It's all well and good to cut corners when you're ridding durable, miniature electronics of their brittle plastic clamshells -- but this time, Amazon's "Frustration-Free Packaging" initiative has gone too far. The company's shipping computer hard drives in the stuff. According to dozens of irate customers, Western Digital hard drives shipped by the e-tailer over the past several months have arrived in damaged cardboard containers, thin layers of bubble wrap, or even loose in a simple electrostatic discharge bag without an ounce of padding to keep them from harm. And while some buyers shipped them back immediately when they saw what had happened, many who tried them anyhow found their magnetic storage dead on arrival. While we're not certain whether Western Digital or Amazon was at fault for placing the drives on the "frustration-free" list in the first place (Seagate drive buyers haven't reported similar issues), Gadget Lab reports that Amazon is aware of the problem, and already working to ensure future (lack of) packaging avoids causing more frustration than it's worth. Read the horror stories with pics at our source links below.

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Amazon's frustration-free packaging is anything but for hard drives