Feeds

Punters lose backups in cloud storage biz spat

Data evaporates in credit card payments row

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Users relying on an online backup service have lost all their uploaded data after a major falling out between a cloud provider and one of its resellers.

UK-based Livedrive, which provides a cloud storage backend, ended its contract with US reseller Backify because, it claimed, the firm was "a fly-by-night operation" that didn't pay for its services. The American backup biz, which offered punters a free backup service using Livedrive's systems, has denied any wrongdoing and blames Livedrive for technical problems.

"Backify had a problem because they weren't paying the fees that were due to us," Livedrive MD Andrew Michael told The Register. "The problem started because they were paying us by credit card and their credit card was getting declined when they were adding new customers."

Next, Livedrive alleges, the recurring fees on existing services stopped coming in for a couple of days before Backify told Livedrive it wanted to end its contract and demanded a refund of any fees it had paid so far.

According to Michael, customers of Backify discovered that Livedrive was the technology provider behind the backup service and started to come to his biz with complaints. Livedrive offers "unlimited" online storage to resellers for 39 quid a month.

"[Customers] contacted us with stories of Backify charging their credit cards when they shouldn't be and we've done a bit more research about Backify and established that they are a bit dubious in their operations," he said.

"Because of that, and we very rarely do this, on this particular occasion we decided to send out an advisory to the end-users just to warn them really of what we'd found out and to make it clear that Livedrive is no longer providing the technology behind Backify's service."

A number of Reg readers forwarded to us Livedrive's warning email and it's also reproduced in full by a punter on Backify's Facebook Page.

Michael said that as a result of Livedrive's digging, he had reported Backify to a number of UK industry bodies, including one that deals with card processing and fraud, although he did not know if any formal investigation had started.

"When they failed to pay us for the services it quickly became obvious that they were a fly-by-night operation that wasn't really intending to provide their customers with any service and didn't really want to pay us either," he alleged.

Backify set up shop online around two months ago, and started out offering cloud storage of 512GB for free. Then Backify started informing customers that they would now have to pay for the service.

"We understand the frustration of all free account holders. But we hope you understand our situation as well. Providing so much free space to 50,000 people is not feasible for us anymore. We were in a situation where either the company would have to be shut down, or we would have to start charging the free account holders," Backify said on Facebook yesterday.

Michael said Livedrive knew that Backify had made the 512GB backup package available for free, but said that resellers were welcome to do so provided they did not harm the Livedrive brand.

"We've got no problem with that, but our terms do state that they must support our brand and not do anything that would give Livedrive a bad name, and they must support their customers in a professional way," Michael said. "And I think they weren't doing that, they were just giving it away for free and not really talking to any customers or supporting it properly which is not really what Livedrive's about."

Phone calls to the number on Backify's website went straight to an automated voicemail message. However, at the end of the day yesterday, a message appeared on the homepage claiming that the problems were all on Livedrive's side.

The message maintains that customers have had problems with their accounts in the last 10 days because of "an error in the Livedrive API":

Their tech support kept us saying that their "dev team" is working on it. But the "dev team" could not sort out the issue in 10 days.

Backify also blamed Livedrive for its credit cards getting declined:

Apart from this, their payment system failed on November 8. What that means is, we could not create any more new accounts, because their payment system kept declining all of our credit cards. Again, we contacted LiveDrive multiple times, but they could not sort out the issue in over 7 days.

When we contacted them again earlier today and protested with strong words about the delay in providing a solution to our problems, they responded by immediately terminating our reseller account and all the accounts we have created.

The post ends with an appeal to customers to ignore the emailed warning sent out by Livedrive:

As for the email they sent to our customers, we assure you that you do not have to worry about your credit cards being used fraudulently. We did not store your credit card numbers in our system. And about the payments that you have already made, we will refund all of them over the next few business days. You do not need to file any disputes or chargebacks with PayPal or your bank.

Meanwhile, Backify's customers have been told by Livedrive that their online backups are gone, leaving some pondering how exactly their data will be disposed. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.