Toshiba - Denial of Warranty for both 2-Year Standard + 2-Year Accidental Policies
July 31, 2012
RE: Notebook model E305-S1990
Unit Purchased on: May 16 of 2011
LCD Screen failure occurred on: June of 2012
System included 2-yr warranty: In Warranty until May of 2013
Additional "˜SystemGuard" 2-yr Accidental Warranty purchased 2 days from notebook purchase date, later was denieddue to "sales associate's providing us with the wrong plan", but keptthe money for over a year. Never appeared on system profile!
Case Housing Initial fatigue: Started to manifest by beginning of 2012
Toshiba of America9740 Irvine Blvd.Irvine, CA 92618
In trying to service the LCD screen from seemingly a slice on the right side whereby the display has an internal line with a dark black toner-like color is in the center and several rainbow colors surrounding the rest of that part of the LCD screen.
This was not expected to happen since nothing in the LCD area would indicate that the notebook was in anyway subjected to any physical damage or misuse. We immediately contacted Toshiba technical support to describe this issue and proceed with the process to have the notebook repaired.
The only other issue that was not clear is that a few weeks prior to this, we had to contact Toshiba because the battery was excessively overheating and not charging. Because of that, we needed a new battery before the notebook would charge. So Toshiba had sent us the battery to replace the one that had quit charging. However, upon receiving the new battery and within the initial day of using the new battery, the screen issue just happens to appear. We all thought how strange that within a period of 24 hours, the LCD decides to display this rather strange line with rainbow colors and a black toner-like line that crosses the right side of the screen
My daughter contacts Toshiba to report this issue and Toshiba starts the process to ship her notebook in order to be repaired. A shipping box arrives and the notebook is placed inside and shipped to Toshiba repair center. A couple of weeks go by, so my daughter decides to contact Toshiba to get an update on the repair status. She talks to a manger who informs her that her unit is readying to be shipped back to her and that this is likely to happen within the next day or two, however, because of the time for it to ship, it was not to arrive before the 6th of July which is a couple of days too late since we would not be at home and are not to be around in the country for two more weeks until the twentieth. So my daughter tells the manager to hold off the delivery until then.
Upon our return from vacation, we discover that the notebook had been delivered some two weeks too early. Luckily, our stepson was at the time present when UPS was making the drop. Regardless of how we thought as inappropriate for Toshiba to have ignored our request, we were glad that somehow it had made it safe and now our daughter will be able to use her repaired notebook.
Upon opening the box and immediately when the notebook was turned on, we just realized that Toshiba did nothing to repair the notebook and just sent it back in the same condition, un-repaired. We were very upset since the manager who had talked to my daughter, just a few days prior to shipping, had mentioned nothing of interest to her. All what we heard is that the notebook is just few days from it being fixed so it can be shipped back to us.
We called on the weekend and were given that the LCD was not repairable due to it being "damaged". Toshiba cannot repair "damaged" LCDs. I was not able to talk to anyone of significance and was given a case number and need to wait until Monday morning.
On Monday morning I call the number provided to me by the Toshiba support center and wait for the Case Manager to get on-line so we can discuss the reason why my daughter's notebook was not repaired. A case manager proceeds to tell me that the notebook was returned to us because when Toshiba had asked my daughter to pay $320 to repair, she never replied back and that's why the unit had been shipped back in an unrepaired state. I ask the case manager if they were certain that my daughter was aware of this, she said that they had called and informed her of this issue. I turned to my daughter to ask, and my daughter confirms to me that she never did receive such a call and that all what she knows is that they were only a few days from finishing the repair and shipping the notebook.
Again, I tell the case manager that nobody had called us regarding this issue. The case manager stated similar to "either way, if you wanted the unit repaired it will be at a cost of $320". Asked the case manager of how is it that the warranty does not cover this issue. She said that any damage of an LCD it would be not covered by Toshiba. Inquired from her of the meaning of the damage, she proceeded to tell me that they will never warranty any LCD repairs and that the LCD is not part of any warranty coverage. Again I referred her to the warranty documentation that came with the notebook, she said regardless what the warranty document states, Toshiba had multiples of warranty documentation but the main thing is that they never cover a "damaged" LCD. Then she proceeded to suggest that the unit must have been abused by my daughter and I would not know whether she had subjected the notebook to misuse. She mentioned that a physical damage is evident by pointing to the power supply port on the side of the notebook case and that has been documented as reason to believe that the notebook had been "damaged" and an indication of careless use. This was why the LCD screen was "damaged".
I repeated to the case manger that where she is pointing is a very isolated section of the notebook case. The power cord goes into the power port and is a very limited wear and tear issue. I asked her to provide me with any physical damage that appears anywhere on or by the screen area. The case manager kept on repeating that the repair depot people have determined that that was a cracked screen and that's it nothing can be changed about that. Was not getting anywhere with this case manager. I was getting very annoyed by the fact I was talking to someone who was going to make a decision that was more from a business rather than a factual standpoint.
Decided to call back and requested to talk to another case manager, another case manager came on and I explained my frustrations of needing to talk to someone who is more technical and not just a business individual. She explained to me that based on the repair depot, the notebook would not be covered. Again, asked her to refer me to a section with the warranty documentation where it is stated that Toshiba would not repair any "damaged" LCD. This case manager said that's very easy. The real issue is physical damage to the LCD is evident and that alone will deny us repairing it under the warranty terms. Again, I asked her to explain where the physical damage to the LCD was. She proceeded to send me photos of what the repair depot had sent her. Once more, I asked her, does she know of any actual physical damage and she kept on referring to the images. I informed her that there is no physical damage to anywhere on the LCD no scratches, no dents, no marks no scuffs. Additionally, the outside cover to the LCD panel has no physical damage either. No Scuffs no scratches no dents nothing of the sort.
Only issue they are referring to is where the power port is on the bottom housing case, due to the power cord's connector pressure, there is a crack that had formed. This is also known as wear and tear because the connector is always going to be applying force at that point, especially when the notebook battery was failing to charge. Most likely, the design and fabrication were not well conceived and that's why the structural integrity of that particular point is failing. Wear and Tear is not the same as abuse or misuse. Again this is a very isolated section within the housing case. Not anywhere near the screen.
Once more, I informed the case manager that the screen damage is internal and it is very unethical for Toshiba to swindle the consumer out of his/her warranty coverage. Again, she referred me to the screen shots. Very annoyed by the situation, I expressed my frustration of needing to be talking with someone who has technical knowledge rather than being referred to someone else's determination.
In my opinion, this is a ploy to deny coverage to consumers who are legitimately covered under the terms of the warranty. The real reason the screen did get "damaged" is related to the old battery overheating/new battery that was sent to us. How coincidentally that within 24 hours of installing the new battery, the LCD screen decides to show that internal defect and it was not a simple defect. The pictures show the seriousness of the internal failure within the LCD.
In my entire professional life and as a consumer as well, I have yet to witness any more incompetence in how a technical issue was mishandled. In my opinion over the time in between when the battery started exhibiting the issue of not taking in any charge and overheating from 3-4 months earlier. At that time Toshiba support did a little maneuver where they were able to partially restore the battery to at least take in some charge. However, after a while it was evident that that fix had only done a partial repair and later on, and because of the constant overheating, it became clear to us that this issue will require a serious solution. So we contacted Toshiba to let them know that their attempt to fix the issue did not restore the battery to a state whereby the charge was being retained nor was it actually charging to the point where you always needed to keep the power cord connected at all times in order for the power to operate the notebook.
Now, there was no reason that the screen would malfunction because of a battery not retaining its charge, but perhaps, when the battery would not take in the charge, the power supply was somehow heating up the notebook and as a result it manifested into eventually causing an internal failure to the LCD liquid. Or maybe the new battery somehow caused this issue.
As to the power supply port, I have witnessed similar failures on other notebooks which I have used in the past and it is normally related to inferior fabrication or material used in the manufacturing of a notebook. However, regardless of how defective the power supply port on these notebooks, all of the other notebooks were operable for years after this sort of defect had manifested and none had any issues pertaining to the failure of the screen.
Also, all corners, 4 for the LCD lid as well as the 4 other corners in which the notebook housing is located, the notebook base, show no scratches nor any blemishes nor any dents or marks whatsoever.
So how is it that these case managers proclaim that the notebook has been physically damaged? Again, no body denies that the screen has been internally damaged. But how can you determine that such damage was as a result of physical abuse when all outside screen material still is as clean and as intact as if it were brand new? This lets me conclude that the damage, internal to the screen must have been caused by something other than an external impact.
For Toshiba to insinuate that it must have been an impact from a drop of some sort or an improper handling of the notebook that have caused this, is as ludicrous as it gets. Again, no physical evidence is there to support such a theory. But the only sure thing about this is that Toshiba was making a determination in honoring their warranty coverage by its drive to make an expensive notebook failure the ownership of its customer and save Toshiba a bundle of money in denying a legitimate claim from being repaired under the warranty terms.
In addition to the standard 2-year warranty, we had paid for SystemGuard accidental 2-yr warranty only to be told that the sales associate sold us the wrong plan? Somehow whoever does the accounting has forgotten to link the money paid to the warranty. So after collecting the warranty cost from over a year ago, rather than fix the notebook, they have decided to refund their cost to us. This was ONLY AFTER we vigorously provided proof of having purchased this plan. It never was linked to my daughter's profile. I wondered how that was possible for their associate to assign the wrong plan. Even when a consumer tries to purchase an extended accidental plan, there are two pieces of information that need to be entered, namely the Part Number and the Serial Number. So how is it possible for their associate to pull the wrong plan? And why is it that there was no plan associated to the notebook, since the serial number is the very piece of information that you need to input in order to search for the qualifying plans.
Early on yesterday, I contacted Service Net to inquire as to the status of the order from 5/18/2011. They were not able to help me without contacting Toshiba Customer Relations. Spoke with Jesse with Toshiba customer relations. Says he was the only Jesse in his department. Jesse proceeded to tell me that unless the notebook serial number is showing on the accidental policy, nothing will get done about the repair to the notebook. He then resumed telling me that there is no way for him to know whether this notebook had any association to the policy purchased. He wanted me to prove to him that the policy purchased was actually for my daughter's notebook and not some other Toshiba product that we own. I informed him that this policy was purchased only 2 days after the purchase of the notebook and that besides a Toshiba TV which we have owned since 1997-1998, this was the ONLY other Toshiba product that we have purchased. He was very rude and abrasive. He was implying that we were trying to defraud Toshiba. So I decided to end my call with him
Later on yesterday, I contacted Marie at the Direct Sales Department and inquired as to the reason plan WSNPEGP2D was not valid for my daughter's notebook. Marie stated that the reason was that our notebook came with a limited 2-year plan and that the plan that the Toshiba direct sales associate had entered was for ONLY notebooks that came with a one year limited warranty. She then provided me with the plan WSNPFGP2V as the one that should have been assigned to the notebook. Again, asked her that does it make sense that the consumer be responsible for an error that was committed by their associate? Again, no answer other than that they have decided to resolve this matter by refunding us the money paid to purchase the 2-year accidental plan. She said that she will email me the URL to reference the warranty details.
Today, I called back Marie at 800-319-0920 to let her know that no email was received by either me or my daughter regarding the accidental plan details. Spoke with Trish who said that she is going to hand deliver my message to Marie. I just received the email from Marie. Within the message listed the URL for two different plans. One shows the "correct" plan and the other references the one that they have selected for us. I informed Marie that if you entered the notebook information, the System Guard will still require that the unit be with "at least" a one year term. It does not show that the plan is only for notebooks with a one year standard warranty. This tells me that sales department of Toshiba still has not fixed the mistake. Or possibly, there is no such mistake and they are attempting to avoid honoring the repair on the notebook.
Continued to ask of Marie why is it the consumer at fault when this plan was selected by their own sales representative? Also, how is it that the product profile does not reference this so-called accidental policy. No straight answer, but she admitted that it is a mistake that was done on their end. But nothing can they do since the decision was to refund the money.
It only makes great business sense to conceal from my daughter all means of qualifying to repair as well as the cost already received by Toshiba that should have qualified her notebook to be covered, regardless of how accidental the "supposed damage" would have been. After all, the cost to repair the notebook is more than the cost to buy the accidental, "SAFEGUARD" policy. All SafeGuard policy holders, watch out?
It is preposterous, as it is disingenuous, to see a company resort to maneuvers and tactics that further tarnish its reputation. This is a consumer who had purchased a product with two valid warranty policies, but was denied to use either of the policies to protect herself from hardware or accidental failures.
When a consumer is denied the protection of not just one, but two warranty policies under which s/he should have been protected; there are multitude of reasons for people to be highly skeptical of Toshiba.
Similar issues would have been immediately accounted for by other reputable notebook companies, but not Toshiba. Evidently, when it's time to take care of hardware failure, Toshiba's warranties or words are meaningless.
This will be the last time that I will purchase a Toshiba product, ever.
Log above does not reference all attempts made to be in contact with Toshiba Tech Support, Direct Sales as well as Customer Relations departments.