The Toshiba Problems


My wife had a very nice Toshiba Portégé 3500 tablet PC for work. When she quit her job in 2005, she bought the laptop from her former employer. I then got it from her. I put in a bigger disk and not very long afterwards, the CPU fan started to make noises or even stop.

I tried to buy a new CPU fan to replace the broken one. Guess what? Can't buy 'em! Well, yes, there is one company in Australia that sells them for about 6 euro, but they don't ship to the Netherlands. No, they won't make exceptions (I asked). And there's a company in the USA. They do not reply to mail at all. (I have a friend in the USA to overcome the "we only ship to US addresses"-problem.).

Nothing on eBay. Nothing on Google. I called Toshiba Europe because I was suspecting them to forbid the service partners to sell parts. That is not the case, so they tell me. But none of the Dutch authorised service centers will sell me a fan.

So I decided to bring the laptop to Begeco, which is in the south of the Netherlands, when I happened to have a business appointment nearby. A few weeks later, the laptop was back in the mail (I made arrangements for it to be shipped). Total cost: 88 euro's. Sigh. That is over ten times as much as it could have cost.

After unpacking, the SIMM turned out to be broken. Both Windows and FreeBSD crash/won't boot with it and work fine without it. I asked Begeco to replace the SIMM by they coldheartedly tell me it is my problem and to go elsewhere! Well, thank you Begeco.

I hope Kingston will replace the SIMM. Otherwise, replacing a CPU fan that could have cost me 6 euro's and a few hours, is now costing almost 200 euro's (repair + new SIMM), weeks of time and a lot of frustration. Next time, I'll not only avoid Sony but also Toshiba and Begeco.

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