Carol appreciates good service and is willing to give credit when it is due as in the case of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) which she wrote to me about (see posting "ICA's fantastic service" below).
But she thinks that Fujitsu's products -- at least the notebook that she bought last year -- and services suck. Here is her story:
"I purchased a Fujitsu Lifebook S6420 in March 2009 from a local distributor. The capabilities of the notebook were ok although I did notice that somehow the graphics quality of the display screen was not as vivid as my (by then) 5 year old IBM Thinkpad. Nevertheless I was able to use the notebook until December 2009 without issues.
"Sometime in December, I switched on my notebook and to my horror found that the screen display was so dim that it was almost black. When I brought it to service centre, I was told that my notebook had to stay in the service centre for 2 weeks before it could be collected.
"At around the time, I noticed that the DVD/CD-Rom drive did not always work so I asked for it to be tested as well. 2 weeks later, I collected my notebook to find that the whole screen had to be replaced. I was told that my DVD/CD-Rom drive was fine.
"Last week, I attempted to use the DVD/CD-Rom drive and found that it was not working. It's only been about 3.5 months since my last trip to the service centre but again, I had to bring it in. I was told that my laptop required a replacement of the DVD/CD-Rom drive.
"Essentially, within one year of purchase, the screen and the DVD/CD-Rom drive of what was supposed to be a NEW computer broke down irreparably and had to be replaced. I now have a notebook which is about 50% replaced.
"I'm really appalled by the quality of the product that I was given. This is supposedly a top of the range, made in Japan notebook. Further, the warranty for its parts is supposed to last 3 years and labour charge for 1 year.
"I do not expect so many parts of the notebook to break down within the first year of its use. Neither am I a heavy user. I only use the notebook for word documents, photo-storage and email. I do not use complicated software, I don't play games nor do I download software, games or movies from the internet. I hardly move the notebook as it functions more like a desktop computer than a notebook.
"In the circumstances, the notebook is not really subjected to normal wear and tear of a notebook and all its parts should be in pristine condition. My only conclusion is that I was sold a defective laptop."
Carol has written to Fujitsu asking them to consider the following options to address the defective laptop:
(i) A full refund or replacement of the Fujitsu Lifebook S6420; or
(ii) An extension of both the labour warranty and accessories/ parts warranty by a further 3 years given that more than 50% of the notebook has already been replaced.
But it is not only her faulty notebook that she is upset with. She is also not happy that the service centre she went to as it had "no link to the brand/ head office."
She says: "Fujitsu sets up these service centres which are de-linked from their brand. They know nothing about the notebook except that they can collect it for repair to some unnamed/ unseen engineer who fixes it.
"At the time of collection, they can't tell you save for what is on the piece of paper what went wrong, what exactly was fixed and give any assurance as to the durability of the product.
"When I ask for a replacement/ further warranty, the service centre says that they are not authorised to give me anything more. That's all they knew and that's all they were going to do.
"They gave me the impression that their hands were tied and I had to write to Fujitsu with my complaint. Whilst the service was not bad per se, it was frustrating dealing with people who knew nothing about the notebook or the brand."