Scope of Lenovo online price error widens as customers wait for refunds
TORONTO – The online price error debacle that has Lenovo customers calling for a Canadian boycott seems to be growing bigger by the day.
Global News was contacted by multiple Lenovo customers on Wednesday who said they placed orders for computers other than the Y410p model that were subsequently cancelled because of the error.
Milton, Ont. resident Dave Warford purchased both the Y410p laptop and a Z510 laptop during the “Door Buster” sale that allowed customers to place orders for computers at up to 80 per cent off. But Warford had both of his purchases cancelled.
Turns out there are five additional laptops that were affected by the pricing error – not just the Y410p model.
“The majority of orders were Y410p, however, there were a few other models including Z510, Y510p, Z710, G510, and U530 that were impacted in much smaller quantities,” Lenovo spokesperson Milanka Muecke confirmed to Global News Wednesday.
Anger amongst affected consumers has grown online since Global News first reported the story on Monday.
The company issued a statement Tuesday regarding the error, offering customers a $100 coupon off of their next purchase as a “gesture of goodwill.” But that only added fuel to the fire, as customers continued to speak out on social media, urging Lenovo to honour the pricing on their website or face a Canadian boycott.
When asked by Global News why the company wouldn’t honour the price for one laptop per household, Muecke said they were not in the position to do so.
Meanwhile, a petition calling on the company to honour the original price of the computers has gained over 5,500 signatures and customers refuse to back down.
“I think the $100 gift card is kind of a hollow gesture. I wasn’t in the market for an $800-1400 laptop, and getting an extra $100 wasn’t going to tip me in the direction,” said Warford.
“With a coupon expiration of three months on the offer, I’m confident a number of these will go unused.”
Many customers have also raised concerns that the $100 coupon offer started after the current “Door Buster” sale event ended.
When Global News inquired about this, Muecke said the promotion would be extended for those customers whose orders were cancelled.
“The $100 can be deducted from the total order amount regardless of any discounts already applied to that order through August 3, 2014,” she said.
Customers going as high up as Lenovo’s CEO
Both the Consumers’ Association of Canada and the federal Competition Bureau have received complaints regarding the Lenovo pricing error, but some customers are trying everything in their power to get their voices heard.
“I like reaching out to people such as Mr. Yang because he is a passionate leader who is in a position to be both interested in these issues and quite capable of correcting them swiftly,” Reinstein told Global News via email.
“I didn’t expect it to reach his eyes directly. However, it should have reached somebody higher than the first tier of customer support.”
Reinstein’s email to Yang bounced back.
Marketing experts have expressed shock over Lenovo’s handling of the situation. Ken Wong, business professor at Queen’s University, says whether it was a mistake or not, customers will not forgive the company for a mistake like this – especially since it’s not the first time Lenovo has made a pricing error.
“Live by the sword, die by the sword. You want to benefit from all the benefits of electronic commerce and e-marketing – that’s wonderful. But when you make a mistake in that environment you have to own up to it,” said Wong.
“In the end, the customer is always right, and the customer is always entitled to the deal they were offered.”
© Shaw Media, 2014