Back in April, I got an email from my FTP software people offering a free 30 day trial of Carbonite Online Storage. I signed up and when 30 days was up, my backup still wasn’t complete but I signed up anyway. I had worked during the backup and hadn’t noticed any drag at all of either my system or my online experience.
On May 8th, I signed up for 2 years of Carbonite service. On May 22, I entered my office, turned on my computer and was greeted with the dreaded blue screen of death. My hard drive was dead.
I packed up the beast and dropped it off at my local computer repair shop. (C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida but the link provided to their website now loads some spammy site trying to get you to run an online virus check. UGH!)
Mark (my favorite tech at C&W Computers) went to work diagnosing the problem and I went home to a business that was now officially “on hold” until I could access my files.
But I had Carbonite! YEAH! I also had purchased an Alienware computer to serve as a business backup, so I installed my software onto the beastly monstrosity. Once the software was installed, then I tried to transfer my Carbonite backup to the new PC.
The process of transferring the subscription was fraught with problems. The password I set didn’t work… so I tried to retrieve my password using their system. They sent the password recovery email, but it included a code that wasn’t needed on the password recovery page… and didn’t send the code that was required.
PLEASE NOTE: I TRIED TO NOT “BOTHER” CARBONITE AND USE THEIR AUTOMATED CUSTOMER SERVICE OPTION. IT WAS NOT FUNCTIONAL AT THE TIME. IT IS MY SINCERE HOPE THAT THEY HAVE WORKED THAT “KINK” OUT OF THE SYSTEM.
So, finally, I pick up the phone and call. I am greeted with a message that tells me
a) I am the first caller in line and
b) for another $20 a month, I can get my calls answered immediately.
I then spend the next TWENTY MINUTES on hold listening to beg notices to upgrade to VIP customer status which also lets me know that I’m the “first” caller in line.
IF I HAD NOT HEARD THAT THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE WAITING… I MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN UPSET!!!
In the end, I did get through, I did get my password reset and I did backup the files to my other PC. However, I still have a really bad taste in my mouth over the whole VIP customer service deal.
A little more than 2 weeks earlier, I had paid a fee to use their service for 2 years. I had tried to use their “hands free” password reset option. I picked up the phone as a last resort… only to find I was being asked to pay MORE for customer service.
Carbonite, you should have offered me the priority service information BEFORE I purchased. Heck, better yet, why not include PRIORITY SERVICE for ALL of your customers!!!
Carbonite did a great job of backing up my files. Carbonite DOES NOT back up your software though. It doesn’t back up your email either. However, it did restore the backup of my data files to my new pc over the course of a week.
IT WAS – IN A WORD – A LIFESAVER!!!
In all fairness, the guys at C&W were impressed by the amount of data I have on my PC… which is why they set me up with an external hard drive AND Symtantec Backup Exec. It’s backing up EVERYTHING I need, not just the data files.
It cost $500 to have the guys at C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida replace my hard drive and set up the new backup option. Carbonite cost less than $90 for two years of service.
However, in the end I’m happier with C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida than I am Carbonite…why? Because C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida included VIP customer service in EVERY sale!
I want to be clear – I understand that customer service is a bitch!!! Customers are unreasonable at times in their demands. However, I don’t think I was being unreasonable in expecting to be able to retrieve my password without calling customer service.
POST SCRIPT NOTE: This blog post is an example of “the internet never forgets”. The date on this review is June 21, 2008. Carbonite has had more than a year to address the problems outlined above.
It’s now more than a year later and I’m still getting comments and page view on this post.
Carbonite was johnny on the spot responding to this review and I hope they’ve “fixed” their automated password retrieval problem in the meantime.
I’ve left comments open on this blog post so that if you’ve had a GOOD experience with Carbonite, you can leave it here.
However, if you want to leave comments about this review, you MUST include a VALID email address to get your comment approved to appear here. If you don’t use an email address that I can use to contact you – then your comment won’t see the light of day.