lørdag den 20. februar 2016

Be careful if you want to buy a Lenovo Smartphone in the Philippines

Be advised, that Lenovo Mobile(from now on LM to avoid confusion) which is handling support of Lenovo phones in the Philippines, is NOT Lenovo company, they are in fact part of TAO Corporation and are not obligated to follow any of Lenovo's guidelines or offer same service level as you are used to from your country - and they certainly don't even try to do that.

Complaining to Lenovo won't help, they just refer you back to the dealer or Lenovo in mainland China - really bad service.

This is because, in the Philippines, the warranty is not with Lenovo, it is with the dealer/importer(LM) - You do have 1 year factory warranty which includes 14 days return(Philippine law) from Lenovo - but they leave it to the dealer/importer to sort it out.

Why? Because they can! And nobody in the Philippines are stopping them - there are no real protection of consumers rights! There are government agencies you can complain to when companies don't uphold the warranty or Philippine law, but be realistic they are probably not going to file a case against a big company, just because you complain.

I will advise people to carefully consider it, before buying Lenovo mobile phones in the Philippines, as LM customer service is not at all helpful, if something is wrong with the phone!

Here is my story:

As a long time IT-consultant, my brother in law came to me for help finding a good Android phone. At Techbox, 2nd floor at Robinsson mall in Calapan, we chose a Lenovo A316i, because this model had enough Ram(memory), Rom(internal storage), good 3G modem, and a 2000 mAh battery in the box(normal battery for this model is 1300 mAh). Lenovo is normally good quality(at least in europe) - I always buy this brand for myself and customers.

The phone came with 1 year warranty and 1 week return for factory defaults(not 14 days). At home, I started setting up the phone with apps and anti-virus using my Wi-Fi. The phone worked fine. But after just 5 days from purchase, an LCD Pixel error developed as a white line across the lower bottom of the LCD.

I immediately contacted Lenovo Mobile(LM) http://lenovomobile.ph - by sending them an email through their own contact form on their support page, asking for help on how to get the phone replaced with a new unit. After 3 e-mails, where the last one I used my own computers email system so I would have a receipt, and still no reply from LM, I called them.

My first call to LM were on january 21, here I talked to Hanna, and after explaining the problem, she agreed it were factory fault - she agreed to call Techbox International Inc. on the number I provided from their webpage and ask them to get hold of the store in Calapan(Robinsson Mall), so they could have a new phone ready for us when we went there to swap it. Then after talking to them, she would call me back friday or monday.

She didn't call, so on January 26 I called back and again it were Hanna who picked up the call - nothing had changed, as she claimed that Techbox didn't know how to get hold of their own store in Calapan, so she had no feedback from Techbox. And so it went on for several times, still no service and no call from Hanna.

Finally an e-mail arrived from LM, telling me to bring the phone to the TechBox shop we bought it so it could be sent in for Service checkup. Not to be replaced - this beacuse the 7 days of replacement had already passed - That this were their fault, because they had not replied to me in time - they didn't care about, and never replied to my complaint of this.

So my brother in law and I, took it back to the shop, as it were the only thing to do now - There I had the pleasure of a sales lady arguing with me for 30 minutes, since she would not send the phone in for repair - I even showed her the email from LM - until I demanded the manager to come and talk with me. The manager arrived just about 45 min. later, and we were told that they would send it in for repair and that would take between 1-3 months. Being tired of all the endless arguments, we agreed. I demanded a written receipt of handing in for repair and got it, and we left.

As it turned out the phone were never sent to Lenovo - it were sent to LM and they just copied the data on it to another phone, and shipped this back to the shop, who then after 2.5 months, finally sent it back to my brother in law. At first glance it looked like the same phone, but after examining it, I discovered the following: The battery were 1500 mAh, the model were A369i(lesser model) - and the Phone were SIM Locked to SMART Telecom. We had bought a phone that were, openline, had 2000 mAh battery and better internal 3G modem.

So I called LM again, and again the girl(new one) had to call Techbox(this time I had a phone number for her), and Lenovo to find out what went wrong. I told ther that we wanted a replacement of the same model with the same 2000 mAh battery, not lesser model - she said she would call me back. After 1 week still nothing and I called again. She had no news for me, and again she said she would call me back. And never did - after calling the hotline again I were told they could not get hold of the girl I had talked with and had no notes about this case. So 1200p extra expenses, trying to get proper service, and all this time were enough! My brother in law and I went down to the local phone shop and got the phone made openline for 400p.
To this day, several months later, LM has not called back or tried to fix their mistake! They just left the case open like this, with no obvious intentions of fixing it! I call that fraud!

This has been a nightmare for my brother in law, since this were his first smartphone and he already paid for it, and then all this - shame on Lenovo Mobile and shame on Lenovo company for allowing this world class screwup to go on!

Another thing I found out: TechBox and Lenovo Mobile is both part of the TAO Corporation, so its very unlikely that they don't know to contact eachother.

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