Friday, September 04, 2009

Susan is on the Warpath

I have been "pimping" (for lack of a better word) Carbonite's online backup service for over 2 years now, to clients and friends. I would venture to say I have persuaded dozens of clients to sign up for their service, and it hasn't been all bad. It has saved the files of several people whose computers died spectacularly, and considering most of them would have had no backup at all without it, it has been an admirably cheap solution.


I have just discovered their appalling, pitiful excuse for customer support, and a loophole they've provided for themselves in the Terms of Use that none of us ever read; basically, they can delete your files if your computer doesn't connect to the carbonite service for an undetermined length of time. Your computer dies, and you don't get a replacement quickly and re-establish your carbonite account? Say goodbye to 5 years worth of family photos. Your internet goes out for a week? Too bad. You'd better hope that your computer doesn't die before you can get back online and let carbonite rebuild your entire backup from scratch!

It costs $19.99 to get "priority" phone support; ludicrous, if the product that I am paying for won't work, even after following all of the online support. It took over 20 minutes of painfully slow online support chat to discover that my client's backup had simply been deleted - after several "did you try this?" comments from "Ralph", I finally asked point-blank "DO YOU SEE MY DATA ON YOUR SERVERS?" 5 minutes later, he finally responded that the data had been deleted.

So now I am on a mission - to warn all of my clients and friends that is an unreliable and basically dishonest service, and they would be better served to switch to either or, as I intend to do myself. Both are well reviewed and have good value for cost, while carbonite is only #9 out of 10.

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