When your laptop needs repairs, sending it through the United Parcel Service of America has always been a fast, reliable route to the manufacturer--but now, your Toshiba laptop can stay with UPS for a fix.

The guys in brown shorts who visit innumerable businesses every day won't be taking a screwdriver to your notebook. Instead, it goes to a central repair facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Most customers will get their laptops back the next business day after they ship it, says Joe Karcher, Toshiba's director of service-planning logistics.

"We'll at least be able to hit 95 percent; that would be a conservative estimate," Karcher says of the one-day turnaround offer.

Certified technicians employed by UPS perform the repairs. Most have eight to ten years experience repairing notebooks, Karcher says. All are trained and certified by Toshiba.

Here's how the process works: When you have a problem with your Toshiba notebook computer, you'll call the company's technical support line (800/457-7777) as usual. If the representative determines that you have a hardware problem, you'll be referred to the nearest of the nation's 3300 UPS stores. Service reps there will package the laptop and send it to UPS in Louisville. Packing and shipping costs $15, which Toshiba representatives say is a discount on The UPS Store's usual rates.

Though most people think of UPS as being strictly a shipping specialist, the company has a fair amount of experience with repairs. UPS has been handling electronics equipment repairs for at least four years, according to Orzy Theus, a UPS representative. UPS technicians repair some cell phones, printers, scanners, projectors, and personal digital assistants under similar arrangements with several other manufacturers.

PC World Report

F'd Gaijin

I never knew UPS was into the PC repair business. Guess it always helps to diversify your investments and business model. I mean it makes sense to integrate shipping with repair... the two go hand in hand.