Just a warning to people who may be considering purchasing a Qosmio based on my own experiences and the research I have done in the last week.
Toshibas customer service is simply not what it once was and there are 100s of reports of Qosmios of all generations suffering extreme issues just outside of warranty periods.
Ref: Toshiba Qosmio X500-149, Support call reference ********
I am writing to express my frustration, anger and disappointment in Toshiba’s product and customer services.
I am a Freelance Community Manager, Video Game and hardware reviewer in the video games industry presently looking after 2 communities for 2 employers totalling over 2.5m users, I travel to a lot of trade shows, expos and community meet and greets where I require a laptop suitable of showing the employers products which are usually AAA video games or editing video on the fly for publication to social networking sites.
In January of 2011 my 4 year old Alienware hit that point where it really needed replaced, I opted for a Toshiba Qosmio over the Asus G73 as there was a £300 price difference for near identical spec.
I managed to source a X500-149 at PCWorld the companies flagship model here in the UK paying £1499 for it on January 26th 2011 reduced from £1799.
For the 1st 13 month this laptop performed admirably aside a design issue of the fan guards that I raised on the 16th May 2011 with PCWorld where the heat expelled causes the rear guard plastics to become exceptionally brittle and crack. I evangelised the product to anyone who asked me what laptop and model it was that was running these AAA games in such great detail, something I certainly won't be doing in future.
In early March 2012 it then began randomly locking up requiring a hard reboot this would then suffer issues restarting, reporting “Operating system could not be found” this would usually point to a fault on the primary HD, disk checking software however reported no errors but this continued to happen which would lead me to suspect the motherboard.
Within a month of this problem starting the left laptop fan began making a horrible screeching noise and had a distinct wobble whenever high RPM's were required and the machine began to often go into thermal shut-down whilst performing my work duties and utilising graphics and higher than idle CPU.
I decided on the 23rd April 2012 that enough was enough and I was going to speak to Toshiba as for this to happen to a flagship laptop that was only just out of warranty was simply unacceptable.
23rd April called to report the issue and was basically told tough luck its out of warranty at this point I also updated my tel numbers with Toshiba as the info was outdated, after expressing my anger at this Toshiba agreed to offer me a extended warranty at a cost of £166.
I was fuming to say the least Toshiba’s flagship laptop breaks at 14 month old and I am expected to stump up more money. If I was not desperate as the machine is critical to my work I would have returned the machine to PCWorld under the sales of goods act and it not being fit for purpose.
As that course of action would likely lead to legal proceedings, engineer reports and even more delay than just dealing with Toshiba for a repair, against my better judgement I called back at 11am on 24th April paid the £166 and took Toshiba up on the warranty extension, order number ********** again having to provide correct tel numbers as where once again incorrect, immediately after I reported the faults.
Toshiba Support centre on fault reporting where great noting each issue in detail and raised a collection with UPS for the following day.
The evening of the 24th April whilst I was retrieving data from the laptop in preparation for factory resetting it the machine went into thermal shut-down with a very distinct smell of burning chemical/plastic coming from the rear vents.
It took me over 90 minutes to get the machine cool enough to actually reboot and get my data after this I shut it back down and boxed it up not be used again.
I thought the best course of action would be to report this as it was a fair step up from the previous overheating. Wednesday 25th April at around 9am I called Toshiba to report this and was advised this would have to be dealt with by a head office case manager, as the item had become hazardous thus the collection that would take the laptop to the service centre was cancelled.
At this stage the advisor took my contact numbers again and escalated the case to head office advising at that time that I would be called by HO within 24 hrs.
Thursday 26th April 15:31 Well past the 24 hr mark and no sign of a call so I called support again and spoke to a advisor called Jacob. Jacob advise that HO had indeed tried calling on 01670 ******* this number was my old number, this number was the number I had advised twice already was incorrect and had provided both a correct land-line and mobile number 3 times previously. To say I was annoyed was a understatement.
Jacob attempted to contact Chloe Sontag who was looking after my case but the line just rang out so Jacob advised that he had sent an email asking for Chloe to contact myself.
Friday came and still no contact by 15:00 so I called support who once again tried to patch me to Chloe who's number once again just rang out and again an email was sent asking to call me.
No call by 17:30 so I called tech support again and spoke to Ian asking for head offices number so I could call them direct, Ian provided the number yet advised that HO are now closed.
After expressing my frustration with this whole process and just how critical this machine is to my daily working life Ian promised to look into the case on Monday AM and try and expedite actually getting a phone call to at least start the process of having this laptop repaired.
To say I'm annoyed is really a understatement not only has this failure to receive a simple phone call at least delayed the repair by almost a week but it is costing me more and money daily when I spent a large amount on what I imagined would be a great laptop for 3-4 years and believed Toshiba actually had good customer service in the event something did happen.
My best guess is that Chloe is on holiday or is part time or such like as her phone just rings out and if that is the case then I would question why assign a case to her, if she isn't then I would want to know why after 2 additional mails advising that the customer is not happy and to contact them has there been no contact or are your case workers just so overworked with faulty products that they can't manage the workload ??
So far Toshiba’s inability to produce a product that last as long as you expect it would has cost me 2 days off work that I am having to make up this weekend thus cancelling prior commitments, £166 extended warranty £600 for a HP laptop that I had to go and purchase yesterday 27th April 2012 to actually perform my work on and who knows how much in phone calls by the time this matter will finally be resolved.
I was happy with Toshiba as a manufacturer and of course laptops can have issues however having now researched these issues far to many Qosmio X500 users report severe overheating just after the 12 month period or within it and many state that repair after repair has taken place but still to no avail, this on top of the cracking of the rear heat-sink guards has to be a design fault.
This letter will not arrive with you before I have hopefully had a phone call and my laptop has at least been collected for repair, If I have not had that phone call then I would expect another letter very shortly.
Why have I wrote this letter ? To express my disappointment with just how poor the durability of your flagship laptop is and also at just how poor your customer service are, £1500 is a lot of money in the PC purchasing scheme of things and to expect this quality of hardware and customer service is simply unacceptable.
I expect the repair to be expedited and if like some of the horror story’s I have read online parts required will take 4 weeks + then I would expect a replacement laptop, not everyone uses these things for entertainment and whilst the HP I had to rush out and buy with money I didn't really have available can allow me to perform my core duties to the minimum it cannot allow me to perform my duties to my standards, my employers standards or my expectant communities standards.
This has been a really unfortunate series of events as I had been considering the X870 Ivy Bridge based on the Nvidia 670m Qosmio which would release soon and passing this X500 onto my partner but after these events and the fact that the HP laptop had to come out of the money saved for it then I can categorically state that will not be the case and I will instead opt for the Asus G55 or G75.
If this issue cannot be resolved to a satisfactory manner then I will have no option but to seek an independent engineers report as well as printing the myriad of similar reports of these issues on the internet and return the item to PCWorld.
In line with the sale of goods act 1979 a large electrical item has to be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose for a period of 6 years whilst I wouldn't expect the full 6 years from a laptop I would expect at least 3-4 year especially considering that this is a near £2000 flagship model not a £200 budget model.
This is a action I really do not want to take as it will likely end in small claims court against PCWorld a company that on this occasion has done nothing wrong, I do not believe in punishing those who are not at fault so its a action I really wouldn't be happy with and I'm sure PCWorld one of if not the largest vendor of Toshiba products when you incorporate the rest of the DSG group wouldn't be too pleased with it either.
Sorry to hear this frustrating experience. I can understand you and you see your posting as warning but, as you know, some people have bad experiences and some of them are very satisfied with Toshiba support.
Two years ago I had bad luck with my Satellite A300. I have just connected external HDD and heard some electricity sound and notebook just died. I presume it was short circuit and mainboard was destroyed.
I called service and they told me to bring notebook to the service immediately. They have ordered new mainboard and just 5 days later I had my well working notebook again so I must say guy in service were really good and work professional.
I really don’t know what to say about your issue but it is good to hear different experiences. No matter if they are negative or positive.
Anyway I wish you good luck and hope you will solve this issue somehow.
Rear cracking of laptop labelled as misuse despite raising the issue after 2 months of having the machine that cracking was occuring on the rear vent due to heat causing the plastics to become brittle an INTERNAL screw boss cracked pray tell me how that can be put on my door when Toshibas technicians are the only people to have ever opened the machine.
Toshiba wanting £70+ to fix those 2 issues but as they are pureley cosmetic there is no way I shall pay it but will rather take it further with headoffice.
As for the overheating issues this is being attributed to fluff build up within machine because..... wait for it..... "I overuse the machine"
That's right folks according to Chloe Sontag, Customer Services Executive at Toshiba Information Systems a laptop should just be admired and not actually used.
Of course as part of my work and private life this laptop is on from 8am - 11pm everyday so it does get some use but for Toshiba to state that simply says the Qosmio range is not fit for the purpose Toshiba are advertising it as which is as desktop replacement.
Technicians believe a clean internally will solv these overheating issues, I'm not convinced.
If as I suspect this comes back and is overheating within 24 hours then it shall be being returned to PCWorld under the sales of goods act as even Toshiba state it is not of sufficient quality or fit for purpose. I shall also be seeking refunding of the extended warranty costs from Toshiba.
So I received my laptop back today after having fans replaced and a good clean as well as the top cover replaced.
Opened the box and took the laptop out 1st thing I noticed was a screw rattling around inside, SIGH!!!!
Plugged the laptop in and attempted to boot it at this point it just cycle through finalisation of windows install and shutdown.
How could a laptop have been tested if it didn't even have windows installed ?
An hour later and I gave up unplugged it and lo and behold it actually booted when on battery only.
I then noticed that the SSD was full, oh wait no it wasn't the head office engineer in his infinite wisdom decided that partitioning a 64GB SSD to 2 drives barely even leaving enough for Windows on the C: and wait for it putting the HDD recovery on the second partition was a good course of action.
So a completely borked install and a screw floating around inside remind me how this particular engineer has a job ??
I spent the next 15 minutes just moving data around and creating and deleting partiitions to fix this mess up.
Grabbed HWMonitor to check temps and at an idle 50c on CPU and 36c on GPU they didn't look too bad,
Installed the Toshiba recommended Nvidia driver a driver I hasten to add that was released in 2010 as Toshiba have not updated the drivers for their flagship series laptop since then, They are happy to take your £1643 that the unit cost but then don't expect support for it.
Anyway that aside I then installed 1 of the games I work on and began to run the machine through our benchmark software wooooosh the temps shot up to 90c+ on both CPU and GPU and remained at this temp for the duration of the benchmark never quite triggering thermal shutdown, I then loaded into a warzone for further testing and sure enough half way through it the machine shut down due to thermal shutdown.
I then uninstalled the toshiba driver and tried a NVidia one sure enough as others have advised actual Nvidia drivers seem worse and thermal shutdown came so much earlier.
I have been to PCWorld today to begin proceedings of returning outside of warranty due to not being fit for purpose or of suitable quality. This is costing me a further £60 and at least 2 weeks more without a proper machine and will likely result in me getting about £1300 back from PCWorld.
So lets do the math on just what this will have cost me by the time its finished.
£1634 Original purchase
£166 Extended Warranty
£600 Backup Laptop whilst this was away for a month
£60 outside of warranty assessment
£50 phone calls
I will probably receive £1300 back but then £1300 doenst buy me the spec I need for work so I will have to pull out another £300-400 for the required spec so lets add that to the original figures.
A Toshiba Qosmio, Toshibas flagship laptop will have cost me in total £2910 almost double its actual retail price.
I will NEVER buy a Toshiba product again and it will become my lifes mission to let everyone know just how terrible they are.
I have to say that following the recent purchase of my second Toshiba laptop Satellite P850, I have noticed that the level of technical support has fallen off. About 2 weeks after purchase, I was having trouble with the bluetooth connection - I couldn't transfer files! I called Tech support and was informed that this was a software issue and I would have to pay £45 to get the solution - the technician admitted that he knew the solution but could not divulge this for free!!
Also be aware that since the windows operating system is OES (not supported by Microsoft) and should be supported by manufacturer (Toshiba) - there is no 90 day free support as provided by Microsoft for non OES system. You have to pay £45 a time!!! Apparently this meets Microsoft licence in that they will provide the necessary support but there is no early free support
I feel your pain Geomac
I ended up keeping a hold of the unit rather than pursuing small claims court, yeah what a mistake that was.
June 2012 the secondary hard drive failed again putting the machine out of commission for a few days whilst a new HD was sent out for self installation. this HD sounded horrific like a jet engine was in it, I reported this instantly but the manufacturer was disinterested so long as it was running.
August 2012 The Blu Ray burner stops burning items, I reported this and asked for one for self installation as it is such an easy install this request was refused and I refused to send the unit in losing it for 10 days in the process.
November 2012 The screen had got worse to the point the display would only be clear at extreme unworkable angles, the laptop was returned to be fixed and received back approximately 10 days later. The engineers report stated a faulty VGA cable, note the case creaked horribly and there was also a bobble in the upper case where the engineer had clearly used too long a screw into the lower case. Yes that's the standard of engineer we are dealing with here.
Finally we come up to date and April 2013 The right hand side fan stops working just a tiny whine as it tries to spin up but cannot do so this results in constant thermal triggered shut downs. I contact Toshiba and inform them of this as this was the 5th fault in the space of 12 months it was escalated to head office, I ask for the full service history of this machine as I am not happy to say the least.
I received the reports via email and what struck me instantly was just how much was being fixed each time that was not being mentioned to the customer.
I took the laptop and full service history of the machine to my local PCWorld where the machine was bought I had also earlier sent an email detailing all of the above to the CEO's of both companies and the direction I would be pursuing.
It's now being collected by Toshiba from the PCWorld store for them to take a look at, lets see what comes of it.
Exceptionally disappointed with the problems/service of a once great company. The service centre needs a complete looking at from top to bottom as something is clearly amiss with QC there.