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Archive for June, 2008

Tales from the Darkside

June 14th, 2008 No comments

At least once a week, we receive a submission that had previously been sent to another recovery company – generally because of false promises and lowball quotes. The following are some of the most insane stories we have received from clients who attempted to do business with less than reputable companies. We have tons of these and it truly was tough picking our “favorites”. We will withold the company names but hope that you will choose very carefully when picking a data recovery partner to work with!

We received a disk from a teacher in Texas who had been told by another firm they could do the recovery for $199. Because the company was in Dallas the teacher tried in good faith to do business locally. When they received his disk he waited over a week for a call claiming that the recovery was more advanced that previously thought. He told them he had received a firm price of $199 and couldn’t afford more than that. When he asked them to send the disk back, they claimed there was a $100 “fee” for diagnosing the drive. Their diagnosis was that the “motor had failed” and that they would need around $700 for parts PLUS the $199 he was quoted. When he refused to pay the “fee” that he was never told about they tried to KEEP his hard drive as ransom! It took threats to the “owner” of the company and 2 certified letters to get the disk back – and only then after agreeing to split the fee and pay them $50. When we received the disk it was covered in stickers with this companies logo on it and a big red X written in permanent marker on the case. Expecting to have to replace the motor, the disk was disasembled and prepared for a motor swap. We found that the motor was working perfectly! The disk was put back together, cloned and within a few hours We completed a full recovery.

A nice girl who was in class at the University of Colorado at Boulder sent us a submission previously sent to another company who lowballed the price and tried to raise it to $2200 once she sent it in. While they gave her no problems when she opted out, when she received the disk she claimed there were DENTS in the case that werent there before. She called us in a panic: “Can they do that?” We of course arent sure they DID but wow – to think they might have tried to damage the disk before sending it back! There were significant hardware issues with the drive but we managed to set her up with all of her lost files – including one key research paper!

Another customer sent us a disk with an email that had us laughing for days. It was a copy of the “diagnosis” from her initial choice of recovery companies. We hear technical double-speak all the time. Companies will use it to confuse the customer and make them think the issue is severely technical and over their heads. This reduces the likelihood that the customer will ask questions or want answers. This techno-jabber however, took the cake:

“…unstable causation unit allowing intermittent access, furthermore causing read errors/logical problems, affecting file system structures within the static loader, etc.  We need to manually rebuild the seeker corridor and decompile corrupted file-system components, adjust file pointers by at least 10 degrees and mount the recovered volume(s) before retrieving data.”

Naturally they tried to raise the price and she opted out. When we received the drive, there were no real issues and we completed a full recovery for her. There definitely wasn’t any trouble with the “static loader” !

We have had a few customers whos disks were LOST. Literally. One account stands out because of how flagrant the negligence was. A computer tech sent a clients disk in to a fly by night company he found on the web with an air carrier and tracking number. The disk was delivered and he even received an email from the company confirming this. After a week or so he wrote in asking about the progress and got no response. It took him another week to finally get a response saying they had “misplaced” his disk and were looking for it. He finally got fed up and demanded answers. They claimed that it had never been delivered. When confromted with the tracking number they said it must have accidentally been thrown away. Finally the guy got a call from ANOTHER recovery company claiming they had his disk, had managed a partial recovery and wanted a credit card number as payment. His disk had been outsourced without his knowledge and he was kept totally in the dark! He was more fortunate than some others whos disks were never found. After he paid the company who called him, he received a bill a few days later for over twice the price from the company who lost his disk! When he had need for another recovery, he called us with this story. We promised him he would never have the same problem with us and he has been a great customer ever since.

Be careful who you do business with!