Not that this is a new phenomenon, Lenovo has had a history of painful order delays on new laptops in the past, but the latest entry in this saga in which a glut of ThinkPad T61 orders are being delayed might take the cake for affecting the most people yet.
Pictured above is the Lesser Spotted and Rare ThinkPad T61 14.1" widescreen notebook (view large image)
It’s almost like clockwork — Lenovo releases a new ThinkPad, people get excited, place their orders and get quoted ship dates of around three weeks … and then consumers get frustrated as their order ship date gets pushed out and delayed. This has happened once again with the new ThinkPad T61. In the Lenovo section of the NotebookReview.com forums there’s a "popular" thread with over 400 replies now discussing the Lenovo ThinkPad T61 delays.
According to LenovoBlogs.com a data entry error in the internal bill of materials orders was omitted and caused several orders to become rejected, quoted from LenovoBlogs.com:
Because of a data entry error, the bezel – the frame that surrounds the LCD panel – was omitted from the bill of materials for certain T61 & R61 14.1” widescreen orders which is sent to our factories to specify how to build the products. This omission caused a majority of the orders taken between May 9th and May 24th to “hang” or get rejected by the manufacturing process. The missing part problem was discovered and we began to work with manufacturing to fix the rejected orders and get them fulfilled ASAP.
These kinds of order issues should of course be hidden to the end buyer and processing should be seamless. Dell figured this out a few years ago but Lenovo still seems to be trying to master the direct sales model and sorting out supply issues for various components.
Because of the delays Lenovo sent out the following email to its customers indicating they would get a freebie such as a Premium carrying case bag:
Dear Valued Lenovo Customer,
As you may be aware, some Lenovo ThinkPad T60 and T61 orders placed between May 9 and May 25 have been delayed, and some customers ordering these systems have received inaccurate or conflicting communications concerning estimated ship dates. We know this is unacceptable to you — and it is unacceptable to us as well. We aspire to have an ordering process that is, like our notebook PCs, second to none. We apologize.
We have been working hard to identify and resolve several problems that have contributed to these delays. We expect to have the vast majority, if not all, of the affected T60 and T61 systems built by 6/26/2007. If you do not want to wait for shipment, you may cancel your order at this time by responding to this email or, if you prefer, by calling the toll-free number listed below.
We thank you for your continued patience. As a gesture of our appreciation, please select one of the following items as a free gift after receiving your computer. Please indicate your selection by placing an X in the appropriate box, entering your original order number, and reply to our LenovoCriticalOrders team at:
[ ] 6 Cell Battery for extended run time P/N 41U3198 – T61 / R61
[ ] AC Adapter P/N 40Y7659
[ ] Premium carrying case P/N 73P3597
[ ] Original Order Number
Your continued business and trust is important to us. We have begun a public discussion on these issues, and are offering details about the causes of these delays, on one of Lenovo’s official Blogs, "inside the box". Please follow the link for the most up to date news on this subject. http://www.lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=84
Please feel free to contact us at anytime should you have any further questions or concerns.
Toll free : 1-866-428-4465.
Lenovo Websales Team
A free bag is nice I suppose, but an order that ships in a timely manner is probably preferred. If you’ve been affected by the T61 order woes the discussion continues here: Lenovo ThinkPad T61 delays