Defective Seagate hard drive replaced

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 23rd, 2005 • 4:50 am

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the fact that one of my internal Seagate hard drives had failed.

I requested a RMA number through the Seagate support site (which only works with Microsoft’s Explorer or Netscape 7.0 and is really slow, especially over a modem connection). The defective hard drive was shipped back to the Canadian address provided by Seagate on June 7th or 8th.

It took them a long time to acknowledge receipt of the hard drive. I only got an e-mail back from Seagate on June 16th. (I checked the support site a couple of times before that date, and the tracking system seemed to indicate that they still hadn’t received the drive from me.)

But then it appears that the replacement hard drive was shipped immediately. I received it yesterday, on June 22nd, and the shipping slip had a printed date of June 16th. I installed the hard drive this morning (I becoming quite familiar with this procedure!) and it’s working just fine.

I was sort of hoping that the warranty for this replacement hard drive would start from June 2005 — especially since Seagate changed their warranty plans a month after I bought this hard drive (on May 28, 2004), and extended all hard drive warranties to five years instead of three, retroactively for all hard drives shipped after June 1st, 2004. (Just my luck, eh?)

But it doesn’t look like warranty arrangements for replacement items work that way. The shipping slip says “WED 28-MAY-07” and I also checked with the Seagate web site, which confirms that the new drive with the new serial number has the same warranty expiry date as the drive it replaces.

Still, I suppose that, if Seagate is able to offer a five-year warranty on all its drives, it must be because their failure rates are pretty low. I have already had one failure, so now I should be OK — statistically speaking, of course!

The other thing that I am not too pleased about is that the package had a sticker from a broker indicating that I might have to pay duty and tax on the drive. (This probably means that I will have to pay duty and tax.) This is in spite of the fact that the package was clearly labelled “refurbished” by Seagate. (They declared a value of $21.20 on the package.)

It is my understanding that, when you are sent such replacement items, you don’t have to pay tax on them again. Of course, when I call the 1-800 number of the broker, I only get an answering machine with a menu of pre-recorded answers stating quite clearly that you cannot contest their decision and actually have to contest the decision with the Canadian government itself. This makes little sense to me: If it is the broker that decided that the item should be taxed, then why can’t you contest it with them?

So I clearly anticipate a bill from the broker for the duty and tax, and a lengthy process of trying to get the tax reimbursed by the Canadian government. Grrr.

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