Home > nerd > Carbonite Screwed Me Over

Carbonite Screwed Me Over

A month before we moved to California, I subscribed to Carbonite Online Backup so that all my digital pictures, videos, and documents stored on my home computer would be protected in case of the rapture and/or apocalypse.

I made a folder right on the root of my C drive named Important and built a directory tree underneath, divided by content. I made it easy on them. There was only one folder they had to back up, and somehow they managed to botch it.

Everything was backed up and accounted for before we left. The computer was turned off and I swapped out a cheap wireless router so I could bring my good one to California, so even if the desktop was turned on, it couldn’t connect to the internet. I checked through the web portal and Android app and my files were indeed backed up and secure.

Fast forward a few months to just before my wife’s birthday. I wanted to create a collage of pictures of our dog because she’s freaking adorable and we miss her. I log into Carbonite and all I see is empty folder after empty folder. The directory structure was intact, but no files remained. Scratch that, there were a few random files in deep directories but they were in directories that should have been full of other files and pictures.

After wasting hours and hours talking to the useless customer support, they made me install Carbonite on my laptop so they could pull up some log information that would help them debug it on their side. That led to a few more calls over the next few weeks.

Throughout the whole ordeal, each customer representative kept telling me that I needed to turn on my desktop back home so they could read the log file. Who the hell creates an online backup system that requires you to activate the computer that, for all intents and purposes was destroyed in a fire, in order to get your files back? The whole point of a backup system is to be able to restore your files if something should happen to the original disk. Amateurs.

There was a lot of back and forth and escalation until it got to someone who could view the contents of the backup. He said that in mid-April, a few weeks before we left, that I had either deleted, renamed, or moved the Important folder. I’m flabbergasted. Of course I didn’t touch that Important folder in any such way. What do you take me for? As a developer, I have a reluctance to do any of those things to any folder unless I’m absolutely certain of it, especially when it’s the sole folder being backed up. That’s why I named it fucking Important.

Without any evidence at hand to prove my point, this argument went no where. They say the only way this could have happened was by Carbonite no longer seeing the Important folder. The rep told me that they only keep such deleted files for a month, and that the deadline had passed, so there was no way for them to pull back my files.

So here I sit, disgusted with Carbonite and without access to all my best puppy pictures. I can’t do anything until mid-August when I get home and boot up the desktop to see what happens. If I find that the folder has been renamed Important2, I’ll apologize. If not, I’ll expect my money back, an explanation, and their lead developer’s head on a platter.

Until then, I wouldn’t go near Carbonite. Instead, I’ll have to live with the sub-par pictures of Piper I managed to scratch together from my cell-phone and Facebook. Enjoy!

No lolcat caption necessary

Categories: nerd
  1. Dave Ziffer
    May 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Yeah Carbonite screwed me over but in a different way. I had Carbonite’s previous business service (“Carbonite Pro”) with the exact same computers I have today and it was working fine. Then in late 2011 they switched over to their new “Carbonite Business”, offering to give me the same service I’d already been buying monthly for a special first-year rate of $120 (I saved the screen shot of this offer) if I would switch to Carbonite Business early. So I switched – but there was no special offer. I went through their screens and they upgraded me to “Carbonite Business” but the price was the standard $229, not the promised $120. I went ahead figuring they’d refund me. Boy was I wrong. Three days after switching over, my main computer popped up a message saying Carbonite had disabled the backup on this machine. I contacted them and they told me that the standard Carbonite Business package would not back up servers (such as my Windows 2003 Server machine) and that I’d have to upgrade to Premium, which was $299 instead of $229. After arguing fruitlessly that they had promised me the same service as before (with the same machines as before) for $120, I finally said OK I’d upgrade. So I was gonna pay the $70 difference but they said there’s no way to pay just the difference – I’d have to pay the whole $299 and they’d refund me the $239 I’d already paid. That was to much for me. To make a long story short, I’ve contacted them repeatedly about this but I get nowhere. They told me I could now self-upgrade using their web site. I looked and the price of a Premium upgrade had gone up to over $400, with no rebate for paid-up unused months on my current plan, apparently. I looked today again and now the price is $599. What a crock. Screw me once ….

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