I bought a Toshiba laptop from Circuit City in March 2007. I additionally bought the (expensive) total warranty plan.
In May 2009, the fan started making a loud, grinding, whirring noise. Additionally, the screen had one line of pixelated cells running down the middle. After sending the computer in for repairs, I was told the screen was replaced and the fan/heat sink assembly cleaned. Everything else had passed diagnostics.
The problem began again soon after receiving the computer back. When I sent it in for the second time in December 2009, I reported the same problem. Additionally, the screen they had replaced was faulty - giving "snow" every few minutes, then freezing for a minute, before returning to normal. I was told by a supervisor that if the problem could not be fixed, we would move towards replacement. This time, the computer spent two weeks traveling to the wrong repair center, before returning to me. It had to be sent again, resulting in a month-long repair process and hours on the phone tracking down the computer.
As soon as I turned the computer on after the second repair, the problem occurred again. The repair center had once again replaced the screen, cleaned the fan/heat sink assembly, and it passed all diagnostics. At this point, I took the laptop to the IT department at my school - the man there said he thought the sound was coming from the hard drive. His opinion was that the hard drive was running excessively, and would eventually fry itself.
When I called City Assure the third time in March 2010, I was told by a supervisor that the computer needed to be repaired a third time; if not fixed, it would be submitted for replacement per the warranty agreement. I reported the problem for the third time, and asked that the computer be tested more than usual to isolate the problem. This was another 3 hours on the phone.
The third repair resulted in the hard drive being replaced. Additionally, the fan was cleaned again. After turning the computer on, the noise occurred almost immediately. I called to report it (another 2 hours on the phone), and was told by a different person that the computer was not eligible for replacement because the same problem had not been addressed three times. I told them that I had reported the same problem three times, but that it had not been fixed.
Additionally, when I received the computer back after the third repair, I was not sent my original power cord - instead, I got a faulty cord that only supplied intermittent power to the battery.
This supervisor agreed that it should be replaced. He submitted the report to the replacement team and guaranteed to me that the replacement team would accept the report and offer me a replacement computer. I called back today (one week later), and was told that the computer was not eligible for replacement because the problem had not been addressed three times.
The supervisor I spoke with (another 1.5 hours on the phone) told me that no guarantees could be made, and that the same problem would have to be addressed. This supervisor was extremely rude to me - interrupting me, yelling at me, and telling me that I didn't know what I was talking about because he was reading the report. He said that he would recommend that the motherboard, processor, hard drive, and power cord be replaced. Over $1,000 has been spent on repairs - more than the computer was worth in the first place!
I have continually reported the same problem - loud, whirring, grinding noise coming from the lower left hand side of the computer. The representatives refuse to uphold their end of the warranty - to replace the computer if the same problem has been addressed, but not fixed, at least three times. I am now sending the computer in for the fourth time, and have no expectations of it being replaced this time.