From: Brian Bender (bbender_at_vocollect.com)
Date: Mon Apr 03 2000 - 09:50:29 EDT
> How many places will call you up after a repair is
> warranty--and tell you that you owe an exorbitant bill and
> that they plan
> to hold you machine hostage until you pay up?
*ding* Had that one. >:-\
I wasn't gonna spam the list with this, but since we're back on the topic
again, here's a copy of a message I sent Bill last week:
----- Forwarded Message -----
Didn't know whether to post this in the open forum or not (I chose not,
but feel free to copy this there if you think it'll interest others).
I just went yet _another_ round with EZServ. After initially trying to
bill me almost $900 for the repair of a failed system board (you've
already heard that story) and being straightened out by someone back
inside IBM's Thinkpad group, I just got a bill on my CC over a month
later (tell me that's not an unauthorized charge to my card!) for that
same almost $900. Boy was I mad. I bet I spent the better part of 2
days on the phone, talking to at least 5 different people, before
finally getting connected with someone up in Ontario who promised to get
it straightened out. To her credit, she did, my card has been credited,
but I'm really saddened by the racket EZServ is running. I'm sure
they're making a ton of money off of people who are rightfully entitled
to warranty service (the freaking system board failed 15 months into a 3
yr. warranty, and they tried to bill me for almost 25% of what the
machine originally cost!) but aren't aware of the situation enough to
pursue it to the resolution they should've had in the first place.
Here's a copy of the note I faxed one of the guys I was talking to,
after he told me that service was still telling him that "it _was_ a
billable service", and did I have any other supporting information for
================ Forwarded Message ==================
I don't have your phone number, so I figured the quickest way to get a
message to you is your FAX number.
I have a couple of questions (you caught me three levels deep in train
of thought on the phone, sorry <g>).
The service guys are trying to claim that this is a billable repair,
correct? The 3-year warranty on IBM's flagship notebook computers
covers everything but customer abuse, correct? Just how in the heck am
I supposed to have "abused" the system board so that it started failing
several days before I sent it back, and actually went "up in smoke" when
the techs got their hands on it (it was working, but intermittently
crashing when it left my hands)?
I could almost excuse this situation as a series of honest mistakes if I
were evaluating it in a vacuum. But I subscribe to a mailing list and a
couple of open forums of Thinkpad owners, and this is a fairly common
and pretty disturbing trend we've seen from EasyServ since it was farmed
outside of IBM. They try to blame everything on customer abuse, making
money off the percentages of people who don't stand up and say "this
isn't right". Well darn it, this isn't right. I work for a company
that buys somewhere on the order of 15 to 20 Thinkpads a year. This is
the fourth Thinkpad _I_ have bought for myself. One of the biggest
reasons we buy them is the (previously) outstanding warranty coverage
>from IBM. A three year warranty that gives me the privilege of paying
almost $900 when a major component fails (not through any abuse -- my
notebooks are treated like they're made of glass) isn't exactly
something to write home about.
Call the IBM service line (800-772-2227). Choose 3 (PCs), 2
(Thinkpads), and get ahold of <deleted> (I believe she's out of town
today, though). Ask her to pull incident number <deleted>. I basically
went through this whole story with her the first time EasyServ tried to
bill me for this warranty repair, and she assured me it was going to be
repaired free of charge, THE WAY IT SHOULD BE!!! What additional
information can I give you? I still haven't heard either a) why it's
not covered if I didn't "abuse" it, or b) how I abused it.
I'm beginning to get frustrated, and very soon I'm going to get very
vocal in several forums where a lot of current and potentially repeat
customers frequent. This is not the EasyServ experience I was
accustomed to with my previous Thinkpads. :-(
============================ end forwarded message ==================
I never heard anything back from him, but I did eventually discover that
my card had been credited.
Sheesh, what a racket.
- Brian Bender
TP600, my fourth (and quite possibly last) Thinkpad, PII-300, 224MB
RAM, 10GB / 5GB HDD
Now dual-booting NT5 and a Slackware 7 dist. of Linux on the 10GB
disk (and playing with FreeBSD on the old 5GB disk)
----- End forwarded (to Bill) message -----
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