Toshiba laptop drives its owner crazy

A reader owns an expensive laptop that has never worked -- Gripe Line admits defeat

Tina wrote to me ages ago with this lament:

Help! A little over a year ago I bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop. I paid over $2,000 for it from Best Buy. I have had nothing but problems with the machine since I brought it home. Like any new pet, I expected to have to get used to it, to figure it out, etc. It ran Vista and hated it at first sight. Then the docking station I bought from Best Buy did not work with it. Whenever I used my 19-inch monitor it caused a conflict and the thing simply shut down. I ordered a new docking station directly from Toshiba. They promised this one would work. It did not. It, too, caused a conflict. I sent that back.

But the conflicts continued. The laptop stated giving me a blue screen on a regular basis. I took it to some local geeks who could not get the machine to duplicate the problems. But they suggested I remove Vista, put XP on it and run office 07, which I did.

It didn't help. This laptop is a total nightmare and now sits quietly under my printer waiting for something to do. I want to use it. It is pretty. But I can't get anything done on it because every time I turn it on something else goes wrong. I am at a loss and really irritated by the fact that I could spend $2,000 in many other ways right about now.

I would like to say that this story has a happy ending. But, though I have tried, it does not. I sent Tina's e-mail to Toshiba -- repeatedly. I even got someone from Toshiba to call her once or twice to see if they could walk her through fixing it over the phone. This has gone on for several months.

[ Frustrated by your tech support? You're not alone. Get answers from Christina Tynan-Wood in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]

I have prodded, inquired, e-mailed again, and suggested that $2,000 is a lot of money to pay for computer that does nothing. Nothing I do now gets so much as a response from Toshiba. And no one is making any effort to get her machine working.

I hate to admit defeat, yet that's what I'm doing. But that doesn't mean I have to admit defeat quietly.

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