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Toshiba Information Systems Digital Products Division - Toshiba Corp and Their Criminally Incompetent Customer Service
Posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 11:37pm CDT by 188162a4
Product: Toshiba Satellite L355D
I called Toshiba Corporate Offices today to let them know that I was filing criminal larceny, and grand theft charges with my local police department concerning the disappearance of my laptop that was in their possession.
Toshiba Satellite L355D
Serial Number: Z8396xxxx
Purchase Date: 07/29/10
Bought the laptop on 7/29/09 and on 10/10/09 I took it back to Best Buy to have the internal AC plug replaced by Geek Squad, While Geek Squad had it they broke the monitor and replaced that at their cost. I told Geek Squad that the laptop was overheating at that time and they did not even acknowledge it or look into it.
Around the middle of February 2010, the AC plug broke off again. I contacted Toshiba told them about the broken AC plug and the overheating. The CSR told me on the phone that the AC plug was covered under the 1 year warranty unless it had been abused. I obviously had not abused it as it would have taken a pair of needle nose pliers and a hammer to have snapped it off if it weren't faulty so I agreed to send it in and they sent me a shipping box and a new power cord. I packed up my laptop and the old power cord and took the box to the UPS depot in xxxxx, IA on March 18. I watched the UPS employee scan the prepaid shipping label before I left.
On 4/1/10, I still hadn't heard anything from Toshiba, I called the customer service number and the person I spoke with informed me that they had no record of me as a customer, or having shipped me a power cord or a shipping box. I was told that the only way my information could be pulled up was by the tracking number I was given over the phone 3 weeks earlier or the serial number on the machine.
As a side note, this may be the stupidest customer tracking database I have ever heard of. The sheer stupidity of limiting the search to two numbers and not the customers name, address or phone number borders on the criminally incompetent. I was given several tracking numbers the day I called to get the box and power cord sent. I wrote them down on a slip of paper in the kitchen and I think someone must have tossed them not knowing what they were. As far as the serial number... The serial number is on the laptop, which is in a box, somewhere in this world. Duh!!!
I drove over to the UPS depot and spent the next 2 hours having them digging through their lost box piles while I went through all of the UPS shipments to the Toshiba repair hub at Door 844 TN Depot 2250 Outer Loop Louisville, KY 40219. The only record we could find of any shipments was the delivery of the new power cord to my house. Problem was, it says the shipment delivery date was 3/12/10. I have the phone bill which shows my original call in the middle of February and the shipping box and power cord were delivered a couple of days later. So why is their no record of the shipping box being delivered or the laptop being sent back and why is the date on the power cord shipment off by several weeks? I would like to know who has the ability to go in and change this information or is UPS tracking and delivery system truly that damaged?
On 4/5/10, I contacted my local Best Buy and Geek Squad and they were able to pull up the serial number of my laptop by my name. (Amazing how an ounce of common sense saves everyone time and money) I contacted Toshiba again armed with a serial number and the CSR told me that she thought that my laptop had in fact been delivered but no one had done anything with it, but she couldn't confirm that it had actually reached the repair depot. I asked her how it could have reached the repair depot if UPS has no record of it ever being shipped? as expected, she didn't have an answer. She told me she would escalate it to a case manager. I was never contacted by a case manager.
On April 7th, I received a call from a Toshiba repair technician who informed me that they did in fact have my laptop, and that the AC plug is in fact broken and that they will need to charge me $149.00 to repair it and would I like to pay with a credit card today. Whoa! I let her know that was absolutely unacceptable and that I had done my research and had plowed through the many, many reports of this AC plug failing in the Toshiba Satellite laptops and that I was not in anyway going to get sucked into this scam they were running by intentionally using faulty parts and then charging customers stupid amounts of money to repair an item that I was told was covered under warranty. If I had been told it wouldn't have been covered, I wouldn't have sent it in and would have taken it to a local computer repair store. I also asked her what was causing the overheating. She seemed surprised to find out that it was overheating. I had written overheating down as the #2 complaint on the contact form that was shipped with the laptop, and I told this to the CSR who shipped the box to me. She said they don't "do" overheating at that repair facility; it has to go to California to be looked at. Of course I had to ask her why the laptop had even been sent to TN when it should have gone directly to CA? Big surprise? she didn't know.
I had her transfer me to a case manager to try to fix this mess. After waiting on hold for 57 minutes the first time, going through 2 CSR's and a CSR manager I finally got a hold of a case manager 2 hours later. The guy's name was Paulo and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I let him know the details up to this point and that I wasn't going to fall for that scam and that I expected Toshiba to honor their warranty. He flat out refused. He informed me that there is no one higher up than him in the company for customer issues and his "power" comes directly from the executive offices at corporate. I disagreed with him. I told him he might as well throw the laptop on the floor and stomp on it because I won't be strong armed or blackmailed into paying for a warranty item. He then proceeded to tell me to 'Shut Up' six different times and finally to 'Shut It'. I hung up on him.
I then called the Toshiba Corporate number: 949-583-3000 and was transferred to the Corporate Escalation Office where I left a voice mail. That afternoon a guy named George called me back and I explained everything to him and he said that my AC repair could have easily been covered under their "One Time" policy and couldn't figure out why he needed to intervene. I explained about the laptop overheating and that no one wanted to acknowledge that the laptop overheats, smokes slightly and actually burned my leg and even with it on a desk and tipped up for maximum ventilation anytime I ran a graphics heavy program it would overheat and shutoff and that it had been doing this from the day I had purchased it. He said that wasn't good and that the laptop needed to go to CA to be looked at by the engineers that designed it.
He told me that he would arrange for the AC plug to be fixed and then have the laptop transferred to CA for repairs. He told me that I would get a call from a lady named Julie who would be making the arrangements for it to be fixed. Julie left me a voicemail on 4/9/10 asking her to call her back at 877-421-7070 with my email address. I called within an hour of her call to me to that number which never gets picked up by a human being but has someone pulling their messages. I left a message telling Julie that I didn't have an email address since they had my laptop? Duh!!!
I never heard back from Julie or anyone else. I left messages every few days and no one ever called me back for 20 days? I finally called the main corporate office number today on 4/29/10 after researching California penal code section 484-502.9 on grand theft, larceny and fraud and let them know that if I didn't talk to someone immediately, I was filing criminal theft charges against Toshiba. The secretary told me she would get into "trouble" if she transferred me to anyone but she took my laptop serial number. While filling out a theft report at my local police station Julie called me back? She informed me that no one had done anything with my laptop since my talk with Jeff back on the 9th because she never got any of my messages. What kind of criminally incompetent three ring circus is Toshiba running? She said she'd arrange to have my laptop shipped to Toshiba in CA to be looked at by the engineers and who knows how long that will take, she flat out refused to give me a date I might be able to see my laptop again.
I then asked her about how stable the rest of the internal components in the lap top are after repeated overheating and didn't she think the entire system is probably damaged and it's life has been shortened greatly by the extreme heat. She told me verbally that if anything ever happened to the laptop, all of my notes are in their files and Toshiba would make it right at no cost to me. I asked her to put that in writing and I might believe her and she told me she would get in trouble if she did that.
Sooo... instead of just replacing my laptop with a non-flammable one, they will pay 'engineers' to inspect and repair the problem, then not if, but when the hard drive or mother board or both fail from being overheated, I am supposed to send them my laptop again and argue with them all over, every time something else fails while I am without a laptop for months at a time?
So, a new laptop probably costs them $300 to 400 and I would get a laptop that hopefully wasn't on the verge of a total meltdown, but instead, they want to spend twice that paying their customer service staff, repair techs, engineers and shipping costs and make certain I get the old, unreliable, and slightly crispy one back.
42 days and still no end in sight. I finally broke down and bought an old desktop at the Goodwill so I could get my email again. I had no inkling that at the time that I bought this laptop that I would have to devote so much time into getting it fixed and that I have such a bleak outlook for it. Nor did I expect to be the victim of a scam on repairs, verbally assaulted, and have to resort to filing criminal charges. I would have been better off just throwing the money out the window.
If you have made the misfortunate choice of buying a Toshiba product, I am so sorry and I feel your pain. When it breaks (and it will) document everything, and record your conversations with them. Be prepared to go to battle with them because they have perfected the art of "Anti-Customer Service" and be ready to hire an attorney.