I have a bunch of 3TB RE drives (WD3000FYYZ) that I bought back in 2014. I paid about twice the price per drive because I wanted an “enerprise” class drive for my server, which the manufacturer was confident enough to warrant for five years. One of them failed recently, and should have had about a year of warranty left on it.
I tried to get it repaired under the warranty, but several Western Digital representatives told me the exact same thing (almost as if they were reading off the same script): that the drive in question “was intended for integration into a fully assembled system (e.g., a computer) by a system manufacturer and not for individual sale.” Oh, and that there’s no warranty, fat chance.
You’d figure maybe some shady reseller got its hands on a shipment of OEM drives and just sold them individually anyway. Wrong. I bought the drives from a Western Digital authorized distributor. You’d think that if an authorized distributor has to follow a certain set of rules designed to protect customers from deceptive business practices.
Another possibility might be that I made a mistake and bought the bare drive instead of the retail kit. And that would be wrong again because RE drives weren’t ever sold in shiny retail kits. I spoke with the authorized distributor and they said that I should have registered the drives when I got them for the five year warranty. That seemed odd because it was not a policy in 2014, when I bought the drives.
Assuming the “authorized” distributor did mess up and gave me the wrong drive, I’d expect WD to step in and correct the problem rather than let their customers get caught in the crossfire. Or maybe WD decided at some point their finances are not that great, and they’ll do anything to cut costs, maybe even weasel their way out of warranty obligations. When did WD start mis-honoring their advertised warranties?