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     Hard drive return rates
      Posted on 13/03/2009 at 10:16 by Marc
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    We have obtained figures for after sales return rates for hard drives from a large French online store. These statistics concern hard drives sold from March to August 2008, or in other words 6 months to 1 year of functioning. To be counted these returns were made directly to the store, which is not always the case as you can effect returns directly to the manufacturer: this does however represent a minority in the first year.

    A year ago Seagate was in top position in front of Western, Hitachi and Samsung. The results are as follows:

    - Western: 1.2%
    - Hitachi: 1.4%
    - Seagate: 1.6%
    - Samsung: 2.8%

    Seagate loses out here to Western Digital and Hitachi, both of which have improved their scores, in contrast to Seagate and Samsung, which is in last position with quite a high score. In excuse of Samsung, or the opposite depending on your point of view, you have to say that they do not have an online RMA in contrast to their competition, which increases the probability that returns will be passed through the retailer. However, in general in the first year, online RMAs are very little used.

    In fact these figures can be explained by the distribution of sales by model: Samsung sells proportionately more high capacity drives than its competitors, models on which the return rate is higher. So, over the period Hitachi’s 7K1000 had a return rate of 3.7% for only 2% of sales, against 3% for Western’s Caviar GP which is at a 4.3% return rate. The 1TB SpinPoint F1 has however only a 3.5% return rate, but represents 20% of Samsung’s sales! The most reliable 1 TB over the period was the 7200.11, with a 2.4% return rate, which has certainly increased with the model’s recent firmware problems.

    P.S.: We have updated returns statistics on motherboards and power supplies, as some of the returns had been counted twice and this increased rates artificially. The figures have been corrected but the order of classification is the same.


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