A Western Digital hard drive warranty that is not what it seems

One reader discovers a three-year discrepancy in the coverage policy for his Western Digital hard drive

On the heels of Gripe Line reader Paul's complaint about defective Seagate drives, Bob writes in with a related issue, this time with Western Digital hardware.

"I recently purchased a couple of Western Digital 250GB RE3 drives, which were advertised as having a 5-year warranty," says Bob. "But when I entered the two drives' serial numbers into WD's warranty status web page, they both came up with less than 2 years remaining." He wants to know what gives.

[ InfoWorld's Gripe Line -- and its readers -- weighs in on the phenomenon of failing hard drives: "Have hard drives become less reliable?" | Frustrated by tech support? Get answers in InfoWorld's Gripe Line newsletter. ]

"I've contacted WD about this problem," he says. "And they say they are in the process of updating both my drives to a full 5-year warranty. But why should I have to do this in the first place? I've read on WD's forums that others seem to have run into this same problem."

I forwarded Bob's question to Western Digital, but the company seemed as puzzled as Bob. "I have confirmed that the customer's warranties have been updated to five years," says spokesman Steve Shattuck. That was five years from the date of our conversation, not Bob's purchase date. "Five years is standard for the WD RE family of drives," he says.

As to what happened to Bob's missing three years initially? "I do not have a clear answer as to why the customer's analysis of the warranty period did not align with the standard warranty period," he says. He suggest the problem have something to do with the reseller who sold Bob his drive.

It is, though, obviously a good idea to register a new product and confirm the warranty matches what you bought. Four years down the road, Bob would have been very miffed to find his warranty had run out years ago.

Got gripes? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

This story, "A Western Digital hard drive warranty that is not what it seems," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in storage and hardware at InfoWorld.com.

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