Lenovo's And Dell's Laptop Return Policies In The US

Posted by Artem Russakovskii on June 1st, 2009 in Technology

I've been looking for a new laptop and started looking at Lenovo Thinkpads (W500) and Dell Latitudes and Precisions. I was worried that I might not like the look and feel, so I tried looking up their US laptop return policy.

Dell's return policy was found in about 5 seconds.

Lenovo's site, google, bing, or any other resource, however, proved to be useless while looking up their US return policy (all I could find was their Australian policy for whatever reason). Lenovo tried VERY hard to bury it, and I was only able to find it after tweeting at lenovosocial, which at first gave me the wrong policy by mistake (it was a 30 days, no questions asked guarantee). So, after I pointed that out, in the 2nd tweet @lenovosocial provided the correct link. In a few days, this post should float to the top in searches for "lenovo return policy", "lenovo laptop return policy", and "lenovo notebook return policy" and save someone a good hour of looking for one.

You can find Lenovo's return policy here. The relevant part, as of 7/24/09, is:

Return products
Lenovo will accept the return or exchange of a product in its original, sealed package for a full refund in cases of Lenovo error. Returns allowed for any other reason will be subject to a restocking fee equal to 15% of the purchase amount. All returns must be initiated within 21 days of the invoice date. Lenovo does not provide refunds or credits for portions of a packaged offering provided at a single price or for preloaded programs installed by Lenovo. For service and warranty issues, contact warranty support at 1 800 426 7378. For inquiries relating to third party (non Lenovo) products, contact the third party directly.

To initiate a return, contact 1-866-428-4465 to obtain an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization). Any authorized return must include the product and all accessories in the unopened original packaging, along with all documentation (including invoice, RMA and original shipping label), and must be received at the Lenovo National Return Center within 10 days of obtaining the RMA. Incomplete returns will not be accepted for any reason. Returns that do not follow these steps may be refused by Lenovo, and customer assumes risk of loss and damage for packages returned without an RMA. Please allow 8-10 business days after the item is returned for the processing of your credit.

So, there you have it, folks – both Dell and Lenovo charge a 15% restocking fee and give 21 days to return, from the invoice date (which, as I found out, is defined as the shipping date)? Pretty bad, considering business laptops are not sold in any retail location I could find and I can't see or touch them before I have to pull the trigger. What's your take on this?

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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