I bought a Lenovo ThinkPad T410 laptop about a year ago. It came with a one-year warranty, and I wanted to upgrade to a three-year warranty before the first one expired. The T410 was preloaded with ThinkVantage Toolbox, which conveniently told me on its splash page how many days I had remaining on my warranty. Eventually a message there informed me that my warranty would expire in 59 days, and I decided to renew. However, that information was wrong--my warranty had actually expired ten days prior. Because I depended on ThinkVantage Toolbox, I now have to pay $259 for a three-year warranty instead of the $100 warranty extension that would have been granted had I paid before the first warranty expired. Customer service hasn't honored my request for renewal at the lower price. Can you help? --Ted Krever, New York
On Your Side responds: A Lenovo representative told us that Krever was the first to report this type of problem, and that the company was looking into it. Lenovo did extend his original warranty by 90 days for free, and he was then able to upgrade for the lower price.
If you encounter a similar problem, we recommend that you take screenshots of the faulty warranty countdown that include the date display on your desktop. Krever used such screenshots as proof of the problem, and he found them effective. Whenever you buy a new warranty, make note of the date of purchase elsewhere and hang on to your receipt, just in case something goes wrong.
Missing Software Registration Key
Earl Stroup of Fredericksburg, Virginia, contacted us after he purchased Gregory Braun Software Design's Password Keeper 2000 last October as an upgrade to his current version. However, he never received the program's registration code (or even a response), despite attempting to contact Gregory Braun multiple times through e-mail, phone, and a letter.
A representative said that the company sent the registration key to the e-mail address on file for Stroup, but apparently the company had the wrong address. We arranged for Gregory Braun to send the code to the right address, but the representative never explained why he didn't respond directly to Stroup's inquiries.
If you have difficulty contacting a company, or if you don't receive a reply, try filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, which can investigate a company's standards and alert authorities and the public to businesses that aren't living up to their responsibilities.
Have you run into a problem involving customer service, a warranty, a rebate, or the like for your tech gear? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.