Factory Direct Canada Complaint - I was sold a hard drive with viruses and pirated softwars
In June, 2010 I purchased a refurbished Seagate 750GB hard drive from the factorydirect. ca store in North York, Ontario. When I bought the drive the package was opened. The clerk told me that all of the packages are opened because the store puts an additional sticker on the drive for inventory control. Seemed a bit odd, but I saw all of the drives were like that and they all had this additional sticker. I put the drive in a closet as I wanted it as spare in case I suddenly needed some extra space.
In December, 2010 I installed this drive into a computer and began to install Ubuntu Linux on it. I heard some strange clicks, but thought it was because I still had the side of my case opened. I immediately noticed a strange thing - the drive appeared to have a Windows 7 bootable partition. So to satisfy my curiosity, I decided to boot the drive and see what happened. To my surprise, Windows 7 came up - along with a bunch of warnings about viruses on the drive. I also noticed that there were several folders with pirated versions of video games. This seemed a bit odd. I also noticed that a warning came up that said that the hard drive was experiencing problems.
I realized that this drive was no good, and there was little point in trying to fix it. Clearly, something unsavoury was going on at factorydirect. ca, so I returned there with the drive. I got to the North York store on December 4 at 4:00 in the afternoon, and I spoke with the manager who identified himself as "Fred". Fred immediately noticed that I was beyond the warranty date for the drive, which I acknowledged as true and explained why I was coming at this late date. I then asked Fred how his store could be selling a hard drive containing VIRUSES and PIRATED SOFTWARE!
Now I'm assuming that this drive was refurbished by Seagate, and sold as such to another customer. This customer loaded it up with all sorts of bad things so that eventually the drive failed. They returned it to the factorydirect. ca store, probably under warranty, and left with a replacement. The store took this defective drive and didn't send it to Seagate (as they probably should), and didn't even look at it or wipe the data off. They put it back on the shelf, and sold it to me. Again, this is my speculation, but I think it makes sense.
I gave Fred a chance to make things good for me without losing face, but he refused. I asked him multiple times "How did viruses and pirated software get on this device?". Fred's response: "That's how we got it from Seagate. They did it." I asked him what he thinks Seagate does when they refurbish a drive. Fred's response: "Refurbished usually means that someone bought a new product and then doesn't like the color. We send it to Seagate, they put a sticker on it that says refurbished, and sell it to someone else. They don't erase the data that's on it. Whatever data was there is from Seagate".
It was hard to imagine that I was hearing such incredible nonsense from a "manager", but I was. Fred was not going to budge at all, and continously reminded me that my warranty period had lapsed. Fred certainly knows what goes on in his store and that hard drives don't come from manufacturers with pirated data on them. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the sense or integrity to make things right since he believes that we as consumers are powerless. I hope that the company headquarters and/or Seagate can set him right.