Data recovery: is it covered by a warranty?

It might seem logical to assume that, should a type of storage media fail whilst it is still under warranty, the manufacturer will not only replace and/or repair the device, but should foot the bill for any data recovery work that may be required too. After all, you wouldn’t have lost the data if the device hadn’t failed. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t the case and Fields Data Recovery is yet to come across a warranty that covers the cost of recovering lost data. But why is this?

Well, for one thing, data recovery can be expensive. If parts need to be replaced or a clean room used then the costs of recovering lost data can grow. Simply replacing a faulty drive with a brand new one, on the other hand, is eminently affordable for the manufacturers of such devices.

Equally relevant is the fact that it is extremely difficult to determine the actual monetary value of the data held on a device. This is precisely why, more often than not, the exact wording of the disclaimer present on many types of storage media reads: ‘the manufacturer is not responsible for the data held on this device.’ Without such a disclaimer, the company could be deemed to be accountable for some truly astronomical costs – imagine, for example, if the data that had been lost was a potentially valuable algorithm, patent etc. You may have recently heard about how valuable bitcoins have become – imagine how much a manufacturer would need to pay out if such data was lost?

If manufacturers didn’t protect themselves, then just one failed device could cost them millions of pounds, if not more. Covering the costs of recovering data lost from one of their devices could, possibly, set a precedent that would indicate that manufacturers were indeed responsible for the data contained on their devices – thus potentially opening the floodgates to numerous expensive claims.

Still, many people have been affected by storage devices that have failed whilst under warranty and, yes, perhaps they should have been more vigilant and backed their data up to another device, but there are many who would counter such an argument. Perhaps it is just as reasonable to claim that, by failing to cover the costs of recovering data from a device that was under warranty, a manufacturer is failing to stand by its product and are unfairly utilising a loophole to leave those affected out of pocket.

Now, we at Fields Data Recovery have our own opinion on this matter, but we’d much rather hear from you; the IT technicians, the small business owners and the company directors who’ve been affected by data loss. Having considered the reasons why manufacturers don’t cover the costs of recovering data when the affected device is under warranty, do you feel that this is fair? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

If you’ve lost vital data and need it bac, you can get in touch with the data recovery experts here.