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Doing the Right Thing

When Fort Branch resident Jim Snyder entered our office on Friday, January 11 of this year, he had no idea what was wrong with his laptop. He simply wanted it to work.

He also had no idea of what he would soon experience.

Jim explained that he purchased the computer a while back from one of the big box office retailers in Evansville. He had taken it back to them a short time later because it wasn’t running properly. Despite their repairs, the laptop, he said, had not worked right since then.

But now, it wasn’t powering on at all – after months of not being used. So he brought it to us.

Jim said he had tried using a different power adapter from his work laptop, but his personal laptop still displayed no signs of life. He said his power adapter did function on his work laptop, so he didn’t believe that was the problem.

Having seen this issue many times before, I explained that it was either a failed power jack inside the laptop or a failed motherboard. As I advised him of the estimated repair costs, I noticed on the paperwork he brought along that his computer had one day left on its original one-year manufacturer’s warranty. I told him that if he contacted Lenovo, the laptop’s manufacturer, to perform the repairs under warranty he could save a considerable amount of money.

Jim asked us to contact Lenovo on his behalf. And it’s a good thing we did.

Upon speaking with a Lenovo tech support agent, she revealed that their system showed the laptop’s warranty expired on January 5th. They also showed the warranty began on November 22, 2011.

I explained to her that I had seen this before. The warranty period in their system shows the date the big box store purchased the computer, but that it did not reflect the actual date the end user purchased the computer – which meant the end user wasn’t receiving the full benefit of the one-year warranty period.

The tech support agent transferred me to their exceptions department, where I had to explain everything again. She asked me to fax Jim’s paperwork to her so she could update their records and allow the repairs to be made under warranty.

About two hours later, I received an email from Lenovo referencing several problems with the paperwork. When Jim purchased the laptop from the big box office store, the sales associate made two significant errors: 1) he incorrectly marked the computer as a desktop instead of a laptop and 2) he mistyped the serial number. They also needed the original sales receipt showing the date of purchase and the amount paid.

I immediately contacted Jim to see if he had located the original sales receipt. Unfortunately, he could not. So I called the big box office supply store and explained the situation to the assistant manager. He could only look up sales receipts less than four months old. But he provided me a phone number for their corporate office research team, advising they should be able to find it. They said it could take several days.

In the meantime, I took a closer look at Jim’s paperwork. The day he purchased the laptop, he also enrolled in the store’s online rewards program. I obtained his login information from him and upon checking his account, found the receipt for his purchase of the laptop.

I immediately emailed the receipt to the Lenovo support agent, even though their offices had closed for the weekend.

On Monday, I contacted Lenovo to make sure they had received the paperwork they needed so that Jim’s laptop could be repaired at no cost to him. After a few final explanations, their system was updated and a box was shipped to our office so we could send his laptop in for the necessary repairs.

Two days later, Jim’s laptop was returned to our office – fixed and fully operational.

Jim expressed his greatest appreciation for our going the extra mile for him. Had he taken the laptop back to where he purchased it or to many other computer repair stores, they most likely would have taken Lenovo’s word that the warranty expired on January 5 and left it at that. If he wanted the laptop fixed, he would have to pay a large sum out of his pocket. Instead, I knew the right thing to do was to have Lenovo’s records changed to reflect when Jim actually bought the computer and then to have it fixed under warranty.

Honesty. Integrity. Fighting for what’s right. Going the extra mile and getting things done for our clients. That’s what I believe in and that’s what I try to do for every single one of my clients. It’s not always convenient and not always easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

How’s your computer repair company treating you?