Is Lenovo Customer Service Good? 2018 Rating
After showing dramatic improvements in phone support last year, Lenovo seems to have taken a step backward. The company's phone agents stumbled on both Lenovo-specific and Windows-related questions, sometimes bouncing us back and forth between departments without giving any solid solutions.
Fortunately, Lenovo continues to offer solid support both on the web and via social media, even if the company was occasionally slow to answer us on the latter. The PC maker has even introduced some handy new support options, including a "Rescue Lens" that allows customers to use their smartphones to show support agents their defective devices, as well as a Premier Support option that lets you get access to in-house technical experts for a fee.
|Lenovo Tech Support|
|Overall||Web Score||Phone Score||Avg Call Time||Phone Number||Web Support|
|Phone Hours (ET): 24/7|
To put Lenovo's customer service to the test, I used a Legion Y720 and attempted to get answers to three questions over the phone, on the web and via social media. I asked the company's agents for help with protecting against the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, activating Cortana and changing the RGB lighting on my laptop's keyboard.
Web and Social Support
I found Lenovo's support website robust and mostly helpful, but it's messy in some areas. The site's home page makes it easy to find your laptop, whether you want to type in the product name or serial number in a search bar or use a directory that organizes Lenovo PCs by categories. Once you've entered your laptop's serial number and entered its dedicated support page, you can easily view your machine's user guide, warranty, and a variety of popular forum topics and downloads that relate to your PC.
At the time of this writing, Lenovo's support site had a big, yellow banner up top noting that the company is aware of Spectre and Meltdown, with a link to a support article that further explains the issue and what to do. This answered one of my three questions right off the bat, and I was impressed by the level of transparency and immediacy Lenovo showcased in response to these major vulnerabilities.
Unfortunately, finding answers to the rest of my tech-support questions wasn't so easy. Even once you're on your laptop's specific support page, using the site's search bar yields a mishmash of user guides and forum articles that often aren't specific to your machine. For example, when I looked for tips on changing my Legion's RGB keyboard lighting, the top result was a reference guide listing all of Lenovo's stand-alone peripherals. While I had no luck finding a clear solution to my keyboard issue, I was at least able to find a troubleshooting guide for Cortana.
Lenovo offers live-chat support on its website from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET from Monday to Friday, and the service proved excellent in my testing. I initiated a chat session on a Wednesday afternoon and was connected to a support agent named Dennis almost immediately. Once I asked Dennis for help with protecting my laptop from Spectre and Meltdown, he asked me to wait a few moments while he looked into the issue. Although it took a few minutes for him to return (the chat lasted 8 minutes in total), Dennis correctly instructed me to update my operating system and linked me to the same Lenovo Security page that's featured at the top of the company's support site.
Lenovo's social media options were a mixed bag, with the company's Facebook support account proving more reliable than its Twitter one. Though I had to wait over 4 hours to get a response on Facebook, I was eventually connected to an agent named Jan, who correctly guided me to my Legion's Nerve Center app for changing my keyboard's lights.
I sent a tweet and a direct message to Lenovo Support on Twitter asking for help with Cortana, and I didn't get a response to either query. I sent another message about a week later, and this time, I got a response almost instantly that linked me to a useful tutorial. While it was nice to have finally gotten help on Twitter, I wish it hadn't taken multiple attempts.
Lenovo offers 24/7 phone support and even provides a handy callback option that lets you enter your issue online and receive a call once a support agent is ready to assist you. However, while I had no issue reaching Lenovo at any hour of the day (and was consistently connected to friendly agents), I rarely got the help I needed. Only one of my three calls came close to solving my problem.
I made my first call on a weekday morning at about 10:30 a.m., to ask about Spectre and Meltdown. What I expected to be a routine exchange turned into a 38-minute nightmare of being bounced back and forth between agents.
First, I was connected to an agent named Samit, who asked for my serial number, created an account for me and then notified me that I had to be transferred to Lenovo's software team. A few minutes later, I was connected to Carlos, who asked me for details on Spectre and Meltdown, as he had never heard of those issues. Carlos put me on hold to research the problem and returned to tell me that I would be connected to a technician who would be more familiar with it.
If only that were the case. I was then transferred to a technician named Marcus, who said that looking into Spectre/Meltdown would be "way out of scope" for his team. Then, I was transferred back to a member of the software team who ultimately had no solutions and tried to get me to subscribe to Lenovo's premium software services. I politely declined after close to 40 minutes of being on the phone. It's disappointing that none of Lenovo's phone agents seemed to be informed about Spectre and Meltdown, considering the company's website addresses the issue front and center.
My second call, which took place on a weekday evening, was shorter but equally unhelpful. When looking for help with changing my Legion's keyboard lights, I was connected to Harry, who noted that he didn't think it was possible to do so. After I asked if he was sure, he put me on hold for 5 minutes and told me that pressing Fn + C would change the lights, which was incorrect. When I noted that this method didn't work, Harry said that my Legion must not be designed to have customizable lighting and failed to mention the Nerve Center app on my notebook. The call lasted 10 minutes.
I made my final call early in the morning to ask about activating Cortana. Finally, I got some semblance of help. After I explained my issue to Vincent, he directed me to my laptop's microphone settings, to make sure my issue wasn't tied to my mic. Once we verified that my microphone was working, Vincent suggested I restart my PC and noted that I needed to be connected to the internet for Cortana to work.
Vincent, who was friendly and patient through the whole process, noted that you can summon Cortana by simply saying, "Hey, Cortana," but he failed to guide me to the Settings menu that lets you toggle "Hey, Cortana" in the first place. He eventually suggested I check Microsoft's support site for help with the issue. While Vincent got me only about halfway to where I needed to be, I appreciated that he made multiple attempts to solve my problem and that he directed me to a useful resource.
All Lenovo consumer laptops come with a 12-month warranty. (Commercial models carry 12- to 36-month warranties, depending on the configuration.) The company covers shipping costs for any repairs under warranty, with the exception of a few low-cost models.
Lenovo offers a variety of paid extended warranties, ranging from a one-year upgrade for $49 to a three-year extension for $109. Other upgrade options include accidental damage protection and longer battery coverage.
After Lenovo's excellent 2017 showing, it's disappointing to see the laptop-maker drop the ball when it comes to fast and useful phone support. However, the company still delivers in getting answers on the web, whether you're talking to one of its live-chat agents or seeking help on Facebook and Twitter. (However, the company's robust collection of online help articles could be organized better.) Overall, you'll still get plenty of help from Lenovo's online support — just stay away from the phone if you can.