Toshiba laptops awful in every way

  Dan J W 19:32 27 Feb 04
Locked

I have spent the last four months suffering with a Toshiba Sat Pro 6100 which is thirteen months old and cost £2000 new. In a three month period the laptop required five repairs. On one occasion the machine was returned from repair still broken, on two occasions it was sent to the wrong address and every repair was done exceedingly slowly. The problems were all power related and twice it involved the a/c socket on the rear of the machine breaking which required a new motherboard. Eventually, after months of inconvenience and negotiation, it was decided that a replacement should be provided. The replacement offered was a machine with a lower spec lacking many of the features of my previous machine but after a lot of phone calls I was eventually offered a refund. I accepted the refund and while I was waiting a month for it to clear my phone bill arrived and I am now sure there is no better way to spend £30 than speaking to the disinterested, condescending and incapable staff at the Toshiba customer service “helpline”.
When telling friends of my problems it became apparent that two of them (the only two with Toshibas) have suffered the same problems as I. Unfortunately for them Toshiba have shown no interest in helping them or honoring their warranties. One simply had the PC break within a year and the other has had the motherboard fail twice before amongst other problems, but this time, despite an extended warranty Toshiba refuse to pay the £600 repair cost and have some how decided to accuse him of malicious damage!. I too was accused of damaging my machine while on the phone to an apparent head of customer relations. After all of the inconvenience Toshiba have put us through that really rubs salt into the wound and I believe accusations such as this are Toshibas way of dodging responsibility for repair costs. The products do not stand up to every day use and when spending so much money it should not be necessary to have to replace the product annually. I purchased my Toshiba under the false pretence that Toshiba produced reliable laptops, I could not have been more wrong. However I am lucky as I have used my refund to purchase a Sony Vaio a better machine in every respect from far superior company.

  Taran 20:03 27 Feb 04

I currently own six Toshiba laptops - two are elderly and don't get used any more but the other four are in active daily service and not one of them has ever given me the slightest problem. Two of them are my own personal machines and the other two are for my staff to use when out and about.

I've owned more Toshiba laptops than any other brand and I have never had any problems with them at all.

To put some kind of perspective on this, you rarely here the good things but everyone hears the horror stories when things go wrong. Yours is, I would guess, an isolated case.

Think of it like this: if your experience was the norm Toshiba would have gone out of the laptop business a long time ago. Instead they currently enjoy one of the top positions in the world and you don't get there for nothing and it doesn't come easy for any company.

Warranty claims when correctly dealt with at both sides normally are quite painless. Errors can enter the loop in many ways, from couriers to and from the warranty centre to one fault being fixed and the rough handling machines sometimes get in transport causing another problem.

It isn't really fair to say that Toshiba machines or their support are any better or worse than their competition and had the matter been dealt with first time, on time nobody would have ever heard about it.

I realise that there is no comfort in this, but your experience is not the norm and Toshiba machines are, in most cases, superb.

If you look through the ConsumerWatch threads you'll find similar stories come up every now and then and pretty much every manufacturer has been accused of messing up at one point or another - always by someone who felt wronged by the fact that their experience was not as it should have been.

If the machine had been poorly repaired so many times in such a short space of time I would have exercised my right to reject it and demand a new replacement or refund. A machine of lower spec would not have been acceptable and you rightly accepted a refund. Frankly I am surprised that you did not ask for one yourself, instead of waiting for all of those calls to be offered one. The refund will not normally cover support calls and most manufacturers follow the same route in this.

For every story like this there will be thousands of 100% satisfied owners/users.

I am sorry for your experience but stating that "The products do not stand up to every day use.." is simply not true.

Best of luck with your new Sony.

Regards

Taran

  fred 21:27 27 Feb 04

I had a Toshiba for three years and only had one problem. In that case it was picked up on the Monday and returned, repaired, on the Thursday to my place of work. The replacement machine ( Not specifying the make) has given me more problems in a year than the Toshiba did in 3. Next time Toshiba again.

  Dan J W 22:56 27 Feb 04

I'm glad to hear of your pleasant experiences of Toshiba ownership however I am stating my case. My friends and I who own Toshibas have had very unpleasant experiences in terms of both unreliable machines and unpleasant treatment from staff.

In response to your points:

Toshiba admitted that all the errors where build and design problems they where aware of so blame for the faults can not be placed else where.

I did request a refund earlier on but was told that the machine had to fail 4 times before it was a possibility. This was then changed to five times in a later phone call. It’s not easy getting blood from a stone. And Toshiba made any communication with them very difficult.

I am fully aware that phone calls will not be refunded but gave the cost to give readers an idea of how long it took me on the phone to retrieve a satisfactory response.

I am also aware that there will be more satisfied customers then those like myself and my friends who have had serious problems. I am however not sure how isolated these cases are though as found friends and colleagues with the same problem without even trying.

The company I purchased the laptop from who are well known advised me that they have far more complaints from their Toshiba owners compared to other brands that they sell.
In my case and in the cases of people I know Toshibas have not stood up to everyday use and we will have to chalk that up as a difference of opinion.

I only wish I was as lucky as yourself with your experience of Toshiba however with consideration to how things worked out when problems were encountered I am glad to see the back of them.

  Stuartli 09:33 28 Feb 04

My daughter bought a secondhand year old Toshiba Satellite laptop with a Celeron 500MHz chip for half the original price.

It came with the balance of the three year warranty which was to prove a godsend.

After about 15 months' ownership the screen began to give problems, probably due to the laptop being regularly taken abroad and suffering a certain amount of knocks and bumps.

The cost of replacing the screen and the labour for the work came to approximately £600 - Toshiba met the full cost without a quibble.

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