Western Digital buyers beware!
--> Resolved 11/16/05
WESTERN DIGITAL BUYERS BEWARE!
I know this is a lengthy post, but it is a chronicle of my experience with Western Digital's Customer (dis)service. I hope that others will think twice before purchasing WD products after seeing that Western Digital just can't get it right the first time or the second time or the third time; that they don't know what's going on; that they are incapable of dropping the ball because they didn't even know it was in-play; and that they don't appear to have any customer appreciation!!
Read for yourself and make your own decision. This is my experience with them, but it is an experience that noone should have to deal with. And it's not a one-time failure on their part.
At the least make sure Western Digital is giving you the proper warranty period for your products.
I am going to post this everywhere I can, and I encourage you to forward this to others, as I will. This kind of poor support just can't be tolerated.
I purchased four Western Digital 400GB Raid Edition2 hard drives (which come with a manufacturer-supported 5-year warranty) from an online vendor.
I received the hard drives and installed them in my NAS, but noticed a strange sound coming from the unit when it powered up, and that it was only recognizing three of the four disks.
I removed the drives one-by-one and connected them to my PC, and determined which drive was spinning up and making noise, and that it was also the drive that was not being recognized.
So I had received one DOA drive and immediately fired off an email to the vendor, but since I didn't receive an immediate response, I decided to check Western Digital's online warranty support site.
One of the features was a warranty check, and when I entered the defective drive's serial number, the drive only had a 3-year warranty, and when I checked the rest it turned out that ALL the drives only had 3-year warranty instead of advertised 5 year!!
Another feature was the online RMA system, which I attempted to have generate an RMA because it could do an ADVANCE REPLACEMENT so that I could have the new drive in my hands sooner, and not have to wait for all this back-and-forth shipping. But when I attempted to do the online RMA, WD's system kept generating an error, and I was therefore unable to complete the transaction. At this point it was already late in the evening, so I decided to contact WD the next day.
I again attempted to use the online RMA system figuring it might have been a system problem the previous day, but again the RMA system kept generating errors and was unable to complete the transaction.
So I called WD support and spoke with "Angie". I was told that because drive was DOA, I would have to pay return shipping for the defective drive. Fine, I agreed, I just wanted my drive ASAP, and I was told that the drive would be shipped within 3-5 days.
Regarding the improper warranty period, I was told to call back with all serial numbers to have the issue corrected.
I called back with all four serial numbers for the warranty correction, and was told that I was correct about the warranty period, it should be five years, and and was assured that warranty would be corrected within two days
I performed an online warranty check on the four hard drives and saw that only three had been updated to the five year warranty and one still only showed 3 year warranty!
I sent the following email to [email protected]:
And received the following reply:
I have four drives that are supposed to be warrantied until 2010, and were only warrantied til 2008. Your staff upgraded the warranty (as it should have been) on ONLY THREE of the four drives. Please fix the warranty issue for WMAMY1085455.
I shouldn't have to keep on top of this, and had one of the drives not been DOA, I wouldn't have known until it was too late.
I can't believe that:
a) Out of four hard drives purchased, one was DOA
b) the warranties are incorrect (3 year instead of the advertised 5)
c) WD is making me pay for shipping to rma a DOA drive
d) after calling in the problem with the warranty and being told that I am absolutely correct, the issue is still not corrected
Needless to say, so far I'm very disappointed with WD.
Please see attached PDF if you have questions.
I checked the warranty status after receiving Jeremy's reply, and finally saw that the warranty how now been properly updated for all drives.
Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support.
Although I cannot explain why the warranty for your drives was not already five years, I have contacted our warranty department to update the warranty of your remaining drive.
Western Digital Service and Support
HOWEVER, it was now six days after I had requested the ADVANCE REPLACEMENT from WD, and didn't have a shipping notification or tracking number, or any form of confirmation that my replacement drive was on its way.. but I decided to give WD the benefit of the doubt and give it a couple of more days to arrive..
I still hadn't received the replacement drive, nor any tracking info, so I checked the online RMA status and didn't see any drives shipped, so called WD again and spoke with "Richard D. [last name withheld]." He checked the RMA status, but said did not show any drives shipped either, and that he was unable to find any further information regarding the case, but that he would check into it and inform me of the status within 24 hours
Two days later, I still hadn't received a call from Richard, and the online RMA status still showed nothing being shipped, so I was forced to call them again. "Julie" answered the phone, and I asked to speak with a manager since I was obviously getting nowhere speakig with the phone zombies.
After holding for 15 minutes, I had the manager Scott on the phone and explained the history to him. He put me on hold some more to check on the case, and when he returned, he informed me that the drives are on backorder and that there is no eta on shipping of the replacement!!
It took them TWO WEEKS TO FIGURE THIS OUT?? If they had told me up front that this was the case, I would have figured out some way to accomodate my storage needs, but the level of (dis)service I have received from them is simply unnaceptable.
This was another 45 minute phonecall - yet another 45 minutes wasted dealing with WD, so I asked him how they expected to compensate me for my time and aggravation.. perhaps overnighting the drive to me once it was in stock, and/or covering the return shipping... but no, he said that Western Digital did not provide any form of restitution, and couldn't do anything for me.
This is unacceptable, but what can I do? I just have to take it, since as a lowly consumer I have no way to pressure them.
So the phonecall was ended, with me still not having a working drive, or knowing when it was coming, but knowing full well that I was going to be shelling out more money once I finally got it, so I would wait.. wait.. wait.. wait.. until...
STILL NO WORD FROM WESTERN DIGITAL ON MY REPLACEMENT HARD DRIVE.
Since it was now over one month since I made the purchase and WD still hadn't provided me with a replacement, I decided to see if the vendor might not make an exception to their policy and help me out.
After hearing the story, the vendor's phone rep spoke with their manager and said that they would provide me with a replacement drive and not "leave me hanging" like Western Digital literally did.
I shipped the drive back to the online vendor the same day, and I should be holding the replacement drive in my hands early next week.
While Western Digital's phone staff have all been very courteous and for the most part agreeable, this did nothing to put the replacement drive in my hands.
The fact that it took three tries for them to correct the warranty demonstrates lack of competence. The fact that they consistently drop the ball shows lack of support and customer care. The fact that they wouldn't provide any form of compensation shows lack of customer appreciation.
So to recap:
- warranty period incorrect out of the box
- took two tries and intervention on my part for them to complete the correction of the warranty period
- because drive DOA, I have to pay for return shipping
- advance replacement drive not shipped out as promised
- did not know the shipping status of the replacement drive
- did not return phonecall as promised
- took two weeks and speaking with the manager to find out that the replacement drive was not available
- no notification that the drive was not available
- no offer of compensation for their poor handling of the situation
- nearly a month later, still no replacement, nor any idea of eta
If this is not a demonstration of ****-poor service, then I don't know what is.
Again: If you own Western Digital products, AT THE LEAST MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE GIVING YOU THE PROPER WARRANTY PERIOD!!
And if you're considering purchasing Western Digital products, decide for yourself if this is what you want to deal with.
"BUT," you say "they provide a 5-year warranty!" -- Right! And what good is a warranty five years from now, when you can't even get them to make good today?