Lenovo’s Cancellation Policy is not consumer-friendly


I recently placed an order for a ThinkPad W530 from Lenovo. One day before the estimated shipping date, I noticed that I inadvertently picked the integrated wireless card that I didn’t want (ThinkPad B/G/N 1×1). I wanted the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (or at least Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205) instead.

So I contacted a Lenovo Sales agent via their chat service to explain my situation. He told me I cannot do the upgrade anymore because my order has already been processed. I understand that. And it makes sense. It’s already too late into the order process to be making upgrade to the unit.

The agent told me that the only way I can have my upgrade is to cancel my order and place a new one with the configuration that I want. He even made me aware of the new promo which will save me about $80 more if I decide to cancel and re-order.

He gave me a number to call. A wrong number. It’s a toll free number for a different company that offers “unlimited lookup service and concierge for $9.99 a month, and gives discount for cricket users.” That’s what the welcome message said. I was sure that’s not the Lenovo help line that I was told to call.

So I searched the Lenovo website for a good contact number to call. I got a number for “Post Sales”. That made sense, I thought.

I’m a terrible English speaker. I’m not surprised if some people couldn’t understand me when I speak. But this Lenovo Post Sales agent is worse. He has a very thick “Indian” accent. I am not saying, nor assuming, that he is indeed Indian.

I told him I want to cancel my order. Right off the bat, he offered me a “proposition” without even hearing the reason why I’m cancelling. He told me he can give me a $160 discount on my order if I don’t cancel.

I explained to him that was not the reason I’m calling. I told him I want to see if there was a way to do an upgrade without having to cancel my order. None. I have to cancel. There’s no other way.

I asked him what happens after I cancel an order. I couldn’t understand what he said no matter how hard I tried. I asked him to email me what he was saying so I can clearly understand the terms of the cancellation.

Here’s the email:

“Marlon this is with regards to the order# XXXX. As per the policy of Lenovo it takes 3-5 business days to cancel the order and it is not a guaranteed process.In case the order ships out you may receive the order and call us back to set up returns for full refund.”

I emailed back and asked him to explain further what that “not a guaranteed process” means.

I waited but there’s no response. I emailed again telling him I need the information ASAP. But still no response.

At this point I decided to contact another sales agent and asked him to clarify the cancellation policy for me. I got a quicker response from this agent. He forwarded my chat session to another post-sales agent.

So, you can cancel an order but there’s no guarantee that your order will get cancelled before it ships out. The email said that but I wanted to make sure I understood it.

The cancellation process will take 3-5 days to complete. I only got one day before the estimated ship date. It’s only been 4 days after I placed my order. Chances are even if I cancelled the order right after my order has been placed, there’s no guarantee that the cancellation takes place before my order gets shipped.

In other words, I might have cancelled the order but the order might still end up being shipped to me.

If I received the order, despite me cancelling it prior, I will be responsible for returning the item and end up being charged with 15% of the order,as a restocking fee, plus shipping. The total for me would be close to $300.

That’s the part I don’t like. If the cancellation falls through, Lenovo will treat the shipped order as “return” for which they charge a 15% penalty for restocking.

That doesn’t make sense at all. The upgrade that I wanted was only a $40 addition to the original order. And I am not ready to shell out $300 dollars just to get that $40 dollar upgrade.

The only good thing, as it turned out, is that I might be able to upgrade the wireless card myself without having to send back the laptop to Lenovo. Or, so I was told. I have yet to confirm that when I receive the laptop and look under the hood.

Author: Marlon Ribunal

I'm passionate about SQL Server. But I feel like I haven't reached my full potential yet. So, this is my mission: My purpose is to help people in their pursuit of growth and development; and, thereby, help myself realize my full potential as a professional, husband, father, christian, and human being.


  1. I cancelled an order less than 24 hours from when I placed it. 2 days later, they shipped it out. They shipped it via UPS 2 day air, and UPS attempted to deliver 3 times (UPS will return to sender since I wasn’t home all 3 times). I must have called Lenovo 3 times to tell them I had cancelled, and all they told me was that it is cancelled or was supposed to. They never did anything about it. And now that the package is getting returned to sender, Lenovo is telling me that they are going to charge me 15% restocking fee. I’ll admit, Lenovo products aren’t too bad for the price, but never will I buy from Lenovo again.

  2. Lenovo has damaged me, I bought a laptop on the 20th of December last year and the notebook is still under warranty, and the source is in trouble and does not charge, but Lenovo said in 0800 that the source is not part of the Notebook and warranty does not cover how can a person use a notebook without power, as will charge the battery? the source is part of the notebook, should have the same warranty, but Lenovo thinks the source is just an accessory and can be years and years without using the source and use of wind energy, can only. This Lenovo disrespects the consumer. I want to fix my Lenovo notebook loader source or replace with a new one. I live in Brazil.
    Do not buy Lenovo, it’s the worst business notebook, now I can not charge the battery in this notebook under warranty. I want the company to give me a new source or repair my source loader. Jé I contacted Lenovo in Brazil but do not respond.
    My address is:
    POSTAL CODE: 85040-300

  3. I have similar horrible experience here too. I placed an order on August 15th, 2 weeks after my order I was informed that it will only be shipped out by end of September. Since I didn’t want to wait for so long, I made a phone call on September 4th to cancel my order (because while Lenovo make it very easy to order online, they also make sure the cancellation or post-sales issue reporting extremely difficult and cannot be done online). I was told the cancellation will be completed in 3-5 business days. But I never get this e-mail. I called again on September 14th to check the cancellation status. However, today, exactly 2 weeks from September 4th, I am informed that the laptop is shipped to me! (The consumer service rep also gave me a wrong extension when I asked for hers, I can hardly imagine she doesn’t know her own ext #. And I’m asking not because I want to make things difficult for her, I just want things to be done asap by not wanting to wait for another half hours or so to get somebody and explaining the whole thing all over again!)

    There’s another guy in Chicago who ordered the same machine on the same day as I did. But he was told that his laptop will not be shipped until October. I think it’s reasonable for me to suspect Lenovo actually speeded up processing my order after I called to cancel!

  4. I am not sure why bother about the wireless card unless you really have a strong and specific reason. What I want to say, if the original card does not work as expected, call Lenovo and replace it or upgrade it (They have the warranty, right?)

    • That’s what I’ve gathered on twitter. Plus I don’t really have a big network pipe at home so I don’t really need a high-end card. I can upgrade it later when I do the SSD.

  5. check to see if the restocking is only for opened boxes. but usually anything built to order is not returnable or they charge a restocking fee.

    if you send the computer back they have to sell it at a discount

    • Based on my chat conversation with the last agent I talked/chatted to, returns are to be charged that 15% penalty.

      They won’t bend that policy for just any case at all. A laptop is not like a cake that once you baked, there’s no way you can separate the ingredients.

      I understand that Lenovo assembly line is not as small as a mom-and-pop bakeshop, that they probably have to assemble hundreds, if not thousands, of laptops a day, but it’s already 2012. Customer Service has gone so far.

      What I’m saying is, there must be an easy way, in the midst of an order process, to modify a laptop’s configuration.

  6. This is why I buy at a local store. Usually if you return the item unopened within 15 days there is no restocking fee.

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