Anyone ever had problems with WD's RMA?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by twofortyfreak, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. twofortyfreak

    twofortyfreak n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    This is the first time ive had a drive fail, so this is the first time ive ever rma'd a drive. My primary drive for the past couple years was an 80GB Western Digital Caviar Blue. The drive prevented my computer from booting and was extremely hot to the touch, it also felt and sounded like it would try to spin, then stop, and try again. So i quickly put it in my other pc as a slave to try and copy it all really quick, but moments after booting, smoke came out from the drive so i immediately powered off. A while later I tried it again and the drive was completely dead.

    Still being in warranty, I started the rma process on wd's website and it went smoothly. Shipped the drive and received a replacement a week later. To my surprised, the drive that arrived was now a 160GB Caviar Blue (which sells for about 45 bucks these days) and was pretty excited. This is great news as I need more space for music library which is now too big to share a partition on the 80GB drive.

    Filled with glee, I hooked it up and... and... <wait for it> the drive is defective. :mad:

    It wouldnt let my computer post, and it would keep making these strange beeps, definitely not from the motherboard. It even did the same thing in my testing computer. After trying different cables, a different psu, nothing. My conclusion is this drive is toast, probably damaged from ups throwing it around.. heck, i even heard them drop it on my porch.

    So now im waiting for a response back from WD customer support. I assume if i just rma this drive, i'll get a 160gb back again, but i dont think i should pay for shipping this time. I tell you what, i'll pay for shipping again, and you guys send me a... lets make it 320GB this time.

    Anyone ever had this happen?

    Cliffs:
    Rma'd hard drive (80gb)
    Was sent a defective 160gb in return
    No longer filled with glee
     
  2. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,419
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    To answer the question in the thread title, no I haven't. I've dealt with them on several occasions and never had a problem. I've received better units in return for what I sent in for repair/replacement.
     
  3. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,614
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Have them do an advanced RMA where they send you the replacement drive first. If I recall correctly, advanced RMAs also include a shipping label for you to ship the defective drive back in the same box that the replacement drive came in.

    Quick and easy. :)
     
  4. Cyberbeing

    Cyberbeing Gawd

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    I wouldn't say I've had problems with WD's Advance Replacement RMA process, but I have received RMA replacements which failed SMART within a couple days. That boils down more to the drive in question though, which was having a variety of issues at the time including dropping out of RAID (500GB 5000YS RE2).

    I RMA'ed two RE2 drives I bought at the same time for failing SMART (reallocated sectors). Both RMA replacements developed the same problem within a couple days. Sent them back for RMA again and received a 5000ABYS (newer model) and 5000YS as replacements and those two have held up fine.

    You have an option to buy a UPS shipping label when you process your RMA. The shipping label is not included, unless something has changed in the past year. Having a box they approve of to ship the drive back in is a big plus though.
     
  5. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    FML

    I had a 2.5month long RMA process with WD.
     
  6. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,013
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    I just knew ther had to be at least 1 horror story! :D
     
  7. axan

    axan [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    did 20+ rmas with WD (work + personal) and never had an issue
     
  8. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    You have no idea

    Ill prob get shot for quoting myself but here we go.
     
  9. Megalomaniac

    Megalomaniac 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    there are bound to be a few every so often.
    Im happy to say that I had a very bad experience this year, it took them 4 weeks plus to send me a Advanced RMA drive...
    I was very pissed.

    But then the next one I RMAed took only 1 week to arrive, I was even surprised.
     
  10. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Seagate still has the best RMA process.

    I had new drives the next business day......that was awesome.
     
  11. dydx

    dydx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    The free advanced RMA policy that WD has is probably the only good thing about the whole RMA process. That was pretty much the reason why I chose WD in the first place. Anything that is likely to fail such as hard drives, I dont mind paying a bit extra for better warranty. However, the refurb drives that I get back as a replacement ALWAYS starts getting SMART errors within a month, or even worse, bad sectors. I noticed another user mentioning the same issue.

    Another complaint I have about WD's RMA is that it's been over a month and the warranty on my refurb drive still hasn't been updated to reflect the existing warranty that was on the defective drive. Emailing customer support has been pretty much useless.
     
  12. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Wondered how a drive gets "refurbished"?
    If the drive spins up and doesn't have a horrifying rattling noise, a quick wipe and flash, and it's "refurbished." If the drive doesn't spin up, a quick flash, possibly a PCB replacement, and it's "refurbished." If the drive arrives with SMART errors and no noises? You guessed it; wipe, flash, "refurbished." If it doesn't spin up? Sold to "refurbishers" that whitelabel various manufacturer drives.

    Not that anyone else does it any differently. I actually had a 10 drive array that was literally turned into a 5 month juggling contest with the idiots at WDC, because they would get the defective drive, then ship a defective "refurb" that died within 30 days, pretend there was no such thing as defective refurbs, then back down when I pointed out that I had 6 drives "in process." They are the only manufacturer I have ever had get openly hostile and start talking back to me when I complained that a refurb was defective.
     
  13. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Sounds like you taked to the same idiots as me :(
     
  14. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Uh, that's because depending on how WDC feels, you only get a 30 day warranty on all "refurbished" drives including those received through RMA process.
    They've been that way since the 1990's, except in the 90's it was "here's your refurb, you get 30 days for it to fail, you to call, get an RMA, and get it to our door. If it arrives on day 31, RMA denied, drive not returned, go away now."
    Now, it's pretty much a crap shoot. Maybe you'll get your warranty, maybe you won't.
     
  15. dydx

    dydx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    It really depends on the support guy you have on the line. Ive talked to some nice people that appeared sympathetic to my problems, but they didn't have much authority to request me being sent a new drive instead of a refurb.

    AreEss, where did you get the info on how drives are refurbished? It's sounds terrible...I figure atleast they would do a surface test or something. Oh and maybe I should clarify. But the drive I returned has over 2 years of warranty left, and WD's policy is to update the refurb drive that they send back as a replacement with whatever warranty was left over on the defective drive. That is their exact policy, but it seems that every time I do a RMA I have to manually ask them to update the warranty on the drive for me.
     
  16. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Oh, yeah, I should mention that wasn't a single occurence of a defective or outright DOA RMA drive. Or WDC backtalking me on it. That happened, a lot. Especially when I was dealing with the OEM service side; we would batch ship failed drives for RMA, and get crates with refurb drives at around a 50% DOA rate on quite a few models. I have never had an RMA replacement on an RMA refurb not be a fight with them.

    In fact, it's kind of been an issue with them since 1992 till I finally got wise and stopped going anywhere near them.
     
  17. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    No it doesnt
    In my 2 month WDisaster i had direct lines to 3 different supervisors, and talked to numerous Tech staff, and they all have mental defficiencies.
     
  18. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Yeah. They play a good game, and it's a load of bullshit.

    Someone who actually did the work. I won't say who or where. That's how it works though. You can also look at how drives are "recertified" in the self-healing ICE arrays.

    And you seem to have WDC confused with an ethical company that doesn't put profit before everything else. I'm sorry, Fantasy Land Storage is over next to the Candy Houses.
    WDC has absolutely no intention of ever updating ANYONE'S warranty if they can avoid it. WHY? Because of the fact that if the warranty isn't updated within 30 days with the "remainder," they don't have to. Most people will forget, and WDC can then just say "oh well you have no warranty, goodbye."
    You could argue they legally have to, but if they say no, have fun going up against their army of contract lawyers over a $100 hard drive.
     
  19. OldMX

    OldMX 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,532
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    I had 2 WD2500KS failed within a week of difference, WD replaced the first one, but the second one they gave me the finger...no more WD for me.
     
  20. dydx

    dydx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Thanks for the enlightenment, AreEss. Wow, I used to buy WDs mainly because I thought their warranty was the best in the business for a bit better piece of mind. Is Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung, etc... not much different compared to WD? It seems the higher density the drives are, the less reliable they are becoming.

    I think the smart thing to have done was to just buy the extended warranty from my local retailer in the first place, since they will exchange for the exact same drive over the counter. Not having to ship back a drive once would have paid for itself.
     
  21. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Samsung has a 7yr warranty on their F1 drives
     
  22. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,614
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    That's only for their RAID-class hard drives, IIRC. Their usual F1s have 3 years.
     
  23. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

    Messages:
    10,460
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    ahhh yea thats right
     
  24. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,013
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    I knew there'd be at least one horror story! :D

    AAR, I've had good experiences with WD's advance replacement. I'm not sure if the warrantys for advance and regular RMAs are different but you get.....

    I've never paid attention to it.




    Could you post a link for that?





    A coupla weeks ago I wrote WD asking about their refurb process.....

    I got a chuckle outta that one! :D
     
  25. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,614
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Though on a small tangent, I'm still not sure how a Samsung HDD RMA works out...I looked on their site and it was pretty byzantine in how to conduct an RMA, I believe it mentioned to talk to your reseller to obtain a replacement, and another part of the site said to ship it out to Samsung. :confused:
     
  26. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Within vendor warranty and for drives marked as OEM'd drives, you contact your vendor first. If the drive has additional characters in the model, such as "/SSC," then it's an OEM'd drive and is not warranted by Samsung.

    To obtain an RMA for Samsung HDD products, you need to navigate away from the samsunghdd.com website to Samsung's main website.
    http://www.samsung.com/us/support/repairpolicy/servicePolicyWarrantyHddOddExchange.do
     
  27. dydx

    dydx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    ARGGG!!! Like I mentioned before, each refurb drive I get as a RMA starts developing bad sectors after less than a month. I thought perhaps I would get lucky with my current refurb drive which I got a few weeks ago, but NOPE. Sure enough, it's getting bad sectors. Ive probably already spent over half the cost after my initial purchase of this stupid WD5000BEVT drive RMA'ing it again and again.

    Does ANYONE have any idea at all how if it is possible to get WD to send me a new drive instead? It is ridiculous how utterly terrible their refurb drives are! Calling or emailing customer support has been practically USELESS. I am kicking myself for not paying the extra $10 and just getting an extended warranty with my local retailer to do an over the counter exchange for a new drive if they ever go bad.
     
  28. Sparkyy

    Sparkyy [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,167
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Sorry to hear you are having such problems with WD, I usually do, as a few others posted, an advanced RMA so it is sent back in the same box they sent me and makes life easier then finding a box and making sure it is safe though can't recall the refurb I got back ever causing issues.
     
  29. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Call in.
    Demand a manager. No. The guy on the phone can't help you. Manager. Now.
    Demand his manager. No. The guy on the phone can't help you. Hasn't yet. Manager. Now.
    Demand the department head. No. The guy on the phone can't help you unless he can ship you a new drive advance replacement at absolutely no cost whatsoever to you.

    Until you get someone who is willing to do that, then no, you will not get a working drive. Western Digital doesn't test for that, they just clear 'em and ship 'em as refurb, as I said. Make sure the idiot you get on the phone understands that you're now on your umpteenth "replacement" drive and you have yet to be shipped a WORKING drive, with multiple DOAs, and that if they do not do something immediately to regain your confidence, you will be posting - in detail - your experiences with their RMA process in multiple forums and on multiple websites, including the fact that they are shipping out obviously defective drive after obviously defective drive. And that you have spent as much on obtaining these defective drives as you could have spent on a brand new one. And that if they do not immediately furnish a working drive within a reasonable time, you will be contacting your credit card company to reverse ALL charges on the basis that you were provided with known defective parts three or more times.

    The only language WDC speaks is fear.

    EDIT: The reason for reversing charges being scary, is that you can demand reversal of a hold, even a released one. This dings WDC's "points" with the card agencies. They are only allowed so many chargebacks - successful or not - before they are refused the ability to accept credit cards for anything under any circumstances. Enough disputes within 30 days can trigger automatic suspensions and holds, which keeps them from all that money. And do not let your credit card company claim you can't dispute it - the law says that you can, and they cannot refuse to permit a dispute except on very narrow grounds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  30. dydx

    dydx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    A credit card chargeback on the retailer who sold me the drive wouldnt be fair, because WD is at fault here and not them.

    A chargeback on WD for their advanced RMA process would only occur if I didn't ship back the advanced RMA drive. In that situation, wouldn't I automatically be at fault since the policy is that I am supposed to ship it back? It could seem like I am just a greedy guy trying to get another hard drive for nothing. Ive never actually done a credit card chargeback, but if it will send a message, then I'll give it a shot.

    Anyways, I'll give them a call later and we'll see how it goes.
     
  31. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Sigh. No.

    It's not a chargeback. It's a dispute and reversal. WD puts a hold on your credit card when you do advance RMA. It's not the same as a charge, but may as well be, because it counts against your credit limit. It's also disputable, whether or not your credit card company likes it. Holds can be disputed for the same reasons as actual charges.

    And stop trying to defend these scumbags. You are not a greedy guy trying to get another hard drive for nothing. You are being victimized by a completely unethical company who has no interest in seeing you get a working drive to replace the one that originally failed. You bought a drive with a warranty that said if it failed within three years, they would provide you with a working replacement drive. As of yet, they have failed to do so, and have made absolutely no effort to even acknowledge or apologize for the fact that they've shipped you multiple defective drives.

    Don't let anyone tell you that you're not in the right here; you are. At this point, you will probably still end up stuck buying a new hard drive anyways. And because of the RMA crap, you can't write a letter - which really gets attention, especially when copied to corporate - without making things even worse for yourself in the interim. I'd say give them one final try. If they don't send a new drive, or they send another drive that fails within a month, then you write a letter, and send a copy to their customer service department and the corporate office, certified mail with return receipt.
     
  32. Wildace

    Wildace [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,717
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    no issues here, the day they got my hard drive they shipped my replacement same day with 1 day shipping so i had it the following buisness day they got my drive... speedy service :)
     
  33. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,013
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Regardless, the CC co. will make him send the drive back as per the agreement.

    He'll end up with no drive but with all his money.
     
  34. twofortyfreak

    twofortyfreak n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Follow up: they took forever to respond to my email, so i just went ahead and rma'd the replacement drive.

    Received my replacement for my replacement, it's a 160gb ide again, but this time it is a brand new Caviar Blue with a man. date of july 2009.

    AND it actually works this time. So in the end, an 80gb for a 160gb is nice, but all i really wanted was a working drive to begin with.
     
  35. AreEss

    AreEss 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Please do not spread blatantly incorrect information.
    There is no money involved, as was stated clearly no less than four times.

    Reversal of a hold does not require him to send the drive back per any agreement. The agreement was violated by WDC when they shipped a known defective product. There is absolutely no requirement to return a defective drive. Period.
     
  36. Transient

    Transient [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,029
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1998
    Well, here's my experience with WD RMAs in Canada thus far, in point form because it gets confusing:

    - two WD5000AAKS 500GB drives in a RAID 0 array (drives are from the same batch)
    - first drive fails and I do an Advance RMA with WD
    - I mail in my defective drive the next day
    - replacement drive arrives within a couple days and I'm back up and running
    - defective drive arrives at WD
    - despite having received the drive (signature and delivery confirmation), WD doesn't acknowledge receipt
    - finally a couple days before the credit card charge date, they update my RMA to say the defective drive has been received

    - a week later the second drive fails
    - I do another Advance RMA
    - I mail in the defective drive the same day
    - drive arrives at WD a few days later
    - two weeks later "Advance RMA" replacement is finally shipped
    - again their site is not updated to indicate receipt of the drive, but at least the date my credit card will be charged is moved to match 1 month from the day they shipped the replacement

    All in all, I'm not very impressed. I have another two WD drives in a separate array and if those fail that will be it for WD and me.


    That said, I have a friend who had a 320GB Seagate fail on him recently. He lives near the RMA depot (10 minutes away) so he decided to deliver it in person, properly packed in a box according to Seagate's directions of course.

    He showed up and hand-delivered it to the supervisor that happened to be out front. The next day, he receives an update to his RMA indicating his claim has been rejected because the drive is damaged. Specifically, they claim the top plate is dented and a chip is broken off the circuit board.

    Naturally, my friend is pissed. He contacts Seagate and they tell him the drive has been shipped back to him. The next day he receives it and the drive is flawless. So now he's in the process of trying to get a supervisor to override the decision. Fun stuff. :)