708a Quality Confusion? Don't Be!

if you are planning on getting a 708a drive, get the one with TLA#0x0x, not TLA#000x

after i rma my TLA#000x 708a for a refurb. TLA#0x0x one (refurb. from TLA#000x to TLA#0x0x by plextor), it has been working fine with all the firmware updates, although i am still unhappy about plextor’s rma service, as i literally paid a new-drive price for a used one, 'cause my drive broke down within 3 months with little use :a

as you may know, the first 2 number of a 708a’s TLA# indicates hardware revision…

good luck.

Do you have evidence your returned drive is used? To my knowledge all recent exchanges are de facto new drives.

1st, scratched marks around the mounting sides
2nd, drive produces whinning sound from time to time although seemingly working ok (hope it’s not breaking down again soon :bow: ); old drive didn’t produce such sound when it was working
3rd, a manual TLA#010x was placed over the old one (TLA#000x)

all these evidence point to a de facto used drive!

from a user’s perspective, I am truly disappoited with plextor this time. I bought my drive new because I don’t want a used one. now, what’s the difference? I just can’t believe I got penalized for being one of their early adopters (or supporters) of their “kind of quality” 708a drive :rolleyes:

I emailed them and complained on their “old-drive” replacement tactic, they emailed back saying they have option to replace rma drive with refurb. ones. Smoke! :a

now I am searching for alternative brand for my next drive…

I agree!

I have my 3rd RMA drive now and this one also isn’t unused!
My next drives won’t be PLEXTORs!
“king of quality”, I have to laugh about this… :stuck_out_tongue:


Legnerp, just for the record, here’s a part of Plextor’s response (without editing) to my email:

"If you look at our website it states that all replacement are with refurbised drives.

Prior to submitting a request for an RMA number, you must first contact technical support at 1.800.886.3935 or support@plextor.com for assistance in troubleshooting your issue. Many problems are actually caused by system issues, not drive problems, so many drives returned to Plextor are found to have no defects. If Tech Support determines that your drive is defective, you will be given a Tech Support Ticket Number. This number must be entered on the RMA Request Form. The RMA Request Form will not be processed without this number.

NOTE: Do not use the Tech Support Ticket number as an RMA number.

If you are given a Tech Support Ticket Number, please fill out the RMA request form below, include the ticket number in the appropriate field and any additional instructions provided by Technical Support. Plextor will issue an RMA Number within 2 business days. You have 2 options to choose from:

  1. You can request a replacement product refurbished to factory specifications.
  2. If your drive is Out-of-Warranty, Plextor offers an upgrade program click here.
    Plextor’s standard turn-around time is 5-7 business days from the date the defective unit arrives on Plextor’s dock"

Can you believe this???! :a :rolleyes:

Yes, I know! :frowning:

First they say, you are too stupid to recognize if your drive is really broken (perhaps some people are indeed, but we aren’t I think ;)), and then you’ll get a “refurbished” (just had a look in my dictionary :)) drive…

That’s the world… they all want to save money…

All the trouble begins when you are getting into this RMA circle. I expect Plextor to build products, that are well engineered. In average a PCs live is about two years, so I expect Plextor drives to keep on burning at least these two years. Other companies are able to and Plextor was able to (in the times of CD-burners), but I won’t pay double prices anymore when I can’t rely on the quality. So the 708A is definitely my last Plextor for a while!

In the times of early CD burners I experienced quite similar problems with Ricoh. I never bought a Ricoh unit again and I’m still alive… :bigsmile:


It’s my understanding that when you RMA a product the companies have a right to send you a refurbished unit because as already mentioned the drives are repaired to factory specs. It’s unfortunate that those of you that had to RMA back to Plextor. I’d probably feel the same way as you do. All companies have the same practice to RMA a drive and send back a refurbished one. I had the same experience with my first YAMAHA CDRW that cost me $400.00 back in 1998. I got a refurbished drive that didn’t work correctly. I never will buy a YAMAHA drive again. :frowning:

Replacing with refurbished is standard operating procedure. I lost a hard drive in my Dell laptop a year or so ago…and they shipped me a refurbished hard drive as a replacement. Normally, Dell’s policy is within the first 30 days after purchase…they will replace a bad machine with a brand new one. After 30 days…the warrantee only guarantees replacement parts will be refurbished…and only new if the part is not in stock. This is normal. I am not surprised that Plextor replaces drives with refurbished. Nor, am I unsatisfied after 8 months if I get refurbished to replace my drive. Give me a reliable drive in return…and I will be satisfied. By the way…my drive is TLA 0001 (bought the drive two days before official release) and it has worked like a champ from day 1. The only firmware my 708a didn’t like was 1.06…but 1.07 seems quite nice.


Very sad indeed :frowning:

As the other Bob said, replacing a defective drive with a refurbished drive is SOP. Even if you bring your car in for factory warranty, chances are they will replace major components with “re-manufactured” components. Refurbished is just another word for remanufactured. They go through the same manufacturing tests and have to meet the same specs as when new. As mentioned above, and commented on many times in this and other forums, many of the “drive” issues DO turn out to be results of system or software problems. Tech support at Plextor, probably like many, if not most tech support facilities the world over, can’t spend the necessary time with each customer to pin-point the problem when the symptoms may not be common. So they opt to RMA the drive. At a minimum, it either confirms or rules out the hardware.


With due respect, your opinion is well taken; yet, if a drive is purchased retail and broken within a time period that is not typical of a new product, I think the manufacturer is responsible for the defect, as the broken unit probably has design flaw, and should replace with a new unit. In my case, the drive was confirmed defected thru a series of diag. tests before sending back. My drive was broken with little use in only 9 weeks roughly! And by the way, how many hardware revision plextor has made to its “kind of quality” 708a drive since TLA#000x? may be at least 2 already. Therefore, if the 708a model was well engineered without major hardware flaw initially, plextor wouldn’t need any hardware revision, instead, concentrating in firmware revisions should be sufficient! Therefore, we, the 708a users, shouldn’t be responsible for plextor’s design flaws, and get penalized for adopting, or rather, supporting its drive early!

And please don’t get me wrong…

1st, I do think they make solid quality cd-r burners in the past.

2nd, if my drive would have broken after, say, 8/9 months of frequent use and it breaks down, then I would have no problem whatsoever taking a refurb. replacement.

If we think that plextor’s rma practice is justifiable, how about just buying refurb. right from the beginning of our purchases? why bother paying a premium just for the “new box” vanity?

You’re forgetting one important thing here: a hardware revision is not always the result of a design flaw. It can be, don’t get me wrong but a hardware revision is also done, for example, when certain parts are not manufactured anymore or when Plextor changes vendors for some parts of the drive. When they do this they will also change the TLA number. So, as an example, when the optical pick-up unit is no longer manufactured (or in insufficient amounts) by company A they will turn to company B and as a result the TLA number will be changed from 01xx to 02xx for example.


your point is well taken, yet, let us all pause for a moment, step back a little, and take a hard and closer look at plextor’s so-called “king of quality” 708a drives. Now, I believe we all have suddenly realized that plextor’s 708a is not up to their usually “king of quality” standard as their past cd burners. 708a’s “king of quality” seems way off, compared to plextor’s traditional “king of quality” we, all plextor users, once enjoyed.

Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed using their cd burners; unfortunately, their 708a disappointed me this time, as well as their sloppy RMA service.

Anyway, I just try not to let my emotion take over my objectivity when judging plextor’s drives. Let me sum it all up: they made solid quality drives in the past, but just not nearly as good anymore, at least that’s the case with their 708a! How many of you out there have the same feeling as I do?

Let me sum it all up: they made solid quality drives in the past, but just not nearly as good anymore, at least that’s the case with their 708a! How many of you out there have the same feeling as I do?

My 708a has never had any problems. Unfortunately there are those who have had to RMA it back to Plextor. I’m sure there are some that still feel Plextor still makes solid quality drives. I am one of them. There are so many variables in dvd authoring, burning and the hardware and software that one uses. Remember other brands of optical drives have their problems too. :wink:

I acknowledge that. :iagree:

However, let’s not forget that we, users of plextor drives, usually pay a hefty premium for their “king of quality” drives. you done forgot about that hah???! :rolleyes:

I don’t mind paying a premium for their drives if you can maintain their “king of quality” (and sound service) as they did in the past. But definitely not in this “708a” case, not this time pal! They can definitely do a better service job for they 708a users, if they choose to… :frowning:

Well, this has been a disappointing discovery. I also paid a premium for this product and feel burned a little. I understand, there can be duds. I can accept that. The trouble now for me is this: I’m in Japan. Plextor USA says I need to contact the branch in Tokyo. I emailed them and have not received an answer. That’s no big surprise considering they probably cannot understand a word I am saying. I’m not happy about the whole refurb thing either. I’ve only had mine about 8 months after paying about $250. Anyway, great site. What a resource!