Need advice - Terrible Customer help

  naineysman 22:36 14 May 2009

HI, I posted this back in November when my sister in law bought this laptop for her son (Santa).

Close family friend bought ex demo laptop from one of our large retail companies as christmas present for her young son. (against my wishes)

It runs about 5 minutes before freezing up and generally is the worst laptop I have ever used. (it actually crashed during this post so I am using my laptop now)

Current recurring issues are, Windows explorer is not working, trackpad has developed a fault and is not working (when this happens the keyboard stops too) and general complete freezing (requiring a forced reboot)

toshiba satellite
Intel Celeron processor
2 Gig RAM
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows live One care

  naineysman 22:39 14 May 2009

We did a physical restore back in November and it worked better but not great. Since Christmas it has returned to this state and we returned it to COMET, explaining the problem.

They sent us away and asked us to call the helpline, who suggested trying another windows reinstall?? We did this but the unit crashed at 17% rebuild. Another call to report this and we were advised we needed to purchase a recovery DVD (windows I presume) at £30< I nearly hit the roof

  naineysman 22:41 14 May 2009

tomorrow I go back and demand they check the hardware, but they say if it turns out to be ok they will bill us for the checks.

We can't win and COMET are really really trying hard to fob us off.

Please remember this is Scottish Law


  Forum Editor 23:20 14 May 2009

UK consumer law applies in Scotland as much as anywhere else, and UK law says that if a computer develops a fault within six months of the date of purchase it is assumed that the problem existed at the point of purchase, unless the retailer can demonstrate otherwise.

In your case Comet are liable for any hardware faults, but not for software problems if it can be demonstrated that they have been caused by something you've done. On the face of it your problems (apart from the trackpad issue)sound as if they are operating system related, so the water may be muddied slightly.

The fact that the machine is an ex-demonstration model does not adversely affect your consumer rights, so don't accept that as a reason for any reluctance on Comet's part. The suggestion that you purchase a recovery DVD sounds odd - there should have been one with the machine when you bought it. Don't confuse a recovery DVD with a full Windows installation DVD - they are two different things. The computer will have a separate parition on the hard drive which should contain all the Windows files, and the recovery DVD simply returns the operating system to its factory default state.

  birdface 06:00 15 May 2009

Hi you did not mention if you have any anti-virus programs installed or any other anti-spyware programs.No doubt you have but maybe try Malwarebytes free or trial version to make sure there are no nasties lurking about before you take it back.

  bjh 10:39 15 May 2009

Buteman - sorry to sound contradictory but, at the moment, it might be as well not to add any additional software to what might be a software-generated problem.

If there IS a restore partition - and the o.p. seems to suggest there is, then this SHOULD work, and the computer SHOULD work fine after said restore. If it doesn't, then I'd have thought that there is either a hardware fault, or the original restore partition was faulty/corrupted. In either case, I would have thought Comet should be responsible.

"We did a physical restore back in November " and
"We did a physical restore back in November "...

Does this mean you were using the Restore Partition on the computer? Or, does it mean you obtained a Windows CD from another source?

  naineysman 12:19 15 May 2009

We did a physical restore from the HDD onboard.

It seems like Toshiba advised my sister in law last week to do the same again but this time it failed at 17% and now will only work with a recovery CD or DVD, which they say we must buy at $30. But we were following their instructions and it crashed, so I am now just away to return it and see what COMET say.

  naineysman 15:26 15 May 2009

Ok so COMET have finally agreed to send the unit away to 'Toshiba' so the hardware can be checked/replaced (suspected HDD failure).
The unit will be returned minus an operating system but COMET have agreed to reinstall Vista and advise on making a recovery disc too.

So looks like a reasonable result so far,,,,,,,
Except we were made to think they were doing us a favour and they kept repeating no Exchange, no refund, which we NEVER asked for, ever anyway?

Microsoft must be pulling their hair out with vendors like this who do no favours for Vista's reputation. We always suspected a hardware fault and both COMET retail and COMET helpline suggested the same at various times.

It is no secret that I dumped windows 2 years ago, this was one of the reasons why.

I'll let you know how the Laptop performs when it's returned, meanwhile many many thanks to the excellent responses and advice posted, cheers

  OTT_Buzzard 17:23 15 May 2009

Probably not too relevant now, but you can get your own copy of Vista direct from Microsoft for £15. It might come in handy if you get any further problems!

The Toshiba Satellites aren't supplied with a restore DVD, so you aren't missing anything there.

  Miké 21:30 15 May 2009

Toshiba laptops have a desktop shortcut which allows you to make one recovery DVD, then the option becomes unavailable.

  naineysman 19:17 27 May 2009

Laptop has been returned, all seems to ba as it should. Job card says HDD was replaced as was the dc input socket. Well done COMET - eventually.

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