Monday, October 27, 2008
don't buy toshiba laptops
About 3 and a half years ago, while I was still studying in the UK, my laptop got stolen and I was forced to buy another one while over there. Being a poor student and stuff, I settled on a Toshiba laptop that was on a discounted price at PC World, even though the online reviews mentioned that that laptop was prone to cooling problems as it got older.
For the last 6 months or so, I have had frequent problems with overheating and the laptop would frequently auto-shutdown. I took it apart, cleaned the insides the best I could and fixed it back, but the problem still persisted and got worse and worse. I meant to get it fixed, but I never really had the time since I was stuck in Hicktown and all. As of recently, the laptop was even able to overheat even though I used it in an air-conditioned room and with a cooling mat.
Last week, I finally got down to sending it to the local Toshiba service centre to get it fixed since I was in KL for a couple of weeks. I checked it in in the morning and also asked for a quotation for a new battery since the current one is completely kaput and I can no longer run the laptop on batteries. I got the call the next morning saying that the laptop was ready for collection. The technician proceeded to explain somethings to me, but since I was driving, I cut him short and said I would pick it up the next day and he could explain the problem to me.
My conversation with the technician roughly as follows:
"Sir, we found the internal parts dirty so we cleaned it for you already"
"Yes, I know it was dirty, I already cleaned it myself before. Did you change the cooling fan or the heat sink?"
"Er, no we don't have the spare parts. But we tested the laptop the whole day left it running, it didn't overheat"
"You tested it in an air-cond room, correct?"
"Should be okay sir, we cleaned the heat sink already"
"Fine. What about the new battery? How much?"
"Sir, we cannot replace a battery because we don't have spare parts."
"Can you order it?"
"Cannot, sir. Because you bought this laptop in UK and we have an agreement we cannot sell the parts for them."
"I don't understand this. It's a Toshiba laptop. You are Toshiba. Why can't you order from UK?"
"Cannot, sir. It's agreement. Like that one."
"So, what do I do now?"
"Er, cannot do anything sir."
"What?!? Look, I don't care if you charge me a bomb for it. My laptop works fine. I just want a battery so I can bring it around. If you have to order from the UK and charge me 500 bucks for it, I don't mind paying."
"But sir, I told you, we cannot do that. We cannot order parts internationally. It's like that everywhere. If you buy from Malaysia and go to Saudi Arabia, the branch over there cannot order parts"
This is where I get annoyed and start raising my voice, and people around me start looking....
"So, you are telling me that if I want to buy a laptop today, and I get a job in UK or Dubai or whereever, I shouldn't buy a Toshiba laptop because I can't get after sales support?"
"Oh, that one different. We can help you claim international warranty"
"Okay, and after your ONE YEAR warranty period is over and it breaks down, I can't get spare parts?"
"Oh, cannot sir"
"Look, my laptop is no longer a laptop. It's a desktop now you know. I have to use it in an aircond room otherwise it overheats. I can't use it while watching TV because the battery is dead, and you can't do anything about it. So why on Earth should I buy a Toshiba laptop anyway?"
"If you tell me that repairing it costs a bomb because you have to order parts from overseas, I understand, but at least then I have the option of either repairing it or buying a new one. So, go tell your management that they have a ridiculous policy, and that I will do everything in my power to make sure everybody I know doesn't buy one of your laptops anymore"
And so, this is where I am. I don't know if any other supposedly international brands practice such a dumb policy, so if you know of any, please let me know since I am looking to buy a new laptop sometime in the next few months. No matter how good a product you have, it counts for ballocks if your after sales service is piss poor. Good for Toshiba, they sold me a product once, but I guarantee I'll never buy another product from them again.
In the meantime, spread the word, especially to people who are going overseas to study or work. Loads of students going overseas purchase their laptops here and bring it with them when they go abroad. After the one year warranty period ends, you are a sitting duck because if anything breaks down, you can't repair it, no matter how much you are willing to pay.
Can run Windows if you really need to.
Lenovo - 12.5" ThinkPad Notebook - 4 GB Memory - 500 GB Hard Drive - Black
Lenovo - 13.3" ThinkPad Notebook - 4 GB Memory and 128 GB Solid State Drive - Black