Seagate Warranties Jump to Five Years

After compressing hard drive warranties to just a year, Seagate is reversing the trend, announcing a heady five-year warranty for its internal desktop and notebook hard drives.

The extended warranty covers drives bought from authorized dealers, says Joe Cousins, Seagate's senior director of Global Channel Marketing. Buyer demands drove the decision, he says.

"Our customers are telling us that a one-year warranty isn't satisfying their needs," Cousins says. "We're working to get closer to our customers--and this move is part of that process. Of course, we're also making a statement about the quality and reliability of our products."

Reversing a Trend

Almost two years ago, the hard drive industry universally reduced most of its warranties on desktop hard drives from three years to one year.

Seagate has already implemented the new five-year warranty. Drives shipped to manufacturers since June 1 are covered by the longer warranty, Cousins says. That means all internal desktop and notebook hard drives bought from now on from Seagate dealers worldwide are covered by the new warranty.

Some kits on dealer shelves now may indicate a one-year warranty on the box, but will actually have the five-year warranty, says John Paulsen, a Seagate spokesperson. The Seagate site offers where-to-buy listings so shoppers can be sure they are buying from an authorized dealer who will honor the five-year warranty.

Other Policies

Seagate's new five-year warranties set a high-water mark for desktop and notebook products.

Hard drives intended for enterprise use, such as SCSI- and fiber channel-interface products, have traditionally had long warranties. Even some premium desktop hard drive kits retained the three-year warranties that were common in years past.

"The bulk of the products across the industry are at a one-year warranty today," Seagate's Paulsen says.

Seagate's external desktop hard drives will continue to have the one-year warranties that are typical of competing products. Warranties for OEM drives--those bought as part of computer systems--will not be directly affected, as they are usually determined by the computer vendor.

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