One Further Note on IBM Service

I blogged the other day about the nice service I got on having my IBM laptop repaired. The second commenter on the post, “Kent,” wrote this:

Why is the co-author of Freakonomics buying overpriced insurance/ warranty for a computer?!

He then goes on to cite our friend Tim Harford as arguing that add-on insurance for things like computers, cell phones, etc., is “grotesquely inflated.”

That may be true — but, for the record, I didn’t buy any such insurance for my ThinkPad. The repair was done under the original manufacturer warranty. It’s interesting to me that Kent’s assumption was otherwise; I’m not sure why that is so.

FWIW, the comments about my IBM experience here, on Consumerist, were in general so pro-IBM that I wondered if they’ve got some BzzAgents working for them. But if that were the case, they probably would have hit the comments on our blog a little harder.


Not that Consumer Reports is omniscient, but at least they qualify their stance against extended warranties: extended warranties are worthwhile *only* for laptops, because of how frequently they break down.

Of course, the answer depends on a lot of empirical data. Though I'm confident that the data would turn out against extended warranties for most products, I'm actually unsure in the case of laptops. Mainly because every laptop I've ever seen has had significant problems within about two years.


A user for many years now I don?t get anything but a ThinkPad... the looks and mostly the service is unique! Here is posted that IBM's service is the best. I thoroughly agree! Having working with literally hundreds of laptops (due to my IT career) and reporting numerous incidences IBM's service has always been the best.
However I noticed that in Consumer Reports IBM was not always been the best rated... (!) Something must be wrong here, I thought... Then, after researching in forums I discovered why... ThinkPad users are perfectionists... they expect the best laptops, and the best service... That is why they are unlikely to give great marks for ?just' a job well done... they expect more than that! That is the flaw that consumer rates on magazines such as CR has... the users are giving rates with different expectations.

Rick Klau

Stephen - Lenovo has a customer for life in me... I blogged my experience last year when I had a hard drive fail, details are here:

A few months later, my experience got used in a presentation in Australia, which led me to post a quick follow-up:

Bottom line: Lenovo is committed to building great products, and even more committed to ensuring that we buy from them again. And again. Given what I've heard about other manufacturers, I can't imagine buying from anyone else.


None of the service plan cost analysis' ever look at the potential time savings when you are covered. They simply look at how expected repair bills compare to the cost of the extended service.

For laptops I pretty much always buy the most comprehensive plan available. When something goes wrong there is no question about whom to call and I don't have to spend time convincing them its not my fault. I always get on site service so I don't have to mess around with shipping.

The time savings from a single support incident will generally cover the cost of the plan.


IBM is the best. I've had a ThinkPad for close to three years now and every time I've ever needed to get something repaired it's been simple.

I live in NYC, so I never have to send in my computer to get it repaired. If I ever have a problem, I just call Customer Service, and they send a repairman to my apartment within two business days with a new part. I have replaced my LCD monitor, my video card, my keyboard, my DVD-ROM, and my power cord, no questions asked.

My warranty expires in August and I am definitely going to revamp the computer again before that happens. I'm positive this computer will last me for another year at least.


I'm the famous "Kent" that is the protagonist of this post so I thought I'd tell a little bit about myself to offer some color.

I like cats, even the nefarious ones and especially the benign ones. And I like ice cream with sprinkles. But the sprinkles should be mixed in otherwise you're just eating plain ice cream once you consume the top.

no way out

pretty good I wonder if apple does the same?


Infamous, Kent, infamous.


now we tell a little about ourselves ..
ok l like long walks , l cry watching "ghost" and am looking for a long term relationship for my wife , long way from me that is ............

The Consumerist

Pretty sure they're not Bzzagents. The post asked for people to chime in as to whether this experience was common, which would help account for some of the number of positive comments left.