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UK reseller sues over Great Fujitsu HDD Fiasco

The story that won't die - unlike the MPG3xx

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A British computer dealer is suing Fujitsu over the failure of its notorious MPG3xx hard drives.

Bournemouth-based Technology Europe Ltd has found a lawyer willing to take the case on a “no-win no-fee” basis. The firm bought 350 MPG3xx drives between late 2001 and September 2002 which it fitted to systems it then sold on.

Technology Europe director Ben Baker claims that the drives began to fail at unacceptably high levels, but Fujitsu continued to deny there was a problem and was less than helpful about returning dead drives.

He also told the Personal Computer Association - a UK lobby group for computer dealers - that Fujitsu started refusing credit for about half the drives returned because it claimed the edge connectors were damaged. Baker denies the drives had any problem with edge connectors when they were sent. Fujitsu sent photographs to support its claim, but told Baker the drives had been destroyed when he asked for their return.

Baker told the PCA newsletter INTERFACE: "The thing is these guys are just really wriggly. They lose the paperwork that we send with the drives then they lose the replacement set. The only way to ensure the don’t 'lose' it is to fax it and then follow that immediately with a phone call to check that the person has got it. After a while you end up saying 'oh f**k it. I can’t be a**ed'."

Problems with Fujitsu MPG3xx hard drives began to surface in 2002, but the supplier denied there was any abnormal failure rate.

The PCA lobbied Fujitsu over problems experienced by its members, and in December 2002 issued an advisory note on Fujitsu drives. It revealed that in 2001 Fujitsu lodged court papers against Cirrus Logic blaming its control chips for failing early and causing problems with its drives. Last year Fujitsu settled a US class action suit over the dud drives with a $42.5m out-of-court payment.

Ben Baker’s solicitors would like to hear from anyone who has lost time, money or business because of this issue. You can contact Mark Clarke of Clarke and Co Solicitors at mjc@clarke-and-co.com or by phone on 01202 291 797.

We asked Fujitsu to comment on Technology Europe Ltd's action. The company has not as yet responded. ®

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