Thursday, December 15th 2011

WD Slashes HDD Warranties By A Third – But You Can Buy Them Back

Way back in 2008, we reported that Seagate was lowering warranties of its hard disk drives from 5 years to 3. This trend quickly spread throughout the HDD industry and unsurprisingly, wasn't something that customers were too happy about. Now, Western Digital is lowering the warranty on some of its HDD lines from 3 years to a mere 2, with the affected lines being the Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue. Lines not affected are the Caviar Black, Scorpio Black, A/V drives and externals. Also, as the stock feeds through the channel, there will be a transition period where the same model in a store will have either a 2 or 3 year warranty, depending on its serial number, which can be checked on WD's support site. It will be interesting to see if retailers will clearly differentiate to customers which drives have which warranty, as it might be rather convenient for them not to.

Channel partners have received a letter from SelectWD about this:

This new warranty policy will be effective for drives shipped from January 2nd, 2012. It is important that you take a moment to update your website(s) and collateral to reflect this change for effected drives shipped after January 1st, 2012.

All drives shipped to distributors prior to Jan. 2nd 2012 will retain the current warranty terms. Because of existing inventory in the distribution channel there will be a short period of time when some drives with a 3-year warranty will be sold at the same time as drives with a 2-year warranty.

If you have any doubt about the warranty of a drive you purchased, you can go to support.wdc.com, select Warranty and RMA Services and proceed to the Warranty Check page.
The letter goes on to say "In the near future we will be unveiling an extended warranty offering with special pricing." At this time, there's no explanation why WD is reducing its warranty term.

So now, hard drive prices are very high across the board due to the Thailand flooding, which will be compounded by rubbish warranties that one can "buy back" the missing period by giving WD even more money. Does anyone sense a money grab here? It would be surprising if Seagate didn't follow WD's lead on warranties. SSDs are looking more attractive every day, aren’t they?Source: The Register
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50 Comments on WD Slashes HDD Warranties By A Third – But You Can Buy Them Back

#2
v12dock
Time of the age of SSDs!
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#3
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Thanks to Static~Charge for the tip. :toast:
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#4
radrok
This is something awful, warranty should be extended not cut, such sadness :shadedshu
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#5
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
I wonder how long until we get a "standard" one year warranty with hard drives with the option to buy more years cover at some silly markup. :rolleyes:
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#6
DarkOCean
And this is happening now when the prices for hdds are sky high.
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#7
_JP_
RAMDisk (and other alternatives) here I go!
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#8
Aleksander
For me it is normal
In my country the hdds warranty are 6 months at most
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#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Aleksander Dishnica
For me it is normal
In my country the hdds warranty are 6 months at most
Say, wut! :eek:

Are they all stolen, or something? How can they screw over Albanians like this?
Posted on Reply
#10
DaedalusHelios
by: qubit
Say, wut! :eek:

Are they all stolen, or something? How can they screw over Albanians like this?
:laugh:

Albania = Everything stolen

^^Thats what I always hear from people in the UK. :roll:
Posted on Reply
#11
Aleksander
Lol at least we have ebay ;)
and they are second handed or stolen
it is not the peoples fault though!
hdd companies discriminate us T_T
Posted on Reply
#12
DaedalusHelios
by: Aleksander Dishnica
Lol at least we have ebay ;)
and they are second handed or stolen
Thats alright. I live in the USA where we are 30% obese. We need some of our food stolen. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#13
Widjaja
This is the worst time to do such a thing.
This may also make me change to seagate in the future for mechanical storage.

By the way things are going, more and more people are going to opt for SSDs.

But then again, who knows, maybe with the increasing availability of SSDs due to pricing, it is actually affecting HDD manufacturers more than we realize.
Posted on Reply
#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
This means is the manufacture quality of the drives is declining. That's a greater issue than warranties being shortened. Hard drives used to be meant to last 15-25 years--a death within 5 years was considered infant mortality. Now, drives probably don't even last 15 years so infant mortality is over in three--and now two--years.

Shame on them for going shoddy. At the same time, it might be a consequence of the technologies implemented (like perpendicular recording).
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#15
Andrei23
The HDD industry is making all the wrong moves, price gouging, warranty period reductions. I say this is the time for SSD companies to swoop in for the kill.
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#16
Mega-Japan
Hell yes about the SSD's. A couple of years ago, I'd stay away from SSD's due to their outrageous prices, but now I'm waiting for those Intel 520's and grabbing myself a couple for a RAID 0 set up.

HDD's will be for nothing but media storage :).
Posted on Reply
#17
TheMailMan78
Banstick Dummy
by: FordGT90Concept
This means is the manufacture quality of the drives is declining. That's a greater issue than warranties being shortened. Hard drives used to be meant to last 15-25 years--a death within 5 years was considered infant mortality. Now, drives probably don't even last 15 years so infant mortality is over in three--and now two--years.

Shame on them for going shoddy. At the same time, it might be a consequence of the technologies implemented (like perpendicular recording).
Blame the fact the Fed forced them all to use lead free solder. If you wanna sell in the US then you better have ZERO lead in your solder. Made ALL electronics less reliable.
Posted on Reply
#18
DaedalusHelios
by: TheMailMan78
Blame the fact the Fed forced them all to use lead free solder. If you wanna sell in the US then you better have ZERO lead in your solder.
That would only make a difference if it was a thermal issue, which it isn't.
Posted on Reply
#20
NC37
by: FordGT90Concept
This means is the manufacture quality of the drives is declining. That's a greater issue than warranties being shortened. Hard drives used to be meant to last 15-25 years--a death within 5 years was considered infant mortality. Now, drives probably don't even last 15 years so infant mortality is over in three--and now two--years.

Shame on them for going shoddy. At the same time, it might be a consequence of the technologies implemented (like perpendicular recording).
Its because people demand cheaper and cheaper tech. The same happened with the TVs. First LCDs and such that came out were super high, but they last longer than current models because they've all cheapened on materials to cut costs since.

Microwaves are another real bad industry. Any microwave made in China, is almost guaranteed to fail within 6 months if not sooner. They make them extremely cheap. Talked to numerous repair guys over the years who keep saying, don't throw out your old stuff if you got it. Made in USA, Japan, Europe, or anywhere but China...will usually last longer.

Now there are exceptions. We bought a Frigidare Microwave that was built in China but we read up on it. All the internals were US. They make lines that are US made and US assembled but this was one where they just had them assemble it. Sure enough, going on about 5 years now whereas the Panasonics/etc died within a few months. Same with our Breville toaster. Australian made, China assembled. You pay a ton more but the thing lasts, doesn't burn toast, and actually cooks evenly.

WD does honor the warranty well. I've had to contact them once on it before and it was very well handled. But this change will impact my buying choice. I'd still consider them but, they will not be my first pick.
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#21
tttony
by: Aleksander Dishnica
For me it is normal
In my country the hdds warranty are 6 months at most
Same on my country :mad: (Chavezland)
Posted on Reply
#22
Completely Bonkers
It demonstrates that WD has little faith in their products.

= I have little faith in their products.

= I will not buy their products.
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#23
spynoodle
This is extremely irritating. When Seagate lowered their warranty to 2 years, I lost some of my trust in them. It wasn't too big of a deal, though, since we still had WD and Samsung which were both good. Then Seagate bought Samsung's hdd division, and now WD lowered their warranty. WHO DO WE HAVE LEFT???
Posted on Reply
#24
Mega-Japan
Ever since my WD VelociRaptor died and taking a lot of critical information with it, I swore to never buy a WD HDD ever again. Just buying Seagate's GoFlex drives for media storage in the meantime.

by: tttony
Same on my country :mad: (Chavezland)
lol Venezuela. I love Chavez, he's one funny dude :D.

by: spynoodle
This is extremely irritating. When Seagate lowered their warranty to 2 years, I lost some of my trust in them. It wasn't too big of a deal, though, since we still had WD and Samsung which were both good. Then Seagate bought Samsung's hdd division, and now WD lowered their warranty. WHO DO WE HAVE LEFT???
Hitachi?
...
Oh wait...
Posted on Reply
#25
makwy2
ho ho ho! merry Christmas WD investors!

oh, and a big fat stinking lump in your face customers! haha, suckas!
Posted on Reply
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