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Seagate's US customers get refund

When is a Gig not a Gig?

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Any punters who bought a Seagate hard drive in the US between 22 March 2001 and 26 September 2007 could be entitled to a five per cent discount on future Seagate products or free backup software.

The settlement is the result of a US class action suit. The case alleges that Seagate sold drives with seven per cent less storage than customers expected.

The case hinges on the precise definition of a gigabyte. The plaintiff alleges that Seagate sold drives using the digital definition of a gigabyte - so 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. This is misleading, the plaintiffs claim, because "computer operating systems typically report hard drive capacity using a binary definition of GB whereby 1 GB = 1, 073, 741, 824 bytes.

Although Seagate continues to deny all charges, it has agreed to settle the case. So anyone who bought a retail Seagate hard drive in the US can claim a five per cent discount on the price they paid. Seagate has also agreed to change the wording on its packaging to make its definition of a gigabyte clearer to consumers.

If you bought a hard drive before January 2006 you can either get the five per cent cash discount or free backup software. If your purchase was made after that, you can get a free copy of the backup software.

There are full details on the settlement website here.

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