punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Seagate/Maxtor Support - Round 1: FIGHT!

A few days ago, I ran into something so ridiculous, I had to share. Okay, a "Returned Materials Authorization," or RMA, is when you have a computer part under warranty go bad. Usually a memory stick or a hard drive. Most companies, like HP, are pretty casual about it. "Aw, a hard drive in your array went bad? Let me overnight a replacement..." But Maxtor, a hard drive company since bought out by Seagate, is so bad, so incompetent, and so mean, I really do think the first day of training for their support tells them, "Try as hard as you can to reject any warranty."

For instance, they want you to use their "PowerMax" software to give them failure codes. Now if you have a desktop or a laptop, this is all fine and dandy. But it's on a floppy disk, and most modern servers don't have one. Not only that, but a majority of the SCSI controllers made since 2003 can't be understood by their old software, and if the drive is truly dead, the software won't see it at all (I mean, go figure). And the techs either are too stupid or pretend to be stupid by saying, "Well, if you have no error code, we can't authorize a return." What I did after a few of these calls was load a failing drive on a desktop, put in the software, and copied down the code I got. From now on, I just say, "Oh yeah, I loaded the software, and got error code 0x0000347: IDE0 not responding. Too many SMART errors. Please call Maxtor at 1-800-R DRVS SUK." Or whatever. You can almost hear the grumble, like the Sphinx does when you answer the riddle.

Anyway, I swear the following exchange took place Monday

Another Sysadmin: This drive failed. I need an RMA on it.
Me: It's a Maxtor! Oh noes!
Another Sysadmin: LOL! I need a replacement.
Me: I think it's out of warranty.
Another Sysadmin: Maybe. But our boss wants an answer in any case. Find out if and when it expired.
Me: Okay.
Me: Ring ring Maxtor! Which is now Seagate.
Seagate: Hello, this is Bob with a deep Bangalore accent. I need a serial number on this drive.
Seagate: I need a model number.
Me: 6E0300L0711013
Seagate: Denied!
Me: Why?
Seagate: It's out of warranty.
Me: When did it expire?
Seagate: I can't tell you that.
Me: You can tell me, I'm a doctor.
Seagate: What?
Me: Why can't you tell me when the warranty expired?
Seagte: Hold please. [5 minutes of what I would call "jazzy organ music"]. I can't tell you that.
Me: You can't tell me what?
Seagate: Hold please. [more music] I can't tell you when the warranty expired.
Me: Then how do you know it expired?
Seagate: Hold please. [more music] Sir, what was the error you got from the diagnostic software?
Me: [Er? Okay...] "IDE0 failed to respond. Please contact Maxtor at [number that didn't exist, but found anyway via Seagate]"
Seagate: Hold please. [more music] That warranty has expired.
Me: [snicker, I could do this all day] How do you know?
Seagate: Hold please. [more music] [a little annoyed] I can't tell you that.
Me: Why can't you tell me? I can take it. I am used to bad news here.
Seagate: I can't tell you why ... I can't... the warranty has expired, okay?
Me: When did it expire?
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] I have to escalate this to my manager.
Me: There's no need for that. How do you know it's expired? Really, tell me when it expired, and I'll believe you. You can even lie. I won't know.
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] [same "Bob"] Sir, the warranty has expired!
Me: You already told me that. I just want to know when it expired. Somehow, you know the drive is expired, but you won't tell me how you know that. How long was the warranty on this drive? [I look at drive timestamp 13FEB2004, so I know it was bought after that] I can add the dates myself.
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] Sir, I can't tell you when the warranty expired or how I know that.
Me: This is like the X-files. Why can't you tell me? I see on your website this drive has a 3 year warranty, is that why? I don't know when this drive was purchased. Just tell me when it expired. I will promise to go away and hang up if you tell me a date. Any date.
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] It expired April 23rd, 2007 [today's date].
Me: [I know he's lying, it's what Maxtor/Seagate support does] It expired today? [well, I did say he could lie to me]
Seagate: [angrily] No. I can't tell you that.
Me: But that's today's date. So coincidentally this drive expired today, April 23rd, 2007.
Seagate: At midnight today.
Me: Well, that's in 10 hours, so it's still under warranty?
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] No, midnight yesterday.
Me: So it expired the 22nd?
Seagate: I can't tell you that.
Me: [laugh] Aw man, okay. I will tell my boss that this drive's warranty expired at 12:01am today, April the 23rd, 2007.
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold please. [more music] [more music] [more music] I can't tell you that.
Me: Tell me what?
Seagate: What?
Me: What can't you tell me? You put me on hold after I confirmed the date, and then replied you couldn't tell me. Couldn't tell me what?
Seagate: [angry sigh] Hold pl--
Me: No wait, I'll just say that the warranty expired yesterday, and tell them that. Is that okay?
Seagate: I can't tell you that.
Me: Not only am I going to tell them that, I am going to say YOU told me that! Ha ha! Then you'll have to hang up this call knowing that you not only gave me this info, but I know you did, and will tell others of my folly!
Seagate: [angry, frustrated sigh]... okay, sir.

Maybe I was a dick, but man... you can't even tell me why you can't tell me why? "Number one rule about warranty club: you don't talk about warranty club."
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