I had lost a large batch of photos that were potentially on two different drives. I took both drives to DataRetrieval.com's offices in downtown LA this past September. I was told that they would provide adirectory of what could be recovered for the down payment price, and then if I wanted any data recovered and back, I would have to pay the full price.
After having recovery performed on both drives, they were unable to provide me any confirmation that they could find the data I was looking for. They did send me a couple of jpegs of some photos that they had found, but not enough for me to confirmthat the ones that I was looking for were recoverable.
I was pretty desperate to get these photos back. They were some family photos and such that I had scanned from 35mm prints, and the prints had been disposed of, so they were irreplaceable. I approved the full recovery of one of the drives, but they ended up charging me for both. Annoying, but I did get them to reverse one of the charges.
So, now they have all of the money they were going to get out of me, and this is when the customer service went completely out the window. They really wanted me to buy oneof their drives to put the recovery on, but I wanted to send them a drive to use. Whereas before it was "we'll send you a Fedex envelope," now it's "you have to mail those drives to us yourself." So, I did so, to the LA address they gave me which ended up being the wrong address. I had to track it down through the USPS on my own, get a different address, and send it out again. It's like I was being punished for not buying one of their drives.
So, the get my drive, put the recovery on it, and send it back to me - from Ontario, Canada. Turns out my drive was not being worked on locally as I was led to believe. That seemed shady to me. Why tell me to mail a drive to Los Angeles if you're going to ship it to Canada? Are you even doing the work yourselves, or are you subcontracting it out, meaning I have no control over who is working on my drives?
So, I get my recovery back, and - big surprise - no family photos. Understandable on the drive that had been formatted, but more surprising on the drive where they had potentially just been thrown in the trash, and the trash then emptied. Fine. You got me. Now send me back the drives that I had sent you to be recovered. I had originally sent them an internal drive and and external drive. The internal drive came back in a non-operational condition. The external drive came back without it's casing and connections. I had no way to access the drive foruse. This began a three-week long game of phone (I can't even say "tag" because they would not call me back) call that finally culminated in me catching my rep off guard and getting him to pick up the phone.
He ultimately referred me to another agent who said she would check to see if they still had the case for my external drive. A week goes by, no contact, and I am again trying to chase them down on the phone. When I finally got a hold of her, she said that the technicians had thrown out the case and offered to send me a case for my external hard drive, implying that I reassemble it myself. No. Your idiot technicians sent me a drive that was inoperable, and a drive that was inaccessible. Let them give me something I can use. The new agent agreed to send me a Fedex bill with which I could send the drive back to the LA office (it was again, of course, shipped to Canada) to have the new case put on.
A month goes by, and no word on the drive. I chase her down on the phone AGAIN, and she says she will check with her shipping department. Two weeks go by, another phone chase down, and I am told the shipping department was sitting on it because they did not know what they were supposed to do with the drive. So, the drive is finally mailed back to me (from Canada) and it's mailed to the wrong address. Fortunately, I am now working with Fedex, and not Dataretreival.com, and I had my drives a day later. This process started in September. It is now the middle of March and I'm down one drive, a couple thousand dollars, and some irreplaceable photos.
So - they disappear when your money is in hand, don't return e-mails, don't return calls, and are careless with your drives after the sale. On top of that, they were never able to recover my data. To anyone considering using Dataretrieval.com - I'm sure you can do better, because you can't do much worse.