About a year ago, I was introduced to Carbonite.com via bzzagent.com. It cheaply and efficiently backs up your files. It does this automatically in the background, so you don't have to spend time doing it manually. I got a free trial through bzzagent.com, and when I heard back from other "agents" I decided to pay up for a whole year - about $50.
Everything was going great. I knew I had to go through and specially set it to backup my video files. This isn't written in bold red print, but I found it in the fine print and set it up to backup videos. No biggie.
Then I got a virus. It wiped my whole hard drive. Pictures, music, video, word documents, notes for class - all of it, gone.
I was more irritated than worried because I have the Carbonite backup and I knew all my files were fine.
I re-installed my hard drive and went to log into carbonite.com. It didn't accept my password. I clicked "forgot password," and was told to fill out a form to send to their customer service department with basic information. They asked for the last four digits of th credit card that I used to buy my subscription. I couldn't remember which card I put it on, and told them so. I submitted the form and got an email auto-response. Apparently it was going to take 72 hours to get back to me.
72 hours. To recover a password.
So I called their support line. Nobody was there, they only support people between 9 am and 5 pm, Eastern Standard Time. Because everybody knows that's the only time computers crash, right?
So I called back today. The recorded voice said I could get something like preferred customer service for just $20. It said I was 9th in line for regular service. I kept my $20 and waited. Every minute, the recorded voice interrupted the horrible elevator music to tell me I could also contact customer service via email. It gave me the email. After 45 minutes, I got really pissed.
I have been on hold with your company for 46 minutes. You have my $50 and all of my backup files. I would like to get back either my $50 or my files. I refuse to pay an extra $20 just so you will pick up the phone. You keep asking me to hold. I guess you think I am going to hang up.
You are wrong.
Half an hour later, it was a similar email. When I hit the 90 minute mark, another. I wrote to their CEO (his email is listed on the site) as well. Still nothing.
At one hour and 45 minutes, someone finally got on the phone. His name is Chris. He had an email sent out within minutes.
When I went to check for that email, I saw that I got a reply from someone named Roseanne. This was in response to the email I'd sent to the CEO. She sent a link to reset my password and apologized for my hassle. I clicked the link while I was on hold (very briefly) with Chris. It didn't work. I'm guessing that's because it was being re-reset by Chris. I clicked on the link from Chris's email and it worked perfectly.
I won't be using this service again. I'm going to get my files back, put them on removable storage, and get that McAfee program that backs up my stuff.
Yes, it was my fault for not writing down the password and keeping it in a safe place. However, the customer service at this company is so ridiculously difficult to access that it would be stupid to keep trusting them with my files. It shouldn't take five angry emails and two full hours of my daytime minutes to get access to a program that I've already paid $50 for.