See companies like Samsung and Toshiba have "certified" stores that "take guarantees" but they are not tied by their parent company, they are privately owned stores that just negotiated with the parent company to use their "sticker".
I bought a Phillips shaver and under warranty, the Phillips station wanted me to pay 70% of the cost of a new one, despite being a DoA device.
So while the sticker works as it should in the US and Europe, South America has a god damn wild west scenario. Anything goes, and if you don't like it, buy something else. Yep.
(Source: I live in Bolivia)
But I guess that on the whole, the good customer experience for the honest customers outweighs the cost of fraud.
What I ended up deciding to do was returning them but asking for an 80% refund. The guy behind the counter gave me a really weird look and told me he had to ask if that was even allowed. Luckily for me, it was. They refunded me 80% of the total amount and I called it fair.
That is a poor assumption that is likely incorrect more often than not.
A Chinese restaurant that I go to occasionally has a bowl of mints by the register. I could take a handful of them, they would not stop me, but that would be a dick move. I could go hang out at library and pass the time by taking their books off the shelves and building castles with them on the desks, but that would be a dick move. I could go to the shoe store and try on every single pair of shoes that they have, leaving them all in a massive pile in the middle of the store, but that would be a dick move.
Generous customer-friendly policies like this can exist, for the benefit of the customer, because there is an understanding that most people will be respectful and not abuse the privilege. If everybody acted like your friend, then we would not be able to have nice things.
So "abuse" over time could cause prices to increase by a small amount. However, not hassling people over things that rarely happen increases loyalty, which increases volume, which increases the discounts a retailer can get from a manufacturer...
The vast majority of people don't need to benchmark video cards or want to "rent" products - they buy things because they need them and that's why good customer service exists.
Game Stop now only offers returns for pre-owned games 7 days after instead of 14 days. My guess is too many people used this as a way to test games out or beat single player games for free.
Best Buy's return policy is down from 30 days to 14 and even on an exchange I needed a driver's license last week.
As a concrete example, I worked someplace with a nice and consumer friendly return policy... no restock fees, no hassle.
But when a customer "bought" and then without fail returned something like 40 books, 1 at a time (without buying anything else), we did have a word with them. Depending on the books, that can adds up to several hundred dollars of overstock, eating up already crammed inventory space in high-rent storefronts. Plenty of seating for those who'd like to read books without buying that won't excite our inventory count ;)
Once upon a time, it used to be possible to get Bing points by playing a bunch of stupid games on Club Bing - you could accumulate at most 1000 per day, unless there was some sort of modifier (like "double ticket day") site-wide. The prizes available for these points were usually older Microsoft products like old games (9.99USD), kitchen appliances, hammocks, cheap headphones, etc. The biggest prizes were Zunes, Vista, Microsoft Office, and the XBox360 Arcade Edition. As I recall, the XBox required some crazy amount of points and thus wasn't worth it...and Vista and Office are hardly sexy items. You could win at most one of each prize per physical mailing address.
The games that you played to win points were flash games, so a bunch of bot writers automated this. They'd register multiple accounts and try to max out the number of points they could get per day. Since users had multiple accounts, people would maintain different amounts of points to save for the big ticket items. I believe that Office and Vista were in the 50,000 to 100,000 point range. (Side note: Microsoft was slow, but they DID actually deliver - I got a 360 controller for free!) There are forums dedicated to "opportunities" like these.
So, what do you do with a free copy of Vista Ultimate? Well, one day a user who had exhausted all of the other prizes tried going to Best Buy with his copy. He went to customer service, in-store, and said "Hey, my grandmother got me this for my birthday. I already have it. Is there any way you could possibly help me out?"
Can you guess what they did? They gave him $450 in Best Buy credit.
For awhile, the overarching Club Bing metagame was to simply farm Vista Ultimate, go to a different Best Buy, and "return" your copy. And, on top of that, someone discovered that Microsoft's shipping treated "123 N. Fake Street Apartment A" and "123 N. Fake Street Apartment Z" (and, for that matter, "123 N. Fake Street Apartment AAAA") as unique addresses - so it became possible to have multiple copies of Vista Ultimate shipped to your house. At one point there were so many Club Bing copies of Vista Ultimate floating around that you could go on forums and purchase it directly for $100 because botters had exhausted their local return options.
Why would a company want you to do that?! The only reason some allow it is that it's very difficult to have a policy that allows honest customers to return items they don't like (for whatever reasons) while at the same time preventing this behavior.
You'll find that there are many companies who have stopped the practice of accepting returns for any reason, for the very reason you stated. If you were running a product company, would you enjoy and encourage the "free rental" behavior?
On the other hand, Kragen advertises that they have a loaner tool program. It's essentially a liberal return policy, as long as you don't break the tool while trying to repair your car. I have used that, when I had a functioning tool to return when I was done with the job.
On the other hand, I think that in general, the relaxed Home Depot returns policy helps them. I often take advantage of the ability to buy multiple sizes of things, extras in case I mess something up, and then when I'm done with a project go back return the excess. If you use a credit card, that is even easier than keeping the receipts, they swipe the card, scan the stuff, and it goes back automatically. I find this easier, because I always have my card; and there is no need to have however many receipts that the items were originally bought with. And for very small stuff that I could conceivably use in the future, there is a decent chance I won't bother returning it anyway.
Of course, once you have the chains, no real point in bringing them back since you'll just need them next year.
No, that's immoral.
Morals have nothing to do with what others let you or don't let you do. If anything morals are about your sense of right and wrong in the absence of external pressures. It may be legal, but I don't think it's moral to abuse a system that's intended to help and protect honest customers. Even if you don't care about hurting the profits of a giant corporation, you're potentially hurting other consumers if the benefit is revoked because too many people are abusing it.
1. Buy item #1, obtain receipt, take it home
2. Go back into store, find identical item #2, take it past checkout counter and up to return counter
3. "Return" item #2 using receipt for item #1
For big ticket items there's usually a unique serial the store will scan to prevent this sort of thing, but not always. Pretty deplorable.
1. Have a broken laptop (item #1)
2. Buy a new laptop (item #2)
3. Return item #1 with item #2's receipt
4. Have a working computer.
note: I'm not condoning this and it's unlikely to working in the OP's case because stores are usually smart enough to check serials on bigger ticket items.
This is the kind of behavior and attitude that ruin nice things for everyone.
My car can go 100 MPH in a residential neighborhood, did the manufacturer intend for it to be used like that just because it can?
Depends on the store. When I used to be behind a returns desk we'd give store credit (on a gift card) if they didn't have a receipt.
I know it's not too relevant but I was so afraid of a no receipt, tough luck situation. I'm surprised they didn't think I just grabbed it off the shelf and went to the counter. It was just a $10 book and not a TV or anything but it left a good impression.
> The store then had the same graphics cards as before.
> If the companies didn't want you to do this, then they wouldn't let you do this.
Buying something that might work, trying it and returning it if it doesn't isn't morally wrong.
The difference is your friend is buying with no actual intent to keep and own.
Ever try to do this? Plenty of times I've done this and sometimes you get store credit sometimes cash. Many stores have "customer friendly" return policies such as these. Walmart is a big one who will take any return. You need ID usually.
>The store then had the same graphics cards as before
No they don't, they now have used graphics cards, and they have the overhead of staffing the return counter if many people get this idea. Plus the contract (i will buy this item at this price from you) was entered into in bad faith.
They do not want you to do this. What your friend did is considered to be a form of return fraud and abuse. The industry term for it is 'wardrobing' or 'renting'.
It's a big enough problem that there is a company, http://www.theretailequation.com, that helps large firms blacklist people like your friend, though these defenses are fairly recent.
Returns require a receipt.
You can build any system of service and policies you want as long as you account for it in the price of the product or service. Even if customers take advantage of you.
There is an exercise machine (some kind of wonder machine) that costs (from an ad I saw some time ago) about $17,000.  
IIRC they give an iron clad mbg. Might even pay the shipping both ways (and actually so do many high end mattress companies). (Sorry don't have time to fully re-read the links that I am giving.
Bottom line is they are tying those consumer friendly policies into the price of the product. So since the cost of the equipment almost certainly pales in comparison to what they sell it for, even taking into account returns, in theory, they still will earn a profit.
 I think this is it but I'm not seeing any price info on the page.
But that's just a guess, why else would they stop supporting a warranty in Guatemala (at least if their line is true that they actually removed the warranty for this country) other than they'd gotten ripped off there more than their bottom line could handle?
So warranty/guarantee is mostly useless, what the law provides us consumers is already better.
Politically, Norway is very left/socialistic. So that this "forces everyone" to pay for it is generally looked upon as OK, because one is not punished for getting a randomly faulty device. And it's great as a consumer, I get what I pay for, a functioning device.
> isn't it great for you as a consumer that you can take money from the manufacturer?
That's not my point, and a gross misrepresentation of socialism. I know that in the end the consumers pay for it. But everyone chips in for those less fortunate to get a proper functioning device.
They were crappy (you order online, there's no place to see them). I hated, but there was a $200 restock fee on a $300+ product, so i just gave it to a relative when i was visiting.
two days in Brazil and the mother board died. I called lenovo, they gave me the number of a local shop. I called the local shop. They arranged to pick it up. I had linux dual boot and some personal data there already, So i gave instructions that the HD would be out of the device. no problem. they missed one or two pickup schedules, but when they finally picked it up they confirmed it was the dead motherboard, replaced, tested, returned. I put the HD back in and all was fine.
lenovo: 10 for warranty, 0 for retail experience and product satisfaction..
The fact is, Toshiba made a written representation to the customer. They can change their policies, but they shouldn't break those promises in the process.
That'd be a mistake across warranty docs between 1 and 5 years. Also some other products:
Seems a little odd though that support would go with an excuse like that. Is there more to the story?
Make a nice polite blog post with all of your documentation (including your sales receipt) and then send the link to him.
This was about two years ago and unfortunately their excuse for service is ostensibly unchanged, rated as 1.33/5 on one of the larger national rating sites (at the time it was 1.4).
I work at a big company and get sales, marketing, press, and customer inquiries ALL THE TIME, at my PERSONAL email address (which is easier to find than my work address). There is absolutely nothing I can do to help you if you contact me directly because company policy forbids it, official channels exist for a reason.
If a company suffers from people contacting the wrong people, I think the solution is to make it easier to contact the right people.
Also, you could just inform the customer to resend the info to the official channel and make sure someone is actually keeping an eye out for it.
Hopefully for free. Most states have a lemon law.
My work laptop (supplied by employer) was a Toshiba and had a 1-year warranty. After about 10-11 months of using it, the DVD drive stopped working. Toshiba's warranty support was typical ship-to-depot, so IT pulled the drive and sent the laptop off for repairs. I wouldn't ordinarily care about a laptop our for repair, but IT supplied me with a temporary machine that was at least a generation back (ie: slow and heavy).
IT got a message that except that my machine had been received at the depot but heard nothing else for weeks and weeks after. By the time I'd bugged a tech at my company enough to contact them the warranty had lapsed ... and Toshiba refused to service the machine.
Toshiba refused to service it for several more weeks. I finally took over contacting support from the IT tech, and got the machine serviced after a half-dozen (long hold-time) calls. But for the amount of time the IT dept & me spent getting an optical drive fixed our company could have paid for two new machines.
(Edit: by the way, most recent one was one of these - nice dev machine if you like Linux! http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-13-linux/pd )
FWIW, roll with Dell on server front as well, great machines, hope Dell sticks around and doesn't go under.
I got a laptop from Newegg for ~$700-$800 with an i7, nVidia GPU, and Windows license. Installing Linux is easy enough, and dual booting gives you flexibility if you want/need to run apps that refuse to go in Wine.
To be fair, my machine only came with 4GB of RAM and no SSD, but upgrades for those can surely be found for less than the $400-$500 price differential.
And a system with no discrete GPU is crippled if you're a gamer. If I'm paying $1000 plus for a system, you can be sure it'll have a decent GPU.
* Maximum ram upgrade amount (most consumer laptops max out at 8 GB or 16 GB)
* Screen quality (IPS vs TN, glare vs anti-glare, etc)
* Keyboard layout and quality (yes, this matter A LOT if you type all day on the computer)
* Driver compatibility (since Linux is mentioned)
* Weight, roughness (or beat-up factor), portability factors, battery life, modularity, expansion ports... the list goes on.
It's not just "this machine which has a top end Intel i7 CPU and an SSD" for everyone.
That used to be the case. Intel's caught up. Look at the ASUS UX301LA for example. It's extremely thin and light, with 8 hour battery life and a 2560x1440 screen. Those attributes together wouldn't be possible with discrete graphics, yet the Intel Iris integrated GPU that comes with its i7-4558U is more capable than a discrete Radeon Mobility of 2-3 years ago. It can run mid-level games like Diablo/Starcraft at native resolution (which is very high) and high quality easily, and probably anything released in 2014 smoothly if you just chop the resolution in half (1280x720 not being bad at all).
Hmm. The last machine I bought with an integrated graphics was an Eee PC. That was -- over half a decade ago. Your comment's made me decide my assumption needs to be checked, so I guess I'll be looking at benchmarks before I buy my next laptop. It won't be any time soon though; my current laptop is adequate, so my next machine is going to be a desktop.
This is using the s/n in the image: http://bandyt.site44.com/toshiba/garantia2.jpg
Results of the s/n search:
(from site: http://support.toshiba.com/warranty)
Model Name: SATELLITE C850D
Product Category: Portable
Model-Part Number: PSCBQU-00200F
Serial Number: YC307409Q
Registration Number: 827633
Purchase Date: Nov 26, 2012
Country Purchased: United States
Complimentary Phone Support Through: Feb 24, 2013
Warranty: Warranty expired! +++
Warranty Expiration Date: Nov 26, 2013
Primary Service Option: Out of Warranty Service ++
Regardless, the claim is that Toshiba is refusing to honor the warranty because of the country the laptop is in, not because the warranty is expired.
You entered the wrong serial number. It's YC317409Q.
> Warranty Expiration Date: Feb 24, 2014
I had a one year old HTC Desire which malfunctioned under warranty (Europe here = 2yrs mandatory) and sought to return it to them for repair. They were a huge pain in the ass, refusing to pay shipping to the repair depot despite this being explicitly covered, and so I asked Amazon (from whom I bought it) for assistance dealing with HTC. Totally shocked when Amazon told me 'No problem, here's a free shipping label, send it back to us for a full refund. The price was hundreds of pounds less by then and they refunded the original price. It was in pretty good shape but not at all in 'like new' condition. I immediately bought another from them and kept the difference - they weren't interested in just exchanging it.
Fast forward to now, and it's pretty much the same deal with LG and a defective Nexus 4. LG agreed in writing to reimburse shipping prior to me sending it, but now want to change the terms & added an NDA and are illegally withholding payment of their debt. I contacted Amazon again and they told me the same deal: 'Send it in for a full refund any time, no problem'.
Needless to say, I now buy all electronics on Amazon. This is probably their goal and we're both okay with it. As for HTC and LG, at least in the UK, they are bastards and I'll keep hoping for better support from other manufacturers when I can.
They are. We once purchased a PS3 controller from Amazon Marketplace. It turned out to be a counterfeit, but we didn't notice until 3/4 year later when Sony disabled many counterfeit controllers. We contacted Amazon to warn about this seller. They didn't only remove the seller from Marketplace, they also gave us a full refund.
Amazon ‘sold‘ you that warranty, not Toshiba. Granted, it is a warranty, hence supposed to be directed at the manufacturer, not the merchant, but it still cannot hurt to ask Amazon – in the EU, you could go to them directly without a warranty from Toshiba and ask them to repair/replace it (up to two years after purchase), but customer law in Latin America likely varies.
Haven't needed to do it with anything pricey though, but again it doesn't hurt to ask.
My current laptop is a 2007 MacBook. Not the solid-looking Pro aluminum kind. The cheap-looking plastic kind. It still runs everyday, all day long, and gets roughly 7h of battery life (with a spare battery) when I run XCode 4 (with real-time compilation going on) all day.
I can't seem to recollect PCs coming even close to that. Do they nowadays, or is the fact that you bought three devices as if this was normal clouding your judgement?
Runs 24/7. Super reliable. You just have to keep it cool - I underclock.
This is not to say whether or not their service sucks- I've just never needed to interact with their service department.
And then there are ODMs and OEMs: ODMs provide the designs, OEMs mostly just stuff boards.
It's common to find products of different brands that look almost identical, because the chassis are the same while the bezels are different.
Dell for example is basically just a sales force with a catalog, not much different in principle from CDW.
I bought a Toshiba laptop previously and accidentally lots of water got leaked into it. (was my mistake)
The system didn't reboot at all. They entirely replaced my RAM and other hardware components free of cost. This happened in India. So I guess the situation varies.
It would take a lot more than this to get me to avoid a company as large as Toshiba.
He's not actually putting you in a headlock and saying "YOU BETTER NOT DO THIS, benatkin!". He wrote a blog post.
Don't be so defensive.
I don't have much of an opinion on whether OP's advice is good or bad because I refuse to consider it, and instead only consider the complaint for what it's worth to me (not much, since I live in the mainland United States).
The result is that I generally throw out anecdotes like yours, no matter where I hear them (including from immediate family members), and instead read reviews.
In fact I sometimes even throw out my own opinions in favor of something more objective. I was severely wronged by T-mobile, and a year later, signed back up with them, and it's been great.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that nobody at Toshiba visits HN.
I had a similar problem with top-end ultrabook from ASUS (13.3" FHD i7 Zenbook Prime with discrete graphics) in 2012.
The ultrabook stopped after 2.5 months (keyboard problem), then after RMA got update that it was a customer induced damage (definitely not, it was an issue many people complained about) requiring replacement of both keyboard and motherboard almost for the price of a new ultrabook. I was really upset and after 6 months of having it in a drawer I sent the ultrabook for an analysis to an independent lab - it turned out only the keyboard module was damaged, motherboard was OK. I ordered a keyboard replacement from asusparts (~$100) and it works till today. Never heard any sorry from ASUS for trying to extract money from me for a "damaged" motherboard.
Having said that, I scratched ASUS off my list for the rest of my life. This happened in Germany. Paradoxically I was just thinking about buying Toshiba Qosmio X70-136 as my DTR but after reading this I will go with some Clevo-based manufacturer like. Thanks!
Support says they've passed the matter to "customer service mgmt. Expecting a response on Monday."
These dudes: @ToshibaUSAhelp
Years ago I bought Dell's and found paying extra for their onsite service was a wise investment. Only needed it for a single machine but they literally came to our office with parts and repaired it. Until I needed it a second time and found they had changed policies and found onsite was in name only.
So when I started buying Toshiba Qosmio's I actually investigated my service options in Michigan. It has paid dividends because whenever I've had a problem I can get on the phone with the company's owner, they turn it around faster than shipping it to Toshiba's depot and keep me informed every step of the way.
Ugg. Too bad for them but I wonder what the small claims court would have to say about it. Contract is what's advertised, not what you secretly thought.
Assuming there is an equivalent there, of course.
1. Bill Clinton might say - "Well, it depends on your definition of Latin America."
2. You should mail the CEO of Toshiba. In fact, you should give us the contact info for the CEO of Toshiba so we can mail him on your behalf.
> In 1987, Tocibai Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling CNC milling machines used to produce very quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union in violation of the CoCom agreement, an international embargo on certain countries to COMECON countries. The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal involved a subsidiary of Toshiba and the Norwegian company Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk. The incident strained relations between the United States and Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives, as well as the imposition of sanctions on the company by both countries. Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania said "What Toshiba and Kongsberg did was ransom the security of the United States for $517 million."
1. Go to the vendor you bought it through
2. Go to your credit card company
3. Look up the consumer protection laws of your country and use them
5. Shame Toshiba into living up to their word.
Use your legal rights, and advertise what you did. If you don't know your rights you'll probably have a bad time.