Don't Buy LaCie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by surfmadison, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. surfmadison macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    So in the past we have had discussions about LaCie drives. Despite some fellow members warning about their drives, I bought one. The drive enclosure is sold as "hot swappable". However, they won't sell you the drive trays alone. So when you fill up your RAID you have to buy overpriced drives from them. In fact, removing the old drives from the trays voids their warranty.

    I don't think this is normal, as I am always free to buy whatever hard drives I want with other hot swappable systems. If I am wrong, let me know. Otherwise, I stand by not recommending LaCie to anyone.
  2. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2007
    Alpharetta, GA
  3. Gymnut macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2003
    They are rather pricey and there are reports of users experiencing a higher percentage of failure in comparison to others. I have 3 FA Porsche's, one which went with me to Iraq and made it back, and one d2 which I use as a scratch disk. I don't leave them on whenever they're not in use, so perhaps that extends their lifespan with the reduction in heat *shrug*.
  4. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Not a problem of price or quality at the moment

    I am not complaining about price or quality. My complaint is that LaCie will not sell me hard drive trays unless I buy an overpriced hard drive from them. I purchased a RAID that has "hot swappable" drive trays. I just want to buy trays from them and purchase my own hard drives. I purchased 1 TB drives yesterday for $109. They want to sell me the same exact drive with trays for $219. There is no way that trays should cost $110.

    In fact, they say that their warranty is void if I remove their hard drives from the trays. They put a little sticky void sticker over one hard drive tray screw. This we all know is not legal. It is like a computer company putting a void sticker on the case, so you can't replace your own hard drive or video card without voiding their warranty. Remember in the 90's this was common with computer companies, but isn't anymore. Imagine voiding your warranty if you upgrade your own RAM. Basically this is bull, and just an illegal tactic to get you to buy overpriced drives from them.

    This is the reason I am not recommending these drives. I was also wondering if anyone else has a RAID from a different company and has run into this problem. The reason I bought the RAID was that I figured it would easy to go buy hard drives when mine were full and just replace them without having to buy and pay for all the extra casing, etc. that comes with external hard drive enclosures.
  5. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Isn't the warranty on pre-assembled enclosures only about 1 year anyway?

    (yes on naked HDDs it's 3-5years)

    If you bought it some time ago, you're probably coming up to the end of the warranty now. So just go ahead and open the sled and change the disks.
  6. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    So why shouldn't I buy LaCie? I like 'em. I don't need hot-swappy thingamajigs either. The d2s have always been solid.
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    Yes it is legal.

    Next time find an enclosure manufacturer that sells it's trays a la carte...
  8. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    I will look for a new RAID company in future

    Well it may be legal to refuse selling trays ala carte, it probably isn't smart as far as customer loyalty goes. Would you all be happy if you voided your Mac Pro warranty by putting in third party RAM? You would be, and would pissed off if you had to pay double for Apple RAM, as opposed to buying third party.

    My drives are actually fairly new, only a couple months, and I guess I did void the supposed warranty. Sure for those who don't need to replace drives, I guess you don't really care.

    However, I am going to my best to let people know about their bad business policies, and recommend to all I know to never buy a LaCie drive or enclosure.
  9. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    I have multiple LaCies that have given me years of satisfactory service. But honestly, there are frankly so many competitors that you have essentially unlimited choices other than LaCie, in every category.
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    On what planet is that not legal? All manufacturers have different policies regarding what you can and cannot do to their product without voiding its warranty. Sure, Apple lets you install your own RAM in their machines, but they won't cover defects caused by the third-party RAM under AppleCare. In the case of LaCie, they don't consider the internal hard drives to be user-serviceable parts (as in dismantling the drives from their trays)...

    You're acting as if LaCie is the only manufacturer that does this. CalDigit and G-Tech, just to name a couple, practice the same policy on their hard drive trays. If you don't like this, there's a handful of companies out there that sell bare RAID enclosures that you can add your own hard drives to.
  11. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Sorry But That Doesn't Mean It Is Right

    Oh, they may say the warranty is void, but in the strict sense of the law it is illegal and they would lose the case if taken to court. Just because a company has a policy it doesn't mean it is legal.

    If I in fact damaged the RAID myself I would be glad to forgo having the warranty. But I am installing the exact same drives at half the price that they sell them for.

    I no that none of you would buy a MAC if you couldn't upgrade your own RAM, video card or hard drives. Apple doesn't void the warranty if you replace one of those items.

    The RAID is sold as hot swappable and removing a hard drive from the trays SHOULD not void the warranty. I could easily damage a hard drive while it is in the tray and request a RMA. Had I know that this was their policy I would have never purchased from them. I will never buy from them again, nor recommend anyone buys from them. That will be my mantra if anyone asks about hard drives or RAID's.

    Will I hurt their bottom line? Maybe not, but who knows, maybe these posts will end up on Google and anyone wanting to buy one will see my dilemma and decide not buy from them. That is my hope. Karma comes back to bite you and I don't do business with *******s. Life is too short, and there are too many nice people and good honest companies out there. So I am adding LaCie to the bad company list.

    I hope to never treat my customers with stupid policies and poor customer support like LaCie does.
  12. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Goodluck with that.

  13. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    I recently replaced my older LaCie drive that was beginning to act up with a FireWire 800 Icy Dock for just this reason. I was able to install the high-reliability disk of my choice, and if it or the drive dies, I can just go on New Egg and buy a replacement part.
  14. BJNY macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2002
    New York City
    By the way,
    which brand drives do LaCie use in their RAIDs?
    I'm guessing Seagate, but I wonder if they are the ES enterprise series.
  15. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I understand your annoyance. You got caught out by something that you should have checked before buying.

    Happens to millions of other people in many other industry sectors. (Razor blades, inkjet supplies, car parts etc.) I've made the same expensive mistake myself with respect to some other computer widget.

    Put this one down to experience, and move on. Or try eBay. This thread is starting to score quite highly in Google now, so you may be having an effect. (thought of creating a website for this?)
  16. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    LaCie BigDiskExtreme - Highly Recommended

    As always, the consumer should do their research on products they are considering to purchase.

    I have a LaCie Big Disk Extreme. Very happy with this drive, and highly recommended. Running well over 2 years now without burping. :D
  17. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I had a bigdisk. Within 2 months it died. Lacie would not replace it unless I paid them to transfer the old data off it.

    So I got someone else to transfer the stuff off it and then went to Amazon who gave me a full refund (including shipping - twice).

    Every company I have worked for has had major problems with Lacie drives. I thought it was coincidence, so i bought the big disk. Now I think they are just crap drives along with crap customer service.

    I avoid Lacie at all costs as does everybody I know.
  18. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Which Drives Does LaCie Use

    In my brand new LaCie 2 Big, LaCie shipped Samsung HD103UJ's. These are 1 TB, 7200 RPM units.

    I believe these are in fact about the cheapest drive out there. Especially since these were the least exspensive OEM drives that Fry's sold at $109.99. Again, LaCie sells these same drives, with the trays (a small amount of metal that can't really add up to more then $5) for the amazing outrageous price of $219.99.

    Again, my recommendation is to never buy LaCie hard drives, LaCie RAIDs, or other LaCie products. Their technial support is horrible. When you call LaCie the hold time for support is often over an hour. If you call back for sales, you get someone in less then a minute.

    Maybe I will buy
  19. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    This is truly a case where research would have paid off. It's not LaCie's fault that you didn't know.

    As for the poor manufacturing, Pro users must not do too much research either. The Big disk wasn't touted as being LaCie's best. If you have one that works fine all the better. But the d2 drives (single HDD) and the new 2Big Triple's are the best ones on the market for price and performance. The 2Big triple I have has two 1TB Seagate drives in them, been working flawlessly.

    The two rugged drives that I own have been work horses for editing HD on the go and the 160GB drive has been working effortlessly for four years straight.

    There is nothing wrong with LaCie drives, maybe the people that are buying them without research, but definitely not the drives.

    I also use G-Technology drives, and their warranty is better than LaCie's, but you will pay for it and their design.

    There are too many options for hard drives to pick on one company, and to think there are only four options to choose from.
  20. dswan macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008

    We service and sell apple products and they are totally willing (on occassion) to say that they cant diagnose the problem with kingston RAM in there. WE have several times had to put the original apple RAM in there again to appease apple
  21. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..

    I've just bought a LaCie "Hard Disk, Design by Neil Poulton" 1TB. The black 2001 monolith one.

    Crap name, yes, but I liked the eSATA, FireWire 400 & USB triple interface, and I needed a 1TB FW HD the same day for a videoproject, and it was the only one with a decent price and FW on Tottenham court road. £120 if I remember right, and the other options were round about £150+ (not counting the thousands of USB /eSATA HDDS for around £100)

    It's been working fine so far, hope it carries on. I thought LaCie's gold block HDD design was utterly *****, but credit to them for trying out different HD enclosure designs.
  22. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    I've ben very happy with the Lacie products I own. I'll keep buying them.
  23. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    This has not been my experience. Poor case design leads to overheating and failure. The d2 drive I had was a prime example of this. I wrote that one off to experience.

    I did buy a LaCie Poulton mini disk recently. Cheap looking thing. I ripped out the Samsung disk inside and put it in my Macbook Pro. Samsung give a 3 year guarantee on the drive and it was cheaper than buying it bare. I tossed the case away. Wouldn't want to trust my data with it.
  24. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Such is life.

    You win some you loose some.
  25. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    LaCie at Walmart

    I just noticed that Walmart is now selling LaCie drives. This will be the downfall of LaCie's quality. When you sell to Walmart you have to agree to an "open books" policy. What happens is that Walmart becomes your biggest account. You think everything is great, selling lots of stuff, and then they audit your books. They tell you that instead of making 15% on each item, you need to lower the price and only make 13%. (Or something to this effect). At first you bite the bullet, but it doesn't stop.

    Walmarts slogan "Always rolling back prices". Soon they ask to lower it again. At this point you either have to stop selling to Walmart, or make your product cheaper. So first you source from a cheap Chinese factory, or you use lower quality materials. In the end, the product isn't as good was it was before. Sure the customer gets a product for less, but the quality isn't the same.

    I don't know about you guys, but I need my RAID's not to fail. I have 100's of hours of video on hard drives that I am working on. I don't want a cheapo product. I want a good quality product at a fair price. I also don't want to get screwed by customer support or some crappy void warranty issue.

    So, I still repeat myself. I will never buy a LaCie hard drive again. I will never recommend for anyone to buy a LaCie RAID or any other LaCie product. Not to mention I don't need to send my money to a foreign company. Maybe I will start with USA companies first next time.

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