Two months ago, we wrote about a new online storage provider called Backify. Backify got our attention because of their magnificent offer: 512GB of "totally free" online storage. I had to use quotes because Backify has now revealed their real business plan, and it's no longer free. From now on, the 512GB plan costs $1.50 a month. All free accounts will be closed on November 22nd, unless you are willing to pay the $1.50 monthly fee. 

(Prices pulled due to fraud concerns)

While their new prices are still good, I have to say I'm anything but pleased with their service. I tried to sign up for their free plan several times with multiple email accounts, and every time I faced some kind of an error. I even waited a couple of weeks to see if it was just a temporary server issue, but no, I kept getting the same error. Contacting their support wasn't any better experience either. At first, I sent their support an email asking if we could review Backify (we would have needed some extra details). I waited for a few days but didn't get an answer. I then sent the same email to their CEO, Tarandeep Gill. No answer as of today. I also sent an email about the sign up problem but as you may guess, I haven't received a reply. 

Due to their lousy support and fishy business model, I cannot recommend Backify to anyone. In the end, you would be giving them your personal files. Besides, what stops them from increasing the prices again? This is actually a pretty common business model. Mozy used to offer unlimited backups for $5 a month but nowadays, they charge $6/month for 50GB. Keep the prices low (or even free) to attract customers and when you reach a certain customer base, increase the price. Nice.

Update: The plot thickens. We just received a tip that the contract between Backify and Livedrive is no longer valid. Livedrive is the company which provided the technology and service behind Backify, so Backify was just a reseller. Since Backify is no longer able to provide any service, we strongly advise you to cancel your account and contact your credit card company if you have provided credit card information to Backify

Big thanks to Yoni, Matthew and Jérôme for tipping us!

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  • KennySVG - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Sometime ago I signed up for the free service for backify. After the email notice yesterday from Backify regarding the closure of all free accounts, today I received an email from Livedrive with some startling info. Here is a short excerpt from the Advisory Notice, which I found most surprising.

    "We would like to advise you not to provide any credit card information to BACKIFY.COM. If you have provided credit card information to BACKIFY.COM then we would suggest contacting your card provider and informing them that your card may be used fraudulently. If BACKIFY.COM have charged your card for services not provided you should contact your card provider and ask them to initiate a chargeback procedure."
    Reply
  • Cas-- - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    This sounds very much like bait-and-switch to me which I was under the assumption is against the law. Reply
  • rahul4aug - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    This is the mail i got from Livedrive <;noreply@livedrivesupport.com>:

    Dear Rahul Aggarwal

    We are writing to you regarding BACKIFY.COM who you recently created an online backup account with.

    BACKIFY.COM was a reseller of Livedrive (http://www.livedrive.com). Livedrive provided the technology and service behind the product offered to you by BACKIFY.COM.

    We are writing to inform you that BACKIFY.COM is no longer a Livedrive reseller and the services that they purchased from our company on your behalf have been terminated. If you are using a service provided by BACKIFY.COM and powered by Livedrive then this service will now have stopped working.

    We would also like to advise you that we have received a number of complaints about BACKIFY.COM from their customers and from industry organizations. We would like to advise you not to provide any credit card information to BACKIFY.COM. If you have provided credit card information to BACKIFY.COM then we would suggest contacting your card provider and informing them that your card may be used fraudulently. If BACKIFY.COM have charged your card for services not provided you should contact your card provider and ask them to initiate a chargeback procedure.

    Please note that this advisory is being sent to you in good faith because we feel you should be informed that BACKIFY.COM is no longer a Livedrive reseller and of the complaints we have become aware of. No contract exists between yourself and Livedrive and we are not able to assist further in any dispute you may have with BACKIFY.COM.

    If you have installed the online backup software provided by BACKIFY.COM we highly recommend you uninstall it from your computer by following the steps below:

    On Windows:
    Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs (or ‘Programs and settings’), select Livedrive and select uninstall.

    On Mac:
    Go to Finder > Applications and delete the Livedrive application.

    Please note that any data you backed up using BACKIFY.COM cannot be retrieved and we recommend you establish an alternative backup service immediately.

    Livedrive does provide a very similar online backup service to the one provided by BACKIFY.COM and you can read more details and, if you wish, signup for a trial on our website at http://www.livedrive.com. Please note however that we do not provide a free service as BACKIFY.COM did.

    Other online backup vendors you may wish to consider include:
    Carbonite.com
    iDrive.com
    Mozy.com

    We are sorry for the inconvenience this situation may have caused you.

    Kind Regards

    Livedrive Limited
    Reply
  • MrJawbones - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I received this Email and another Email from livedrive a few hours later saying all accounts are cancelled and all data is lost! Backify is no more. Below is an excerpt of the Email:

    "We are writing to you regarding BACKIFY.COM who you recently created an online backup account with.

    BACKIFY.COM was a reseller of Livedrive (http://www.livedrive.com). Livedrive provided the technology and service behind the product offered to you by BACKIFY.COM.

    We are writing to inform you that BACKIFY.COM is no longer a Livedrive reseller and the services that they purchased from our company on your behalf have been terminated. If you are using a service provided by BACKIFY.COM and powered by Livedrive then this service will now have stopped working.

    We would also like to advise you that we have received a number of complaints about BACKIFY.COM from their customers and from industry organizations. We would like to advise you not to provide any credit card information to BACKIFY.COM. If you have provided credit card information to BACKIFY.COM then we would suggest contacting your card provider and informing them that your card may be used fraudulently. If BACKIFY.COM have charged your card for services not provided you should contact your card provider and ask them to initiate a chargeback procedure."

    The full Email is here:
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3242711
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Updated the article with the info about the new email Reply
  • e-kirill - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    That suxx hardly... Unpleasant story. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I was using it to store my photo library - all 70 GB of it. Took forever to upload (largely because of a glitch on my end, I had to upload it twice,) but it seemed to be good. I tested downloading a few random files, they were correct. If, after a few months, the service had proven itself good, I was likely to upgrade to the 'briefcase' account, if for no other reason than to support the (what seemed like) excellent free service.

    And, yup, should have known it was too good to be true..... Got the same email as everyone else this morning, after noticing that the backup client said my account was invalid.
    Reply
  • jasa1063 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Here is a posting from Backify.com about the situation and their explanation.

    LiveDrive Account Closures

    As all Backify members know now, LiveDrive has closed all the accounts. We would like to clear the situation up with our customers.

    As many of you know, you were unable to change/reset your password for the last 10 days or so. This was due to an error in the LiveDrive API. We made multiple contacts with LiveDrive through email and phone to get this sorted out. 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.

    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.

    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,
    Reply
  • MrJawbones - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    So who do we believe? In this light Livedrive looks like an ass. Besides this Livedrive sent out a fairly cold email, not empathetic at all and basically stating "your stuff is gone and there's nothing you can do about it, get someone else"... Reply
  • FaaR - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I did not interpret Livedrive's email as cold and unempathic. Rather, I find it positive they would go to the extra effort of contacting people they have no business relationship with to let them know what has happened.

    As to who to believe, that Backify did not respond to emails, support requests or queries regarding a review, even from a well-known web resource like Anandtech, feels VERY damning to me.

    Backify looks like an if not shady so at least shoddy fly-by-night operation, and it shouldn't surprise anyone that their house of cards collapsed pretty quickly.
    Reply

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