Seagate to repay customers over inaccurate gigabyte definition

Qualified hard drive buyers can choose cash or backup software

Seagate Technology has agreed to settle a lawsuit by offering customers who purchased a hard drive from the company during the last six years a cash refund or free backup and recovery software.

Michael Lazar and Sarah Cho, who had purchased Seagate hard drives in the US, had filed an initial lawsuit in March 2005, alleging that the storage capacity of the hard drives was 7 percent less than the vendor promised.

A hearing has been scheduled for February 7, 2008, in San Francisco Superior Court to approve the settlement of Cho vs. Seagate Technology (US) Holdings.

Cho alleges that Seagate said its hard drives would produce approximately 7 percent more usable storage capacity than buyers actually received after purchasing the devices.

Cho alleged that Seagate's use of the decimal definition of the storage capacity term "gigabyte" (GB) whereby 1GB equals 1 billion bytes, was misleading to consumers because computer operating systems instead report hard drive capacity using a binary definition of GB, whereby 1GB equals 1, 073, 741, 824 bytes -- a difference of approximately 7 percent from Seagate's figures.

In court papers, Seagate said between March 22, 2001, and March 31, 2007, the disk drive maker sold approximately 6.2 million retail hard drives in the US.

Once the settlement is approved, anyone who bought a Seagate brand hard disk drive between March 22, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2006, has the right to submit an online claim form for cash or software from Seagate by March 10, 2008, according to court documents.

Money returned by Seagate toward settlement class members will be the equivalent to 5 percent of the net amount paid for the Seagate hard drives, excluding taxes or rebates, according to court documents.

To qualify for cash payment benefit, the hard drives must have been bought before January 1, 2006, and will require the serial number for each drive or proper documentation. Customers who purchased Seagate hard drives between January 1, 2006, and September 26, 2007, are only eligible submit an online claim for free backup and recovery software.

The Seagate drives must have been purchased in the US from an authorized Seagate retailer or distributor, separately as a Seagate product that was not preinstalled into and bundled with a PC or any other type of electronic device.

A separate claim must be issued for each individual hard drive purchased and will require a documentary proof of purchase, the specified hard drive name and model number, the amount paid, the date of purchase and the name of the merchant.

Although Seagate denies each of the plaintiff's claims and feels that no one deserves compensation for its actions, the company ultimately decided to settle the class-action lawsuit in its "best interest," according to court documents. As part of the settlement, Seagate said it will make "certain disclosures" regarding storage capacity of its hard drives

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Fonseca

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?