Western Digital Makes Good

First I refer you to a previous post about Western Digital. I don’t want to go over all that again. I believe I also mentioned in a follow up post that I had sent a missive by certified mail to John Coyne, the CEO of Western Digital. The day I sent that letter, or maybe the next day, I finally got my replacement drive — it’s still not hooked up, though. I am lazy about some things.

This past Thursday, I received an email from Mr. Coyne’s office. (I will admit great amusement to the use of the appropriate TM symbol after the drive name.) In said email he said Gary Meister the senior VP would call me and said, “I am confident that we will shortly restore your confidence in WD as the premier source for all your storage needs.” I will admit great scepticism — as well as amusement because nobody actually talks like that — when I read it, but I was optimistic enough to say nothing in my blog. After all, I always feel talking about it in advance jinxes you.

Today, I received a very nice and apologetic phone call from Gary Meister which I will detail. We spoke for about twenty minutes. So now, I can clear up a few things.

  1. We all agree that most of the aggravation was caused by the fact that the serial number on the drive was incorrectly keyed to the wrong region. That caused the whole process and my available options to be handled incorrectly. They said they are taking steps to correct this so future customers do not have to go through this sort of thing.
  2. We discussed the “mystery files” on my hard drive that did not belong to me. They obviously read my blog as I did not include that in my letter. When I sent the letter to WD, CBL had indicated further investigation had indicated that those files may have been artefacts from either Time Machine’s backup process and/or Retrospect’s backup process as opposed to someone else’s files. Since I wasn’t sure what the real answer was, I didn’t put it in the letter nor did I post a retraction here. As it turns out, and was confirmed just recently by CBL, they are indeed artefact files of some sort. It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances with the mis-coded serial number that caused a red flag to be raised about this data. Basically, the thought was the drive was in the USA, it wasn’t supposed to be, it was full of mystery files, and that caused a logical conclusion based on an initial bit of misinformation. So, the phantom files weren’t mine — that is still true. However, they weren’t someone else’s either which makes me feel much better about this whole thing. When backing up, all software leaves little footprints that appear to be directory structures to Data Recovery software (which is fundamentally what backup/restore software is). So in the recovery process, it appeared there were files that weren’t mine. And since I gave them the expected directory structure in advance they were looking for, thus it appeared those files were from a previous user installation. When they called me and I had no idea what the files were, that clinched it. This was just a set of a bunch very valid conclusions adding together and getting another valid conclusion: only sometimes 1 and 1 don’t always add up to two because sometimes the initial “1” is really not a “1” but some other number.
  3. And, for the record, there are other processes for WD drives besides what I went through. The reason I wasn’t offered those was, again, because of that miscoded serial number. I explained clearly that I was very happy with the tech’s performance — I really don’t have anything against competent outsourced tech support. He did everything he could to help and directed me to resources that were available to my circumstances. It’s just that my circumstances were not what his computer thought they were. My initial call was on a Sunday morning and because of that, there was no back-up for that tech (“level two” I think they called it). Had I known that, I’d have called back.
  4. I explained all of that in detail because I want you to know WD really, really did care. They called. They were concerned, and they told me what they’re doing to correct and fix the situation so future people don’t suffer. I want to say, a simple e-mail from them would have made me happy and solved this: they didn’t have to call and explain everything in detail but I love that they did. They could have blown me off, too. Honestly, WD is a very large company and that’s what I was expecting to happen. I didn’t think my letter would get past the legendary “CEO’s office” (which is where your letters to most companies go to die — except Dell where your letters are used as toilet paper. I really
    hate Dell. Still.) WD e-mailed and said they’d contact me, then they called and explained without any BS what happened and why it happened. That alone gives them very, very, very high marks.
  5. They have indicated they will refund my money for the drive recovery costs because of the multiple problems I had due to the serial number issues. That thrills me. I’ll be honest, I was expecting them to refuse or offer to split it 50/50 when they called. And I was willing to half-heartedly accept that, but they offered a full refund right away. So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to keep half and the other half is going to be donated, in their name, to two of my favourite charities: the Robin Hood Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. BTW, I always encourage everyone to visit and donate to these charitable organizations.
  6. So I will move WD back to my “happy” list again. I do have to get around to actually installing this drive.
  7. 7-25-08 They called and let me know it’s all in the works and, as always allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery. Your mileage may vary 🙂

    In unrelated news, the BBC has a great video on how to speak like an American. The Dolphins traded Jason Taylor, in a move that surprised nobody. And I have a huge, expensive, house crisis that I won’t even begin to discuss in detail now: my simple Hurricane Shutter repair for my Wilma damaged shutters, will now be many thousands of dollars (5 to 7) because the wood framing in the wall is water damaged and the entire rear wall of the house has to be replaced — that curvy part that juts out from my kitchen to be exact. I want to cry. Scooter ate today (YAY!) but her bathroom habits are now becoming a concern. Tomorrow, I go for my driver’s license. Ugh.

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