This is a copy of the email sent onto the director of customer support.
To whom it may concern,
My name is Matthew S. and my contact history with your company’s tech support should be found under my phone number. (xxxxxxxxxx)
I just wanted to bring to your attention the difficulties and frustrations I’ve encountered with the technical and warranty services of your department. I’m the owner of three Seagate 750 GB external drives, and your company’s products have always been my first choice in externals; however following my experiences with the technical support, I can’t imagine purchasing another product from Seagate Technologies.
On July 11, 2008 one of my external drives died. Judging from the symptoms and research online, it was obvious the drive was beyond my ability to repair. I’ll manage to recover most of the 659GB of data I believe through recovery software; however I required the replacement drive to be sent in advance because I have nowhere to store the data until a replacement is in place. I called the warranty support line for the first time the following Monday (July 14, 2008). They informed me that the 1 year warranty was already expired even though I had only bought the drive 8 months earlier. Apparently the warranty begins when it was sold to the retailer. Bestbuy apparently had the drive on its shelf for several months (it was not a used or returned product). So that when I had bought it, a significant portion of the warranty has already expired. The warranty should begin when the costumer takes possession of the product, not the retailer. It is unlikely the drive will spoil or rot on the shelf.
I was asked by the customer service personnel to scan a copy of the receipt and code on the box for them to extend the warranty. Following several emails, through your company’s website technical support interface, they said they would get back to me when they had word from a different department. I waited several days and called back because I hadn’t received word regarding the warranty extension that was practically assured to me. I was put on hold because they hadn’t made any effort to review my email. They finally extended the warranty while I was on the phone and began the process of exchanging the drive.
I was told at this point that I would receive an advanced replacement free of charge under the condition I’d return the faulty drive once I removed my data. I was told again that my information would update online and that I would be able to get the advanced replacement. This never happened. I again called back several days later and spoke with another man in the warranty services department. I told him of my situation and that I required an advanced replacement free of charge. He told me that I was not the company’s policy to do that, and that they required a $19.99 charge to insure that I return the faulty drive, and that this charge could easily be refunded once the company received the faulty drive. I told him that I was beginning to doubt the competency of the company, and that I had serious misgivings about giving my credit card information because I foresaw much difficulty in getting the refund considering the troubles I was already having. He agreed and began the process of an advanced replacement free of charge; however this process was slowed significantly because his computer systems were crashing.
I received an email with Seagate Order Confirmation number 1001051294 (incidentally, he incorrectly took down my address I noticed later on). I later checked this order and found out that it had been reported as cancelled. I again called the line and told them this. They said it can easily be fixed but the computer systems where down and that I needed to call back later. Later that evening I called to begin the process again for replacing the drive with a free advanced shipment. This was now July 30, 2008. When I spoke to the new person, he told me that it was not the company’s policy to do a free advanced replacement; however he checked with a supervisor regarding my request which leads me to believe that there are possible exceptions. He told me he was sorry that I wasn’t informed about the mandatory $19.99 charge before this time. I assured him that I was explicitly told that it would be free of charge, there was no accidental miscommunication. He told me that he’d require the $19.99 for the exchange. I again told him that I was extremely hesitant to give them the money because the conduct of the company led me to believe I’d never be able to get the money back. I had zero confidence that the department could carry out a simple task at that point. The person I was speaking to didn’t understand what money I could possibly want back. I told him again that, I was explicitly told that the money is a payment to insure that I return the faulty drive and that I could easily get a refund when you received it. He again told me that I was misinformed and that the money was for shipping costs. I asked him what the point of having a warranty is if I have to pay to get my replacement. He told me in a smug manner that it is the difference between $200 and $20. Frankly, I was offended at this comment.
I told him this was becoming outrageous. I asked the gentleman what was the point if of me ever returning the faulty drive if I had already lost the $19.99 with no hope of a refund. I would just assume throw it in the trash than waste my time shipping it out just to have it refurbished and resold. He had no response to this. After another lengthy time put on hold, he agreed to send an advanced replacement free of charge.
I was transferred to a costumer service (level two I believe) person named Sherry. She began the process again of filling out information to get the free advanced replacement. After several crashes of her computer (a disturbing trend in all my calls) she was able to input the information. She required a credit card number, and I informed her that I will review my credit card statement carefully and would immediately cancel any payment to Seagate Technologies. I was again hesitant to give my information because I had no confidence in your company, and that I fully expected a wrongful charge put on my card. She set up the exchange and said the drive will be shipped within a day. That order confirmation was Seagate Order Confirmation – 1001063786. I was assured I’d receive no charges and that everything was finally in order.
That call lasted 1 hour 22 minutes and 30 seconds between the service personnel not believing my statements, the long hold times, and the numerous computer crashes.
Today (August 1, 2008) I noticed on the confirmation that your company was waiting for my faulty drive to arrive before a replacement drive will be sent.
I again called your company today and again went through this procedure for an advanced free replacement (again with computer difficulties on your end), at which point I asked to be put in contact with superiors.
Hopefully today’s call will be the last time I’ll need to contact your company. I can safely say that this has been the single most frustrating and difficult process I’ve ever had with any company. I believe this entire process should have been easily completed on my first call. Instead it was taken 3 weeks and a grand total of 3 hours 29 minutes and 53 seconds on the phone with your company (the exact time as indicated by my cell phone records). The constant computer problems on your end, the process in which my information was passed between departments (in which nothing happened until I called again to complain), and the fact that nobody seemed to believed that I was told something very explicitly by other personnel made the entire situation simply unacceptable. It looked like there was no understanding of how your company should conduct these replacements considering I was told by several people completely different ways in which I would have to undertake the process.
I believe that I’ve been patient through this whole process. I’m sorry I can’t give you many names of people I’ve spoken with. Perhaps your records will show that information. The last two people I spoke with today, Laura Klein and Sam (I believe) seemed to be very helpful and with any luck have brought my dealings with your company to an end (although I’m not holding my breath if the past is any indication).
Again, I just want to state that I’ve always liked your products and I would have almost certainly bought numerous other drives in the future had it not been for the complete disaster of the support I’ve received.
I apologize for the length of this email, but I thought it was very important to bring all these details to your attention. I hope to receive a personalized letter to inform me that my complaints have been heard and that hopefully something will be done to rectify the problems I’ve faced, and that it won’t happen again to another customer to your company.
Thank you for your time,
I have yet to receive word back from anybody regarding this email.