|Toshiba Tech Support Results
|Average Call Length||12 minutes|
|Phone Grade 2012||B-|
|Web Grade 2012||C-|
|Overall Grade 2012||C+|
|Overall Grade 2011||C+|
|Overall Grade 2010||B-|
Last year, Toshiba came in third-to-last with a C+. Although its online resources were extensive, we had to work to find answers. Plus, phone support reps answered one of our three questions incorrectly.
Aside from adding a new Twitter account, @ToshibaUS_Help, the company hasn’t done much to improve things. Borrowing an unfortunate page out of Apple’s book, Toshiba now offers 90 days of support, instead of one year. After that, help will cost you.
For this year’s test, we asked how to enable three-finger swiping on the touchpad, how to extend battery life and how to use Toshiba’s preloaded Face Recognition utility on the Portégé R835 notebook.
Toshiba’s Product Support page is very well-organized. We found our specific model in three clicks. We were offered driver downloads, support bulletins, detailed specs, user’s guides, product tours and resource guides. We found helpful answers to our face recognition question, which referred us to the help file on our notebook.
We found no help in Forums, which was overwhelmingly filled with posts. Upon searching Extend under the generic Toshiba Batteries And Power section, we found several results.
When we used the Virtual Help Desk to ask “How do I extend my laptop’s battery life?,” we were given a list of eight options, but none of them told us how to extend our battery life. Toshiba doesn’t offer live chat support or email assistance.
We tweeted our three-finger swipe question to Toshiba and received a response within the hour asking us for more details. We went back and forth, but didn’t end up with a complete answer. After taking us to the Settings page that would allow us to enable three-finger flick if our notebook model had the capability, the customer service reps said that our model’s users’ guide “shows multitouch pinch to zoom but no reference to swiping.” Toshiba took us half of the way to our answer, but didn’t completely follow through.
We posted our face recognition question on Toshiba USA’s Facebook Timeline, but never received a response. The fact that the company’s Facebook page was littered with users’ unanswered questions and complaints about the company’s poor customer service didn’t inspire confidence.
On our first Toshiba support call a little before 11 a.m. EST, we navigated a robot phone tree, which asked for our serial number. The automated machine alerted us that because our notebook was purchased more than 90 days ago, we may be charged for customer service. Then John from the Philippines (where all Toshiba’s representatives we spoke to were located) answered. After asking him how to use Face Recognition, he briefly (but correctly) explained the utility’s purpose. When we asked him to walk us through the setup process, John said representatives don’t typically do that, but was happy to direct me to the online user’s manual. Our entire call lasted 13 minutes.
On a different day, we asked Electro how to extend our Portégé’s battery life. While he was very nice, he wasn’t helpful. During our 9-minute call, he explained that our notebook had a 300-cycle, which meant that for the first 300 charges it would charge to 100 percent. After that, it would only charge to 80 percent. However, he didn’t have any suggestions regarding steps to take to prolong endurance, even when we pressed him. He simply said there would soon be a software update that would help battery life.
On our last call in the early evening, we asked James how to enable three-finger swipe. After briefly putting us on hold, he guided us through the process correctly. We were up and running by the end of our 14-minute call.
All in all, although our customer service reps were all friendly and delivered quick results, they didn’t always provide the depth of service we hoped for. For example, we wish John had guided us through the Face Recognition setup process. But talking to a representative was a bit better than attempting to fish for answers ourselves on Toshiba’s website.
After our experience with Toshiba’s Web and phone support, we came to the conclusion that the company hasn’t done much of anything to improve its grade from last year. Although the support site is very neatly organized, it only has the answers to basic user questions, such as how to use a common feature. Harder-to-define questions were unavailable and too hard to search for on Toshiba’s forums. The company’s Facebook presence is pretty much a joke. If Toshiba wants to improve its tech support, it has a lot to work on.