News WD Red SMR Lawsuit Pays Out Pennies in Settlement Damages

Kamen Rider Blade

Distinguished
Dec 2, 2013
662
343
19,260
0
Stop selling SMR drives to consumers.

SMR should be a "Enterprise Only" solution that is direct to Enterprise Customers.

Regular Consumers, even those that buy Enterprise Grade HDD's through online retailers, should only have access to regular HDD's.

That would have avoided alot of issues.
 
Reactions: 2Be_or_Not2Be

JWNoctis

Notable
Jun 9, 2021
442
102
1,090
60
Stop selling SMR drives to consumers.

SMR should be a "Enterprise Only" solution that is direct to Enterprise Customers.

Regular Consumers, even those that buy Enterprise Grade HDD's through online retailers, should only have access to regular HDD's.

That would have avoided alot of issues.
There are use cases for oodles of cheap storage even for regular consumers, and there are people who kept racks of CD/DVD-R/RW/RAM's back in the day. Plenty of write-once-read-rarely demand even in consumer space.

NAS in RAID is not one of them, even though it's supposed to cover those same needs.
 

pug_s

Distinguished
Mar 26, 2003
387
22
18,815
21
Stop selling SMR drives to consumers.

SMR should be a "Enterprise Only" solution that is direct to Enterprise Customers.

Regular Consumers, even those that buy Enterprise Grade HDD's through online retailers, should only have access to regular HDD's.

That would have avoided alot of issues.
SMR drives are only an issue when used in a NAS, which was why WD was sued in the first place. I personally use an SMR drive in my computer as a storage drive without issues.
 

JarredWaltonGPU

Senior GPU Editor
Editor
Feb 21, 2020
1,496
1,594
5,570
1
About the only ones who did make anything out of it.

As for paying for a meal $14 is not going to buy you much of one.
A couple pounds of ground beef, or a decent pound of steak, or a package of pre-formed hamburgers... and for the non-beef crew, three bags of salad mixes, a soda and a sandwich from the deli, etc. $14 is enough to feed my whole family dinner and then some, provided we're not eating out.
 
Reactions: thisisaname
Let me guess: the class action lawyers got the vast bulk of that? I want to see difference between what the claimants got and what the lawyers got.

The more I read about these class actions, the more I think people should let the class action settle then open a claim in small claims court citing the original ruling. In a number of states you can claim your small court cost in the settlement. As corps don't want the expense and can't bring a lawyer any way, they would just likely fork over the full cost of the drive as a refund. That is a worthless payout for a drive that does not perform for its intended purpose.
 
Last edited:

waltc3

Reputable
Aug 4, 2019
340
176
4,860
0
Let me guess: the class action lawyers got the vast bulk of that? I want to see difference between what the claimants got and what the lawyers got.

The more I read about these class actions, the more I think people should let the class action settle then open a claim in small claims court citing the original ruling. In a number of states you can claim your small court cost in the settlement. As corps don't want the expense and can't bring a lawyer any way, they would just likely fork over the full cost of the drive as a refund. That is a worthless payout for a drive that does not perform for its intended purpose.
Exactly. These suits benefit the lawyers far more than consumers. Just starving lawyers looking for easy money. I bought an SMR drive recently, and it runs perfectly fine with the one big exception of RAID striping. RAID striping on SMR drives is a no go! It's possible, but unless you have a week to spare in striping a couple of SMR drives for RAID--you don't want to use SMR drives for that purpose....;)

However, for everything else? The drive keeps up perfectly with my CMR drives in performance--and I don't need (or want) RAID anymore. So, for my non-RAID purposes, SMR is equal to my CMR drives and costs a bit more than half as much while being warranted the same. (Link is the drive I bought.)

I cannot approve of the drive manufacturers hiding the CMR/SMR information, though, although most these days seem to show it well enough on their websites. That was dumb...Maybe they figured consumers weren't using RAID anymore, who knows?

As far as the settlement goes, however, it's an inferior settlement (except for the lawyers.) I would simply have asked Seagate to swap me the SMR drive for the CMR counterpart if I was planning on RAID striping. That seems like a much better deal. Anyway, the drives are fine and cost less than CMR, if you do not intend to stripe them.
 
Reactions: martinch

thisisaname

Distinguished
Feb 6, 2009
476
217
19,060
0
A couple pounds of ground beef, or a decent pound of steak, or a package of pre-formed hamburgers... and for the non-beef crew, three bags of salad mixes, a soda and a sandwich from the deli, etc. $14 is enough to feed my whole family dinner and then some, provided we're not eating out.

Ooops I just assume you meant eating out :oops:
 

watzupken

Respectable
Mar 16, 2020
896
420
2,270
1
It may pay out pennies, but it no doubt cost WD much more in lost revenue.

Also, immediately made me think of the check writing scene in The Jerk.

The Jerk Check Writing Scene - YouTube
I totally agree. WD may have gotten away with a light payout, but it lost goodwill with their clients who got duped into buying one of those dumbed down WD Red drives. As the mechanical drive makers double down to cut cost, it will just encourage more people to drop mechanical drives due to poor quality and speed.
 
Let me guess: the class action lawyers got the vast bulk of that? I want to see difference between what the claimants got and what the lawyers got.
These things are standardized, common percentage is 25-35% for the lawyers, but then the lawyer spend many years in school and internships and pay for everything until the judgment comes through, all the end consumer does is buy a product and even if they are 100% happy with the purchase they still get some money, they don't even have to do an active claim.

So yeah, the party that does all of the work does get a lot of the money, everybody likes getting payed for their work.
 

waltc3

Reputable
Aug 4, 2019
340
176
4,860
0
On the other hand, if there were no lawyers making "hefty sums", then no one would get anything (some may even miss a meal as a result) and companies could go on selling and profiting from substandard products.
Balderdash...;) You wouldn't believe how much less things would cost without the hidden inflationary cost of litigation lawyers attached to almost everything we buy. Companies just pass it right along to us. Lawyers get millions of dollars, while the "class" they fraudulently (usually) claim to represent get dollars and pennies. The process goes like this: lawyers sue company for 'whatever,' company resists, lawyers agree to "settle" for an amount they believe is less than a continued court venue would be, and the company--never admitting a wrong--agrees to the settlement just to save money on the continued litigation. It is, in truth, a racket.

If companies were always selling "defective" products, who would be buying those defective products? Very few, and said company would quickly go broke and right out of business. Lawyers here exist as leeches sucking blood from the customer-manufacturer relationship. We pay for the leeches who do this, but we don't have to like it or approve it. As I mentioned, SMR drives cost less than CMR drives, run just as fast, and bear the same replacement warranties. The only thing they won't do that CMR drives do is striping for RAID. So if you don't do RAID, an SMR drive will serve you as well as a CMR drive and will cost less.

While there is no doubt that the manufacturers were wrong not to mention this in their SMR drive literature at first, it wasn't the lawyers that got them to change their minds--it was the angst of their customers that forced them to be upfront about their CMR and SMR drives.

Through the years, I have found the hard drive manufacturers exceptionally easy to work with and more than willing to replace failed drives and other things. The correct procedure is not to sue them, that's stupid, actually, if you are not a lawyer hoping to make a quick buck, but to contact the hard drive manufacturers if you are disappointed in a drive they sold you. I've never known them not to do more than I've asked for in the very few times I've had to contact them over a failed drive in the last few decades. I can count those failures on fewer fingers than I have on one hand, but every one of them was a CMR drive...;)
 
Reactions: Co BIY

Co BIY

Distinguished
Jun 18, 2015
903
261
19,390
9
Class action lawyers are a drag on our whole economy. Any class action suit should have to demonstrate up front that class members will likely receive a meaningful settlement.

These kinds of suits actually make it more difficult for companies to admit error or make corrections.
 
Reactions: Thunder64

Alvar "Miles" Udell

Respectable
Apr 1, 2020
746
441
2,260
0
I totally agree. WD may have gotten away with a light payout, but it lost goodwill with their clients who got duped into buying one of those dumbed down WD Red drives. As the mechanical drive makers double down to cut cost, it will just encourage more people to drop mechanical drives due to poor quality and speed.
The problem is that there is no such thing as a 6, 8, or 10TB SSD which can match the cost per GB of an HDD for bulk storage, such as in an NAS, which is what these were for.
 

watzupken

Respectable
Mar 16, 2020
896
420
2,270
1
The problem is that there is no such thing as a 6, 8, or 10TB SSD which can match the cost per GB of an HDD for bulk storage, such as in an NAS, which is what these were for.
This is true. But at least for my own, I've dropped my NAS and just went for SSD storage on PC and also Cloud storage instead. It is not the same as a NAS for sure, but with hard drive failure rate going up, its been a hassle maintaining the NAS. I've ditched my Synology NAS couple of years back and never looked back.
 

husker

Distinguished
Oct 2, 2009
1,156
177
19,470
1
Balderdash...;) You wouldn't believe how much less things would cost without the hidden inflationary cost of litigation lawyers attached to almost everything we buy. Companies just pass it right along to us. Lawyers get millions of dollars, while the "class" they fraudulently (usually) claim to represent get dollars and pennies. The process goes like this: lawyers sue company for 'whatever,' company resists, lawyers agree to "settle" for an amount they believe is less than a continued court venue would be, and the company--never admitting a wrong--agrees to the settlement just to save money on the continued litigation. It is, in truth, a racket.

If companies were always selling "defective" products, who would be buying those defective products? Very few, and said company would quickly go broke and right out of business. Lawyers here exist as leeches sucking blood from the customer-manufacturer relationship. We pay for the leeches who do this, but we don't have to like it or approve it. As I mentioned, SMR drives cost less than CMR drives, run just as fast, and bear the same replacement warranties. The only thing they won't do that CMR drives do is striping for RAID. So if you don't do RAID, an SMR drive will serve you as well as a CMR drive and will cost less.

While there is no doubt that the manufacturers were wrong not to mention this in their SMR drive literature at first, it wasn't the lawyers that got them to change their minds--it was the angst of their customers that forced them to be upfront about their CMR and SMR drives.

Through the years, I have found the hard drive manufacturers exceptionally easy to work with and more than willing to replace failed drives and other things. The correct procedure is not to sue them, that's stupid, actually, if you are not a lawyer hoping to make a quick buck, but to contact the hard drive manufacturers if you are disappointed in a drive they sold you. I've never known them not to do more than I've asked for in the very few times I've had to contact them over a failed drive in the last few decades. I can count those failures on fewer fingers than I have on one hand, but every one of them was a CMR drive...;)
I see your balderdash and raise you a poppycock! :tongueclosed: You are saying litigation drives prices up, I never said anything about prices being lower. But since you brought it up I'll say this: Many factors put upward pressure on prices. Thing like minimum wages, safety requirements, working conditions, etc. all drive prices up. Litigation, like these things, is the cost of doing business in the modern world.

Apparently people do buy defective products, otherwise there would be no class action lawsuits. As the saying goes "There's a sucker born every minute." Your argument works for companies that are in it for the long haul and want to stay in business- but not all companies are like that. Especially in a world with no consequences. Bad actors form a company to make a quick buck and when it goes under they don't care because they made their money and vanish overnight like a traveling snake oil salesman. On to form another fly-by-night money making scheme company. And it isn't always just defective products, it can be false advertising or other misrepresentations of the product. WD is not a company like that, you might counter, and I agree. But read on...

Finally, you mention that good companies are happy to work out differences with customers on their own in good faith. I have no doubt that is true. But... how do we know how much trouble "good" companies really be willing to go to in order to work things out if their lawyers weren't telling them that other lawyers would sue them if they didn't? Take away the threat of lawsuits and I wonder how many of what we consider "model citizen" companies would continue to behave in this manner? Take away the speeding ticket and see how many more speeders there would be on the roads. Not a rebuke of fine upstanding individuals, just an observation of human nature.
 
Stop selling SMR drives to consumers.

SMR should be a "Enterprise Only" solution that is direct to Enterprise Customers.

Regular Consumers, even those that buy Enterprise Grade HDD's through online retailers, should only have access to regular HDD's.

That would have avoided alot of issues.
SMR drives are probably okay for most bulk storage scenarios, and that's likely to be their main use in a consumer environment today. The only real exception might be for a NAS setup, which WD's Red drives are supposed to be intended for, hence why they were the focus of this settlement. As a bulk storage drive in a computer though, they will most likely be alright. And since a low cost-per-gigabyte is the main thing platter-based drives have going for them today, finding ways to allow for more storage at a given price point isn't necessarily bad, though the use of SMR in a drive should be made clear in its specifications.

A couple pounds of ground beef, or a decent pound of steak, or a package of pre-formed hamburgers... and for the non-beef crew, three bags of salad mixes, a soda and a sandwich from the deli, etc. $14 is enough to feed my whole family dinner and then some, provided we're not eating out.
Or multiple boxes of cereal with a gallon of milk. One could host a party and invite friends!

Or how about off-brand saltine crackers? It's possible to get a pound of those for not much more than a dollar or so. Have you ever tried to eat 10 pounds of saltine crackers in a single sitting?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts