The Personal Cost of Knowledge Sharing Failures

Memo to Lenovo: You owe me six hours from Saturday.  That includes time I spent on the phone with your technical support staff and time spent in following their instructions.

I like Lenovo, both the company and its products.  The tech support people are generally friendly, cooperative, English-speaking, and concerned about resolving my problem.  But they either don’t have all the information they need or are leaving out key parts of the puzzle.

It started with a crash.  The ThinkVantage System Update had been running overnight but didn’t quite make it.  When I restarted the machine, the Access Connections tool that manages Wi-Fi connections wouldn’t connect to the WLAN.

I first spoke with Sainabou in tech support, who told me I should reimage the machine although I could also reinstall four files and that should resolve the problem.  I asked her about using Windows “restore points” to go back to an earlier system configuration (my attempts to use restore points had all failed) but she didn’t comment on that.

When I asked her to remain on the phone with me while I followed her instructions, she told me, in no uncertain terms, that she had already “spent too much time on this call” and needed to end it.  However, she offered to transfer me to Lenovo Experts Live, who, for a fee, would stay on the phone with me.

She also assured me that the instructions she had given me were all that I would need.

After ascertaining that Sainabou’s overly simple instructions lacked certain key steps, I called again.  The person who answered told me he couldn’t help but offered Lenovo Experts Live, again, for a fee.  I asked for a supervisor and was transferred to James Rosell, who did stay on the phone and clarify the procedures, staying on while I uninstalled and reinstalled files.

After about 90 minutes, he asked if he could call back in a short while and left to take another call.  Things were going well at that point so I had no objections.

But he didn’t call back, and since things had gone south at that point I called him.  He then provided additional instructions.

After more unsuccessful attempts at repair I decided to switch to my spare hard drive and start fresh.

But I ran into a bit of difficulty in the setup and now spoke with Warren in tech support.  He solved the problem very quickly and I mentioned to him the restore points issue from hours ago.  He told me that the restore points feature will frequently work only if the machine is booted up in safe mode.  Why Sainabou or James didn’t mention this critical information is beyond me.

Since I still had the other drive, I reinstalled it and went into safe mode and then ran restore points.  Problem solved.

Now, could I have my six hours back please?  And to Lenovo and others, please find better ways of providing your tech support staff with all of the information they need to provide all the answers, not just some of them.

Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.

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