My Toshiba Laptop is back in the shop…

For the fifth time, today, I dropped my Toshiba laptop off again at Best Buy for repairs. This time however, I dropped it off at their location in Ontario, instead of Rancho Cucamonga, where I originally purchased it. The team from Rancho Cucamonga, from the technicians working behind the counter at the Geek Squad area, to the manager of Geek Squad (for that particular store), and another manager from that location did not seem to care nor did they try very hard to help me get these errors fixed. Having dropped it off at the Ontario store gave me a better piece of mind because the gentleman I left it with seemed pretty knowledgeable and was actually listening to everything I had to say in regards to everything going wrong with the computer. I was currently at the point of filing a small claims lawsuit against Toshiba and Best Buy, however figured, it would be in my best interest to try again for help. I figure if I try several times and give them the opportunity at fixing it, my case would look better in front of a judge. The only thing I am looking to get out of this is a FULL REFUND so that I can purchase another laptop elsewhere.

I purchased a Satellite A505 laptop and when I first started using it, I started noticing error messages with the video drivers. Having some computer experience, I thought it wasn’t too big of a deal and let it go for a few weeks. I returned it to the store in Rancho Cucamonga, where I purchased it, and they took a look at it. Even though I paid an extra $279.99 for their “Black Tie Service Protection” the gentleman told me that he could re-install the operating system and that should fix the driver problem for $159.99. I told him that I would re-install everything myself as I have knowledge in doing that. I completed that tedious process, and for whatever reason that seemed to make the problem worse.

The computer started blue screening on me; there was an obvious problem with the operating system. I took the computer back to Rancho Cucamonga and they asked me to re-install the operating system. I told them before I do; I want full diagnostic testing on the computer to make sure that the hardware was okay. Re-installing an operating system is fairly easy; however, it takes a long time. The whole re-install process can take up to a few hours to complete and this would be the second time I would have to do it on a computer less than three months old.

The computer returned back from diagnostics with no problems. All the hardware, according to them, checked out okay. I was still experiencing errors with the computer and it continued to “blue screen”. I returned to the Rancho Cucamonga store again to inform them of my continued problems. This time they recommended that I sent out the unit to their repair center so that it can be looked at thoroughly and any issues found can be resolved. Roughly, after about a week, I received the computer back.

When I picked it up from the store, the young lady that helped me told me they couldn’t find the problem and that everything was okay with the computer. This could be further from the truth. When I came home, it appeared that they had done nothing to it. I didn’t even re-install the software as everything on it was still there. I called Toshiba and voiced my concern about their product. Toshiba was shocked that I would even take it to Best Buy for repair and told me considering it was still under the manufacturer’s warranty; I should have contacted them from the beginning. I explained that since I believed Best Buy had computer technicians, and that I paid an extra amount of money for their warranty service, I didn’t think it would get this far. I explained to the technician at Toshiba that I would send it in for repair, but it needs to be fixed. At this point, using my computer experience, I thought that probably during the manufacturing process, a bad copy of Windows Professional 7 was installed. If this was the case, no matter how many times I re-installed it, the problem would never get fixed because it resides on the hard drive and keeps accessing itself every time it’s reinstalled. The Toshiba technician recommended that I send it in for them to check it out and that he would make note of my concern as it related to Windows. The computer was about 4 months old now, and it seemed like it was in the shop more than in my possession. They assured me the problem would be resolved, so I sent it in.

Toshiba’s diagnostics, as they say, showed that the computer had a bad hard drive. They replaced the hard drive and re-installed the operating system. From the day it I received it, the problems weren’t resolved, in fact now, we had new problems.

Whenever the computer was booted up and you were at your desktop, an error message would pop up saying “the hard drive needed to be checked for errors”. This message normally occurs when you shut off or unplug your computer without allowing Windows the opportunity to properly shut itself down. I contacted Toshiba, once again, and explained my situation and now my frustration. We have three other computers in the house, one desktop, and two other laptops, and none of them have given us any problems. The only difference between those computers and mine is the manufacturer. Toshiba wanted me to return my computer to them once again. I explained that I am a student and rely heavily on my computer as I use it in class daily and I felt it was time to replace it. I had run around too much already, to Best Buy, as well as taking it to UPS for shipping and my patience was gone. I explained the computer is new, as far as I am concerned, and that with all of the problems I have had with it in such a short time I thought that would be the only way to resolve this issue and allow me the opportunity to have a laptop that perhaps worked. The case manager I talked to said that she could do nothing more than have me send it back in, so I decided to run to my local courthouse to get the forms I needed to file a small claims lawsuit.

While doing some research on Toshiba and Best Buy so that I would have the correct information for the court, I attempted once again to contact Best Buy in Rancho Cucamonga for assistance. On July 15, 2010, I spoke with a female manager who requested I give them another chance to make any repairs or they would replace it, before I filed any paperwork with the court. She said once I file paperwork with the court, it would be up to corporate to help me with this and it would be out of her hands. I agreed to this because going to court isn’t my priority. My priority is to just get what a paid for, a computer that works WITHOUT error messages. She passed my call to the Geek Squad manager who stated he will personally take a look at my computer and he would make sure it is sent out with a priority status. I explained to him that I needed my computer for school and I would only allow it to be sent out again if it could be returned before I returned to school on August 16, 2010.

On July 29, 2010, I took the computer into the Rancho Cucamonga store and spoke with the same female manager I spoke with on the phone on July 15. She had a different attitude this time, very different. She and I went over to the Geek Squad area, and a technician (the same technician I had seen on a previous visit), checked it out again. In the presence, I showed the technician all the errors that were happening on the computer. The technician recommended re-installing the software, the same thing they started recommending from the beginning. I told him do whatever he felt was necessary to get it fixed, just please, get it fixed. The manager stated she would also have it sent out, if the technician couldn’t fix it. I told her that was fine however my computer MUST be returned by the time school starts on August 16, 2010. She said there was no way she could guarantee this. Unlike what the Geek Squad manager told me on July 15, 2010, she said she couldn’t have the computer marked as a priority and that it would take as long as they felt necessary to fix the computer. I recently heard some stories from people having repairs at Best Buy taking up to five months and this to me, is totally unacceptable. The female manager said there is nothing further she could do to help me then and told me to follow through with the court system.

As I said before, I feel my case would look much better to a judge if I made an effort to get it fixed. I had to run to Best Buy in Ontario to pick up my car stereo that failed to work after having it two months. They had to replace the BT module and it took them 4 weeks to do that. I figured since I was going that way, I would tell them about my situation and find out if there was anything they could do to help me. The gentleman that helped me in Ontario seemed not only very knowledgeable, but also seemed genuinely interested in helping me. After checking out some of the settings, and seeing the errors I have been experiencing, he asked that I leave it with him so that he can perform full diagnostics on it. I agreed.

We will see what happens from this point on. I am trying to keep with a positive attitude that he, or the staff in Ontario, can help me out instead of pushing me aside as the staff in Rancho Cucamonga did. I will post the ending to this story once I get to the end. If you have had similar problems with Best Buy, or Toshiba, I’d like to hear about it. Until I get this resolved, I would recommend against anyone purchasing a Toshiba or anything from Best Buy. If you’ve never experienced a problem with either company, I am happy for you as it really isn’t much fun experiencing what I am at this time.

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