Anyone that’s read this blog knows I’m a big fan of Mozy. I’m a fan of other online products as well, but I use Mozy for my own data and it’s always done me very well. Well, I’ve got my first gripe and it’s kind of a big one. It wasn’t backing up and it never told me.
First let me give you a little back story. I used to have a different laptop about a year ago when I swapped it for my latest Windows laptop (which will probably be my last Windows laptop). Before that time I had Mozy installed and running and backing up all my stuff on the older laptop.
Then one day I changed laptops and never got around to installing Mozy on the new one. I made sure I was backing up my data, of course. And I knew that if I were to reinitialize with Mozy it was going to take a while, so I just kept putting it off.
Meanwhile, time went by. They billed me $5 a month. And I wasn’t backing up. And they never said squat. Not one single email that said anything like “Hey! Did you realize that the system that you’re paying us $5/mth to back up hasn’t been seen or heard from for a while.”
As important as backup is to me, I knew that i was backing up my laptop data to my external drive, so I just kept putting it off. I put it off until tonight when I finished moving things over to my new Macbook and decided to tell Mozy to start backing it up. When I logged in, it said that it had been 309 days since I last backed up to Mozy. That’s when I realized that they had been charging me for 11 months worth of service and never said word one that I wasn’t actually backing up.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming them that I didn’t have backups. (First off, I had backups.) I’m not saying that the fact that I didn’t use their service for 309 days was even their fault. Had they been emailing me the result might have actually been the same. One of these days I’ll stop procastinating so much.
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. No ISP is going to proactively contact you to tell you that they noticed that you weren’t using their service. it’s counterproductive to their business model: charge hundreds of people for unlimited service and hope none of them ever use it.
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, and I’d like to know if any of their competitors have a different practice. And I also think anyone who is using Mozy should check to see if their backups are working.
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Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Architect at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.