I have to say that my recent experience with WD support has been really good. My Passport Essentials 500GB drive locked itself during a backup, and was demanding a password that was never set. When I researched this issue online I found lots of unhappy campers who had experienced the same issue as I. There were rude responses from some forum “gurus” who suggested that they not forget their passwords, or that they should have backed up the drive… etc. Arrogant stuff really, when the point was that people were backing up, and while backing up, something happened to cause it to lock up and request a password that was never initiated.
Now seeing some of this on the forums gave me a bad feeling about WD staff, but I reserved judgement and contacted them, explained the situation, and was initially told (after some of the same comments from the phone support fella that I should write down and remember my password, keep backups etc - sigh) that reformatting was the only means of regaining access to my drive. This was unacceptable and I said as much, and I even posted as much in this forum only to have it deleted by a forum moderator because they said I broke the “not a legal room” rule even though I never discussed “past, present or future litigation,” as I only suggested that some form of legal action might have to be required to satisfy the issue. Really, what do they have to fear in that comment? Now do I have to worry about this post being deleted because I said those words? That would be really infantile and petty don’t you think?
Anyway, the point was, how could reformatting be a “data saving” feature of the drive when it is destroying the data on the drive… made no logical sense to me. I explained this again and asked to speak to a supervisor. It took 45 minutes to find one, but I wasn’t going anywhere, I needed those files for an upcoming performance (these were music files). I finally spoke to a supervisor who said he would escalate to a level two and that I would need to call back the following Monday.
Once I spoke to the service staff they suggested we try data recovery, and here is where WD excelled in customer support: They provided me with a UPS number, and info on where to send the drive. It took a few weeks for everything to get done,
Now I understand that not everyone may have the same situation I did. But I knew without a doubt that my drive never failed in all the time I owned it (about a year) and that it was simply a lock-out failure of some kind, a glitch or something, and I was apparently correct. All my data has been recovered, and I got a nice replacement drive, and am quite the happy camper as I got back hours and hours of hard work that could have been lost. So major kudos to all involved. I would like to say their names, but will respect their privacy as I would rather ask their permission first, but they know who they are and I am thankful.