Online backup service supplier Carbonite has been fingered by a disgruntled user for writing its own reviews on Amazon. Bruce Goldsteinberg signed up for the service from Boston-based Carbonite, and everything went well until a system crash when he found that the restore process broke. He phoned Carbonite support, taking time …
...they used their real names.
So horribly negligent, but not necessarily deceptive:
I know of at least one online etailer that posts rave reviews of itself for all clients to see, but uses fake names.
on the internet, you can rarely be sure...
Really? Did you read the review? Personally around the part where she said she was giving subscriptions away as "stocking stuffers", I pretty much figured she was a marketer, or at least a nutter who's review was worthless.
They lost my files too - but on purpose. If your subscription runs out and you're away or your hard drive is dead so you can't use your computer to your email, they delete your files quickly. Funnily enough, the second scenario is the one you're paying them for protection against.
Do your own, separate, backups (like I did, thankfully). Don't trust other people with your important files.
Who's up next?
This is going to be just like government data losses, isn't it? It's something that's been going on for years, it happens all the time, and the more cynical among us have always known it. Now that it's starting to come to light, there's going to be a whole load of companies being found out, and it'll become another "meh, whatever" item in the news. It'll soon be all forgotten again, and we can go back to business as usual.
not the only people
The other day I noticed that HP had copied their reviews from one site to another independent site (or vice versa). Does that count?
I've been using Mozy and Carbonite (on different systems) for a while now, and encountered the CEOs or other senior people from both posting online (identifying themselves quite openly, as well as being rather more helpful than the official support channels!) - they both seemed quite helpful and responsive, as well as honest, admitting to problems rather than stonewalling or shifting blame.
Carbonite does seem to be better than Mozy - I've only lost data with the latter, including a restore job which failed stating some files had been missed but failing to indicate which ones, as well as my entire backup set disappearing twice - but I'm starting to wonder if both services just cut too many corners to compete on price at the expense of everything else - including, apparently, a rather poorly thought out attempt at "astroturf" marketing in place of something more professional.
An Odd Apology
CEO David Friend said "I will personally see that the reviews are updated to disclose their employment affiliation. Had they been brought to my attention, they would have been removed long ago."
Well what's the point of that? If you disclose yourself as an employee of the company, your glowing review is no longer relevant, so they shouldn't be posted in the first place.
Reminds me of the laptop sale I lost out on because "We talked to the guy on the Dell site and he said this Dell model was really good"
If your data isn't in three places, expect to lose it.
No system is 100% reliable, and people usually only test their backup solution when its time to restore lost data. Having two backups means that three systems need to fail at once to cause a problem.
That's why I think its a great idea when external hard drives come bundled with online backup.
As for reviews ... I hope that the negative impression fake reviews give will keep companies from using this tactic but I am skeptical.
Somewhere someone has figured out that x% of people reading the review will spot it as a fake and will lose faith in the company and y% will fall for it.
As long as Y>X they are gong to keep doing stuff like this.
The Drive-By Accomplice Media
The Drive-By Accomplice Media are really showing their Media Bias on this one. They are only bringing this story to light in order to embarrass Rush Limbaugh, the primary advertising spokesperson for Carbonite. This is just another example of malicious retribution against any and all advertisers who partner with Rush, in an attempt to dry up the EIB network ad revenue. Shame!
Aside from the complete insanity of trusting an Earth corporation, there IS something to be done which is modern, warm, fuzzy, and of course politically correct (read *insane* on the politically correct part):
Do a *carbon trade* with Mars. We give them CarbonBiteMe, and they give us, uh, red dirt.
Sent to me -howing Lenovo doing the same
... On the topic of astro-turfing / paid for user reviews, I think the user discussion in this Tech Republic column might be of interest to you:
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