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Lenovo’s Cancellation Policy is not consumer-friendly


I recently placed an order for a ThinkPad W530 from Lenovo. One day before the estimated shipping date, I noticed that I inadvertently picked the integrated wireless card that I didn’t want (ThinkPad B/G/N 1×1). I wanted the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (or at least Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205) instead.

So I contacted a Lenovo Sales agent via their chat service to explain my situation. He told me I cannot do the upgrade anymore because my order has already been processed. I understand that. And it makes sense. It’s already too late into the order process to be making upgrade to the unit.

The agent told me that the only way I can have my upgrade is to cancel my order and place a new one with the configuration that I want. He even made me aware of the new promo which will save me about $80 more if I decide to cancel and re-order.

He gave me a number to call. A wrong number. It’s a toll free number for a different company that offers “unlimited lookup service and concierge for $9.99 a month, and gives discount for cricket users.” That’s what the welcome message said. I was sure that’s not the Lenovo help line that I was told to call.

So I searched the Lenovo website for a good contact number to call. I got a number for “Post Sales”. That made sense, I thought.

I’m a terrible English speaker. I’m not surprised if some people couldn’t understand me when I speak. But this Lenovo Post Sales agent is worse. He has a very thick “Indian” accent. I am not saying, nor assuming, that he is indeed Indian.

I told him I want to cancel my order. Right off the bat, he offered me a “proposition” without even hearing the reason why I’m cancelling. He told me he can give me a $160 discount on my order if I don’t cancel.

I explained to him that was not the reason I’m calling. I told him I want to see if there was a way to do an upgrade without having to cancel my order. None. I have to cancel. There’s no other way.

I asked him what happens after I cancel an order. I couldn’t understand what he said no matter how hard I tried. I asked him to email me what he was saying so I can clearly understand the terms of the cancellation.

Here’s the email:

“Marlon this is with regards to the order# XXXX. As per the policy of Lenovo it takes 3-5 business days to cancel the order and it is not a guaranteed process.In case the order ships out you may receive the order and call us back to set up returns for full refund.”

I emailed back and asked him to explain further what that “not a guaranteed process” means.

I waited but there’s no response. I emailed again telling him I need the information ASAP. But still no response.

At this point I decided to contact another sales agent and asked him to clarify the cancellation policy for me. I got a quicker response from this agent. He forwarded my chat session to another post-sales agent.

So, you can cancel an order but there’s no guarantee that your order will get cancelled before it ships out. The email said that but I wanted to make sure I understood it.

The cancellation process will take 3-5 days to complete. I only got one day before the estimated ship date. It’s only been 4 days after I placed my order. Chances are even if I cancelled the order right after my order has been placed, there’s no guarantee that the cancellation takes place before my order gets shipped.

In other words, I might have cancelled the order but the order might still end up being shipped to me.

If I received the order, despite me cancelling it prior, I will be responsible for returning the item and end up being charged with 15% of the order,as a restocking fee, plus shipping. The total for me would be close to $300.

That’s the part I don’t like. If the cancellation falls through, Lenovo will treat the shipped order as “return” for which they charge a 15% penalty for restocking.

That doesn’t make sense at all. The upgrade that I wanted was only a $40 addition to the original order. And I am not ready to shell out $300 dollars just to get that $40 dollar upgrade.

The only good thing, as it turned out, is that I might be able to upgrade the wireless card myself without having to send back the laptop to Lenovo. Or, so I was told. I have yet to confirm that when I receive the laptop and look under the hood.

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