What strikes me as far more interesting is that people bother with retailers when it comes to WD RMA. WD has maybe the most hassle-free RMA service in the industry, the last thing I'd want to go through with them is the usual "take it to the retailer, wait 4-6 weeks for replacement" spiel.
Not really. Seagate used to have the best - for $10 you not only get an advanced shipment drive, but you also get a label to return the old one - which I always used because $10 is less than half what return shipping is. And Seagate's RMA tracking worked.
With WD, I tried advanced shipping once - and a month later, they still haven't updated their RMA system with the fact that the drive is there. I emailed them proof of shipment (I used FedEx and had tracking and everything), they manually marked it as returned as the drive did arrive and was signed for. Three months later, I get an email saying they got the drive. WTF? And maybe it was a one off, but no, I had another drive fail, returned it (regular RMA this time). Again, nothing - until I started calling them and gave them again all the shipping information. This time a couple of weeks later they shipped the drive, and a month later, they "found" the drive I sent in.
I wish both would just offer an RMA system that works and allow you to buy a label from them - Seagate for me worked the best for RMA because they always got it shortly after it arrives and for $10, I didn't really care about that since the return shipping would cost me $25 normally, so I'd save $15, and the drive would be processed quickly. Alas, I'm told those days are gone.