Less than a year ago I bought a Maxtor One-Touch 250GB external drive at Costco. It’s both firewire and USB and I usually use it on my Mac as the target area for video processing. The drive gets really hot, even though it is sitting out with plenty of airflow around it, but apart from that, I’ve been generally happy with it. Until recently.
About 2 months ago, I was rendering a DVD to the drive when it started head clacking, a sure sign of imminent death. In addition to clacking, the either disappears from mt available drive list, or it remains, but becomes completely unresponsive until I get the beachball of death. I’ve had this happen several times, invariably after a long period of continuous, but generally light, drive activity.
For the sake of diagnostics, I reformatted the drive and tried again, with the same result. I also tried formatting the drive with a full wipe, and before it can finish, it goes into head knocking. I also hooked it up to a (gasp) PC to make sure it wasn’t some Mac/OSX problem. The results were the same. I’d pretty much resigned myself to a dead drive.
Then I thought about it for a while and realized the drive might still be under warranty. I hopped onto the Maxtor website, followed their menus, keyed in my serial number and, lo and behold, 3 more months on the warranty!
I entered the information into the RMA form and received an e-mail saying they wouldn’t issue an RMA without me calling them.
The first problem is, they won’t take calls during the hours I’m not at work. I’m pretty scrupulous about not making personal calls like that from work; however, there’s a window of about 23 minutes from the time I arrive home until the close – if I get off work on time, if traffic is kind to me, etc.
I’ve tried calling several times over the last 22 days only to be put on hold until they close.
Today, I got through.
I suppose there’s something else you should know: Since the drive is unreliable for me to put data on, it has been erased, turned off, unplugged and sitting on my desk for 22 days.
This should be a cinch, it’s a common type drive failure, I’ve seen hundreds of them. It happens.
The tech asks me a series of questions:
Is you computer a name brand? Yes, both of them.
What is the brand name? Apple and IBM.
Is that a G4 or a G5? The Apple is a G4, the IBM is… (cut off by tech)
What Operating System/Version? OSX 10.3… the IBM is Win XP.
What happens? (I explain the above problem and situations under which it occurs)
Can you put the phone next to the drive so I can hear the noise it make? No. The drive isn’t hooked up. Even if it were it might take an hour or more before it starts to fail.
I can’t issue you an RMA unless I can hear the drive make the noise.
At this point, I blew up in his face. That is the single most pissed I’ve ever been on a phone call in my life, and I’ve been pissed at the crap-in-your-face-and-tell-you-to-enjoy-it folks at Qwest.
There’s no point in relating what I said to them, it was a stream of consciousness invective that pointed out all the assnine qualities I saw in the way they were handling RMAs, from the lack of adequate phone hour coverage to the absurdity of having to “prove” I wasn’t lying about the drive noise to putting it up to the phone. (Like I couldn’t get/make a sound if I was trying to scam them!)
And when I was done, the tech still couldn’t help, so I blew up at his supervisor too.
At least he didn’t bother, he just gave me an RMA number.
Nonetheless, Maxtor lost a customer, and, I hope, if you read this, you’ll think twice about purchasing Maxtor, too.