Fairness dictates that I follow up on my recent travails trying to get Toshiba to send me recovery disks for my laptop, preferably without trampling over my privacy concerns as they do so. For they have responded superbly to my complaint and, in the process, quite converted me back into the Toshiba fan I was of old.
First things first, then: having emailed them a reluctantly-scanned copy of the receipt for the laptop, I rang the next day at 8.01am… and was immediately answered by a charming, polite and efficient bloke. After a quick 20 seconds calling my details up on screen, he simply asked for my credit card number, the address to which the disks should be shipped… and that was that. No hassles, no being kept in a queue, no strife. Service as it should be, I think.
Second things second: although I had been warned that the disks might take up to 5 working days to arrive, they actually arrived the next day. Efficiency, indeed.
Third, the “Customer Service Team Leader” took the trouble to write a long and detailed reply to my earlier emailed complaint. He stepped through the things I’d mentioned, point by point. He apologised for lines not being open when they were supposed to be, and for the recorded voice message advising incorrect opening times. He said he’d get the voice message amended as soon as possible -and the same thing about the email template that mentions a ‘Windows product key’ that Windows 8 users won’t have.
And then the biggie: he took the trouble to explain why Toshiba asks for the receipt in these circumstances:
For older versions of Windows where the product key has faded or missing from the base of the notebook, it was Toshiba’s process to collect the proof of purchase to show ownership of the notebook. I appreciate your feedback that since customers are willing to provide their payment details and delivery details [when purchasing the recovery disks] that their identity should not be in doubt. With Windows 8 now having the product key injected into the unit, I am currently reviewing our process with recovery disk orders.
You can’t get fairer than that, really: there was perhaps a legitimate reason for it back in the day; he recognises that reasoning doesn’t necessarily apply now; he promises to look into it and see what alternative approach he can come up with for the future.
My kind of customer response, really. And then this was the icing on the cake:
As a gesture of goodwill and thanking you for the time to provide feedback, I would like to refund the cost of these recovery disks to your credit card account.
I don’t think that’s ever happened before: taking the time to complain gets called ‘providing feedback’ and warrants getting your money back! Brilliant, Toshiba, and thank you.
Summing up: I think my complaint was legitimate, and Toshiba has responded to it extremely well and generously. As I say, although it would be great not to have to complain in the first place, you can’t ask for a better outcome when you do. Toshiba return to my good books, then!
Incidentally, my enquiry of the Department of Fair Trading suggests that Toshiba is within its rights to ask to see the receipt (though I remain unconvinced), but that if I couldn’t provide one (maybe because I’d lost it, maybe because it was a gift, etc) then Toshiba would not be within their rights to use that as justification for not supplying the recovery disks.That is, they have discretion in the matter and could well waive the receipt requirement on a case-by-case basis. Anyone for whom the requirement was not waived would be withing their rights to make a formal complaint to the Department, who would pursue the matter directly with Toshiba.
Happily, it didn’t come to that, and hopefully, given the response from Toshiba above, it won’t do so for anyone else in the future.