Toshiba Considers Using Your Laptop Mouse 'Abuse'

Even though his Toshiba laptop is less than a year old, Toshiba won’t repair the touchpad of Justin’s computer. He doesn’t think that he’s done anything out of the ordinary with the machine, but Toshiba insists that the button won’t work because of “accident, misuse, abuse, neglect, improper installation, or improper maintenance.” They’re happy to sell him an extended warranty that will cover the repair, though.

He explains:

The left mouse button on the touchpad assembly gradually lost its ‘springyness’ and eventually stopped returning to the up position all-together. I suspect that the plastic tabs holding it in place were too thin or broke under the repeated stress of regular-use clicking. Laptop was less than 1-year old and so it was still within it’s warranty period. After coordinating with Toshiba and sending it to the repair depot, Toshiba classified this as “Service made necessary by accident, misuse, abuse, neglect, improper installation, or improper maintenance,” and refused to cover repairs under warranty. Instead they offered to sell me an extended warranty for $175.99 which would cover the damage.

The last person I spoke with (Russell, a Customer Relations Manager) initially refused to tell me even what part of the warranty contract they were invoking in order to refuse coverage. Then he tried to tell me that the above classification was “just another way of saying ‘damage’” and so not covered. After spending a good 20 minutes trying to tell me that it doesn’t matter what the actual warranty contract says he finally made the explicit claim that this service would be denied because of “accident, misuse, abuse, neglect, improper installation, or improper maintenance”.

I–of course–disupte the categorization of normal use of a mouse button as “abuse” or “misuse”. I feel that the part failed due to a material defect within the button and that I put no undue stress on it. Russel claimed that my statements about my usage didn’t matter and that they couldn’t tell if I had “abused or misused” the part, but that they were going to deny coverage under the abuse and misuse clause anyway. He then refused to escalate my call any higher, and told my that my only recourse was to seek redress through ‘alternate means’ which I took to mean small claims court.

After reading several similar reports, there does seem to be some evidence that Toshiba might be systematically classifying all such materials defects as abuse by the consumer in an attempt to get out of paying for the repairs as contracted by the warranty.

Try contacting Toshiba’s executive customer service, Customer Service