Friday, April 03, 2009


DO NOT deal with them.

I have a LOT of data. The last few years I've gone all digital with my pictures, work, music and comic. So I've learned to back everything up. Often.

I have a 500GB Western Digital MyBook external next to my computer. I dropped the first one and WD replaced it before I even sent it back. I appreciate that customer service more than ever now.

The MyBook was getting full (I have a LOT of data). So I went to Best Buy for a bigger one. Seagate makes a 1.5 TB drive. I hadn't used them before but I figured a hard drive is a hard drive.

Mistake #1.

A few months later, the Seagate died during a backup. It would add a couple of files and crash, taking the desktop with it. I no longer had the box or the receipt. I figured that was the end of it.

Bill visited and suggested returning it to the manufacturer. He assured me the loss of the box and receipt would be no problem. Just go online and register it on their website.

Mistake #2.

It took twenty minutes through their Gordian Knot of a site to find the return page. I had to enter the serial number four differnet times. And once I was done, all Seagate sent me was a pdf on how to ship it back. It mainly told me to put it in that box I don't have.

So I ship it. And a week later I get three emails from Always a helpful sign. The last email said this:


Seq Seagate PN/
Customer PN PN Description/
Cust Line Ref # Issue Date/
Receipt Date Req Qty/
Rcv Qty # Exp Not Rcv Qty/
OOW Charges


1 9ZB2A8-570 ST315005FDA2E1-RK 20-MAR-2009 1 1
1 1 No receipts 0 0.00 0

Serial No Expected Not Received: 2GEV3H2H

3 9ZB2A8-570 ST315005FDA2E1-RK 20-MAR-2009 0 0
3 RETURN UNREPAIRED 27-MAR-2009 1 0.00 0
Serial No Received: 2GEV3H2H


Total Requested Quantity : 1
Total Clean Received Quantity : 0
Total Expected Not Received Qty : 1
Total Discrepant Quantity : 0
Total Return Unrepaired Quantity : 1
Total OOW Charges : 0.00


Dear Sir or Madam,

Your RMA (Return Material Authorization) Number is 1001733990.
Your Order Reference Number is 1001733990.

This document details the RMA as received. If there are any differences from the Order Acknowledgement, please amend your records accordingly.

Best regards,
Seagate Technology

when inquiring about or sending in your order

To this day, I have no idea what it means. For awhile I thought they had lost the drive. They seem to have a serial number but don't have the serial number. The serial number is on the drive itself but no one can find it. Do they need the store receipt? The one they never asked for? Did they not like the way I shipped it back? Do they just hate the Irish?

Yesterday I get a phone call. UPS is delivering something with a tracking number that doesn't work. Stay there. Don't take a shower. Don't go into a room where you can't hear the doorbell. Just wait for UPS.

Today they delivered the drive. It wasn't a replacement like WD sent me. It was my old drive with stickers on it. Stickers with more serial numbers and abbreviations. And two wires sticking out of the side. I picked it up and broken plastic rattled inside it.

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I plugged it in. My data was still there. And it crashed.

Now I'm just confused. Seagate didn't fix my drive. In fact, they broke it a little more. But why send it back? Why pay the expense to send me a more broken product back? And why make me fucking sign for it?

Bill figures they're not a company set up for end users. I don't think they're a company set up for humans. Unless that human is Franz Kafka. It's one thing to screw me but why spend your own money to screw me? It just doesn't make sense.

BTW, the WD MyBook drive? Still working perfectly.


Mark said...

oops... I have a Seagate back up drive... maybe I should look for the box now.

Anonymous said...

Seagate is one of the BEST companies out there making computer hardware. Their site has alot of stuff on it, so if you arnt familiar with customer support, you might find it intimidiating.

You said you entered the serial number three times to get it to work. Obviously something went wrong. Who can say where, but my guess would be your security settings.

If the serial number on the RMA (digital) ticket doesnt match the serial munber on the drive they got, there is a discrepancy, and they cannot complete the RMA. The technicians do not handle RMA stuff in the computer. This is industry standard. They look at a ticket (digital in their computer) verify the product recieved. If everything is ok, they test it. If its not bad, or the serial doesnt match, or physical abuse, they pack it back up and ship it back. They CANNOT keep it, it doesnt belong to them, it is your property. They have to ship it back. If its defective, they send you a refurb one.

Seagate pioneered the 5 year warranty when western crap had 2 year. I used to dig out WD drives from dumpsters that had died in 6 months and RMA them to get a free refurb drive. I have heard that WD has improved since the merger with maxtor, but you will find no better company with the high standards of seagate that sells drives at such a good price. Seagate has bee around longer than any other existing hard drive company I think. Though IBM may still make their own, so that may not be true.

It would be generally assumed that if you can replace the hard drive in a computer that you can sort your way through a RMA.

If not, you should be taking your computer to a qualified technician who can assist you.

The silver lining is that it looks like your drive is STILL in warranty. With the cost of drives, you SHOULD RMA it again.

Call seagate, they will take you through some other links on their site that is better than the regular RMA. Put the drive in an anti-static bag (silver plastic ones computer stuff comes in). The box isnt important. It doesnt have to be the retail package, I dont know where you got that, just use bubble wrap, or peanuts, and pack well. Insure the shipment. Write the RMA# on the box with your return address, in a couple of weeks you will have a refurb drive..
Good Luck