In our round-the-world constant purchasing of computers, we read some great reviews on Toshiba and decided to try the company whose laptop roots stretch back to a lightning fast unit in the 1980s with WordPerfect on a ROM chip and a super stable DOS 3.2 onboard.
The Portege was a disappointment that caused us to back away from the company, but the Satellites were getting good enough reviews and had the right price for some budget replacements. Now Toshiba’s lack of communication threatens the entire experience, and everything was preventable with simple communications.
After ordering the laptop on January 22, we received a call on January 23 to verify the order. Never mind that a credit card with address match had been offered and accepted. We had to call Toshiba and verify the order. That’s something we did on January 25.
Since then, the online status message has shown “Order Being Processed”. The order from a customer with a hideously large lifetime value has been placed and paid for 13 days and no information was coming. So we hit the phones again today.
Did you remember that Chinese New Year was celebrated last week? Great. Did you know that the plant Toshiba uses for custom builds closed for an entire week with no notice to customers? Me either, but shutting operations for a week without telling customers sounds silly.
But the delays were only just starting.
The Toshiba fulfillment center used to send this order was closed Monday and Tuesday for physical inventory. I understand and respect physical inventories. I’ve seen them conducted over holidays, weekends and even regular business days. But I’ve told my customers.
So according to Toshiba today, custom built laptop orders were not worked on between January 26 and February 3. Worse: the system status won’t be updated for a day or two. I haven’t figured out that one yet either, but 8 calendar days with no activity is a horrible way of doing business.
Telling a customer on day 14 of a large order that the system status won’t be updated for a day or two borders on unforgivable. You know the moral: this is the last Toshiba custom-built order we place.
We left Dell for similar reasons, but as long as consumers and businesses vote with their pocketbooks, financial Darwinism will take over, killing the weak companies. And if financial pressure doesn’t kill them, don’t be surprised if savvy businesses start invoking the dreaded FTC Mail Order Rule.
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