RMA a drive to ncix and you should get a new drive not a refurb. If you get a refurb you got ripped off.
It is my understanding that the 30 day is the store warranty - he should get a brand new drive indeed - the refurbs usually come from the manufacturer RMA directly, from Seagate, unless specified otherwise.
Also you should RMA your drive right away, don't wait for it to fail - what you describe is NOT normal at all and is the result of Seagate's piss poor quality control - You would not be the only person, it seems a lot of people are having problems with Seagates lately.
Thank goodness i'm not one of those - and it seems they have acquired Maxtor's qc issues along with their purchase of Maxtor :)
I agree with sswilson. Online RMA w. Seagate doesn't even ask for a reason. I've also called Seagate once I found the Canadian RMA is sent to a UPS depot in Mississauga. As I didn't have time for a long drawn out turnover (UPS sucks) they provided ADVANCE shipping of the new drive (no credit card req'd) and I received an email from UPS w. a return shipping label - PREPAID by Seagate. When the new drive arrived within 4-5 days, I opened box - took out new drive - dropped in RMA drive and handed box w. label back to driver. Done - best RMA experience I've ever had!
Putting NCIX in the middle is only going to take longer and open the door to more possible screwups. Deal direct IMO.
You are quite lucky ! Whoever dealt with you didn't do their job Since when does Seagate cover shipping ? An Advance RMA also is on a special request basis, and you might not always be lucky in getting it - and if they do approve it they will charge your credit card - You really got lucky because that is not Seagate's policy to work this way, unless they changed policies, which I doubt. I will check on that.