• Report: #329781

Complaint Review: Data Recovery Corporation - DB Investments, Inc.

  • Submitted: Wed, April 30, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, November 21, 2011

  • Reported By:Springfield Missouri
Data Recovery Corporation - DB Investments, Inc.
4162 Ruple Rd. Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A.

Data Recovery Corporation - DB Investments, Inc. High Tech Scam Artists Cleveland Ohio

*Consumer Comment: We too, went through heck with these folks.

*Consumer Comment: We too, went through heck with these folks.

* : 1900 is just to start

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To Data Recovery Tech from Canada

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Seagate diagnostic

*Consumer Comment: Ex Employee is probably correct

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: and here comes the truth

*Consumer Comment: Something similar happened here as well.

*Consumer Comment: Something similar happened here as well.

*Consumer Comment: Something similar happened here as well.

*Author of original report: What?!? DRC caught in a LIE? Shocking!

*Consumer Comment: Alex Smith works for Data Recovery Corp

*Author of original report: Data Recovery Corp / DB Investments - Update

*Consumer Comment: This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

*Consumer Comment: This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

*Consumer Comment: This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

*Consumer Comment: This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

*Author of original report: All documentation sent to Cleveland office of the Ohio Attorney General

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PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU SEND YOUR PRECIOUS DATA TO THESE PEOPLE!

I'll just sum it up to start with. These guys are pulling a high-tech spin on the same crap that shady mechanics have been pulling for decades. You go in with a bad spark plug and end up with a new engine.

Backstory: My company is doing a documentary for a non-profit hospital. We're shooting on a tapeless digital format that requires our data be offloaded to hard drives every day. We were on location and as I was preparing to plug our main external drive in to be backed up to a secondary drive, I plugged the laptop power supply into the drive by mistake and killed it.

I didn't panic because I knew it was either a fried power supply or logic board. Not an ideal situation, but it's not like it just fell out of a moving car or something.

Enter Data Recovery Corporation... I did an online ticket, shipped them our drive and awaited a quote.

Well imagine my SHOCK when they tell me the drive is suffering from "severe mechanical problems" and "many damaged sectors" and would cost about $1900 to recovery... WHAT?!?

So, I immediately switched on call recording, informed them I would be recording our conversation for our legal department and began asking the sort of questions that anyone with a strong background in electronics would ask:

Me: So the logic board has been replaced?

DRC: No.

Me: So you want to explain to me how you can diagnose sector errors on a drive that's not spinning?

DRC: We have very secret, proprietary software...

(Right! An engineer at Seagate said their software must be on loan from an alien civilization or perhaps the future).

Me: I'd like to reiterate that you're not speaking with some neophyte that knows nothing about electrical engineering and data storage. Let's try this again...

DRC continued to insist that it's just too secret to talk about and their results are what matter. I noted it all, got them to say as much as I could and then called both Seagate and Disk Savers to speak with real data recovery engineers.

I further learned that a diagnosis that contains a report of "read write head errors" and "damaged sectors" is a paradox. How can you diagnose bad sectors if the read write head is malfunctioning? You can't.

On my second call, the story changed and "the logic board was temporarily replaced for diagnostic purposes".

Ok, whatever you big liars.

Armed with additional knowledge from Seagate Recovery Services and Disk Savers, I called back to probe deeper into the specifics.

Confronted with quotes from Seagate and Disk Savers, they took an interesting stance:

DRC: "Of course Seagate will tell you that. This is a manufacturers defect. What are they doing selling you a bad drive anyway?"

Hmmm... Let's see... Am I going to believe the largest hard drive company in the world or these guys that operate out of a industrial strip mall in Cleveland?

DRC: Disk Savers. We've never heard of them.

Me: Well, they started the data recovery industry and have been featured in Time, Fortune and The New York Times. I'm pretty sure they're reputable."

DRC: Well, they send half their work to us to fix.

Me: I thought you'd never heard of them.

DRC: You can't trust them. They just want your money.

Yeah, that must be it...

Raising my voice and pulling out a series of technical questions, I cornered one of their employees into telling me there weren't mechanical errors on the drive and he would see what he could do to get it taken care of.

Now convinced that I was dealing with pure hucksters, but also desperate to get my data back, I told him I would authorize any repairs that did not involve breaking the seal on the drive or exceed $770.

The next day, I spoke with a manager who decided they were sticking to their original story. Despite me confronting him with information that came directly from a Seagate.

By this point, I'd had enough. I instructed them to prepare the drive for shipment and to send it to the Seagate Recovery Center in Chicago. I also made it clear that if the seal was broken or if there were any signs of tampering, I would have lawyers on them like a pack of wolves.

Well, despite me instructing them to ship priority morning, they sent the drive 2nd day air, costing me further time.

Now to the fun part. Here's a direct quote from the DRC diagnosis:

"We have received your Hard Disk Drive. After a thorough evaluation, our engineers have diagnosed your media with severe mechanical problems which include read and write head errors. The crashed media also has a lot of damaged sectors. It may still be possible for us to recover your data; however, in order for us to proceed we need your confirmation, either by e-mail or by phone, as soon as possible.

The moment we receive your confirmation the recovery process will begin. In rare cases the damage to some or all of the data may be too severe so we cannot always guarantee a totally successful recovery or maintain the time frame promised.

We truly appreciate your business. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. We are looking forward to hearing from you in the nearest future.

Price for the recovery comes to $1889"

___________________________________________

Now the prompt and professional diagnosis from Seagate:

" Please find below the results of our evaluation as well as our proposal for recovery.

Our lab has completed the evaluation of your unit. We have produced a full image of the drive without issue. No file system damage appears to be present.

There may be unidentified issues that had prevented mount and access prior to our involvement. At this point we have secured the content from the device, and will transfer the data to accessible media.

Fee If Data Required is Recovered***: US 1100.00 (plus applicable taxes) Time Estimate: 2 - 5 business days

***No Files - No Charge: Charges are only applicable when you have agreed with our quotation and we have made a full recovery or you accept the recovery results as presented. If there are no files recovered, no recovery fee is charged. If there is a partial recovery, you decide to either accept the recovery as presented for the quoted price or decline the recovery with no recovery fee charged.

Data Quality Commitment: If an accepted recovery is not as promised, Seagate Recovery Services will, at its option, attempt to rectify the recovery or refund all or part of the recovery fees paid."

Relief! I halfway expected DRC to sabotage my drive so it would match their diagnosis. Of course, this diagnosis also confirmed that my suspicions about DRC's diagnosis were completely correct.

I immediately authorized them to proceed and paid their fee online.

Within one hour my data had been recovered, they sent a listing of all the files (in their original directory structure) and my drive was being packed for shipping.

Our drive is being overnighted to us as I write this.

So Seagate surpassed our expectations both in terms of price and turnaround time and operated in the most professional and ethical way one could ever hope for.

Should I ever require data recovery services, I would not hesitate for one moment to use Seagate Recovery Services or recommend them to anyone that finds themselves in the horrible situation of losing irreplaceable data.

As for Data Recovery Corporation, I will just say the old adage of "every person that has a negative impression will tell 30 people" is cubed in the internet age.

Now an experience like mine can reach thousands or even millions of people. I will certainly make sure that I utilize every social network, blog, RSS feed and other means of communicating I have at my disposal to get the word out about their unconscionable lack of ethics and their bottom-feeder exploitation of those desperate to get their precious data back.

They should have also taken into consideration that I work for a PR / advertising firm. Companies pay us tens of thousands of dollars for our skills in mass communication and I will certainly be using our resources to get the word out about them.

My plans for DRC include a class action lawsuit, criminal complaints to the Ohio Attorney General, wire fraud complaints (interstate funds were involved) to the US Attorney General, electronic press kits for Cleveland media, national investigative media and the technology media.

Our company attorney will also be sending letters to Google, Yahoo and other Pay Per Click ad providers to inform them that DRC is engaged in fraudulent business practices and in violation of their terms of service. We're confident these PPC providers will chose to avoid the legal liability of continuing to provide service to this company and will terminate their service.

Any of you that have used or know someone that's used DRC, please contact me so that I can give your information to the class action firm that may be handling this matter. I would also welcome any class action firms that are interested in exploring the viability of this case to contact me. I have all the email documentation, the phone recordings, the report from Seagate and an affidavit from Seagate that the problems listed in DRC's diagnosis were false.

I've got my data back and I'm happy. What sickens me is the fact that DRC has probably pulled this on thousands of customers and will continue to do so if they are not punished by the court system.

In the case of my company alone, our final damages from their misrepresentation and fraudulent diagnosis could end up falling into a range between $40,000 (if our deadline is missed) and $750,000 (if we lose a major client because of this debacle $250,000 per year x 3 years).

I'm sure there are MANY others that have also been victimized by this shameless, sleazy excuse for a company and their disgusting exploitation of desperate people.

Datarecoveryvictim
Springfield, Missouri
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/30/2008 10:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Data-Recovery-Corporation-DB-Investments-Inc/Cleveland-Ohio-44121/Data-Recovery-Corporation-DB-Investments-Inc-High-Tech-Scam-Artists-Cleveland-Ohio-329781. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

We too, went through heck with these folks.

AUTHOR: Anon - (USA)

Datarecoveryvictim, 

We are in the greater Seattle area and were similarly held for ransom by a company known here as DataRetrieval.com.

It took a little research, but we finally found out through the Better Business Bureau that DB Investments also uses the web address; dataretrieval.com.

We have already posted our own report on this site about them.

Unfortunately, we were not nearly as 'tech-savvy' as you and we got the royal hose as well.

I'm not sure why some government agency hasn't set up an sting on these guys yet. I certainly hope it happens soon. It scares me to think how many others have been and will continue to be, ripped off by these scam-artists.

Maybe a few more victims need to step up and be heard?
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#2 Consumer Comment

We too, went through heck with these folks.

AUTHOR: Anon - (USA)

Datarecoveryvictim, 

We are in the greater Seattle area and were similarly held for ransom by a company known here as DataRetrieval.com.

It took a little research, but we finally found out through the Better Business Bureau that DB Investments also uses the web address; dataretrieval.com.

We have already posted our own report on this site about them.

Unfortunately, we were not nearly as 'tech-savvy' as you and we got the royal hose as well.

I'm not sure why some government agency hasn't set up an sting on these guys yet. I certainly hope it happens soon. It angers me to think how many others have been and will continue to be, ripped off by these scam-artists.

Maybe a few more victims need to step up and be heard?
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#3

1900 is just to start

AUTHOR: paning - (Canada)

If you think 1900 was bad just wait till you agree to have them do the work.  I had to pay 130 bucks for a drive to send out the data on and 85 bucks for an enclosure on top of that.  Plus, the guy that I was talking to said he would not have time to look at my drive for at least 3 weeks unless I paid an additional 100 bucks.  Then it took 4 weeks to get data anyway.  Once i made the final payment they all stopped responding to calls and I had to wait for 3 weeks before I got any data back... which was missing data.
It is unfortunate that most of us have not the resources to fight people like this.  Thanks to you that do.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To Data Recovery Tech from Canada

AUTHOR: Nick - (U.S.A.)

This model of Seagate drives has no fuses
It was blown TVS diode in power circuit- very common problem with desktop Seagates
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Seagate diagnostic

AUTHOR: Nick - (U.S.A.)

Seagate diagnostic:


"Our lab has completed the evaluation of your unit. We have produced a full image of the drive without issue. No file system damage appears to be present.

Fee If Data Required is Recovered***: US 1100.00"

ACTUALLY THIS DIAGNOSTIC SIMPLY MEANS THAT THE DRIVE IS IN PERFECT SHAPE!!!

Well, just send it back to the customer...
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#6 Consumer Comment

Ex Employee is probably correct

AUTHOR: Data Recovery Tech - (Canada)

After reading the original problem description, the drive basically took a power surge. This usually results in a blown fuse or chip on the PCB. In some cases, putting a temporary bypass on the PCB will allow easy access to the data. In other cases, simply removing the faulty chip results in the drive working again. It is probable that the second scenario was done, in which case the drive probable worked when the drive was returned to the customer.

So, when Seagate Data Recovery received the hard drive, they simply made a backup of the working drive and charged $1100 for doing nothing.

I agree that the first quote was likely way too much at $1900. However, I believe that $1100 for doing nothing is just as bad, if not worse. Of course, this is with the assumption that it was simply a blown chip on the PCB.

As for the diagnosis, I don't think it was smart to make the project sound harder than it is in order to justify a higher price quote. At the same time, I think it is crazy to say that no problem was found with your drive, but it will cost $1100 for our services.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

and here comes the truth

AUTHOR: Nick - (U.S.A.)

Did it ever occur to you that Seagate Data Recovery charged you $1100 for nothing?

Your drive was already repaired when you got it from Data Recovery Corp, it had fried PCB (fixed) and ABSOLUTELY NO logical problems...

So you could just connect it to your computer.... and save some money


Ironic, isn't it?
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#8 Consumer Comment

Something similar happened here as well.

AUTHOR: Dcorpvicn - (U.S.A.)

This company reminds me of the Mafia. I still cannot understand how they are allowed to operate. I sent 2 SCSI drives, paid $1000 for the emergency fee, then they made me sign up for their inadequate online backup solution $799 and $399 deposit, made me pay $109 for an extra drive, the balance of $1710 and six days later I have no data. If you have something going on with the courts I would like to participate.

They lied to me by saying that the online backup works with Linux and Windows and it does not. Another lie was that the price will be between 499 to 1499 and the total is more than $3000.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Something similar happened here as well.

AUTHOR: Dcorpvicn - (U.S.A.)

This company reminds me of the Mafia. I still cannot understand how they are allowed to operate. I sent 2 SCSI drives, paid $1000 for the emergency fee, then they made me sign up for their inadequate online backup solution $799 and $399 deposit, made me pay $109 for an extra drive, the balance of $1710 and six days later I have no data. If you have something going on with the courts I would like to participate.

They lied to me by saying that the online backup works with Linux and Windows and it does not. Another lie was that the price will be between 499 to 1499 and the total is more than $3000.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Something similar happened here as well.

AUTHOR: Dcorpvicn - (U.S.A.)

This company reminds me of the Mafia. I still cannot understand how they are allowed to operate. I sent 2 SCSI drives, paid $1000 for the emergency fee, then they made me sign up for their inadequate online backup solution $799 and $399 deposit, made me pay $109 for an extra drive, the balance of $1710 and six days later I have no data. If you have something going on with the courts I would like to participate.

They lied to me by saying that the online backup works with Linux and Windows and it does not. Another lie was that the price will be between 499 to 1499 and the total is more than $3000.
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#11 Author of original report

What?!? DRC caught in a LIE? Shocking!

AUTHOR: Datarecoveryvictim - (U.S.A.)

Yeah,

I pretty much figured that out in about 5 seconds.... I think he's the guy I've got recorded lying to me on the phone for 30 minutes.

I'll be posting all those documents and recordings on a website soon so everyone can judge for themselves about DRC's credibility.

When I post the URL here, be sure to Digg it, del.icio.us it, MySpace it, Facebook it & Twitter it to all your Social Networking friends.

I sense momentum building here...

There's this wonderful tool called Lexis-Nexis that lets you create auto searches throughout the public records of the world and email you when say, Dave Akapow registers a new company or DBA or a new business license is issued with the address:

4162 Ruple Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44121

Which by the way, on MSN Maps, appears to be some sort of junkyard.

http://maps.live.com/?q=+4162+Ruple++Rd.&FORM=MSNH&mkt=en-US#JnE9eXAuKzQxNjIrUnVwbGUrK1JkJTQwMitDbGV2ZWxhbmQlN2Vzc3QuMCU3ZXBnLjEmYmI9NjEuMTAwNzg4ODMxNTg5JTdlLTM3Ljk2ODc1JTdlNi4zMTUyOTg1MzgzMzAwMiU3ZS0xNDIuMzgyODEyNQ==
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#12 Consumer Comment

Alex Smith works for Data Recovery Corp

AUTHOR: Mithraeus - (U.S.A.)

I received a voicemail from "Alex Smith" last week in regards to my issues with Data Recovery Corp. He has yet to return my calls since then. Also, I would like any information you have compiled on your class action suit. I would love nothing more than to keep these scam artists from ripping off anyone else.
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#13 Author of original report

Data Recovery Corp / DB Investments - Update

AUTHOR: Datarecoveryvictim - (U.S.A.)

Hmmm.... This sounds a lot like the B.S. that DRC tried to sell me on the phone...

Regardless, of whether damaged sectors can be detected or not with one functional read/write head, the fact remains that DRC's claims of bad sectors and a bad read/write head were found to be FALSE by Seagate.

I will be posting all the documentation and the phone recordings related to this matter on the web so anyone interested can decide for themselves.

I've also sent everything to Google so their legal department can determine if DRC is in violation of AdWords terms of services which will hopefully result in the termination of their AdWords account.

I'll post the URL when I get the documentation and recordings posted online.

Regardless of the info I've posted about my experience with DRC, the key fact anyone considering using them should consider is:

THEY ARE NOT ISO CERTIFIED!!!
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#14 Consumer Comment

This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

AUTHOR: Alex Smith - (U.S.A.)

This report seems like it is rather unreasonable. I have worked for data recovery companies before and true they make mistakes but very rarely. Also if it seems that the PCB board has gone out then you can simply swap out the PCB board and see if the hard drive does in fact have bad sectors. Another thing about data recovery that the Seagate personel must have forgotten was that you can still diagnose bad sectors if one of the read and write heads is bad (well not if all are bad only if one is) simply by going ahead and scanning for data with the remaining read and write heads. So this company may not be in the wrong as much as this gentleman believes. Also the diagnostic from Seagate states "There may be unidentified issues that had prevented mount and access prior to our involvement." which goes along with the PCB board going bad they simply swapped it out. I am not saying that Data Recovery Corporation is not to blame, I just managed to see this report while going to google and saw it as a sponsered link and thought that that was rather odd; especially since I have been an engineer for one of the biggest data recovery companies out there. This report in itself seems to be advertising Seagate on it's own through an unusual and creative process, especially since I have never seen a ripoffreport on a Google sponsered link. Just my two cents, when you think things through logically, without emotion, you can see an understanding for most actions in this case.
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#15 Consumer Comment

This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

AUTHOR: Alex Smith - (U.S.A.)

This report seems like it is rather unreasonable. I have worked for data recovery companies before and true they make mistakes but very rarely. Also if it seems that the PCB board has gone out then you can simply swap out the PCB board and see if the hard drive does in fact have bad sectors. Another thing about data recovery that the Seagate personel must have forgotten was that you can still diagnose bad sectors if one of the read and write heads is bad (well not if all are bad only if one is) simply by going ahead and scanning for data with the remaining read and write heads. So this company may not be in the wrong as much as this gentleman believes. Also the diagnostic from Seagate states "There may be unidentified issues that had prevented mount and access prior to our involvement." which goes along with the PCB board going bad they simply swapped it out. I am not saying that Data Recovery Corporation is not to blame, I just managed to see this report while going to google and saw it as a sponsered link and thought that that was rather odd; especially since I have been an engineer for one of the biggest data recovery companies out there. This report in itself seems to be advertising Seagate on it's own through an unusual and creative process, especially since I have never seen a ripoffreport on a Google sponsered link. Just my two cents, when you think things through logically, without emotion, you can see an understanding for most actions in this case.
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#16 Consumer Comment

This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

AUTHOR: Alex Smith - (U.S.A.)

This report seems like it is rather unreasonable. I have worked for data recovery companies before and true they make mistakes but very rarely. Also if it seems that the PCB board has gone out then you can simply swap out the PCB board and see if the hard drive does in fact have bad sectors. Another thing about data recovery that the Seagate personel must have forgotten was that you can still diagnose bad sectors if one of the read and write heads is bad (well not if all are bad only if one is) simply by going ahead and scanning for data with the remaining read and write heads. So this company may not be in the wrong as much as this gentleman believes. Also the diagnostic from Seagate states "There may be unidentified issues that had prevented mount and access prior to our involvement." which goes along with the PCB board going bad they simply swapped it out. I am not saying that Data Recovery Corporation is not to blame, I just managed to see this report while going to google and saw it as a sponsered link and thought that that was rather odd; especially since I have been an engineer for one of the biggest data recovery companies out there. This report in itself seems to be advertising Seagate on it's own through an unusual and creative process, especially since I have never seen a ripoffreport on a Google sponsered link. Just my two cents, when you think things through logically, without emotion, you can see an understanding for most actions in this case.
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#17 Consumer Comment

This Report Seems Rather Unreasonable

AUTHOR: Alex Smith - (U.S.A.)

This report seems like it is rather unreasonable. I have worked for data recovery companies before and true they make mistakes but very rarely. Also if it seems that the PCB board has gone out then you can simply swap out the PCB board and see if the hard drive does in fact have bad sectors. Another thing about data recovery that the Seagate personel must have forgotten was that you can still diagnose bad sectors if one of the read and write heads is bad (well not if all are bad only if one is) simply by going ahead and scanning for data with the remaining read and write heads. So this company may not be in the wrong as much as this gentleman believes. Also the diagnostic from Seagate states "There may be unidentified issues that had prevented mount and access prior to our involvement." which goes along with the PCB board going bad they simply swapped it out. I am not saying that Data Recovery Corporation is not to blame, I just managed to see this report while going to google and saw it as a sponsered link and thought that that was rather odd; especially since I have been an engineer for one of the biggest data recovery companies out there. This report in itself seems to be advertising Seagate on it's own through an unusual and creative process, especially since I have never seen a ripoffreport on a Google sponsered link. Just my two cents, when you think things through logically, without emotion, you can see an understanding for most actions in this case.
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#18 Author of original report

All documentation sent to Cleveland office of the Ohio Attorney General

AUTHOR: Datarecoveryvictim - (U.S.A.)

I emailed all the materials I have pertaining to this matter including my recorded phone conversations to the OAE. I will update this report when I'm informed of any actions they are taking.

I'm going to stay on top of this and hopefully convince them to initiate an investigation of DRC.
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