Fujitsu Siemens laptop repair service, the whole damn saga

It’s probably worth documenting this somewhere, if only to demonstrate the appalling service provided by Fujitsu Siemens and Service Source in the UK.

Back at the end of September 2005 I bought a nice shiny new Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro V2045 courtesy of my brother’s company Systemagic, and all was well. However on 4th Jan it died, so I dropped it back to my brother who booked it in for a warranty repair which, we were told, would be a five day turnaround. The laptop was duly collected on the 5th and delivered to Service Source who deal with warranty repair work for Fujitsu Siemens in the UK.

A couple of weeks later we chased up the repair to be told that they needed to replace the CPU and memory. This had been fitted and the laptop was undergoing final testing and should be back in a day or two. This was a bit over the 5 working days we’d been told, but such is life.

On the 20th Jan we chased it up again only to be told that the CPU and memory hadn’t actually fixed the problem and that they needed to replace the motherboard. The parts now had to be ordered in and should arrive on the 23rd.

By the 1st February, it had been four weeks since my laptop died, and the replacement parts were still showing as due to arrive on the 23rd Jan. Something was amiss.

The 6th of February saw another bout of phone calls and email messages to Fujitsu, it turned out that they were still awaiting the motherboard, but the job had been escalated and the repair center had been told to fix it by the end of the day. However during a subsequent phone call towards the end of the day to check up on progress we were told there was nothing Fujitsu could do, we just had to wait for the replacement parts. However a glimmer of hope appeared when my brother contacted his old account manager at Fujitsu who provided some useful phone numbers.

The next day it transpired that it was Fujitsu policy to replace a faulty laptop if the parts were unavailable for ten days. Great we said, it’s been over a month now, where’s my replacement laptop? Fujitsu then stated that they wouldn’t replace the laptop, we had to keep waiting for the parts that were now due to arrive that week. The original delivery date of Jan 23rd was a random guess and was never guaranteed to be accurate. They did assure us that it would be fixed by the end of the week though, even if they had to cannibalise a new laptop in order to repair mine.

The 8th of Feb saw a minor miracle. The parts had finally arrived, the motherboard had been fitted, it was in final quality control testing, and would ship out that day. Except of course that it didn’t. It turned out the next day that there were additional problems with the machine, and they still had to do some work on it, however it would ship that day instead.

Finally it was February 10th, and my laptop finally returned, fully repaired, just over five weeks after it failed. I got home, plugged it in and started playing around. It seemed a bit more sluggish than usual so I checked a few things and discovered that it only had 256MB RAM in, and not the 512MB that it was supplied with. I checked the service documentation which stated that they’d replaced the CPU, two 256MB memory modules, the motherboard, and the LCD panel, which looked promising. However it then stated that the laptop had 256MB of RAM, and had been tested to confirm that it actually did have 256MB RAM. To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement. Alex promptly phoned and emailed his contact at Fujitsu with no joy, presumably because everyone had gone home early on the Friday.

Monday afternoon arrived and we got a call back from someone at Service Source who insists that they couldn’t possibly return a machine with the wrong amount of memory as their technicians were so good, and we should take the laptop apart and check. True to her word, after eventually working out where the second memory module was hidden, and theN how to get access to it, I discovered that one of the memory modules hadn’t been fitted properly. If their technicians are so good, how did they manage to fit the memory incorrectly, and then fail to notice this when they did the post-repair testing? So much for quality control.

So far Fujitsu have failed to apologise for the diabolical service, but Systemagic have offered me a very good deal on a memory upgrade to make up for the inconvenience despite it not being their fault, and having providing excellent service in chasing Fujitsu repeatedly for more information.

I certainly won’t be buying a Fujitsu Siemens laptop again which is probably no great loss to Fujistu Siemens, howeverI’ve advised the appropriate people at work not to buy any either, and given we buy quite a lot of laptops at work it’s a fair amount of business that Fujitsu Siemens have now ruled themselves out of. It’ll also make me very wary of buying any Fujitsu Siemens servers or desktop machines. I’ve nothing against the hardware, it’s actually quite a nice laptop, but it’s no good buying a laptop that will take over a month to be repaired in the event that anything goes wrong, and where it’s almost impossible to get any information as to the progress of the repair.

The end is in sight. Possibly

Apparently a new motherboard has been fitted to my laptop, it’s with final quality control testing, and may well be shipped out tonight and arrive here tomorrow. Mind you, they told us the same thing three weeks ago.

In non-laptop related news, the new forks for the Stiffee have arrived, but a couple of other bits were missing from the order so I’ve had to chase that up. At the going rate I’ll fit the forks this weekend because the weather looks potentially unsuitable for riding.

Progress?

Apparently the 23rd Jan date was a complete fabrication, their supply system makes random guesses as to when parts will arrive. We’ve now been assured that it’s all the fault of the Germans, the parts are due in this week, and that my laptop is at the top of the pile to be repaired when the parts actually arrive. In addition, if the parts don’t arrive this week they’ll cannibalise a new laptop to fix mine, and presumably others as well.

The cynic in me believes this is just a ploy to shut us up for a few days, but we’ll just have to wait and see. It does mean that it could be at least another week before my laptop returns.

More Fujitsu Fuckwittery

Apparently it is Fujitsu Siemens policy to replace a laptop if the required replacement parts are not available within 10 days. Great we thought, they’ve been waiting for parts for my laptop for well over two weeks so they’ll be sending me a replacement machine today.

Er, no. They still claim the parts are due in this week, despite us having been told repeatedly that they are showing as due to arrive sometime last month, and therefore won’t replace the laptop.

I continue to be amazed by the staggering levels of incompetence within Fujitsu Siemens UK.

Laptop Shenanigans

According to Fujitsu my laptop is still awaiting a replacment motherboard. Presumably this is the same motherboard that is due to arrive two weeks ago. Another day of phone calls provided some hope early this morning when a supervisor at Fujitsu escalated the problem and told the warranty company to sort it out today, but that was quickly quashed mid afternoon when someone else at Fujitsu announced that there was nothing they could do and we just had to wait and ring back in a few days time. They can’t seem to comprehend that taking five weeks (so far) to repair a laptop isn’t good enough, and that it’s probably going to cost them quite a lot of lost business in the future.

However, following discussion between my suppliers and their former account manager, there might be light at the end of the tunnel, although knowing my luck it’ll just be an oncoming train. Hopefully I’ll know more tomorrow.

I have at least fixed my main computer though. It was a dead/dying graphics card which has now been replaced with a shiny new red one.

Fujitsu Siemens UK and Service Source are shit

I’m still laptopless as the repair company are apparently waiting for a motherboard to arrive from Germany. The laptop has been gone nearly 4 weeks now, and supposidly the motherboard was ordered 10 days ago. Quite why it takes so long to get parts for a laptop that is still for sale at the moment is anyones guess.

Given the poor level of service I’m not expecting to get the laptop back any time soon, and I’m not entirely sure if I actually want it back now as I’ve lost confidence in it’s ability to keep working, and more importanly I’ve no confidence that it’d actually get fixed if it ever broke again. I was about to buy a three-year warranty, but what use is a warranty when nothing seems to happen?

Apparently I’m not the only person getting very poor service from Fujitsu Siemens and Service Source[1], they appear to be equally crap to everyone.

It’s not helped by the fact that my suppliers are having trouble getting any response out of their account manager at Fujitsu-Siemens, so it’s somewhat difficult for them to escalate the problem any further.

[1] See threads such as Do Not Buy, Prompt repairs by Service Source UK….NOT! and Service Source, on the Fujtsu Siemens Notebook support forum