Given Ayende's recent issues with a software vendor, I thought I'd share a story about a good experience that I had recently with a hardware vendor.
When I was ready to install Windows Vista for the first time 6 months ago** I backed up all of the important data from my 500GB Western Digital Caviar drive and started the process. About half way through one of the kids (or the dog or something) kicked the power cable and the install was interrupted whilst performing a format. This made the drive fairly unhappy and I wasn't able to use it after that.
The drive sat on my desk every day for months. I was pretty annoyed because the drive is actually the largest one that I own and I wanted to use it. One day at work I was talking to Frank, our IT guru. He mentioned that Western Digital have a really good returns program. You pretty much send them the drive in the mail and they send you a new one.
I'm not sure I quite believed him but I tried it out anyway. I went to their support site hit Warranty and RMA Services->Warranty Check->End User. I entered the Serial number off of the Hard Drive and it said it was still in Warranty. Did I want to create an RMA ticket? I selected yes and it told me that I'd have 30 days to get them the drive. I confirmed.
Next thing they have sent me an email saying that I'd opened a ticket and gave me a url to check on it's status. They provided me with packing instructions, customs declaration advice, and a printable address label with a barcode on it.
All up with bubble-wrap, box and postage it probably ended up costing me AU$40 but I had my hard-drive in the mail with a week to spare. When it arrived in Singapore they sent me an email to say that they had received it. The next day, they sent me another email to say that a new one was on it's way back. Within 2 weeks of sending it I had a new one back.
Throughout the whole process they kept me informed of what was going on and what was expected of me. I never felt that I was being ignored or forgotten. All in all, incredibly good service. I think in future I would prefer Western Digital drives when making a purchase. Well done, Western Digital. You guys rock.
** I know. I'm slow.
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