I recently had a hot swappable Seagate SCSI hard drive fail. As
disconcerting as this may normally be, I wasn’t too concerned. It
was one of three drives that make up a RAID 5, so my data was safe and
I had just purchased the drive seven months earlier, so I knew it was
still under warranty. I figured I was set, I’d get the drive
replaced under warranty and within 48 hours life would be back to
normal without any downtime.
I called Seagate warranty and was only on hold a few minutes when Sven
answered. I gave him the model and serial numbers of the
drive and he put me on hold. After a few minutes more of hold
music Sven came back with
the news, "I regret to inform you that your warranty has
expired." What?! I just bought the drive in January.
He tried to explain the reason they were leaving me hanging, but I couldn’t understand more than every third word. I
think I picked up the biggest point, "your warranty is expired."
Call my vendor
I called my vendor to see if he had access to a Seagate rep. I
explained to him that they weren’t honoring even one year of my
decided to call
Seagate for me.
My vendor called back with mostly the same results, but said that
the rep he spoke to was "willing to extend" my warranty, but he wanted
me to email them a copy of the proof of purchase along with model and
serial numbers and a description of the problem. No
problem. So I sent the email and sat, waiting.
I did what they asked and received no
response. I’m not normally one to ignore a lesson when it is
staring me in the face, so I sent an email to my vendor asking him to
place a note in my file stating, "I no longer wish to purchase any
Seagate products." I figured it’d make both of our lives easier
in the future. Now he will never suggest them to me and I won’t
have to get irritated when he does, because he won’t.
Another call to Seagate
I wanted the whole warranty problem to
be a mistake, so I played dial a rep and acted like I was calling for
the first time this morning. This rep’s name was Craig and he had
the same speal for me. Only this time I could understand
him. Apparently, the warranty starts the day the hard drive leaves
the factory. WOW!!! That’s insane. According to Craig
my warranty had expired in April, it is now August and I bought the
drive in January. So the drive I bought, of which I had no
physical control over which
one I received because I ordered it from a warehouse, happened to
on a shelf for eight months and that’s my fault? Besides,
according to the manual posted on Seagate’s site, the warranty is
supposed to be five
years. So even if your warranty does start at the time the drive
leaves your factory, I’d still have 4 years and 4 months left.
Craig, I’m sorry but you’re not capable of resolving my issue. I
need to speak to your supervisor.
Mickey reiterated to me that my warranty had expired. I argued
with her that I should have a five year warranty. She responded
each time by telling me that the five year warranty was only for drives
that had sold on or after June 1st
2005. I explained to her that according to the manual that is
available on their site for the drive that I have, says the warranty is
five years. Mickey kept repeating herself about the warranty only
being five years for those purchased after June 2005. Ok, so
you, Mickey, say my warranty is only one year. I’ll accept
that. Though it might be less confusing for consumers if Seagate
had changed the model number slightly for the units with longer warranty
periods. I’ll accept a one year warranty period, but you’re still
saying that my warranty is expired. I bought the drive in January
and it is now August, I have the remainder of this month plus four
more. At this point Mickey finally
conceded to replacing my drive under warranty. But she was clear
that it would only be this once. Her instructions, send an email
to email@example.com with my model and serial numbers, an
explanation of the problem, and a copy of my proof of purchase.
I no longer feel productive. It’s not Mickey’s fault, I realize
that, but she’s on the phone right now. I had to explain to her
that I had already done this yesterday and have yet to receive any
response. Not even so much as a, "we’re busy, be patient."
Mickey didn’t seem too surprised when I told her my plight with the
email as she offered to find the bottleneck and get back to me.
I’ve been promised a call back before and been let down plenty of
times, so I asked her, "at what time should I call you back if I
haven’t heard from you?" Her answer, "24 – 48 hours." My
answer, "I have a failed hard drive that belongs in a server!" Her new answer, "by the end of the business day."
End of Day 2
At the end of day 2 I still have not received a response.
For all of you out there wondering when it will happen, on day one I
had already made arrangements to receive another drive through my
vendor. He stepped up to the plate initially and offered me a
drive if Seagate drug there feet. On the morning of day two, when I
told him I no longer wanted Seagate products, I took him up on that
Seagate finally responds
On day three I finally received an email from Seagate acknowledging
me. Once again they’re asking for proof of purchase.
Apparently this email is in response to the conversation I had with
Mickey. I sent an email to them two days ago and they still have
yet to respond and now they want me to send them another.
Not for professional use
I’ve had other drives fail in the past. Drive failure is not the
issue here. The issue here is the lack of service and the
ridiculous way they default to using the factory ship date as the start
of the warranty. Other companies have used the factory ship date in my past
experiences, but only when I could not provide proof of purchase not as the first line of defense.
As I write this now (Sunday afternoon or more affectionately known as day 5), I’m still waiting for a replacement drive from
Seagate. I’m not holding my breath, as I wrote earlier, I’ve
already arranged for a replacement from my vendor. I just cannot
believe that this is how Seagate responds to warranty claims for their
higher end products. This is not a run-of-the-mill IDE drive that
came with my <insert consumer quality brand name here> ordinary
workstation. This is a server quality hot swappable SCSI 320
hard drive. This is the kind of hardware you’d regularly find in a
server running someone’s business.