Toshiba warning

December 19, 2009 at 09:42:20
Specs: Windows XP
I am in the midst of perhaps my worst experience as a consumer. I am 55. I will never buy a Toshiba product again.

I live near Boston, MA. I bought a Toshiba Satellite L505D for my daughter, who began college at McGill U. in Montreal in August. It arrived in the last week of the month, only a day before we took Gabriela to school. The computer worked for a few days and then would not boot up. Shortly after Labor Day, my daughter called Toshiba. They told her to send the computer to a company in Toronto in a box that arrived 2-3 weeks later. She complied.

Weeks went by. I called Toshiba: What’s up? It literally took hours on the phone before Toshiba could even locate the computer. My daughter and I made repeated calls to the repair center, leaving messages to which there was no reply. Gabriela finally got someone on the phone, who said a part was back-ordered and could not predict a repair completion date.

It is now mid-December. My daughter is half-way through her first demanding year of college and has struggled without the use of a computer, which is standard equipment for college students these days. Dealing with this situation since September has been a nightmare. I’ve spent 20 hours on the phone if I’ve spent 10 minutes.

I called several customer service numbers, speaking to different people in Canada and the US. Canadians said the US branch was responsible b/c I bought it south of the border. The US branch said the Canadians were responsible b/c that’s where the computer was located. I reminded them that Toshiba is one company. Then they said it was the repair company’s responsibility, the same one that Toshiba hires. Except to promise (several times) to refer the matter to a “case manager,” who would call me (hah! never happened), they refused to intercede with the repair company, or even call them (“we can’t call Canada”). They also refused to refer me to a supervisor, who, they all said in the same words, “didn’t take calls.”

I’ve certainly had headaches with computer companies’ customer service departments over the years. But there were always helpful people among the unhelpful. I’ve never seen such a consistent policy of turning up the middle finger towards the consumer. I am left literally with no way to get relief, except to sue Toshiba. What do I do in the meantime? Buy another computer? My daughter needs one badly, but I don’t have the money to buy her two computers. I am thoroughly disgusted.

I thought that Toshiba offered a nice deal on a computer. No deal is nice enough to compensate for this kind of aggravation, however.

See More: Toshiba warning

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December 19, 2009 at 09:51:15
Did Toshiba tech support determine the problem was with some hardware or something else?

What happened when the laptop was started? I am asking questions because sending the laptop to a repair center may have been overkill. Did you insist on that?

If the problem was software a simple restore may have corrected the problem.

FYI, Toshiba is one of the better players in the laptop arena. Look at the link below.

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December 19, 2009 at 10:43:35
Apparently hardware was identified, since a part needed replacing. As for sending the computer: my daughter followed Toshiba's instructions. The info at the supplied link refers to repair frequency, not response once a repair is indicated, and certainly not what Toshiba customer service reps are told to do in response (or non-response) to troubled cases (e.g. can't imagine I"m the only person told they could not reach a person with discretion to offer a remedy, or was "handled" with a promise of a call-back that never happened - these are quite apparently not aberrations but policy). I stand by my warning.

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December 19, 2009 at 11:20:42
Well, if it was a hardware problem I would have returned the computer to the store it came from. Sounds like all this happened within a short period of time.

At any rate it doesn't sound like a pleasant experience. Hope it is resolved soon.

In the future make every effort to get past the level 1 support people. They are usually next to useless. There is no way of knowing if the problem is actually hardware at this point, seeing as you no longer have possession of the laptop.

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