Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Seagate, WD Cutting Back on Hard Drive Warranties

By - Source: PCWorld | B 59 comments

Many drives from both hard drive manufacturers have been reduced down to one or three years.

Last week brought reports that Western Digital was cutting the distribution warranty period for several hard drives. The news arrived by way of channel partners who received a letter stating which drives will be reduced, and which drives will keep the current plan.

"This new warranty policy will be effective for drives shipped from January 2nd, 2012," the letter stated. "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."

The Caviar Blue, the Caviar Green and the Caviar Black will be the only drives getting the swift kick in the warranties, reduced from three years down to just two; both the Scorpio Black and the VelociRaptor will retain their five-year warranties. However the company plans to unveil an extended warranty offering with special pricing in the near future.

"All drives shipped to distributors prior to Jan. 2nd 2012 will retain the current warranty terms," the letter continued." 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."

"Standard PC warranties are one year," a WD spokesman told PC World in an email. "Even so, WD will continue to maintain five-year warranties on its premium desktop/notebook products, including the WD Caviar Black, WD Scorpio Black and WD VelociRaptor products." The spokesman also denied that the warranty cuts were related to the Thailand floods.

Later Seagate also revealed reductions in hard drive warranties, stating that it had adjusted its terms to be more consistent with "those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries."

"By aligning to current industry standards, Seagate can continue to focus its investments on technology innovation and unique product features that drive value for our customers," the company said. This means the company will invest its funds in product development rather than upholding longer warranties.

Starting December 31, some will be reduced from five years down to three whereas a couple took an even bigger hit with having just a one-year warranty after cuts. But like Western Digital, all drives shipped before the reduction date -- in this case December 31 -- will not be affected.

For starters, the Constellation 2 and the ES.2 will be reduced from a five-year plan to a three-year plan. The 3.5-inch Barracuda will see a drop from five to one year as well as the 3.5-inch Barracuda Green and the 2.5-inch Momentus (5400/7200 rpm). The Cheetah line and Seagate's external drives will not receive a warranty cut.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    billybobser , December 20, 2011 6:21 AM
    drives 50% overpriced, followed by a cheap scam to rake in more cash.

    To be honest, the warranties never cover data loss, so really the warranty is typically there for an indication of the quality of drive.

    Which I infer from this is going down. Reasonable given their damaged equipment.
  • 19 Hide
    uproller , December 20, 2011 7:02 AM
    Reducing warranties right after the manufacturing plants in Thailand start to come back online after the floods?


    Hmmm............
  • 13 Hide
    darkrydr3 , December 20, 2011 6:28 AM
    This is truly a sad day for us all...
Other Comments
    Display all 59 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    joytech22 , December 20, 2011 6:14 AM
    Owch..
  • 26 Hide
    billybobser , December 20, 2011 6:21 AM
    drives 50% overpriced, followed by a cheap scam to rake in more cash.

    To be honest, the warranties never cover data loss, so really the warranty is typically there for an indication of the quality of drive.

    Which I infer from this is going down. Reasonable given their damaged equipment.
  • 13 Hide
    darkrydr3 , December 20, 2011 6:28 AM
    This is truly a sad day for us all...
  • -1 Hide
    tomfreak , December 20, 2011 6:46 AM
    Are they trying to send a message to "smart customer", "buy our overprice HDD now & stop complaining about expensive HDD, or u get reduce warranty later"
  • 11 Hide
    1foxracing , December 20, 2011 6:48 AM
    The Caviar Blue, the Caviar Green and the Caviar Black will be the only drives getting the swift kick in the warranties, reduced from three years down to just two; both the Scorpio Black and the VelociRaptor will retain their five-year warranties.
    2 paragraphs later,
    "Standard PC warranties are one year," a WD spokesman told PC World in an email. "Even so, WD will continue to maintain five-year warranties on its premium desktop/notebook products, including the WD Caviar Black, WD Scorpio Black and WD VelociRaptor products."
  • 19 Hide
    uproller , December 20, 2011 7:02 AM
    Reducing warranties right after the manufacturing plants in Thailand start to come back online after the floods?


    Hmmm............
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , December 20, 2011 7:06 AM
    Actually, the only WD drive that I have had give up on me yet is a 1st Gen Velociraptor. I discovered that if I put a fan blowing on it somewhere makes it last much much longer. I was literally going thru 1st Gen Velociraptors every 6 months for a while there.....
  • 4 Hide
    toddzio , December 20, 2011 7:12 AM
    I wonder how Samsung will react to this.
  • 0 Hide
    mas , December 20, 2011 7:28 AM
    Seeing as how that data recovery is never covered, and that after ~3 years, the drive is essentially out of date, we are self-insured anyway.

    Its unfortunate that what this indicates is a reduction in reliability. As if the products life cycle were as healthy as they claimed, the reliability would effectively reduce their exposure.

    But apparently the reliability is NOT a sustainable feature and they are not willing to be exposed to the anticipated failures.

    With the falling of SSD prices and the dropping of MO Harddrive warranties, its time to do pay a bit more attention to the SSD market.

    So, the net impact on Seagate and WD? The general consumer is oblivious to the warranty issue anyway. So the companies will hae a few less drives to cover. But the informed consumer will begin to look elsewhere and at the SSD market - and Seagate and WD will lose sales.

  • 8 Hide
    rottingsheep , December 20, 2011 7:55 AM
    welcome to HDD duopoly
  • 1 Hide
    rottingsheep , December 20, 2011 7:58 AM
    Western Digital bought HitachiGST.
    Seagate also bought Samsung's HDD division.

    Everyone knows where this is going.
  • 2 Hide
    benikens , December 20, 2011 8:03 AM
    The article contradicts itself when referring to caviar black warranty cuts.
  • 8 Hide
    icemunk , December 20, 2011 8:50 AM
    Well.. looks like I'm not buying any more hard drives.. Good bye slow harddrives.. Welcome SSDs.
  • 7 Hide
    viper666 , December 20, 2011 8:56 AM
    icemunkWell.. looks like I'm not buying any more hard drives.. Good bye slow harddrives.. Welcome SSDs.


    Guess their plan worked in the end...
  • 1 Hide
    tlmck , December 20, 2011 9:19 AM
    It must have been my two recent returns. First I bought a new 500gb Black that sounded like a buzz saw. Swapped it for a new Samsung 1tb F3 which was faster and very quiet. A week later Windows told me my 2 year and 8 month old Caviar Blue 320gb was failing. WD diag software told me it was really really failing. It was still withing the 3 year window, so I got a free replacement, although they did replace it with an SE refurbished model. But so far, it seems to be running well.

    I have been using WD for 20+ years and never had any trouble until now. I think future purchases will be Samsung.
  • 1 Hide
    claydavis , December 20, 2011 9:27 AM
    prices hiked and now warranty too decrease. Some faulty is happening in the manufacturing I think.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , December 20, 2011 9:30 AM
    I have a different reading on that announcement:
    Due to floods production is behind, we are going lower quality to meet demand but we don't want to pay for all that defective drives we ll ship.
  • 1 Hide
    slabbo , December 20, 2011 9:37 AM
    hmm, they seem to be limiting the warranties around the same time. smell like these two companies are colluding. There definitely should be an investigation to see if they are. One thing we don't need in the PC industry is illegal collusion.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , December 20, 2011 9:39 AM
    This sucks. It's handy having a 5 year warranty. For me anyway... Gotta buy some 5year warranty drives while you still can.
  • 6 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 20, 2011 9:55 AM
    They are such a****les. They had doubled the price of Hdd now they reduced the warrenty because they want to get a huge profit from the issue of flood in thailand.
Display more comments