Thursday, 13 July, 2006

Flash drive ripoff

Last week, David Stafford bought an 8 gigabyte USB flash drive on eBay for $65--shipping included.  It came in the other day.  When he plugged it in and tested it, it worked.  Up to the point where he tried to write more than 1 gigabyte to it.  It turns out that this is a 1 gigabyte Cruzer that has been very cleverly repackaged, including a new label on the device that says "Cruzer 8.0 GB".  SanDisk doesn't even make an 8 gigabyte Cruzer.

David has asked the seller for his money back and the seller has agreed to a refund.  We'll see if he actually comes through.  (Update 07/25: The seller provided a full refund.  It's likely that he got taken in by the product.)

Oddly, the seller has overwhelmingly positive feedback on these "8 gigabyte" flash drives that he's selling.  David's assumption is that people get the thing, test it by writing a few files, and then provide positive feedback.  It seems not many try to copy more than a gigabyte to the thing before assuming that it works.

Be careful buying these things on eBay or anywhere else online.  The listing for the one David bought showed a picture of the item in its package, but the top part that has the SanDisk logo was cut off in the picture.  The description said, "this is not a SanDisk product."  I would suggest that you avoid these items.