).

  5. graham (australia) Says:

    ive got a couple of asus notebooks and also a netbook, over the yrs ive had a couple of minor warranty issues and asus support has been brilliant, the asus techs seem enthusiastic about there products and are more then happy to take the time to show u little things or answer questions,

  6. Cappy Says:

    I’m with Karen and notphil…….. Dell is terrible. Half the time they give you the wrong information and if you have continuing problems… too bad.

    I say this as a person who has purchased 4 computers from them in the past, and will not in future.

  7. a person Says:

    the thing about dell is their consumer products suck they have for a long time and they probably always will. That said buy the same computer relabled vostro, pay the extra for pro support and your phone wait time is 2 minutes max and they’ll have a US based technician solving any problem have and they’ll drop off the part you need within 4 hours. but if you expect to pay $400 for a laptop that costs $375 to build ship and market. you’ll get crap support.

  8. Steve Says:

    I’ve had had Dell XPS’s since 2004. That came with a dedicated phone line only for the XPS line, it was India sometimes but not all. The support was decent.
    Prior to that I had Dell Dimension’s 8400 and their tech support was as good as dealing with monkeys.

    Recently I bought a Lenovo Desktop. Tech support is located in the U.S. for my model and I just read yesterday that all tech support is coming back to the states. I also bought a 5 yr. Priority Service upgrade so I am good till 2018 if I still even have this them?
    Having U.S. support is one of the reasons I bought this system. I liked another one a bit more, same price.. more of a gaming system with support in India and no Priority Support like I do here in the states. I do get next day service with this one too and they will only warranty it for 3 yrs max, (what’s that tell you?)

    I am still within the time frame of returning this system exchanging it for the other and dealing with India.

    Also, Lenovo does not use refurbished parts when repairing your computer, completely new parts are always used.

  9. Dom Says:

    Let me just say that I will NEVER EVER buy a DELL product again! I just had the worst experience with tech support. I have had continuing problems and they said pretty much what I have already heard on here…too bad. I told them that you all just lost another Dell customer and it didn’t really phase them too much. I was supposed to get a new laptop from all the problems I had with this one and they told me “it won’t get approved from all the departments here and plus we need more information.” Really?? Like you don’t have a ton already with all the problems I’ve had??

  10. sam Says:

    Let me just say that I will NEVER EVER buy a DELL product again! I just had the worst experience with tech support. I have had continuing problems and they said pretty much what I have already heard on here…too bad. I told them that you all just lost another Dell customer and it didn’t really phase them too much. I was supposed to get a new laptop from all the problems I had with this one and they told me “it won’t get approved from all the departments here and plus we need more information.” Really?? Like you don’t have a ton already with all the problems I’ve had??
    and then i took help from axes pc care they are the genuine people their number is 1-877-509-8360

  11. JDE Says:

    I’m stunned to see Sony get first place in tech support. That doesn’t reflect my experience at all, and I’ve been on the phone with them as recently as a few months ago. I think they’re no better than any other manufacturer, and they’re all terrible.

    I also think that Apple’s tech support, while probably better than everyone else’s, is overrated. I’ve had at least two negative experiences with them over the past couple of years, one of them requiring intervention on the part of a supervisor who was embarrassed by the ignorance and unprofessionalism of his subordinate.

  12. She Says:

    When will Laptop Magazine release the showdown results for 2013?

  13. Anna Attkisson, LAPTOP Managing Editor Says:

    We are putting the finishing touches on this story now. It will be coming in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!

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