To paraphrase Steven Colbert, Toshiba is dead to me. Not simply because they manufacture and sell laptops with wonky mother board/USB port components. Not even because they won’t stand behind those components. Toshiba is dead to me because they put up a wall of implacable, polite, unempowered human automatons who will not escalate a complaint. They allow no email contact. Their on-line forum is a joke. They sell laptops at Radio Shack in the USVI, but treat the area as a foreign country if the laptop is still under warranty. They replace the badly functioning part with one that has not been improved, and begins to fail within six months, and when a normal person politely and insistently complains, they just say, “There is no escalation in this matter. The laptop is out of warranty.”
I finally resorted to filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They got back to me with an email indicating I needed to provide a response to Toshiba’s response to my claim. Their response was, “This customer talked with our TAIS team on 11/16/12 and was told the laptop was out of warranty.” I had the opportunity to indicate whether or not I accepted this as the final answer, and immediately let the BBB know that I most assuredly did not accept this response, saying: “If you will re-read my original statement above, you will note that I told you that had been their response. I am aware the laptop is out of warranty. While under warranty, Toshiba replaced the offending part – having identified the issue after only one phone call – though I had to pay to send the laptop from the USVI and back again, as this isn’t really the US. The offending part began to fail within six months of being replaced and I have had the same problems with the laptop that I had prior to the warranty service. I do not accept that they may continue to sell and install a part that fails within six months.”
If something else had failed on the laptop, I would recognize that “it is out of warranty”. I still wouldn’t be happy, but I’d be resigned. That isn’t what has happened. I do not accept that a crucial component of this laptop will work well for only six months. That part is a lemon and they know it. That’s fraud.
Toshiba sells bad laptops. Their customer service is abysmal, their response to complaints is infuriating, and their on-line forum is a joke. After posting my concern on the forum and answering others who had problems with the USB ports. I had been thrilled to get an email from Toshiba Forums telling me I had a private message on their site. I eagerly opened the forum and signed in, to find that they had enhanced my membership because I was such an involved member. Really.
The medium IS the message, and the medium has its hands over its ears and is singing “La-La-La” in a loud voice so no one actually has to listen.
That is why Toshiba is dead to me.
And I’m not too happy with Radio Shack right now, either.