I'm a IT consultant, and until recently used my Satellite A-45 on the job. Then, when the CD-ROM failed a few months ago, Toshiba refused to sell me a replacement CD drive. Their Tech Support reported, "It's against our policy to sell replacement parts to consumers - you are required to bring it to an authorized repair center." The A-45's CD drive is proprietary, so even after exhaustive research, I couldn't find a generic replacement.
I went back to Toshiba and pointed out that a) the drive is a simple swap, b) I was willing to pay for it and release them from any warranty obligation, and c) my pc was full of secure data and applications; I could not do without it, and certainly could not hand it over to anyone else.
I also pointed out that, as a former coordinator of tech support for a chain of 13 pc/electronic stores, I was certainly capable of removing the failed drive and plugging in the new one. All to no avail. I had to remove all the secure data and applications from the pc, install them all on another pc, drive the Satellite to a repair center, and wait several days for its return. Had I known in advance of Toshiba's policy, I would NEVER have purchased a pc from them. I wouldn't buy so much as a toaster from someone who won't provide parts.
After hearing about this experience, several heads of desktop support at medium-sized companies have dropped any consideration of Toshiba laptops, and another medium-sized company that used Toshibas for their entire national sales force will now start moving to Dell. And I have advised my current employer (with more than 25,000 consultants, worldwide) to continue to rely on Dell laptops.
I have managed desktop support for both Dell and IBM laptops in the past, with users scattered all over North and South America, and both companies have jumped through hoops repeatedly to keep my users up and running when I was in a bind.
I really had no particular complaint with the A-45. CD drives can and do fail on every brand - but Toshiba's parts policy turned this into a disaster. Their policy suggests that they intend their products only for household, entertainment, or light academic use. That given, it would appear that using Toshibas in a business environment, where security or deadline issues exist, poses a significant (and avoidable) risk.
PATAGONIA, ARIZONA -- I purchased a Toshiba laptop computer directly from Toshiba's web site. Within two weeks the display failed and I had to have it repaired. It was more than three weeks before I got it back and it worked for another two weeks and then failed again. This time they replaced the motherboard and the hard drive. Toshiba failed to set up the return paperwork properly and I had to spend an extra week attempting to get everything straightened out. I asked for either a replacement laptop or a refund and was informed that it was not Toshiba's policy to do either. I asked to be an exception since I had basically no use of the laptop and the months were clicking away.
If anybody is interested in purchasing a Toshiba laptop then I recommend purchasing it from a local store so that if it doesn't work you can take it back and get another one. Something that Toshiba is not willing to do. I have been a Toshiba customer more a long time. I have one of their large screen TV's, a digital camera, my wife's laptop is a Toshiba. I have a policy also: not to buy anything that is built by Toshiba.
Update on 12/22/2006: I forgot to mention that I also made a Better Business Bureau complaint in March 2005. Toshiba responded back to the BBB on October 2006 (just short of two years) and said that they didn't have any address or telephone information to get in touch with me. That's interesting because I bought the laptop directly from Toshiba, registered the warranty with them, had two repairs done by them and entered all the information on the BBB complaint form.
Anyway, Toshiba finally broke down and did the third repair (another defective display) at no cost to me. The repair shop installed two new fans in an attempt to repair the re-occurring heat problem that causes the computer to lock up. I recommend purchasing HP laptops, both for the quality and the service.
Update on 1/14/2007: Well, here we are a few weeks later and my new display that was just installed has failed again. This is the third bad display not to say the other repairs that have been done on this laptop. When I made the formal complaint to Better Business Bureau my laptop was less than five months old, well within the warranty but Toshiba waited almost two years to respond to BBB and attempted to fix it with no warranty on the part or labor.
Can you see what's happening here? Delay the repair until after the warranty expires and hope that the customer goes away. If customer makes a formal complaint then offer (after a year and half) to fix it under an extended warranty. What a scam.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- I have been a consultant for over 10 years, so I have used just about everything out there in the way of laptops (IBM, HP, Gateway, Dell) and have nothing negative to say about them until now. Within 3 months, my Toshiba power supply would no longer charge the battery or provide power to the computer. After about 18 months the computer started to overheat and was not reliable. I cleaned the boards and fans and bought a cooling plate so I could use it.
I now have an additional systems problem and their solution is to scrap the computer and reload it or buy a new computer. I would not buy another Toshiba if my life depended on it. As a consultant my livelihood depends on it and I have found the Toshiba to be the worst computer I have ever owned.
SPRING HILL, FLORIDA -- Laptop was purchased in late November 2005 from Best Buy here online. Was given as Christmas present in Jan. 2006. Computer worked fine till battery needed recharging. Battery would not recharge. I traveled over 60 miles to Toshiba Rep. who saw that laptop was new and barely used. They took 1st battery and sent it to Toshiba. I received new battery but again it would not charge. So now I am told it could be the motherboard. The warranty of 90 days is over and I am stuck now with nothing. When this was purchased, no one was told about a 90 day warranty.
Everyone I tell this story to cannot believe any computer has only 90 days on its warranty. I feel TOSHIBA knows it had a LEMON as a laptop and it has covered itself. I personally would never buy another TOSHIBA product. I would do without rather than buy their brand. Toshiba you should be ASHAMED.
The clock has never kept time properly. In June 2007 I suffered a randomly generated BIOS password that caused the system to be unbootable. On September 3, 2007, I first started having critical issues with this computer. Windows Vista described this problem with a code named "Blue Screen." Apparently the computer had spontaneously rebooted itself due to some unexpected error. On September 9, 2007, the hard drive in my Toshiba notebook computer crashed. They installed a new hard drive and a new motherboard. On November 27, 2007, the USB ports were not working.
The computer had another motherboard put in, as well as a new USB board. The computer is exhibiting the same symptoms tonight that it did just before having the second motherboard and USB board replaced. After several hours on hold I finally spoke with a "Customer Relations Agent." I again explained my situation and was again cited the company policy about exchanges.
When I related to her the repair history of my computer, she said that it "is not rare" for one of their computers to have multiple major system components replaced within the first year. After spouting off several threats, I was hung up on by this "Customer Relations Agent." I would like this computer replaced.
LENOIR, NORTH CAROLINA -- I purchased a Toshiba laptop in July 2006. By June of 2007 the DVD player was not working. I called Toshiba and they suggested I take it to an authorized service center, which I did. They supposedly fixed it but now 4 months later it's not working again. I let a friend of mine fix it who works on computers and he said the DVD player was shot. So either the service center didn't fix it or it broke again, so don't buy a Toshiba laptop. They're not worth the money you pay for them. I have a 7 year old Dell desktop and a 10 year old IBM laptop and I have never had any issues with them. So don't buy a Toshiba.
We have been trying to contact Toshiba about repairing a laptop since January 2007. They told us to contact a company which cannot be reached nor do they return phone messages. We keep being transferred to some place in Manila.
Then we are transferred to their customer relations. We wait for 50 minutes then are transferred and are not told that we will have to give them information. They gave us 5 seconds to give them the information and then they hung up. They need to change the way that they help their customers. In a range from 0 - 10 with 0 being low I would have to rate them a 0 for their customer service. I seriously doubt if we will purchase anything from them again.
After reading some of the other comments, I felt had to tone down my rhetoric from "mad as hell" to "disappointed". Wow! Has customer service/tech support changed. I am complaining about a Satellite M45 computer I purchased for my son in May 2005. We have spent about $150 in troubleshooting a problem with powering the computer on. Since it was no longer under warranty, we sent it to Laptop Repair Services (whom I would recommend), who told us the motherboard needed to be replaced. The cost of the repairs is more than the value of the computer, so we are buying a new one.
We also had problems with overheating and restarting the computer after sleep mode. It appears these are common problems with this model and probably contributed to the motherboard failure. Maybe I am being naive, but why should the motherboard fail after only two years of use? The $1200 computer I hoped would get my son through 4 years of college has only lasted 2 years. Needless to say, the replacement computer will NOT be a Toshiba.
I purchased a Toshiba laptop towards the end of 2006. The laptop was advertised with a free Vista upgrade for any laptop purchased between 10/26/06 and 3/15/07. For several months I attempted to access the Toshiba Vista Upgrade page. Over those months, the page never worked properly, so I stopped trying until this month (May). The site now says it is too late to get my upgrade, that the offer was limited to March 31st.
I feel, especially due to the release date of Vista, the poor performance of the Toshiba site, and the short time period between March 15 and March 31st, the FREE Vista upgrade was a misrepresentation on Toshiba's part, and on the part of Office Depot. Was the poor performance of the Toshiba site intentional? Your guess is as good as mine.
SINGAPORE -- I was disappointed and most annoyed to discover that the brand new Toshiba L30 laptop purchased -
comes without a Caps Light indicator as surely all keyboards, since the era of Imperial Typewriters. On a return visit back to Harvey Norman the giant Australian electronics, etc. retailer here at Parkway Parade in Singapore - the on-duty laptop salesman claimed to know nothing of this irritant 'oversight' by Toshiba.
Surely this is not the way of the future for computer manufacturers to grade their products, by the omission of essential & basic features needed to operate the keyboard or whatever. I assume the next grade up at least gets a Caps Indicator. My experience could be similar to buying a bargain basement car without a main beam function in the headlights or a fridge without an automatic light that turns off after door opening/shutting etc..
In the interest of offering price beating laptops like the L30, retailers around the globe should make it known that this model can be likened to a factory misfit/second, it is almost as per a normal laptop but that the price differential is due to factory savings on usual installation of a Caps Light. I have had to install a freeware System Tray Indicator from SnapFiles to cover up this laptop's major deficiency. http://www.snapfiles.com/get/systrayindicator.html. Had I known I would have saved up an extra few hundred dollars to buy a complete laptop. Buyer beware!