Some of you may remember our hugely popular post “7 reasons not to buy the Kindle Fire” where we listed all the things we wanted to achieve with a new Lenovo tablet. Well, it’s been six months and it seems like a good time to review what has happened.
First things first. Lenovo sucks. That’s the nicest way I can start this article before I get R-rated. What started off as a little experiment turned into one of the most frustrating and time consuming purchasing experiences I’ve ever had. Since I received the Lenovo Ideapad A1 the GPS didn’t work and the Micro SD card became disconnected every so often. Sometimes I would lose Wi-Fi connectivity, and every now and then the tablet would restart magically—but overall it was working.
Two months ago the Micro SD card died. Since it was the brand new Amazon brand, I thought it could be a defective card. Getting a replacement from Amazon was a breeze. The tablet was able to read the card again and I assumed the problem was over. It was, for about two weeks.
After wasting more time than I should admit formatting the card and trying every trick in the book, I called Lenovo. After almost one hour of speaking with different tech support employees in India and being transferred several times to even more clueless and helpless agents (a process that became the standard), I was given a repair ticket.
I was to send the tablet to Texas (I had to pay one-way shipping) and they would fix it in approximately seven days. The problem? The only app that was working was the Kindle Reader, and I was reading like never before (read my recent post about how I’m reading almost twice as many books now). I was hooked.
It was the perfect catch-22. One great app was working, I was still able to check email and news, but all the other apps that I needed to work like Evernote, Google Docs, PDF Reader, and Dropbox required an SD Card. I called again. Would a firmware update fix the issue? “Maybe,” I was told an hour later. Would they keep all the apps I had purchased and installed? “We don’t know.” was the very helpful answer.
Then I ran into another problem. The tablet would not update its own firmware. I tried everything: changing the tablet’s settings, connecting to my MacBook Pro, installing the firmware tethered to a Windows XP tower, connecting a laptop running Windows Vista, nothing.
So, I gave up and sent it in for repair. Two weeks later, I followed up. They had received it, but they were waiting for some parts. An hour later I was told that the parts would arrive in approximately SIX WEEKS. So let me get this straight. I get a lemon, send it in for repair, have to pay for shipping and have to wait two months? I’ll make the rest of the story short. I was finally able to escalate my case to someone at “Customer Advocate/Customer Complaint Resolutions/Customer Satisfaction Programs” (I am dead serious, this is her title). After three or four phone calls and nine emails she finally gave up and sent me a new Tablet, which I received last week. How long before it breaks? I’ll keep you posted.