No, this is not a post about how it’s probably a bad idea to use your Thinkpad as a cutting board and baking pan.
I’m in the market for a new laptop. My old Thinkpad has served me well for three years — no blue screens, no hard drive crashes — but it has some serious structural damage Lenovo won’t repair because the warranty expired*, and I don’t feel like pouring more money into temporary fixes**, so I’ve spent some time over winter break looking into a new one.
That might have been a bad idea — for reasons enumerated in the title of this post.
According to Lenovo’s website, warranties are currently 30% off (screenshot from Jan. 1, approximately 5PM; see very bottom of image for warranty sale):
This wasn’t the first time I’d come across this specific warranty sale. I’ve visited Lenovo’s website a few times over the past month or so, exploring my options but never quite pulling the trigger. It’s been advertised for just about as long as I can remember, and so I hardly gave it a second thought as I went about configuring a computer.
The problem: it’s a lie.
No matter what I tried, I could not get the 30% discount to show up anywhere. So I got in touch with technical support to ask about it. The conversation went something like this.
Lenovo: I’m sorry, but that sale ended a few days ago Mordechai
Me: Do you know when it might be back?
Lenovo: It usually happens around major holidays, like Thanksgiving and Independence Day.
Me: But not, say, New Years?
Lenovo: New Years is over Mordechai
Me: It’s January 1st!
Lenovo: I’m sorry, I do not know when holidays are celebrated in the United States.
Which is weird, because the words ‘New Year’ appear no fewer than eight times on the above screenshot.
Anyway, no story of online shopping would be complete without some creepy ad-stalkery. Over the past couple of days, all my Youtube ads have been — naturally — for Lenovo laptops. Here’s one that played today from Office Depot:
I clicked on the button to see what sort of deal I could get on the T420 — it’s an older model, but I was curious — which brought me to this page:
That’s right — Office Depot is paying Youtube to run ads for a computer it no longer carries. As for Office Depot’s suggested alternatives? Also sold out.
*literally days before the left hinge broke for the third time — an issue I understand has been fixed in newer Thinkpads
**I paid a repairman for parts and labor that solved my problem for almost exactly one month
[Update, 1/2: The “New Year Sale” is over, as promised. The warranty sale promises remain. The warranty sale is still nowhere to be seen.]