Seagate / Warranty Process Nightmare
Way back in March my customer reported that their FreeAgent Pro drive was no longer functioning. I picked up the drive and immediately noticed the USB port on the USB/eSATA module had fallen down inside the device. I told my customer "no big deal - I'm sure Seagate will replace the module and have you back up and running in no time". I was wrong.
I opened the first support ticket on March 11, 2008. Nearly an entire month went by without a response to the ticket, despite my updating it asking what was going on. Finally on April 7th "Justin" replies asking a question he could have answered himself had he bothered to read my original statement or looked at the picture (which I've attached here). On the 11th of April, a full month after the ticket was opened, I was told that my replacement part was being processed and that someone from the "Accessory Department" would be in touch. After almost two more weeks no one had, and when they finally did on the 23rd of April they told me the part was not in stock, and then they closed the ticket.
Of course, no one bothered to tell me they closed the ticket. Their system never told me it was closed. Their E-Mails say you can re-open it within 20 days - yet their website doesn't seem to allow that. I assumed that they would get the part in stock soon and ship it out "ASAP", as they had said in their last update on the 23rd. As it turned out, I was wrong again.
I opened another ticket on May 18th (now two months after the original ticket), asking why the original ticket had been closed and where my replacement part was. No answer. Two days later I updated it asking what was going on. No answer. Finally someone from Seagate called me (or I called them, I can't remember which), and I was told that the USB/eSATA module was still not in stock, and they didn't expect it to be until "sometime in June, maybe". Yet, mysteriously, they were still shipping out new FreeAgent Pro units with the USB/eSATA modules in the box! The support agent told me that the "warranty parts replacement" department was out of the parts and couldn't get any from the "retail" department. My only option at this point was to do an "Advanced Exchange", which costs me $19.99 and a good deal of my time to setup and process.
After consulting with my customer they agreed to the Advanced Exchange, as it seems we will never see the USB module replacement. Today I called Seagate warranty support to setup an Advanced Exchange, but the rep couldn't do it over the phone. She told me to set it up on the website. I did just as instructed, but the website failed to setup the proper exchange and simply setup a normal warranty exchange, where I send the drive back and they send me a new one. This would take weeks and would possibly cost more than the Advanced Exchange, and would certainly waste more of my time. So I called in yet again, using the phone number provided on my warranty order confirmation E-mail, only to discover that the wrong number was on the E-Mail, and that I had to call another number. When I did, they mysteriously couldn't find my order in their system - meaning I would have had to go through the entire process again with someone who I could barely understand and could barely understand me (all of their warranty support is outsourced), and then call back again later to cancel the original order.
I called in today and they found my order number, but when I asked them to add Advanced Exchange they couldn't. They said that they had to cancel my existing RMA (order number), because their system wouldn't allow two order numbers for one serial number. That was annoying, but then they told me that I had to wait at least an hour and then call back, AGAIN, because their system takes at least and hour to "update" itself. So now I have to continue to waste my time and energy on this insane process in which I pay them to resolve an issue for a drive that is still under warranty.
As you can see, this has been a complete nightmare that seems to have no end. I'm blown away by the sheer incompetence of Seagate support and warranty services. How can they take almost three months to resolve a simply parts replacement for what couldn't be more than a $5.00 part? Why do they take weeks to reply to support tickets? Why doesn't their website work properly to process returns? It seems as if they are doing everything in their power to avoid replacing that part, and to circumvent the Advanced Exchange (which they charge for). I certainly won't be purchasing any Seagate products in the future.
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