We are a small "home based" appraisal business. On the 15th of May this year, we lost a hard-drive with all our company back-up data on it. We were pretty desparate to get it back as quickly as possible. After taking the hard-drive to a local office supply/computer chain store and paying a reasonable $79 diagnostic fee, we were told they wouldhave to send the HD out of state for repair.
We thought it would be faster to find a "local" business, so looked up and found DataRetrieval.com listed at a local address. My husband took the hard drive to the "local office" which just happens to be a "shared receptionist" site, with no real local presence. He was not made aware of that up front, #1.
He was given a fee schedule showing various levels of service, and chose the most affordable for us, with (another) diagnostic fee of $199, 6 hour diagnostic time, "4-day turnaround" time, as he felt we really needed our data back quickly. He was required to pay the $199 fee upfront, of course.
After the diagnostics were done, they called and said they would, of course, have to send the HD out of state for repair, and it would cost about $1500. My husband told them we could not possibly afford that, so they "negotiated" a discount to $873, ONLY if he would pay a $57 fee, which he thought was for the premium service but later found it was a "non-refundable fee" for their online back-up, and we would later be charged $25 per month for this service, AND a deposit of $239, which he did because he felt desparate.
On the 23rd of May we received an email that our data had been recovered...good, right? Not so, because they only recovered photos, videos and a few old files...not the business ones! We asked them to please try again, which they agreed to do. They asked for 'over the weekend" to find more files. After several emails from us, asking if they had our data yet, we recieved another email from them on June 6th, saying they needed still more time, but they had been able to recover SOME more files. Those were, again, not the business files we needed.
On the 18th of June, more than a month after the "4-day turn" we contracted for, they finally said they had recovered all they could, and we needed to pay the additional $639.
My point to them was this...if they could, indeed, recover more info with more time, why didn't they recover it upfront, or give us the lower fee for the longer turn time? They won't release our information until we pay the additional $639. I think this is a rip-off.
They tried to tell us that when we "negotiated" the $873 fee, it automatically turned into the longer turn-time, but that is NOT what they said at the time. In fact, their printed fee schedule (which is the only printed material we received upfront) shows a FREE diagnositic cost with the longer turn time, so we feel they should at least apply the $199 diagnostic fee to the $873, although I have agreed to just apply the $57 to the $873, but they won't even do that. What a RIP OFF COMPANY!