When we receive a drive that has been opened, then we may make an 'opened drive' charge. This is made to cover the costs of the financial risk involved in working with such cases.
For an external drive, if you have removed the external case and the physical hard disk has not been opened then the charge would not apply.
The charge is also made when a drive has minor platter damage and the chance of recovery is lower than normal. You will be consulted, and if agreed the charge will apply, these charges are refundable on a successful recovery.
We do not make this charge without your consent and will only be necessary if it is deemed that there is at least a reasonable chance of recovery or you wish for us to make a recovery attempt.
As an example, if we receive a drive that has severe damage on the platter, we would recommend that a recovery attempt would not regain access to the data. If you agree, then the open drive charge would not apply, however if you want us to try anyway, then we would do so and the charge would apply.