Western Digital stretches out warranty life

Western Digital has increased the warranty period of some of its hard drives by standardising all enterprise drives to five years and desktop and notebook drives to three years.

Previously, some of these warranties were only valid for one year.

All drives sold through WD's authorised distributors, such as Achieva Technology, Esys, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Westan, and manufactured or purchased after June 1, are affected by the new policy.

WD's CEO, Arif Shakeel, said the move was to align the warranty period with customers' other systems.

"Many of our customers offer 3-year warranties on their desktop and notebook systems and 5-year warranties on their servers," he said. "WD's new warranty policy aligns with the industry standards and meets or exceeds customer expectations."

The decision was spurred by a recent survey of thousands of WD customers, which found that hard drive buyers overwhelmingly rate reliability as the most important feature in a drive, Shakeel said. Warranty, performance and capacity were also high on customers' lists of priorities.

WD desktop and notebook hard drives, including WD Scorpio, WD Caviar, WD Caviar SE and WD Caviar SE16 drive families, are now all covered by WD's 3-year warranty.

The company's enterprise drives, including WD Raptor and WD Caviar RE, are now supported with its 5-year warranty.

Spokesperson for WD, Steve Shattuck, said he did not expect the changes to the warranties to have any immediate effect on sales.

Synnex marketing manager, Daniel Feldman, said the move was a good one for the channel and for the distributor specifically.

"This is primarily a strategy to combat Seagate's five-year warranty and increase market share," he said. "It is also mainly targeting the systems integrator market, which is an important part of what we do."

More information about WD's warranty policy is posted at: http://support.wdc.com/warranty/policy.asp

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