Is Backify (512GB backup for free) also for real?

UPDATE 16 Nov 2011:
Message from Backify:

Dear Peter Forret,
First of all, we would like to thank you for using Backify. We hope you really liked our service and enjoyed using it. We regret to inform you that we can not provide free backup services anymore. All free Backify accounts will be closed on November 22, 2011. In order to prevent your account from deletion, please login into your account and update your Billing Details.

Message from LiveDrive:

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.

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I just read the announcement today of a very strong data backup offer: backify.com lets you use 512GB of backup space for free. If you compare that to the competition: Dropbox and Mozy give you 2GB for free, OpenDrive, SugarSync and Box.net have a 5GB free account, although the latter has upped this to 50GB recently, when Apple also announced its 5GB free iCloud offering. Microsoft Live SkyDrive used to be the biggest free offer: 25GB (but no way to upgrade). So how can one company offer more than 20 times that space, and still not charge?

There are a couple of things that made me doubtful.

  • Too good to be true: a previously unknown company (Google will try to correct a search on their name to Backupify, because the first mentioning of the company was yesterday) comes and offers you something HUGE for FREE. Hmmm. Where’s the catch?
  • Business model doesn’t make sense: if you offer any John Doe 512 GB, you can count on a lot of data coming in. There will always be some guys that will try to use all of it. You need thousands of terabytes, and those don’t come for free. You could use Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, but they will charge you $0.10 to $0.15 per month/GB. There is a freemium model for storage, but the sweet spot seems to be: anything above 5 – 25 GB should be paid for.
  • No believable team: maybe this company has developed a new, revolutionary technology to make storage 10 times cheaper, but then they would show off their exceptional team. There would be a CTO or Chief Scientist with 30+ experience in data storage and some exotic patents in ‘redundant sub-particle holographic storage‘ or so. Here: nothing.
  • Look and feel: their page looks like it was made with a standard template and cheap stock photography. Like they couldn’t afford a decent web agency.
  • Empty company blog: that was a big red flag: they point to an empty blogspot as their ‘company blog’. This definitely smells like a scam.

Continue reading Is Backify (512GB backup for free) also for real?

Logitech online store: haunted

Shaky Logitech I have wanted to buy a keyboard with Bulgarian layout for a while, and as you can imagine, you don’t find these in the local FNAC or Vandenborre. So when I saw that the Logitech site allowed purchasing online, of such exotic items like a Bulgarian keyboard, I quickly ordered one. However, the experience has been unsatisfactory:

  • First try: I order the keyboard, do the checkout procedure, pay with credit-card and get an immediate reaction: purchase OK, shipment will follow soon. Wow, that’s slick. Several days later, UPS passes by my front door while I’m not there, they say, the package is signed off by a certain “Korenberg” and I get an email: delivery OK. Slight alarm bell: I know no “Korenberg” living at my appartment. When I get home this is confirmed: no one in the building knows anyone by that name. Keyboard is in the twilight zone. I file complaint with Logitech, they propose refund, I accept, I’m still waiting for confirmation. But, I still need a BG keyboard.
  • Second try: I order another keyboard and try to pay with my credit card. Twice I give my credit card details, press “Process” and get redirected to the same check-out page, without any notion of whether or not my order is accepted. I check the “order history”, see that my recent purchase is not there and decide to give up on credit cards.
  • I select “bank payment” and finish checkout. They tell me what bank account I should pay on (one of Bibit), and with which message. I do the payment, see that the number message is not a structured number (“gestructureerde mededeling”) and put it in the normal message box. Since then, nothing. Has Bibit recognized the money as the payment for Logitech? No idea. Has Logitech started fulfillment? I guess not.
  • I visit the Logitech web site again, checking out the Squeezebox, and decide to test the checkout system again. I put a Squeezebox in my shopping cart. When I go to the customer care, I fly from shop.logitech.com (where I am logged in) to logitech-nl-emea.custhelp.com (which looks the same, but where another login is necessary, because both accounts aren’t linked, apparently). There I get into an eternal redirection loop, with an infinite number of “&cl=BE,nl” adding themselves to the URL.
  • I try to break out of that loop by going back to the shopping cart page. For some reason my shopping cart now contains 2 Squeezeboxes instead of one. That’s it , I’ve had it.

Bottom line: this online shop of theirs is as trustworthy as Lindsay Lohan saying she’s gonna stop drinking. I buy online a lot from shops like Amazon and Pixmania, so I think I’m qualified to say that their shopping application stinks. I’m gonna wait until next week for reply on the second purchase, if there’s none, I’m cancelling that order, and I’m never shopping with Logitech again.