Why not just go through WD warranty then? You can get an "Advanced RMA", where they expedite you a new drive, and charge the full price to your credit/debit card, which is refunded when they receive your bad drive. Not perfect, but I'd go through WD directly, if I understand your sitrep correctly. I sounds like even the no-cost standard WD warranty RMA process may be better for you. What you are dealing with is just wrong... Some may be interested in switching to NewEgg, with a "Premier" annual membership, with free pre-paid shipping returns for full refund and no restocking charges, or no-cost replacement within a minimum of 30 days (often much longer, depending on the product category). Back to WD: WD product users should register the drive S/N through WD's support portal on their website. Once registered, all the options are fully automated, no proof of purchase required, no human interaction required, or having to prove the drive is bad. This has been my experience over the last couple years. They just redecorated the support portal, so a few things might have changed (or they just may have re-designed the website, for a new look).