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Toshiba America has recived an "F" rating by the BBB amid customer complaints

Toshiba America Information Systems, Toshiba America’s computer manufacturing company, has received an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The rating comes amid more than 400 customer complaints filed with the BBB against the company. The complaints stem from alleged defective products, failure to honor warranty claims and other issues. Problems related to overheating of Toshiba laptops and slow repair service seems to plague the company while some computers have to be sent back multiple times to correct the issues because the original service did not fix the problems.

Over the last three years the BBB has received a total of 620 complaints against the company of those 22 led to full refunds from Toshiba, 2 received partial refunds, 172 were resolved when Toshiba finally agreed to honor its warranty.  However in 4 more cases Toshiba refused to assist the customer. What is most shocking however is that 406 of those complaints have still not been addressed by Toshiba.

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By ksherman on 7/7/2006 11:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
Is it just me, or do those numbers seem a bit low, considering they ship a lot of laptops and "F" seems a bit harsh...

By Fenixgoon on 7/7/2006 11:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
How many people actually go to the BBB to get their problems solved?

By VIAN on 7/7/2006 11:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've gotten a messed up product. My Toshiba portable DVD player has an issue where if you press a button, it may or may not register. So you may have to press it again. Also, if you press pause while fast-forwarding/rewinding the audio and video go out of sync. The latter is no longer a problem since I figured it out after months of annoyance. But the former is still annoying as hell.

No number is too low if you fall into that group. Companies that sell you defective products should pay you everytime you call tech support.

By andrep74 on 7/7/06, Rating: 0
By Eug on 7/7/2006 3:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
The BBB definitely tries hard.

I sent them a letter once complaining about UPS's policies for cross-border brokerage charges and their advertised rates, and the BBB diligently followed up on it. Some time later, I got UPS calling me to give me a direct explanation.

By jon1003 on 7/7/2006 11:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
You have to consider how many people think or bother going to the BBB. I know some people probably don't even know it exists or what it's for.(Probably most of Toshiba's customers... HO!)

By The Boston Dangler on 7/7/2006 12:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
When you write a cereal company saying "hey this box of cereal was defective" they figure 1 letter = 10000 people that didnt bother. The BBB has a similar number.

Personally, I was about 1 day away from filing a complaint on Toshiba. My new TV developed DVI problems, then died. 2 months, 4 lousy service attempts and much complaining later, Toshiba and Best Buy (I didn't buy the service plan) credited my purchase towards my awesome Panasonic.

Long live HD-DVD!
By Aesir on 7/8/2006 1:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, HD-DVD is gonna rule!

I can't believe some people actually think HD-DVD has a remote chance of beating Blue Ray. With a crap crap crap company like Toshiba as its only (real) supporter, Its amazing they even got the format working.

I've never heard positive praise of a Toshiba product, their junk is progressing ever so slowly to the quality of RCA's.

RE: Long live HD-DVD!
By Webgod on 7/8/2006 2:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, HD-DVD is gonna rule!

I'll say! Just look at how the Blu-Ray launch is as botched as it is... Blu-Ray discs with less extras than the DVD version, and obvious MPEG blocks in some scenes. People are buying the Samsung player for a taste and then going, "eh...I don't like it enough, I'll return it and wait for a better player".

RE: Long live HD-DVD!
By Aesir on 7/8/2006 11:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
People aren't so thrilled with the Toshiba player either... HD formats in general suck right now.

But with an all-star promoter of Toshiba at the helm, I don;t see HD-DVD ever improving. At least Blue Ray has Matsushita.

RE: Long live HD-DVD!
By sxr7171 on 7/11/2006 6:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Toshiba was responsible for how crappy DVD standards were formed. I mean would it have killed them to mandate accurate cadence flags? How hard would that have been? DVD would have been a progressive scan format from the beginning without needing these high powered de-interlacers to work on today's better monitors.

I have never contacted BBB
By IMPoor on 7/7/2006 1:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have had lots of problems with tech products and never contacted the BBB and don't know many people who have. So to me it seems like its a big deal to see that high of a number because most people don't even know its an option to contact BBB.

But this customer service seems to be the biggest problem with companies today. When you do get a hold of somebody you feel like they are reading from a script and it seems you issue is never covered under warranty. Also a one year warranty on a laptop or any tech product is a joke. In your house how many tech products do you have that are over a year old. The sell TVs that should last 10 years but only warranty them for 1 year. Are they using new math?

RE: I have never contacted BBB
By kattanna on 7/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: I have never contacted BBB
By Dog Simple on 7/7/2006 3:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
"HOURS" spent on hold? You're kidding, right? No one spends hours on hold when they can complain online. Next time go to No hold time, no hassle. Fill out the complaint form and get on with your life.

RE: I have never contacted BBB
By kattanna on 7/7/2006 3:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
unfortuneatly my case was not able to be handled online

LOL..oh did i try though

though i was able to also make the complaint using the FTC's website...which made me laugh..

By ascian5 on 7/10/2006 2:36:50 AM , Rating: 2
406 unanswered cased? sounds to me like one more instance of the BBB being utterly useless. why is this organization even around? so people can feel like they have someplace to go? please. if someone ever reported me to the bbb, i'd laugh in their face. what authority do they have? who actually cares about their "grades"?

By JaykeBlayde on 7/11/2006 11:40:19 AM , Rating: 2
Dell has 14,087 complaints in the last 36 months. HP has 2,067! But yet, HP's rating is "Satisfactory" and Dell doesn't have a rating at all, just a big huge list of all the complaints. It just so happens that the BBB in Toshiba's district uses a grade rating system, unlike the BBBs for Dell and HP.



Shame on Daily Tech for practicing this kind of dark journalism without providing comparisons. Do you work for the New York Times?

By mindless1 on 7/12/2006 3:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually any sane consumer does. It's not whether BBB forces a company to comply, rather it is an avenue to research a company before spending enough that it could be considered an investment in their product.

You might laugh in someone's face if they reported you, but then two things might happen:

1) You never realize the business you lost because of the BBB information.

2) You had to have done something to the customer who had reported you, and after than, furthering their insult by laughing in their face, they'd probably go medieval on you. Even a small woman can badly damage a huge guy if he's not ready for it. Nevermind getting weapons involved.

i would not get toshiba
By desiplaya4life on 7/7/2006 7:55:59 PM , Rating: 1
just because. i mean loook at their laptops. its not up to par w/ my stardards. i mean they use desktop pentium4 cpu's and on top their plastic casing is really cheap. i knoow other companies also desktop cpu's but again there on the same boat for tech. i never used a toshiba product so i dont know how their tech service is but alll i know i am never going to purchase a toshiba laptop that is a U.S. product. i do want to add though their heatsink designs are pretty good knowing they were the first one in the market to release a laptop w/ watercooling/heatpipe cooling. i would consider purchasing their tv products and sstuff but again i would look at if there made in japan or china. my toshiba dvd player is already freezing up on me but again i think it might be the firmware upgrade i was trying to do on it that might of failed.

RE: i would not get toshiba
By gdtaylor on 7/7/2006 9:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't touch Toshiba's entry level notebooks but the business oriented Tecra M series and Portege ranges are pretty good. I was at a Toshiba product presentation and a Toshiba consultant admitted that their lower end models are very poor. They cut costs wherever they can with their lower end models and unfortunately it shows. The Tecra and Portege range are aimed at businesses and they are better built and have better support.

RE: i would not get toshiba
By sxr7171 on 7/7/2006 10:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
That's true of almost any manufacturer even Compaq and HP. The business models are far better than the stuff found lying around at Best Buy.

People will complain that they dpn't want to spend the extra money for a Tecra or Portege, but they seldom realize the penny wise, pound-foolishness of doing that if they are going to really use the machine for school or business use.

If you intend to put it on a table top, never carry it around and use e-mail and internet only then fine, buy any old $800 machine at Best Buy. If you are using it to get some real work done and carrying it around then just pony up the extra $500-700 and get a real Portege, Tecra, T-series, X-series or Latitude machine. It will serve you well.

Jury is still out
By GreenEnvt on 7/7/2006 3:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have mixed feelings with Toshiba, though I deal with Toshiba Canada.
I've stopped buying their laptops for the most part, we used to always buy Toshiba's, but quality has been lacking in their laptops for a while now. I purchase Dell ones most of the time, have not had any problems in our office so far.
We still buy Toshiba's because Toshiba Canada gives an international warranty with their laptops, so for our employees who are going to be oversees for long periods of time, we use Toshiba's.

For service, here anyway Toshiba has authorized repair companies, one happens to be 2 blocks from our office, so I just pop in there if we have a problem and they usually have it fixed with a day or so, so I am very happy with that side of it.

Hence the mixed feelings, worried about quality, happy with service when there is a problem.

RE: Jury is still out
By aos007 on 7/10/2006 1:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm also in Canada and have a Toshiba laptop. As you say, service centers are everywhere, you just drop it and pick it up about a week later, fixed (maybe faster if you have some kind of upgraded warranty). My laptop came with 3 year warranty as it's the Portege line. I have nothing but good things to say about the laptop, though I did need to use the warranty twice, once for severely degraded LCD and other for hard drive that died. I do use it daily though, and it's an ultraportable which probably doesn't take kindly to daily use (e.g. it has 1.8" hard disk, and those are as flimsy as they come, I had two die on me already).

Due to my experience, I'd definitely go for another Toshiba next time, making sure I get a 3 year warranty - I cannot emphasise it enough, without such warranty any laptop that is used on a daily basis and has less standard components is a risky investment.

Friends have an HP laptop and they say they'd never buy another. And even Apple has had a lot of problems lately. So I'm sure you might run into problems with any brand out there. So either get a generic laptop and apply a "self warranty" (you can replace faulty components yourself, not too troublesome if it's standard components) or get an extended warranty FROM THE MANUFACTURER. The ability to drop off the laptop and have it fixed in a few days, no questions asked and no issues with parts availability is very important, as I found out.

Bought 5 Toshibas, all had problems
By LukFilm on 7/7/2006 9:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've bought 5 low-end Toshiba laptops for family and friends and ALL had some sort of a problem. I've stopped buying them anymore as their quality really terrible.

By CryptoQuick on 7/8/2006 12:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
Just didn't learn the first time, did ya? You had to go and buy 4 more. :P

Whats going on....
By crystal clear on 7/8/2006 7:07:01 AM , Rating: 2
Red hot Apples,Exploding Dells,Equally bad Toshibas,& what
more of HP or Lenovo etc.
Those Clones from Taiwan are not bad either-except they are
What do we pay for- Brand names or simply safe & good working laptops.

Like somebody asked me "would you be in interested in a
Conroe based laptop-they are good".

RE: Whats going on....
By crystal clear on 7/8/2006 7:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
There is an interesting letter posted in "The Inquirer"
My dell blew up???????

No probs here
By freit5 on 7/8/2006 7:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
Being a laptop reseller I have used almost every brand of laptop out there for months at a time. Toshiba was my first laptop in the early 90's as well as my current machine right now.

I've had approximately 5 Toshiba laptops over the years and never had to call Tech support for any problems at all, I can't say that for Dell, Sony, Compaq/HP and other brands that I've used.

RE: No probs here
By bbomb on 7/9/2006 1:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
Tell the 402 people that Toshiba refuses to deal with that Toshiba is a great company with outstanding customer support.

Toshiba is not the best anymore
By LessTJ on 7/11/2006 3:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
I used to work for Toshiba Tech support. Here is the inside scoop. You would not believe how many defects there are. The A70 has a class action law suit brewing up. Turns out the mother board shorts out due to bad grounding. So to resolve this they added solder to a speaker. Turns out this does nothing, the motherboard still shorts out. Another fun fact about the A70 is some of them if you use the headphone jack you end up completing a circuit which in turns burns out the sound card.

Almost the entire Satellite line up is made by other companies and they slap on a Toshiba sticker. The WIFI cards on all models do not work well at all with encryption and have pretty bad reception. You could have 2 of the same laptop and one has full reception while the other is at half.

LCD screens that have dead pixels are only covered if you have multiple pixels in one spot or at the very least 9 spread out across the screen.

They Qosmio line up (minus that new world cup one and the G15/F15) has an exact copy in the Satellite lineup that cost 1k less. The only difference is the fancy case. The G15 and F15 have a motherboard defect. But they covered that up nicely by offering a “Motherboard Enhancement program”.

All of their cheap laptops are built very poorly. The keyboards tend to break very easily. According to them it is all ways the users fault due to abuse. The keyboards cost more in shipping then to produce from some factory in Asia. They charge the user $75 for the new keyboard plus installation (the multimedia keyboards are more but cost the same to produce).

If your machine did not come with the software and you did not call to tell them within a month you are going to haft to pay for new CDs. US its $45 for fast shipping and $40 fro regular. In Canada its $75 but the techs are not allowed to tell you because the “software support team” will call you back about it. The production cost of the CD is not even $1 and have you ever shipped a CD it’s the cost of a STAMP and the envelop!

The warranty states that the machine will not be considered a lemon until you get the machine fixed at least a dozen times AT LEAST 12!! They say that at 3 major repairs will be required for consideration but that just means that you get to yell at someone new about your problem. For some reason customers like to yell at the techs who have no authority.

Extended warranties do not cover the battery. The salesman always forgets to tell you that.

They Techs are told to act as if they have never heard of a Toshiba causing problems when a major failure occurs to your machine. They stress that a lot during training.

How about their tech support they used to be the best. They had strong techs who knew what they were talking about. But the outsourced company in charge of tech support decided that Canadian techs were too expensive. As of this year they began outsourcing their support to the Philippines.

There is no such thing as the PDA team. Hand held computer users get the laptop tech team. And they never got trained on hand held computers. So if they don’t know what to tell you it’s not their fault they have never even seen the product.

To their credit most machines in the Portege line and Tecra line are strong machines and I found rarely had problems that weren’t user related.

By FITCamaro on 7/13/2006 11:06:58 AM , Rating: 2
Nearly all LCD monitor warranties (laptop or otherwise) have a similar dead pixel replacement policy as that. The only ones who don't are some of the better companies(Samsung for one) and only on desktop LCD monitors, not laptops.

And while an extended warranty from Toshiba might not cover the battery, one from Best Buy does (I once upon a time worked there in Computers). So its a good idea to get it since normally batteries don't hold their charge after about 2 years so its a free battery replacement plus anything else that happens.

When I worked there, of the laptops there I considered the Toshibas to be the higher quality ones compared to Compaqs and HPs. However HP has turned around a bit and seems to produce a better quality machine now than before. That being said I wouldn't buy any Toshiba, HP, Compaq, or Dell. I'm sticking to Sager.

And yes. Any business laptop, while maybe not being better quality than the consumer model, will have far better support. Kind of like comparing Dells consumer level support to their corporate level. There is no comparison. Every OEM out there screws over the consumer but will treat a corporation like royalty because companies buy far more machines and the OEMs get to charge more for pretty much the same thing.

By sasysam on 7/16/2006 11:00:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Toshiba laptop and although I have not had any problems with it I would go back to a Gateway laptop anyday of the week. I like thw way Gateway is laid out a lot better. One thing I will say I would not go against what the BBB says. I have dealt with them many times on problems I have had with products and they are absolutely great at getting problems solved for the consumer.

By fab35 on 8/30/2006 8:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Toshiba S5100-503 and the same problem of display with a defective video card (from the boot there are artefacts/verticales lines and quickly goes black). Could you help me? my e-mail is ' fabrice . portier (at) '

By ReblTeen84 on 7/7/2006 7:23:14 PM , Rating: 3
I must be the only person here totally satisfied with my Toshiba. I've had it almost 4 years now, still on the original batteries. Ive had it fixed twice because i kept trashing HDs, but im pretty sure thats due to me speedwalking 4 blocks each way to school and back. Since then, ive never had an issue with it. Both times i had it fixed, i dropped it off at a service place here and got it back same day, no charge.

By Chadder007 on 7/7/2006 12:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
This week i have received two defective Toshibas that people need me to work on. They overheat and are just out of warranty. One of them I believe has its core damaged from the heat unfortunately.

Toshiba and Dell in the same boat
By viperpa on 7/7/2006 12:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to buy a Toshiba laptop and ended up buying a HP. I had bought a Toshiba DVD player in the past and broke after after a week. Toshiba has big problems they are not willing to address. When a big company like Toshiba gets a F rating, what does it say about the company? The company may make stand out products but there dealings with there customers stinks. It seems like Toshiba and Dell are in the same boat but the only thing is Dell is doing something about it.

Toshiba laptop woes...
By kmmatney on 7/7/2006 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
My company purchased 8 toshiba laptops a while back, and 6 of them had to be sent in for repair, mainly from overheating. These were pentium 4 based notebooks, and IMO the pentium 4 has no business being in a laptop. We've had better luck with our Toshiba pentium M based notebooks, though.

This is a bit ironic...
By rushfan2006 on 7/7/2006 3:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
Not more than 3 months ago I was reading a computer mag that listed Toshiba as one of the "better" laptop manufacturers. I also have owned a Toshiba laptop for a bit more than a year and a half now -- thing is used constantly, and it works flawlessly w/o any problems.

Of course knowing my luck I probably just jinxed myself.

By Smurfer2 on 7/7/2006 5:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought a Toshiba laptop and I'm on it right now. I haven't had any problems in the month since I got it. Plus in the time leading up to buying it I never saw anything bad about Toshiba, so this is most intereting. *confused*

By cubby1223 on 7/7/2006 5:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
I was just working with an almost brand new Toshiba laptop earlier this week where the usb ports just would not work with usb thumb drives. Only solution was to buy a pcmcia usb2 card. Though it had the ATi chipset, which I suspect is not a mature product and prone to issues. Maybe that's not the case, but 3 out of 3 boards I've worked with having the ATi chipset all have highly unusual "quirks" with them.

How quality changes
By Niv KA on 7/7/2006 6:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Toshiba laptop, from the mid-80's. It still works and very well. Exellent quality, and strong, as it fell down the stairs once and it still works!
I think it was one of toshiba's earliest laptops. I still use it sometimes, as a portable typewriter and programing machine, as I teach sometimes some Q-Basic Programing and History of Computers. I tried to get hold of a portable ENIAC but it is too big to carry around.(I use my Toshiba and my Apple IIe normally and thats all they need to know).

To get to the point as I know I went off topic: My Toshiba laptop is of excellent quality so something went wrong in the past nearly 20 years.

-Niv K Aharonovich

Toshiba Forgot to Pay Their Dues
By Obadiah on 7/7/2006 8:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
The BBB's effectiveness varies from branch to branch, but one thing does not - their funding. The BBB is 100% funded by "member companies." That's a clear conflict of interest for an organization that sells itself as being a consumer advocate.

In many cases complaints against dues-paying members are treated differently than those against non-member businesses. For example, at one branch in Illinois complaints against members automatically expire and are expunged from the books if there is no activity while complaints against non-members are permanent until the consumer reports the matter resolved.

It's my impression that many BBB's simply use consumer complaints as fund-raising tools - if you file a complaint against a non-member, they hit them up for a membership with a sly wink that the complaint will "expire" if they are a dues-paying member.

Sure there is the ocassional story of a local BBB franchaise actually helping someone out, but in general they seem to simply be the beneficiary of one of the best public relations campaigns in history.

my laptop
By nmdotcom on 7/8/2006 4:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
i actually have a toshiba satellite a45-s120 and it overheats somthin fierce. and few months after i bought it the cdrw/dvd combo drive stopped playing dvds. i put a dvd in and it would act like its never seen one before. so i tried to get toshbia to repair it and they still wanted to charge me 200 dollars for a new drive. and now the screens all loose and it falls back by itself and my windows coa sticker is all brown from over heating. yeah.

F? I Give them an A
By colek42 on 7/8/2006 6:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
The power plug (the one soddered to the MB) came loose. It was 6 months past my waranty and Toshiba covered it. I was in Iraq when my waranty expired so I'm sure thats a big part of why they did it. Still the fact that they covered it showed me that Toshiba is a company that cares about its customers.

one of the reasons...
By One43637 on 7/11/2006 1:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
one of the reasons why i decided not to buy a Toshiba TV. i read so many complaints online about how defective the product was and how people were frustrated at their customer service.

By dashrendar on 7/7/2006 12:27:57 PM , Rating: 1
Usually people act when they're not satisfied with something. They can be selfish like that. The exception is ResellerRatings... people actually take the time to post *positive* comments over there.

is this really a surprise?
By Samus on 7/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: is this really a surprise?
By jeffbui on 7/7/2006 1:25:11 PM , Rating: 1
Yup, out of all the notebooks I've had or used, the Toshiba is the only one not working right now. This is out of Sony, HP, IBM, Dell, and Toshiba. The same is true for my relatives as well. Fundamental design problems like the AC port not charging the battery, thermal shutdown, and just plain instability.

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