I do not take pleasure in writing an article like this, but feel I have a moral obligation to warn others thinking of purchasing from Lenovo. After this event, I will never do business with Lenovo again.
In March of this year, 2023, I purchased my new laptop from Lenovo. I went “cutting edge” and bought their recently released 16″ Legion Pro 7i Gen 8, with the then-latest 13th generation Intel CPU, optioned well with RAM and an Nvidia RTX 4080 graphics card. One factor that swayed my decision to go with Lenovo was that I could use my company’s discount with them, unlike, for example, Dell and HP, which did not allow corporate discounts on new and in-demand products. With Lenovo, pretty much everything, as of this Spring, qualified for corporate benefit discounts.
Even today, I love the laptop as my second computer and mobile gaming machine. I am even building a basement desk setup so I can leverage it more with its own dedicated space and monitor, as a second workstation.
You may imagine that this laptop was pricey, even with sales and discounts. My grand total was over $3000, which included the max warranty coverages. As I planned to use this laptop for at least four years, I might as well get the protection it deserves from a well-known company like Lenovo.
Everything seemed great, and remained so through the Spring, Summer, and most of the Fall. But then the emails from Lenovo started.
About five months later after my March purchase, I don’t recall exactly, I started getting emails like the one shown below. I dismissed the first few as phishing. After all, how absurd is it that Lenovo would be coming back to me nearly a half year later saying I still owe a balance on my laptop? I assumed a legitimate grievance would be followed up by less-templated and more direct emails, phone calls, and first class mail.
In November, two similar emails came in back-to-back weeks. On the second time, my gut finally told me something was up. I compared the order number to my original order back in March, and the numbers matched. However, the balancing in this email was not the grand total I bought the laptop and services for; this number was slightly less.
Reasonably assuming there was a glitch on Lenovo’s part, I decided to write the following to Lenovo of North America, alerting them of the issue on their side:
I received this reply from Lenovo:
When I read this, I was immediately shocked, and angry. Was I going crazy? Why would a well-established company like Lenovo be making this absurd claim, a half year after the purchase, that I still owed for the laptop I bought from them? This has never, never, happened to me before.
I started a deep analysis of the “invoices” they sent me (you can see the three PDFs in the image above), comparing to my original emails from March and April, and then digging into my credit card payment method. I immediately saw that the grand total for the order in these “invoices” was what I paid, but they had an odd breakdown of the charges I did not see back in March, which had sub-breakouts of the warranty services and one other software I bundled during the purchase.
When I was checking out my purchase in March, Lenovo offered the option to use Amazon Pay, which allows you to pay via your Amazon credentials. I have used this many times with other merchants, from large to small, with absolutely no issue. I screenshot the Amazon Pay record and sent it to Lenovo with a detailed explanation:
As you can see in the above, I sent this on November 17th, 2023. At that time, I was seriously pondering if I was going to have to contact my lawyer. I felt more than confident explaining my position in a court of law, if necessary. After all, is this not an open-and-shut case? Unless there was some anomaly with my payment that got rejected, there should be absolutely no issue on my side. So long as a charge goes through and is accepted, I am obligated to pay that charge to my credit card company. I saved off my credit card records which clearly show the charge from merchant Lenovo, and my later payment to my credit card, to fulfill the balance.
I still cannot fathom how ridiculous this situation is. A well-established technology company, spawned from IBM, out of nowhere claims a half year later that I did not pay most of my balance on the laptop I purchased from them. Like you, I have made many, many purchases online from all sorts of merchants, and none have given me a problem even remotely comparable to this. I have bought from Amazon, Walmart, specialty merchants, even incredibly niche small Internet businesses, and every transaction has been fine. They charge me an agreed-upon price, my credit card receives the charge, I later pay off the charge as part of fulfilling my month-end balance.
How incompetent is Lenovo that they can allow something like this to happen? I assume there is an internal problem reconciling between my invoice and my payment to Lenovo via Amazon Pay. Given the amount of time and effort I have had to put into backtracking to prove I made the purchase, I consider Lenovo’s actions bordering on fraud and exhortation. I seriously feel like they should compensate me for my time being part of Lenovo’s de facto Accounts Receivable.
Again, what other company has ever come back to you months later saying you still owe them money on a long-settled purchase? When you make a purchase online, you and the merchant enter into a contract. The merchant provides goods and/or services and you pay them an agreed-upon price. You almost always have to pay the merchant first before they fulfill the order, especially technology companies like Lenovo. I find it amusing that they claim an outstanding balance, months later, after their factory in China built my custom laptop!
Lenovo, in my view, is in breach of contract by making a false claim that I still owe Lenovo a balance, which can easily be proven wrong by both my Amazon Pay and credit card records, cross-referenced with the original purchase confirmation receipt. If they really have a problem getting the funds from Amazon Pay, a payment method Lenovo clearly provided to me at time of my purchase, they need to take it up with Amazon, not me.
One final analogy to consider. Say you agree to buy a bicycle from someone, and you agree to meet in a park to complete the transaction. He brings the bicycle to sell to you, you bring the money to pay him. You exchange in public; you get the bicycle, he gets your money, you both shake hands and go your separate ways. An hour and miles away later, the person you bought the bicycle from loses the money you gave him. Maybe he dropped it. Maybe he misplaced it. And maybe it was even stolen, so he no longer has the money you gave him. Does he have a right to demand you pay him again because he cannot balance his account from the bicycle no longer in his ownership?
This week, Lenovo finally responded to my last email in November. Lenovo appears to be claiming (requesting) they will be settling the matter, though this does not feel like a 100% confirmation from Lenovo the case is fully closed.
Lenovo’s incompetence is not my problem that they cannot find the money I sent to them many months ago. If they push this matter back to me further, I will seek legal action and damages against Lenovo.
If you are contemplating buying anything from Lenovo, I hope you will factor in my experience before you click Buy.
Have you had a similar experience? Does what I have explained make sense? Am I in the right? Or does Lenovo have a legitimate stance? Let me know in the comments section.
Thank you for reading my article. Donec deinde tempum.