Seagate's general manager of South Asia and Korea, Robert Yang, has defended the five-year warranties now shipping with its internal hard drives as the first step in improved service delivery.
The move, which has been welcomed by end-users and resellers but greeted with distrust by the manufacturer's distributors and competitors, promises replacement of a failed drive within a five-year period, or a percentage of its last-known value.
Yang said the statement was the first part of a restructuring of global service channels, and there were more service-related announcements in the pipeline.
"We are streamlining the collection process," Yang said.
"We now have a collection centre in Sydney and will be developing the local resources to do even more for our distributors. There is more to come."
He said the changes would be made public in coming months, and suggested they would involve simplifying the repair and returns process between Australia and the company's Singapore facilities.
Yang said Seagate's move to the five-year warranty scheme was in direct response to requests from PC vendors.
"They had been asking us for some time to put our money where our mouth is," he said.
As previously reported in ARN, Seagate's revised warranty offers a refund of 25 per cent and 10 per cent of the last listed value of a hard drive, should it fail in the fourth or fifth years, respectively. Yang said that although the announcement of a five-year warranty was primarily a statement on the reliability of Seagate hard drives, it also meant end-users wouldn't need to write off the value of the hardware should it fail within the five-year period.
"You may have had a drive for nearly five years - if it fails, you will want to replace it with a much larger capacity drive," he said. "Our cover means you can now use part of the value to put towards a new drive and another five-year warranty."
Speaking on the percentages offered and the criticisms from competitors, Yang said Seagate would continue to monitor the situation and make tweaks if necessary