Storage Soup

Sep 21 2009   7:32PM GMT

Backup expert takes issue with Mozy notifications

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Backup expert and Tech Target executive editor W. Curtis Preston Friday wrote on his Backup Central blog about a discovery he made regarding MozyHome online backup service – something he wasn’t pleased with. When he switched laptops and didn’t re-install the Mozy client, Preston wrote, Mozy kept charging him for 11 months without backing up data or connecting to his workstation.

Preston didn’t lose any data and acknowledges it was his fault that he didn’t re-install the Mozy client when he got a new laptop. “I’m not saying that the fact that I didn’t use their service for 309 days was even their fault,” he writes,

What I’m saying is that for almost a year they took my money to perform a service, they knew I wasn’t using that service, and they never said squat. This is a typical business model for an ISP…but this isn’t an ISP. It’s a backup service. They don’t know I’m Mr. Backup. I could just as well be my Mom (who is on Mozy) and have no idea that I’ve done something dumb like accidentally uninstall the application or set it never to backup. When you’re selling a backup service directly to the consumer, the least you owe them is an email if they’re not backing up, don’t you think? I still like Mozy. But I think they should change this practice…

We reached out to Mozy to determine their notification poliy, whether you are Mr. Backup or not, and they emailed the following response:

We decided to put our notifications in the client instead of in e-mail because people get so many e-mails that they may miss the notification. We want our customers to know if a backup isn’t happening. For this reason, the client pop up box doesn’t go away until you click to remove it. That said, we expanding our notification options so that people can have more ways of receiving notifications than through the client only.

Keep in mind that [Preston]was still using the Mozy service even though he wasn’t sending new files to us. We were still storing his information, which includes the power, cooling and management costs incurred to keep his data protected.

Mozy rivals including Carbonite notify users outside the client, according to Preston. “Competitors catch those who uninstall it unintentionally or forget to reinstall after a system change,” he pointed out.

This isn’t the first complaint to surface about Mozy, which EMC Corp. bought in 2007. Users have also complained of slow restore performance last year, a problem Mozy officials blamed on an “isolated bug”, saying customers affected by slow restores would receive discounts or have subscription fees waived in response.

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