Lenovo’s Mobile Access service (cellular broadband powered by Macheen) is – for some reason – being discontinued as of 31st of January 2014. Despite being signed up for the service and a big fan of it (despite some teething problems initially), I never received any sort of email notification and so it was I only found out when I was travelling and really needed it that the service was not available. While the main page on their website still advertises it (see http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/info/lenovo-mobile-access/), trying to sign up gives a 404 Not Found error and going to the usual address to manage your account at mobile.lenovo.com just displays the following message:
We are pleased to inform you that there is a 4G, next generation replacement service which is expected to become available in Spring 2014 coming from Lenovo, powered by Macheen. The existing Lenovo Mobile Access “Powered by Macheen” will be discontinued in on or by January 31st 2014.
You will automatically be notified when the new enhanced service is available in your region and there will be a promotion to all current subscribers who sign up for new 4G service.
For your existing service, any sessions currently in progress will be allowed to continue until their expiration or until 31 January 2014, whichever date comes first.
We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to providing an even better mobile access experience. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have questions.
I love that a message that essentially says “we’ve turned off your mobile internet without telling you” starts off with “We are pleased to inform you”, nice spin-doctoring Lenovo. They fail to explain however, why they need to discontinue the current service just because a 4G based service is on it’s way later in the year or what happens to the £50 of credit I have in my account.
I contacted Macheen on the address given to ask about the credit and for additional information and they confirmed that even if you have an active ‘time pass’ that extends beyond January 31st (you’ve paid for chunk of internet access that runs past that date), it will be suspended. Their reply from Ruxandra Piciu said:
Thank you for contacting the Macheen Mobile Broadband Technical Support Team.
Indeed, a service interruption is planned starting the end of January 2014. All time-passes that are currently active even if they are valid further than January 31st they will not work anymore (you can consume all the traffic previous to this date to use up the time-pass). The service will not work at all further than that date but will resume in Spring 2014 when we have the new solution in place.
All your credit from the account balance will be refunded through a check sent to you.
I’ve asked for the reasoning behind suspending the service and as yet am still waiting for a response.