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Toshiba Satellite M305-s3848 / dead hard drive

1 New York, NY, United States Review updated:

Best Buy, New Jersey February 1, 2009
Toshiba, World Headquarters

Dear Sirs,

I wish to recount the story of the Toshiba laptop computer that I bought in New York, USA, just three short months ago. As you will read, this is a story of great anguish…..

When I was visiting in the USA in November, 2008, I decided to buy a new laptop computer. Having heard of the generally good reputation of the Best Buy chain, I decided to buy the computer from them.

When I was in the store (Best Buy W Nyack, 1240 Palisades Center Dr NY [protected], the salesman showed me a range of different computers and together with him, taking into account my needs, it was decided that the Toshiba Satellite was the right machine, with a software package that included MS Office, antivirus etc.. I was offered a package deal to set the computer up with the software and, as I was away from my normal computer support, I purchased this option (Val #: [protected]; Service Order: [protected]). I was assured by the Best Buy salesman that the international warranty covered all possible problems, for a full calendar year, all over the world. As we are on an extended world trip, this was of course of paramount importance to me. I returned the next day to collect the computer. The technical details of the computer are:

Model Name: M305-S3848
Model Family: SATELLITE
Toshiba Model-Part No: PSMD8U-00L00N
Serial No: X8137744W
International Warranty Registration Number: 67453449
Date of Purchase: 15 November 2008

As stated, we are currently on a round-the-world trip and since purchasing the computer we have been throughout the United States, Fiji and now, New Zealand. Being a keen amateur photographer, we have taken large numbers of digital photographs which have been constantly downloaded on to the laptop, in addition to normal business and personal documentation.

About ten days ago, the computer would not boot up, but rather made strange noises, the LED showing the accessing of the HD was not illuminated, and after a few minutes the computer announced that it “Could not find the Operating System” and after a further minute or two, shut down.

I called the toll free Toshiba Call Centre in New Zealand and was directed to a company called Toshiba Mobilecare in Auckland. The company was not only extremely UN-helpful, but would have to be classed as obstructive!! They claimed that they were prepared to replace the HD under the international warranty, but that they could not retrieve ANY data from the faulty HD and therefore all the data would be lost and, furthermore, the Operating System would also be irretrievable and therefore the computer would not work. They claimed that they did not have the disks for the operating system for American made machines and therefore they could help no further.

I was absolutely flabbergasted. Is this the extent of an international warranty from a world renowned leader in consumer computers??? To return to the customer a piece of high-tech junk that will not work and is only good for a doorstop, without any attempt to help solve the problem or even to suggest a direction for looking for a solution???

They agreed that if we wanted to pay for a different company to try to retrieve the data, so be it.

We found in Auckland a company called SERVICE PLUS, who are also registered Toshiba agents. They were much more helpful, and the computer is with them at the moment awaiting their attempts to retrieve the data (Job No. 147958).

My experience with laptops in recent years has been very good. As the CEO of a tertiary academic institution in Israel in the last decade, laptops have been a major part of my working life. I have had good experiences with them and for many years. It was inconvenient for me to back up data while on a world trip and as the computer from such a reputable firm was new, it seemed reasonable to expect trouble-free use for the duration of the trip (four months). How wrong that proved to be!

From my point of view, this situation is totally unacceptable, and certainly not within the realms of sound business practice. The first company that I dealt with in Auckland (Toshiba Mobilcare) DO NOT DESERVE to be the primary Toshiba agent for New Zealand. They are totally unfitted to be the first address that Toshiba clients turn to when they have problems!!

I expect from a premier company like Toshiba to be totally customer-oriented when a client has a major problem with one of their flagship products. This has not been the case in this instance and I am very disappointed.

We are due to continue our travels, leaving New Zealand for Australia soon. This situation jeopardizes our plans and upsets our timetables. I expect you to influence the outcome of this dismal situation and in double-quick time, something which would contribute greatly to the repair of the damage to Toshiba’s image and name, in my eyes.

Yours sincerely,

Peter E. Pezaro, Ph.D.
Email address:
Mobile phone: [protected]

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  • Sa
      1st of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes


    I am the owner of Service Plus so I am very interested in this article. You are correct in your statement that we are authorised agents for Toshiba... but, just for clarification, MobileCare is actually owned by Toshiba.

    I can imagine how distressing it is to lose your data in a situation like this.

    Unfortunately, in the case of a major hard disk failure, the drive can be damaged to such an extent that it is not practical to recover the data - that is why we strongly recommend all users to have a backup system and keep it separate from the computer (so that they don't both get stolen/damaged by fire etc). I realise this probably doesn't make you feel any better, sorry.

    As regards your job, I have requested that it be given priority and we will see if it is possible to recover data from the drive. We will do what we can.

    If you'd like to discuss this with me further, please call Service Plus on 0800 00 77 22, and ask for me.

    Sam Williams.

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