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Old 03-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #1
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Computer Repairs - are my expectations too high?

I'd just like some general advice from others who have had warranty repairs done on their computers. Until now, I don't think I've ever had a problem with a computer while it's been under warranty. Here's the deal:

My daughter got a new Toshiba Satellite before heading off to university last Sept. In January, several keys on the keyboard suddenly stopped working. I called Toshiba for her, and they were very easy to deal with. I was given the name of a place to take it in the city where she attends school. I called the repair place, explained the situation to the guy, how uni students NEED their computers, and asked if there was a way to minimize the time it was away from her. He said to bring it in, he'd diagnose then let her take it with her, order the part, call her when it came in, and he'd replace it while she waited. That's what ended up happening, and it was awesome for her.

This time, it went on her again a week and a half ago. I called Toshiba again and they gave me the number of a different place to take it. The first place had gone out of business a few weeks before. The new place is an IT company that deals mainly with corporate clients. I called there, explained the situation to the guy, and asked if he'd be willing to do what the first place did. He replied absolutely not, that the computer would need to be left there.

So, the computer has been there for nearly a week and a half now. It was taken in on a Tuesday, and by Thursday, both the motherboard and the keyboard had been ordered and replaced. However, on that day, a logic board (or logic board cover - I've been told both) was also ordered, so the tech must have found something else wrong with it. So now, it's a week later, and the part still isn't in yet. I've been calling for her daily to check on the status. The calls keep being redirected to a national service line for the company, which is really frustrating. All they can tell me is that the part isn't in - they can't tell me if it's in transit, if it's back-ordered, or what the deal is with it.

Once during this time, I've even called Toshiba back to express my frustration with this new place that is now handling their warranty work. It's obvious that they're used to dealing with companies who, when they have one computer out of commission, it's not a big deal to them. Toshiba were sympathetic, and said they'd get in touch with them for me, but all they said when I returned the call is that the part is on order.

Is this common? Have I just been lucky till now with the speed of repairs? Are there any other steps I can take?

The crazy part of all of this is that she's in a city with two major universities and one community college, so there are about 40,000+ students living in the area. They must be aware that students need their computers back as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
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Sounds a little long, both in my experience with customer service and BEING customer service. We use mostly Lenovo and Apple laptops on campus. If we are ordering a part from Lenovo, it takes 3 business days tops, but it's usually here the next day if we order it before noon. If we need an Apple part, we go to the Apple store and get it. We don't use any Toshiba equipment so I'm not sure how that works. The catch is that we have a stock of "loaner" equipment so a faculty/staff member never really goes without a computer, they just might not have their computer. So, we can take as long as we want if the workload piles up. Technically our users are not supposed to be saving their files on our computers, so they can't complain if we hand them an identical model and hold onto theirs for a week.

My personal computers have been HPs. When I have a hardware problem, they send me a box with pre-paid shipping. I call FedEx and have them pick it up or I drop it off. It goes to the FedEx hub, where the computer is repaired in the FexEd warehouse. I understand many of the larger computer manufacturers do this, they have service stations AT FedEx. Last repair I had done, I dropped off my box at FedEx on a Wed. night and on Friday morning I had my laptop back.

Now that was going through the manufacturer, HP. I never dealt with any store or had to bring the computers anywhere. I bought the computer through CompUSA which is now TigerDirect, but their store had closed so I chose to deal with HP instead.

I do all of the diagnosis and repair for student laptops at our college. My current turn around time is five business days, though I can usually get it done sooner, but I never know whether I'm going to have 3 computers or 10 so I tell everyone "Five business days" and if it's faster, great. I don't like to give people the wrong impression. I am providing a free service (we only charge students for virus repairs) and if they don't like the turn around time, they can go to Geek Squad and pay them big bucks.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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Thanks, Lies.

I'm in SW Ontario, and was told by the original tech guy from the IT company that orders for parts are made to Toshiba in Toronto. If they order them by 4 pm, it could be in the next day if the part is readily available, which turned out to be the case for the motherboard and keyboard. If it's not in the next day, it could be in within a 3 - 5 day window. Worst case scenario is, it could be weeks.

It just seems crazy to me that they can't give me a window in which I can expect the part to be in, when virtually anything you order online, you can immediately access the status of the item, or the shipping/tracking information. Very frustrating. And, in the next few weeks, she has some pretty major work that needs to be done.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:01 PM   #4
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Honestly, if a comp already had a hardware repair and now was needing a new cover and motherboard...if I were Toshiba I'd just give her a new one. One more time and it's a lemon anyway....and being a Toshiba something will likely go wrong, she will get a new one.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:21 PM   #5
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Do all computer manufacturers have a lemon policy?

I'm not sure if this would count as being two incidents. I'm assuming that the first repair just wasn't done properly, that it wasn't fixed by replacing the keyboard the first time because the problem was actually within the motherboard to begin with.

You said you use all HP products. Coincidentally, she got an HP laptop in the first place but returned it and got the Toshiba because there was something about the HP that she didn't like. I can't remember what it was, though. And she's told me that since her computer's been in this time, three of her friends have Toshibas that have broken down, too.

If I can't get any answer tomorrow from the repair place beyond "it's not in yet," I'm going to call Toshiba and raise hell.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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I'm not sure about the manufacturers, but the stores I buy from do (Best Buy, CompUSA...). I usually get a three year extended warranty from the store, but if anything happens in the first year I deal with the manufacturer b/c it's faster.

Yep, I use HPs for my personal computers. I've dealt with their tech support many times and never had problems that weren't my fault.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:26 PM   #7
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I know from past experience that Toshiba's lemon policy was (at the time, about 5 yrs ago) that if you have a substantial repair on the same unit 3 times, they will replace it with a comparable model.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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I've been on the phone for 3 hours straight trying to get this sorted out.

Called the place that has the computer first. Well, their national service call centre. After calling daily for a week and being told that the part has been ordered but is not in yet, I was informed today that the final part hasn't been ordered, and that there appears to be a $34 charge they've been waiting to get an okay on before they order it.

Long story short, after many calls to both Toshiba and the computer place, they're claiming that when the first repair was done in January (by an authorized Toshiba service place, Toshiba told me to take the computer there), they screwed the screws in too tightly and cracked the case, and Toshiba is not liable for it, I am.

I am beyond livid.

I told the Toshiba customer service supervisor that the bottom line is, I'm NOT paying for it, and he referred it to their customer relations center, and said I would get a call from them on the next business day. Given that tomorrow's a holiday here, that won't be till Monday.

DO NOT buy Toshiba products. They suck. This whole thing has been a nightmare.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:49 PM   #9
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Damn......screwed the screws so tight the case cracked? Who does that?!
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk

Long story short, after many calls to both Toshiba and the computer place, they're claiming that when the first repair was done in January (by an authorized Toshiba service place, Toshiba told me to take the computer there), they screwed the screws in too tightly and cracked the case, and Toshiba is not liable for it, I am.

I am beyond livid.

I told the Toshiba customer service supervisor that the bottom line is, I'm NOT paying for it, and he referred it to their customer relations center, and said I would get a call from them on the next business day. Given that tomorrow's a holiday here, that won't be till Monday.

DO NOT buy Toshiba products. They suck. This whole thing has been a nightmare.
Yeah cause you screwed the screws too tight, so its your fault. Sounds lke they're trying to get out of fixing it. You took it to the recommended shop as your were told and THEY mucked the computer up. Idiots.

I don't blame you for refusing to pay, I wouldn't either. I hope you get them sorted out and sarah gets her computer back soon.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:09 PM   #11
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I waited till 4:30 yesterday for a call from Toshiba's customer relations before I finally called myself. Unfortunately, you have to appeal to a Customer Service agent to get them to connect you, which is a pain the the ass, but I was persistent, and told the agent I'd wait till someone was available.

When Customer Relations finally got on the phone, the woman said she'd been looking over my case, and that they would be sending in a request to Toshiba to make an exemption in the no covering damages policy. I said to her "you're aware that we didn't cause the damage, right?" and she was fully aware that the previous service center had caused it, and agreed that Toshiba should cover it. There was no discussion, no debate, no argument, just "of course, don't worry about it, we'll have it fixed for you." She also said that she had flagged my case as high priority. She said that as soon as she got off the phone with me, she would have someone contact the current repair center, find out the part number, order it, and get right back to me to let me know how long it would be. By the time we got off the phone it was after 5, so I knew nothing could be done yesterday. First thing this morning though, a man from Toshiba called me back to let me know that it had been ordered, and it's in stock, so the repair place will have it tomorrow morning. He also gave me his name and phone number with a direct extension to him in case I need to call back for anything.

It was so easy once I was talking to the correct department. So, why the hell did I have to argue with customer service for hours and hours the other day? If they wanted to make the process easier for customers, why make us jump through fucking hoops and talk to useless people who have no authority?

Ugh. Seriously, they have not done enough to redeem themselves to make me want to purchase another of their products. Sadly though, I've been researching online since all this came up, and virtually every computer/home electronics company has a plethora of customer service nightmare scenarios, and they ALL have astoundingly high breakdown - repair rates.

Now, I just hope that the repair place can get its shit together and do the repair promptly tomorrow when the part comes in. Once we have the computer back, I'm going to be making a call to their head office to let them know how displeased I am that we were left hanging for over a week thinking that the part was on its way.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
I waited till 4:30 yesterday for a call from Toshiba's customer relations before I finally called myself. Unfortunately, you have to appeal to a Customer Service agent to get them to connect you, which is a pain the the ass, but I was persistent, and told the agent I'd wait till someone was available.

When Customer Relations finally got on the phone, the woman said she'd been looking over my case, and that they would be sending in a request to Toshiba to make an exemption in the no covering damages policy. I said to her "you're aware that we didn't cause the damage, right?" and she was fully aware that the previous service center had caused it, and agreed that Toshiba should cover it. There was no discussion, no debate, no argument, just "of course, don't worry about it, we'll have it fixed for you." She also said that she had flagged my case as high priority. She said that as soon as she got off the phone with me, she would have someone contact the current repair center, find out the part number, order it, and get right back to me to let me know how long it would be. By the time we got off the phone it was after 5, so I knew nothing could be done yesterday. First thing this morning though, a man from Toshiba called me back to let me know that it had been ordered, and it's in stock, so the repair place will have it tomorrow morning. He also gave me his name and phone number with a direct extension to him in case I need to call back for anything.

It was so easy once I was talking to the correct department. So, why the hell did I have to argue with customer service for hours and hours the other day? If they wanted to make the process easier for customers, why make us jump through fucking hoops and talk to useless people who have no authority?

Ugh. Seriously, they have not done enough to redeem themselves to make me want to purchase another of their products. Sadly though, I've been researching online since all this came up, and virtually every computer/home electronics company has a plethora of customer service nightmare scenarios, and they ALL have astoundingly high breakdown - repair rates.

Now, I just hope that the repair place can get its shit together and do the repair promptly tomorrow when the part comes in. Once we have the computer back, I'm going to be making a call to their head office to let them know how displeased I am that we were left hanging for over a week thinking that the part was on its way.
I'm glad you've made some progress with them and they finally admitted the damage isn't your fault. Fingers crossed about the part coming tommorow then sarah can have her computer back.

I agree with you, what was the point of going through to customer service when they were no help at all. You should have an option maybe to be put through to customer relations when you first call, would have made things a bit easier for you.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:01 PM   #13
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I find that if you are getting nowhere or the runaround, ask for a supervisor.

Sorry you've been having so much trouble VP
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:14 AM   #14
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Thanks Jem, Lila. Hopefully there's light at the end of the tunnel, and she should have the computer back late Wed, or sometime Thurs, at the latest.

Lila, I'm not sure if this is the case with all companies or if it's unique to Toshiba, but the problem is, you have to work your way along the chain of command before they'll deem you worthy to speak to someone who can actually help you, and you have to fight tooth and nail every step of the way to go on to the next step. It's nuts. The first person you speak to is the Customer Service Agent. I spoke to several of them over the past few weeks. When I finally told one I wanted to speak to a supervisor, she refused, saying that a supervisor would only tell me the same thing. I literally argued before she would put me through to a Customer Service Supervisor. Then, I discussed/argued with him for well over half an hour, and demanded to be put in touch with someone higher up. That's when I was forwarded to Customer Relations, whose role it is to settle disputes. They're the people who can actually resolve things for you, but you have to jump through hoops before you can speak to them. I had the same experience with Toshiba a while back regarding a DVD recorder I had purchased from them. I can't believe that they would risk customer goodwill for the sake of a $34 part. It's nuts.

Speaking of shoddy merchandise, I've had my fill of it lately. On the weekend, a console humidifier that I run during the winter when it's dry literally caught on fire! Thank goodness we were right there, I shudder to think what would have happened if we weren't. Admittedly, it was old, but still, it had worked well up till then, and you certainly don't expect household appliances to end their lifespans by going out in flames.

Also, the cell phone I just bought in September stopped working today! Thankfully, I called the store today, and it sounds like getting it repaired will be a much easier process than the computer was, plus, they'll provide me with a replacement while it's being fixed.

For fucks sake, is ANYTHING built to last more than a few months before crapping out?
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:43 AM   #15
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I feel your pain, I do. I remember when I was a kid and you had a TV that would last 20+ years, no problem. Or appliances... anything. Nowadays it seems they make things NOT to last so that you consume more

And no, I don't think your problem is exclusive to Toshiba. It's just the way of the world these days, unfortunately. I think the "reps" are trained in very basic stuff, and are probably told to try & resolve without going to a supervisor, but without giving in either You pretty much have to be relentless & vigilant and demand proper service (and state that you aren't hanging up til the problem is resolved). What ever happened to "do unto others..."

I had a problem with my router recently where it apparently had died or was dying a slow painful death (for me). Trying to get someone on the phone that actually spoke in English without an accent (no offense) is always a challenge, especially when you are pissed & frustrated. That's really the last thing you want (again, no offense). I was on the phone for about 2 hours on a 3-way call. Two of us knew going in that the problem was probably the router, but Netgear kept on trying to resolve the issue (with me & my ISP). The router was about 7-10 years old, so I could understand (I guess) if it was dead, as they supposedly don't normally last that long.

Just go find the kitties & relax

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