Western Digital Understands Warranties


   I have a hard drive which seems to be going bad on me.  It’s a Western Digital SATA drive.  So far, no data loss but the drive has a tendency to disappear after my computer has been on for a long time.  It also tends to start making a clicking noise during the BIOS RAID screen during a warm reboot.  Needless to say, a clicking hard drive that just stops underneath the OS is not something I want vital data on for long.  The drive is still under warranty so I head to the Western Digital web site to figure out how I need to handle the warranty.  Right off the support page there is a link to check on the warranty status of a drive.  Just type in the serial number and it will tell you when the warranty expires.  Slick.  I type that in and find out I have about 9 months left.  Good.  Now, to get an RMA to return this.  Often this is like pulling teeth.  Call someone, send an e-mail to customer service and just hope they pay attention, post to a web forum and wait for a response, these are all options I have had to do in the past.  Not for Western Digital.  Right on the check warranty results page is a box to type in the reason for the return.  They don’t seem to really care because they only give you 30 characters to type.  After that, you pick a few options about how you want your return handled and you are done.  Shortly you are notified with an automated e-mail to your account with the RMA number and tracking information.  They’ll even ship the new drive before you return the old one.  How cool is that?  I’ve dealt with my share of warranties over the years but this one is by far the easiest and best to date.  They don’t try to hold a profit margin up by making warranty service hard.  The drive only costs $70 these days so their entire profit margin would be eaten up in just one phone call anyway.  Instead, they just let you return it.  No hassle.  Kudos to Western Digital for truly making the customer king.

Comments (5)

  1. Scott Thornburg says:

    I too have been pleased with the way Western Digital has automated their RMA process. The only problem I have with them (along with almost every other drive manufacturer) is that their warranties have gone from a standard 3 years down to 1 year, at least for their IDE drives. What was the warrenty on your SATA?

  2. Jeff Parker says:

    You know I think the real question should be why are the WD drives failing. I have actually seen this a lot, the WD drives just do not seem to hold up for very long. I do not know why. While I have gone through a few drives in my lifetime the WD ones always burn out quick and hard. I have a couple of Quantum Fireballs, that are 10 years old now. Man they are a hard to find drive anymore. They are only 4 gigs but I trust them still with all my personal data. I know several people with the Quantum Fireballs still running over 10 years. I guess my point is yeah the WD customer support is great but why should you need to call them.

    I guess I quit trusting WD around the year 1998 when they had a big recall on all thier drives of a certain model and I was a lowly LAN admin. I wandered around replacing the hard drives, reformatting, reloading, restoring data preferences, in about 1000 computers. Yeah they were great then too, free replacement drives with more gigs, but still why was this even needed. Never bought a WD since then for my personal use but still see people having problems with WD drives on a regular basis. This would be an interesting study at Microsoft. Someone who has hundreds of thousands of computers working hard. Which drives do they replace the most of.

  3. AIM48 says:

    Wow – 2 days ago I had a hard drive fail on me. When I read the comment above I quickly check and yep – it is a western digital (WD300 IDE Protege) Not under warenty

  4. Michael Waters says:

    Hi Steve – I had a WD1600JBRTL (purchased on 10/29/04, but not put into "service" until the end of March 2005. This afternoon, that all too familiar clicking sound began. Luckily, this was just a slave drive, that held images/backups. My first order of business was to pull my rebate receipt (copy) along with the UPC code, and then head to Google. Your blog was one of the top searches in my search. I do indeed concur with the statement about the Quantum Fireball HDs, as I have a 4.2GB one in the machine I’m on now and it still runs smooth as silk. This is the 2nd WD Caviar drive I’ve had crash in the past 2 years. Thanks for your comments on how painless the RMA and warranty process will be. I do give them (WD) kudos for that too, however, I’m thinking of buying either the Hitachi (sp?) IBM or Seagate drive in the future.