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IBM/Lenovo offshore customer support

By ScarF ·
Today I encountered a problem with one of my IBM workstations.
But, this is not the reason of my post.
Let me tell you the story of a customer fighting with IBM/Lenovo's jungle while trying to correct wrong information in their website, for their own interest.
So. I started by going to lenovo.com and looking for contacts. As I am located in Toronto, Canada, I found two numbers to call for technical support: 1-800-565-3344 and 416-383-3344. The last one is local to Toronto area code.
For the reader not familiar with how the phone system works in Canada, there are three methods for dialing a number:
- using 7 digits for special phone numbers (like the phone companies; e.g. Bell has 310-BELL)
- using 10 digits for local numbers (e.g. if I call a Toronto number from Toronto, I dial 416-xxx-xxxx)
- using 11 digits for long-distance in Canada and the US, by adding 1 in front of the number

There are some other details, but I will not bloat your memory with unnecessary information.

Coming back, being located in Toronto, first I tried the local number: 416-383-3344. The message I heard was "The number you have reached is not in service. This is a recording."
"No problem" - I said to myself. "I will address this issue later"
Then, I called the 1-800 number and somehow solved my problem.

Following this, I decided to call the guys - in their own interest - and let them know that the information published in their website is wrong.

First, I tried to tell about this to the technical support. Of course, with no success. The guy was tuned on technical support. Eventually, he gave me another number: 1-800-426-7968, which is IBM General Inquiries' phone number.
I called, and this is when I landed in the middle of a Kafka novel.
First, the guy wasn't able to understand my inquiry. I was telling him that they have a content problem in their website, and he kept asking me if I call for a desktop or laptop.
When he finally understood that the subject of my call is the Tech Support phone number for Toronto, he gave me the 1-800 number.
Then, another piece of information made its way in the darkness of his convoluted mind: there are two numbers. So, he gave me the wrong Toronto number.
I used this moment to tell him that that number is wrong and is reported "not in service" by an automated service.
He replied that, for not switching to long-distance, I should dial 383-3344. I almost fell off my chair laughing. I told him that 416-383-3344 is local for Toronto, and that is how a caller from this area is supposed to dial. You have to add 1 if outside Toronto - which is quite stupid as long as you may use a toll-free number.
He insisted in telling me that I don't dial it correctly. I started to feel stupid so - while talking with the challenged guy -, I took my cell phone and dialed 383-3344. Of course, it didn't work.
I asked him if - at least - he is aware of how the phones work in the US and Canada. He wasn't but, this didn't stop him giving stupid advices.
Patience, please, I'm almost to the end.
I asked him to put me in contact with some sort of a responsible for the website or customer communications. He put me on hold "for 2 minutes". I hang-up after 5 minutes thinking to myself "I will never, ever, call a company trying to correct their wrong info."
Another thought was "Damn! I called these idiots for their own interest. If these are the limits of their present support, I will never, ever, buy Lenovo." I will terminate - in time - all the IBM and Lenovo workstations I have in the company, and replace them with something else. Maybe some good clones made by a local PC builder, since everything inside is anyway made in China. At least, I will pay a local company for some assembling.

What are your thoughts about this story or about the offshore support in general?

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