Why Seagate External Drives are a Scam

Why Seagate External Drives are a Scam


Seagate external drives are a scam, plain and simple. Here’s why.

I purchased a 2TB Seagate Backup Plus for around $150 shortly after Christmas, 2014. A year later, it fried with no warning while I was editing some video from a recent Japan trip. Upon plugging it back in, there was that clicking drum that is the sound of death for computer electronics. Fearing the loss of most my life’s work, I immediately dialed Seagate customer service. There had been a freak storm (not their fault), so I was told to call data recovery the next day.

“It’s going to cost,” I was warned. “It’s not covered in the warranty.”

See, the warranty had me covered through February of 2017. Remember, it was still a young device. Unfortunately, spontaneous failure on the part of the device is not covered in the warranty, because… scam. Still, I thought I’d call.

The conversation went roughly as follows.

“It’ll cost you around $600 to $700.”

“That’s ridiculous. I purchased a product from you, it failed at no fault of my own, and now you’re saying I need to pay you four times the cost of the product for the privilege of salvaging my life’s work?”

Now I fully admit it was a whopper of a mistake on my part not to have a back up of the video files or even cloud storage. My logic upon purchasing the device was that it would serve as a back up to my computer. It didn’t even cross my mind to back up the files only on the device, which I immediately realized was incredibly stupid on my part once my Seagate fried. Still, my stupidity didn’t cause the device to fail, thus I felt strongly Seagate should want to rectify the failure of their device. Otherwise, they’re telling their customers that they’re a scam.

Guess what. Seagate is a scam.

After arguing with data recovery, whom assured me they understood my frustration (as they always do), I asked to speak with a supervisor. That’s what you’re supposed to do when someone isn’t being helpful. I was told I’d get a return call in a couple of business days, a call that never came.

Color me surprised.

Meantime, File Retrieval was already on their way to pickup the failed device at my apartment for no extra cost. They quoted me at having the files ready in about 15 business days, yet they ended up beating their estimate by about a week. (I admit they probably high ball their return to make customers happy when — surprise! — it’s ready early. If so, it absolutely worked on me.)

All told, data recovery with File Retrieval cost me around $1,100. Admittedly Seagate quoted me at less, but I didn’t want to reward the pyramid scheme. Plus with File Retrieval, I was able to work with a company that has a presence here in my hometown of Cleveland.

Win-win, I thought.

Now what of Seagate? Well, I’m stuck with a replacement drive that I’ll use because I’m not exactly in a position to get rid of an external out of spite. That said, I’ll certainly be backing up with cloud storage from now on and replacing my Seagate as soon as I’m reasonably able to.

Careful with Seagate, folks. They’re a scam.

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Joe Baur
Joe Baur
Joe is a travel author (Talking Tico) and podcaster who's constantly looking to get off the tourist trek in search of new stories. He enjoys few things more than a hoppy beer and chorizo in good company. Give him these things and he will be your friend for life.
  • SarahS

    I had this same experience with Seagate years ago!

    • Joe

      Sorry to hear I wasn’t alone!

  • Why not consider using SSD based drives? SanDisk has something called Extreme 500? They are expensive, but flash-based storage is the best way forward.