Toshiba Tech Support: 2013 Rating

individual report card toshiba

Last year, Toshiba netted a C+ rating, the same grade it has earned the last two years, due to its inconsistent phone help. While the manufacturer has a clean, revamped support website for 2013, we ran into many of the same problems that caused Toshiba to score so low last time.

The company uses the same @ToshibaUS_Help account from last year and maintains a Facebook account, which was more active for us this year than it was in 2012. Toshiba continues to offer 90 days of complimentary help.

support quotes toshiba 2355641381954847

For our testing, we used a Toshiba Satellite S55t and asked how to set up multiple user accounts, how to attach Bluetooth speakers and how to disable touch-clicking on our device’s touchpad.

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Web & Social Media

screenshot support website toshiba

Toshiba has a refreshed support website, which we found clean and easy to navigate. An entry bar for your product’s serial number is placed front and center, and there are dedicated tabs for Product Support, Drivers & Software, Community Forums and Repair & Parts.

While Toshiba has a wealth of How-To videos and articles, only a handful of videos and documents were featured on the main page, with no option to specifically search How-Tos. Eventually, we found answers regarding how to make multiple user accounts and change our touchpad settings, but searching for “Bluetooth speakers” yielded a variety of unclear threads from the community forums.

Toshiba’s Virtual Help Desk has the appearance of a live-chat window, but it simply provides automated answers to Toshiba-related questions. The interface wasn’t very helpful; the bot told us to call Toshiba when we asked how to set up multiple user accounts and the Help Desk had no answer at all when we asked about Bluetooth speakers.

MORE: 5 Best Toshiba Laptops

screenshot support live chat toshiba 2355641382031653

The company does offer a bona fide live chat service. Our chat with customer service representative Errin was brief and friendly, though the representative didn’t help us directly. As soon as we asked how to set up multiple user accounts on our Satellite, Errin told us to download an instruction manual from Toshiba’s support site or contact the company over the phone. She asked if we needed anything else before logging off and ending our 5-minute conversation.

screenshot twitter support toshiba

We tweeted Toshiba about setting up multiple user accounts, and the company responded promptly with basic instructions within an hour. The company answered our Facebook comments about connecting Bluetooth speakers in roughly 2 hours, giving us detailed instructions on which menus to navigate in order to get our product working.

screenshot facebook support toshiba

However, on Facebook, we noticed a variety of angry customer comments that mentioned getting no response from the manufacturer. Toshiba claims to have answered 4,500 help requests on both Twitter and Facebook during the past year.

MORE: Toshiba Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2014 Rating

Phone

Toshiba has both 1-800 and priority access phone numbers, both of which required us to navigate a somewhat lengthy tree of options to find the specific department for our issue. Toshiba’s premium support options start at $69 per issue, while virus or malware removal will run you $99. The company’s Premium Support Bundle Costs $159, which can be used for three incidents during the course of a year.

On our first call at 5 p.m., we spoke with customer service representative Eko in the Philippines, where all of Toshiba’s technicians are located. When we asked Eko how to set up multiple user accounts, he told us that he needed a Toshiba Laptop Expert to answer the question, and put us on hold for 2 minutes before transferring us to another representative.

Shelly then told us we needed to upgrade to Toshiba Premium Support so that she could access our computer remotely and help solve our problem. We declined politely, but Shelly spent about 2 minutes aggressively trying to push the upgrade on us, outlining the various benefits of the service. We said no a second time, and the representative offered to give us a two-week price of $69 that we could upgrade to a yearlong plan later on. Once again, we declined and Shelly gave up, ironically asking us to rate Toshiba’s phone service before we disconnected after a long 20-minute call.

We made a second call at 11:30 a.m. in hopes of finding out how to connect a pair of Bluetooth speakers to our notebook. We waited a staggering 30 minutes before a Toshiba rep even picked up the phone. When we finally spoke with customer service representative Sam and asked our question, he directed us to our computer’s Device Manager, where we found our Bluetooth accessory. Our time on the phone was brief, but the call’s unforgivable wait time resulted in a total of 40 minutes on the phone.

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For our final call, we asked customer service representative Ariana how to disable touchpad clicking. Ariana told us to check our Satellite’s settings menu, but seemed unsure where to go next. She then asked for our product’s info and put us on hold. Finally, Ariana returned and offered to find the option for us via remote access, which we found to be a complex solution for a relatively simple issue. Interestingly, Ariana didn’t say that remote access required premium support. We were on the phone for 11 minutes.

Verdict

Toshiba gave prompt, helpful answers across its social media channels, and we were able to find answers to 2 out of our 3 questions on the company’s support site. However, the live chat option wasn’t helpful in our testing. Phone support was much worse. While every phone representative was friendly, we were on hold for far too long during all of our calls and only got a solid answer once. Even more frustrating was how aggressive one team member was in trying to sell us premium service. Toshiba has a solid support website with useful resources, but our personal interactions with the brand were consistently unsatisfying.

Tech Support Showdown 2013

AUTHOR BIO
Michael Andronico
Michael Andronico
A devout gamer and tech enthusiast, Mike Andronico joined the Laptop team in July 2013. With a B.A. in Journalism from Purchase College and experience at GameNGuide, Examiner and 2D-X, Mike tackles everything from iPhone rumors to in-depth hardware reviews.
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  1. Enrique Arzabe Says:

    I need a laptop N156B6-L3D REV.C1 15.6″ HD GLOSSY LCD SCREEN LED for a Satellite A665 3D

  2. Vince Clancy Says:

    So far my grades for Toshiba are much lower than you have come up with. I got my problem pushed up(they gave me a case number and a phone number to call). Well, so far I called that number twice; over 2 hours the first time-no answer and the second time I was on over an hour-no answer. At least they changed the music and the recording. Other than that I am still trying to get an answer as to why a Windows security update(2) will not take.

  3. Vince Clancy Says:

    Adding on to my last reply…….I prepared an email stating the problem with a copy of the screen capture. But, alas, I have no email address to send it to. I’m getting the feeling that they have only ONE heck of an overworked person in their technical support operation.

  4. Anya Fenix Says:

    So far, I have had nothing but trouble. The computer stopped working and some guy in India wanted me to buy a service package to remove error codes. Errors are a normal part of operation and removing the notice of occurrence is a complete scam. Then my screen stopped working. The automated call center puts you in circles saying go online, completely misunderstanding the serial number, and connecting you to extensions that drop your call. It has been a nightmare from the start and a painfully shady company.

  5. mike Says:

    Their support policies are poor. For 25 years i resisted buying any of their product due to poor support. I took a chance and ………. not much has changed. They still charge customers for one way freight after 30 days.

    Not for me or my customers anymore. They’re an old dog and you can’t teach them any tricks.

  6. jubaerhosain Says:

    problem my pc is not find boot menu when i setup windows7

  7. Frank O Says:

    SURVEY RESPONSE REGARDING TOSHIBA SUPPORT: Your half-English speaking gentleman was not helpful at all. His knowledge was as limited as his communication skills. He answered every one of my questions with a reference to the e-mail I will receive shortly which will explain everything. I never received assistance nor the e-mail from him or anyone else despite providing my e-mail and phone number. That was after I spent 20-minutes proving my purchase was within a year. Funny, this is my forth Toshiba (2nd one for me and bought two for my kids when they began college.) and first time I called customer support, but I realize I am on my own once I needed assistance. I am still waiting for the e-mail to assist me and based upon the statement below – ( Although we read and value customer comments, we are unable to respond to each one individually.) you will not respond to this so I guess I will begin to review computers for a different brand with more superior support for a product that is less than 8-months old. I will also COMPLETE A of this posting to social media of my experience. Thank you for sending the survey and offering me a conduit to voice my displeasure in your rotten service.

  8. Michael Weber Says:

    I’ve had problems with my satellite computer since I bought it in February 2014. Mainly, the screen starts flickering wildly or web pages are not responding, so that I have to recover the web page and loose all input data.
    Calling them is hopeless, they don’t do anything unless you buy a service contract for $ 160.00 or a per incident help for $90.00+. With a service contract, they graciously allow you 3 incidents where they call on one of their “superior” technicians.
    I called yesterday and after 3 hours, just before he could solve the problem and had to buy the service contract. The problem was Norton 360, according to him and he removed it and declared my problem solved. But not before trying to sell me a different Norton product, even though my Norton 360 subscription had plenty of time to go. I called Norton today and they said it was not a Norton 360 problem, but to leave it uninstalled. Sure enough, my screen started flickering again and I had to recover 2 web pages. When I tried to cancel the contract, they stalled and asked me to wait for yesterday’s technician to call.
    I DECLARE, THEIR SERVICE IS A TOTAL RIP OFF.
    Isn’t there a time period where you can still cancel a contract?

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