Laura Walker (googlebrat) wrote in bad_service,
Laura Walker

Toshiba`s Warranty Service Pain

Late last year my beloved laptop took a bit of a knock of a train and died. I mourned it, but fortunately it was covered by my Home Insurance with Tesco. As they could not supply that model, they offered me a new Toshiba laptop instead. I smiled and said thank you, and all was well.

Unfortunately, a couple of months later the charger died. The issue was very obviously with the charger - it was making a loud ticking noise when I plugged it in - and I called Toshiba`s repair centre. They told me I would need to send the whole laptop in, but that it should be a fairly quick fix. In fact, it turned out that they did not stock such rare items as chargers. Weeks went by and I called up repeatedly asking, pleading and begging until finally I called Toshiba customer service and a girl from there called the repair centre. Finally, after a month and a half, I was sent a refurbished charger from the workshop.

Skip forward a few months, and the laptop started having issues in August of this year. Blue Screens of Death started to appear with increasing regularity. I suspected faulty RAM and, again, called the repair centre and sent it away.

Within a couple of days I received an email saying that the issue was indeed with the RAM but that it was out of stock. This all seemed eerily familiar. I called to ask about it and was told to wait a week and call back, which I did, and found they still didn`t even have an estimated ETA. I started to call back daily. It was now September, I needed a working laptop for my university work and had no idea as to when I might have one. The repair centre blamed Toshiba for not supplying the part, Toshiba blamed the repair centre for not ordering enough. I asked if I could have a refurbished one - just so I could have something to do my work on - but they don`t do that apparently. I tried calling Tesco, who didn`t see how they could help, but pointed me towards Powerplay Direct, the company they had ordered it through. I emailed Powerplay Direct who, while very friendly, weren`t sure what they could do either. Several phonecalls later, I had the number of a reseller helpline for them, and they called me back with an ETA (why I couldn`t have that before I don`t know). By calling back to complain, I also managed to speak to a lady at Head Office at Toshiba who assured me that it would be back with me shortly, and all fixed.

I received the laptop back in midSeptember. Sadly, all was not fixed as promised. While it had stopped blue-screening every five minutes, something was clearly still badly wrong with it. Several times it requested I roll it back to a last working configuration, and now my wireless internet would not connect.

By now, my University year had already started, so I called the lady at head office. She offered me two years extra warranty (what good two extra years where they fail to fix my machine will do me I am not sure) and asked me to return it directly to her, which I did. This time, it was at least dealt with quickly. They diagnosed it as needing a reinstall of Windows and crashing because it was full of dust (how they missed it was full of dust when changing the RAM I am not sure). A clean-out and a re-install and it would be back to me in apparently full working order on Friday.

It did indeed come back to me on Friday, and arrived in a box that I eyed warily as it had very obviously been damaged en-route. I took a photo just in case, but the laptop inside seemed to have been cushioned from harm. I hoped that finally we were done.

The answer, sadly, was no. The wireless is now fixed, but the laptop has developed yet another new problem - the colon, apostrophe and m keys (all of which worked perfectly when I sent the machine away) have now mysteriously failed. Or perhaps not so mysteriously - when I called Toshiba they said that it was likely because they were dirty as the tech had had to clean under the Enter key already while it was away. I didn`t ask them to do this! I hadn`t complained of the keyboard at all, as I was quite aware that it was full of muck, and was in fact intending to replace it myself when the warranty was up. As it was, I suspect they`ve screwed up removing the keys as they have no "sticky" feeling or anything to them - they just don`t work!

On top of that, the machine has crashed twice, once more giving me the Blue Screen of Death. I called to complain, and the woman claimed this was most likely to do with my data which they had put back on. This resulted in an email where I attached screenshots showing that the system had been erroring and even FAILING tests on 15th Sept... and they didn`t replace the data to return it until the 16th.

I`ve now had to go away for a week with this beast as my only working machine - not good when I was meant to be emailing homework in last Thursday. Powerplay are saying that as it`s an insurance replacement Sale of Goods doesn`t apply. They`re trying to contact Toshiba but not getting a response. Tesco Insurance have been promising to email Powerplay since last Wednesday to see what they can do and haven`t (and every time I call to chase I sit through another rep asking if I`ve tried Toshiba - YES I HAVE). Toshiba have actually stopped entirely responding to my calls and emails - getting in touch involves calling several times until the girl who has been dealing with it is at her desk (this usually involves me saying "Well, if she`s away can YOU deal with it then..." at which point whoever answered suddenly realises this person has just come back.)

Anyone have any advice, OTHER than never get a Toshiba again?
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