It is always great to wake up to some news that makes one laugh and today is one of those days as Seagate is targeted with a ridiculous lawsuit. The Plaintiff Cristopher A. Nelson claims that Seagate has an inability to deliver non-defective hard drives that conform to their express and implied warranties, its breach of consumer protection, unfair competition and false advertising laws as well as its unjust enrichment. So far all sounds good in the sense of the lawsuit and not so good for consumers that might have been misled. However, the plaintiff solely bases his accusations on the misleading Backblaze reports that no one in the industry with respect for themselves take seriously as well as his own failed drive.
BackBlaze is a large-scale data hosting company, but it is one that takes alternate routes in order to provide their customers with cheap storage and that is where the problem lies. They will use any kind of hard disk drive in their large scale servers as long as it’s cheap, but it is far from every drive that suited for this kind of usage. A desktop drive is rated for 6-8 hours usage a day in systems with 1-4 drives installed, yet BackBlaze is using desktop drives in large scale servers that hold up to and above 50 drives while they run 24/7. Not only this, they also purchase the drives from any place they can find, including supermarkets where they most likely haven’t been handled properly before being sold.
So it isn’t really any surprise that BackBlaze is experiencing a lot of failures with these drives. As a farmer you wouldn’t go out and purchase an Opel Corsa or similar car to plow your fields with just because it is cheaper than a tractor. A good farmer knows that and a good hoster should also know what drives to pick. Yet they still use Seagate as they still provide them with cheaper storage than competition despite the failure rate.
Now you might ask yourself, why is it only Seagate that is affected by this and not the other companies that make hard disk drives used by BackBlaze? That is actually a very simple, BackBlaze only seems to purchase consumer drives from Seagate. WD drives in use by BackBlaze, for example, are WD RED drives and while they only are certified for 1-4 drive bays, they are manufactured for 24/7 usage and thereby will hold up better than equivalent desktop drives. In return, this means that the Seagate drives will look worse on their yearly reports.
But let us get back to the class-action lawsuit in question. The plaintiff apparently purchased a Seagate Backup Plus 3TB drive at BestBuy, an external storage drive, which then failed 2 years later. He then got a replacement on warranty which apparently failed about a year after receiving it. This is where the first red flag should pop up, actual multiple ones. But the main one is that he’s basing his lawsuit on two different products, internal and external storage, where the one even is being used wide outside their intended region of operation. I’d also like to question just how he handled that external drive, most people don’t treat external HDDs with as much care as they should.
I don’t expect this lawsuit to make it past any judge with just a little bit of respect for themselves and that it will be thrown out as soon as the judge finished reading the transcript. The lesson here is, buy products suited for the operation you need them for and treat them properly. Nothing more, nothing less.