Lenovo/Digital River have my money and won't give it back!
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TLDR version - I tried to purchase a £375 netbook, first order cancelled (with cleared PayPal funds) because I didn't provide a phone number, second order cancelled for no reason whatsoever. Third order went through, but they've only refunded me £15 on the first two orders and do not seem to want to give me my bloody money back nor respond to my emails properly.
They have over £750 of my money, which obviously I need for Christmas, and I'm paying interest on it. Not to mention the hours lost emailing them, calling them, and now doing this. And never mind the stress when I have enough on my plate as it is with a business to run and three children under five to look after and Christmas coming up. I doubt I'll be compensated for any of that.
I appreciate the problem is almost certainly with Digital River, who are the front end for orders etc, but ultimately they represent Lenovo. Such a damned shame as Lenovo make great products, but are being let down by a hopeless customer service in the form of Digital River.
I'll let our email exchanges speak for themselves:
If I do not get a satisfactory response to this email I will be looking to escalate it.
I've just placed a THIRD order as my previous two have been cancelled for no decent reason. Here is what has happened to date:
5th December AM: Placed an order via Paypal for an X121e - XXXXXXXX
5th December PM: Order cancelled as I did not provide a valid phone number (I have three loud small children and do not ever use the phone as it is very inconvenient to receive calls so I never share my number except with family)
5th December PM: I call to find out this reason, which was not easy with my children screaming in the background, and was reassured a second order, with my reluctantly-provided phone number would not be cancelled. Also that I would get a refund in full in the morning as there was an error.
5th December PM: New order placed via PayPal - XXXXXXXX
5th December PM: A partial refund of £15 is made to my PayPal account - I still have no received any more than this.
6th December PM: Second order has been cancelled with the same reason given.
6th December PM: I call again, juggling noisy children, and this time no reason whatsoever is given for this second order being cancelled as my phone number checks out (in fact somebody from Lenovo rang it whilst I was on the phone trying to find out what was going on). I ended up on two phones at once to two different people from your company.. why would this happen?!
6th December PM: I'm told I can place another order that will be "carefully watched" to make sure it goes through. I have just done this, via my credit card this time - thought I'd try something a bit different, y'know?
6th December PM: Another partial refund of £15 has been made to my PayPal account. Where is the rest of this one too?!
I have to say I am fully expecting this order to be cancelled for some random reason as well. I am beginning to think you do not want my custom - the money was cleared yet you're still rejecting it.
At this point in time you have payment for THREE X121es, and I have nothing. I only want one. And I want a proper and in full refund for the other two asap, not these partial £15 refunds.
I also am concerned that on the slight off-chance I do manage to get an order accepted by you one of these days, that it won't arrive in time for Christmas.
As for the phone number issue - no other company I have used has ever, *ever* rejected an order for not providing a phone number, especially not an order with cleared funds (i.e. the phone number was not required to verify the money). I realise you think you need a phone number to talk to somebody about problems with an order, but email is more than sufficient as it is not life or death - every other company out there manages. What if I did not have a phone number at all? What if I was deaf and could not receive calls? Are deaf people excluded from being customers? I think you should reconsider your policy here.
This is rapidly turning into a farce. I just want to buy one of your products and I can't believe the hoops you're making me jump through whilst holding onto my money. It is fortunate I have the credit available to keep on ordering and re-ordering. I run a small business myself, and if I treated my customers like this I would not stay in business long.
Please ensure my THIRD order goes through without a hitch and immediately refund me the remainder of my other two cancelled PayPal orders. PayPal refunds, unlike credit cards, are instant and should appear right away, and should have been done at the same time the whole orders were cancelled, so I do not believe it takes "48 hours" as I have been told on the phone.
Two days later, I received this reply:
Thank you for contacting the Lenovo Online Store.
We show that your order is complete, and it will be shipping soon. You will receive a separate shipping notification email when your order ships.
To view your order shipping status, please log in to our customer service page:
1. Go to http://checkout.lenovo.com/store/lenovoeu/en_GB/DisplayCustomerServiceOrderSearchPage
2. Enter your order number and password* into the "Quick Order Lookup" field: Order Number: XXXXXXXX
*If you do not know your password, it can be retrieved at http://checkout.lenovo.com/store/lenovoeu/en_GB/DisplayForgotPasswordPage.
3. Click FIND
If your order was sent via a traceable shipping method, you will be able to find your tracking number here once it has shipped.
Did this answer my email? Did it heck.
Here's my reply:
That's great the order will be shipping soon. However, you still have several hundred pounds of my money from the two previous orders which you have not refunded. I was promised "within 24-48 hours" which not only is excessive given PayPal refunds (unlike credit card refunds) are instant, but that deadline has since passed. In fact it is 72 hours since the first one should have been refunded.
I have only been refunded £15 per order. Please refund the REST of my cancelled orders immediately or I will be raising a PayPal claim and taking my experience of your extremely disappointing customer services to Twitter etc which frankly I am probably going to do anyway given you've just disregarded major parts of my complaint, have several hundred pounds of my money and do not appear to be listening to me at all.
I have attached a screenshot of the relevant parts of the PayPal "refunds" I have received already to assist you in making those refunds. If I do not see a refund within 24 hours, I will be raising a PayPal claim.
And now 24 hours have passed (4 days since my money was first due to be refunded and they claimed 24-48 hours) so I'm posting this for the world to see. And raising that PayPal claim of course!
Please leave comments or like to spread the word!! :-) Feel free to Tweet as well!
Watch this space for future updates..
1900 update, Friday - just got in from picking one of my children up from nursery to see a Tweet from someone at Lenovo UK asking me to email them. Have done so..
2130 update, Friday - a representative from Lenovo US has kindly commented below, saying I can contact him if I can't get it resolved with the UK representative!
1645 update, Monday - The man at Lenovo UK says he's escalating it internally. Had a separate email in reply to my last one sent on Thursday saying they were looking into it too. My laptop has also been shipped from China..
1645 update, Tuesday - According to PayPal I've been refunded, YAY!! Have still heard nothing much from Lenovo/Digital River, but all that really matters is that I have my money back :-)