Not a particular fan of cloud storage, I have drifted into the soft fluffy cloud that promises to envelope me in safe, secure storage with almost unlimited capacity and access from multiple devices in different locations. This works absolutely fine until something goes wrong. What could go wrong? Well you could share your login with someone in the family, that person might log into the account incorrectly and somehow manage to delete or hide all your files. Dropbox efficiently emails you and tells you your account is deleted, created again and welcomes you in. Confused and concerned you log into Dropbox using the same username and password you have always used and BOOM!! Not a single file to be seen, the account is empty, no access to deleted files (supposed to be retained for 30 days) that you could in theory recover one by one, no folders nothing.
Naturally you contact Dropbox support and explain what has happened. That is after you interrogated the family member who caused the problem, only to be told they had no idea what they did wrong but when they went in there was nothing there! Back to Dropbox support, first response after a prompt email took over 48 hours. The bog standard reply is that they cannot help. A challenging email response it sent back explaining what happened in more detail and support come back efficiently overnight.
Wait for it …….
Because you willingly and knowingly shared your login with a family member, Dropbox will not return your lost files, your hours and hours of work, your memories held in photos that are now also gone. Many of these files are scattered across multiple devices and, yes, they can be collated once again and put into a single safe storage space once more. BUT crucially, I know DROPBOX COULD EASILY RESTORE THE LOST DATA. They have it in their backup system and simply refuse to return it for whatever warped uncaring reason.
The danger with the cloud therefore is the same as gambling – YOU MUST BE WILLING TO LOSE WHAT YOU PUT IN THERE. You give up the ownership to the whim of technical support who can help you or destroy you and your data, so be careful cloud lovers. Don’t put anything on the cloud you are not willing to lose completely.
This article supports this recent experience:
Legal issues aside, many consumers have had trouble in the past when dealing with any issues that arose with their cloud storage. Often, tech support would be slow or even non-existent.
Though some providers are still lacking in this regard (you can read all about one example in our Dropbox review), most have caught up to the service-oriented attitude that makes good companies great. Any of our best online backup services, for instance, will offer both email and phone support. If having assistance at the drop of a hat is a priority for you, there is a service out there that meets your needs perfectly.