Foreign call centres do my head in! I'm sure it's cheaper to operate them but the people you end up talking to rarely know the subject you are calling about well enough to support it.
For example, Windows Vista screwed up on me recently. It totally refused to boot either in normal or safe mode. I ended up having to delete my partition and re-installing Windows, I decided to move back to Windows XP.
I have 54.2GB of personal data backed up using Mozy Home. These files are mainly photos and videos of my children growing up and are obviously irreplaceable.
Imagine my shock when after re-installation I encountered the following scenario:
* MozyHome showed that I have no backup history.
* MozyHome had no Restore button - it wasn't disabled, there just wasn't one.
* The web restore showed me as having 141GB of data to restore instead of 54.2GB
When *I* worked out what caused #3 - the support engineer simply said "I guess".
The web restore then said I only had 16GB of data, then later it said I had 42.8GB of data. MozyHome showed 0.6GB too little in my backup history, the file that was missing was nothing important - just an ultrasound scan of our unborn child!! But luckily, restarting my computer brought it back.
When the engineers I talk to say things like "I guess", and "Ooops" it doesn't fill me with a sense of security that my data is safe. Needless to say I shall be finding a new provider.
The last time I lost my hard-disk and I had to restore I ended up chatting to a guy in the USA. He explained to me that because it was a new Windows installation Mozy saw it as a new computer. He associated my backup history with my new account and the problem was solved in minutes.
This time around, however, it was a completely different matter. I tried to explain what had happened previously but it still took 4 hours to solve my problem. Surely restoring files from a backup/restore service can't be THAT rare an occurrence that the staff don't know how to deal with it?
For anyone who is interested, here is a log of my support chat. At first I had a guy named "Vincent" who thought it was okay to guess answers rather than checking them, so I didn't want to talk to him again.... (these aren't their real names)
Please wait for a site operator to respond. You are now chatting with 'Charles '
Petter Morris: **DO NOT** TRANSFER ME TO Vincent!!! Charles: Welcome to Mozy Live Support. May I have your account email address please? Petter Morris: Please reassure me you wont transfer me Petter Morris: I do not want to talk to Vincent Petter Morris: (My email address) Charles: Peter, how may I assist you today? Petter Morris: I have just re-installed Windows and want to restore Petter Morris: The "Restore" context menu is not on "My computer" in Explorer after installing MozyHome Petter Morris: And the "History" tab in MozyHome shows no history Charles: Which version of Windows did you install? Petter Morris: I was on vista, now I am on XP Charles: OK Charles: I understand that you wish to restore you data. Is that correct? Petter Morris: Last time this happened to me someone had to associate my backups from my previous machine to my new machine Petter Morris: Yes I do Petter Morris: It's 54GB Petter Morris: Which is larger than recommended for web-restore Charles: Please wait till I check your records. Petter Morris: and I am concerned by my History tab having no history Petter Morris: thanks Charles: Peter, I have checked your account and have found out that you have opted for a web restore that is now building. You will receive a email once the restore is built. Is there any concern you are having currently? Petter Morris: The website says to use web restore for up to 20GB Petter Morris: Mine is 54GB Charles: yes Petter Morris: So I think it would be more efficient to restore through the mozyhome application Charles: How much data did you select? Charles: no. Petter Morris: *and* I am concerned that it is not showing my backup history Petter Morris: I selected all 54GB Charles: You have to choose DVD restore above 20 GB
NOTE: DVD restore would cost me £60, and is only available to USA addresses.
Petter Morris: I have to pay to get my data back? Petter Morris: I didn't have to before Charles: If you have to select few files then client restore is efficient else web restore below 20 gb and DVD restore above 20 GB Petter Morris: Last time this happened I spoke to someone on here and they linked my new installation with my old history Petter Morris: then I did a restore through the Windows application
Charles: Perer, You have to associate you computer with your old data Charles: I will assist you in doing so Petter Morris: When given the option Petter Morris: "Add new computer" Petter Morris: "Replace PMORRIS-PC" (old computer) Petter Morris: Vincent told me to choose replace Petter Morris: is that incorrect? Charles: no, that is correct if you replace with your old machine, you will be associated with your old data Charles: If you add, then another comp will be added to your account Petter Morris: Good. So please do associate my backup history with my new installation Petter Morris: So I can restore through Windows, and keep my history too Charles: Did you perform a backup after associating your computer? Petter Morris: no Petter Morris: My last was yesterday morning Charles: one moment please... Petter Morris: and I have installed MozyHome today Charles: Please wait a moment.... Charles: Peter, I am sorry to inform you that your old backup history will not be available to see since you have migrated your operating system from Vista to XP. Petter Morris: I only need APPS and DATA Petter Morris: the rest is irrelevant Charles: You have associated your computer but since there Petter Morris: but since there? Charles: I am unable to trace your requirement since I am unable to understand your requirement of History of backups. Petter Morris: The windows application Petter Morris: 1: Double click in the tray to bring it up Charles:ok Petter Morris: 2: Click the "History" button Charles: ok Petter Morris: Expected: All backup history for my account so that I can restore Petter Morris: Actual: It is empty Charles: ok Charles: For restoring your data You have to go into Restore tab. History tab is just for your backup reference Petter Morris: There is no Restore tab Petter Morris: I suspect because Mozy thinks there is no history Petter Morris: My history is missing Charles: oops....
NOTE: "Oops" is not a word I like to see when discussing how to restore my lost files!
Charles: Peter, I suspect your installation is corrupt since it is not possible that you don't have a restore tab. Please cross check once again and if not available we have to perform a repair install of the client. Petter Morris: This has happened before Petter Morris: It is because there is no backup history associated with my account Charles: That's quite strange Petter Morris: that is what it was last time at least Petter Morris: you want me to uninstall the software? Charles: no Petter Morris: Ealier you said "Perer, You have to associate you computer with your old data" Petter Morris: That is what I need you to do Charles: Login to your account and download the latest client. Install over the existing and when it asks for repair install click OK Petter Morris: just Apps and Data will do Charles: Peter, I think you have already associated you computer, I can find one comp by the name IMAC. is that the new comp? Petter Morris: yes it is Petter Morris: PMORRIS-PC was the name I used previously Petter Morris: IMAC is this installation Charles: That means you have associated your comp. Petter Morris: but there is no history Petter Morris: I have done a repair, still no Restore button Charles: History is not at all a basic requirement, all you need is to backup and to restore your data Petter Morris: History is important if like me you sometimes need an old file which was not present in your last backup Petter Morris: but anyway, at this point I would be happy with a restore Charles: Peter, just try running a backup. Petter Morris: starting now Charles: good Petter Morris: with a new folder called "DeleteMe" Charles: ok Petter Morris: (Communicating with Mozy servers) Charles: It will take some time. Charles: Please wait and check what happens. Petter Morris: Still waiting, I will tell you when it changes Charles: ok. please wait and see for some more time. If it is not connecting, then I would suggest you to send me the log file that is located in the following location: C:Program FilesMozyHomeDatamozy.log
Approximately 10-15 minutes later.
Petter Morris: 10May2009 20:05:11 mozybackup.exe: Setting encryption type on servers... 10May2009 20:05:49 mozybackup.exe: Retrieving manifest from servers... Charles: ok Petter Morris: It's a large backup set, so might take a while Charles: ok Petter Morris: oh no, the original backup set was large Petter Morris: this is 1 folder and 1 file Petter Morris: should have finished Petter Morris: shall I cancel then retry? Charles: sure.. go ahead Petter Morris: okay, says "Communicating with MozyHome servers" Charles: ok Petter Morris: 10May2009 20:13:22 mozybackup.exe: Retrieving manifest from servers... Charles: ok Charles: I would suggest you to wait and check if the backup happens. If not, send me the log file that is located in the following location: C:Program FilesMozyHomeDatamozy.log Charles: Apart from that, I would request you to send me the screenshot of your backup console that is without a restore tab. It's quite weird... Petter Morris: where shall I send them to? Charles: We will create a case ticket and send it across to you. Please reply to the mail with the attachments. We will precisely look into the issue and will resolve the same at the earliest. Petter Morris: email (a temporary email address) Petter Morris: that's easier for me at the moment Charles: Peter, we cannot use the email address other than your Mozy account email address. Petter Morris: okay, use that one then Charles: Thanks. Petter Morris: How long should this web-restore take? Petter Morris: It hasn't finished generating yet Charles: It will take some time since you have almost 54 GB to download. Charles: You will receive a mail once the building of your restore is complete. Charles: The restore will have a number of parts that you will have to download one after the other. Petter Morris: I am clicking Refresh in my browser Petter Morris: requested 1 hour and 15 minutes ago Petter Morris: Status = In_Progress Charles: Well, that will only refresh your browser. Charles: You will have to be patient since you have almost 54 GB to download that might have taken weeks to upload. Petter Morris: I am not downloading it yet Petter Morris: it is "preparing" it for me so I can download it when it has finished Petter Morris: It has taken 75 minutes and there isn't anything for me to download yet Petter Morris: I know it will take days to download Charles: Mozy is preparing your download and will subsequently make a number of parts that you can download easily. Petter Morris: but 75 minutes to prepare the files for me to download? Charles: Peter... It does take that much time.
NOTE: With hind-sight, yes, it is probably zipping up my files or something so 54GB should take a long time.
Petter Morris: Still no email from you, has it been sent? Charles: Email is being drafted. You will be receiving it soon. Charles: By the way, what time is it now there? Petter Morris: 20:36 Charles: ok Charles: AM ?
Okay, NOW I am getting worried!
Petter Morris: 20 = 8pm Charles: Sorry about that. am not quite good in timings. Charles: Peter, mail has been sent. Please check and reply with the attachments. Petter Morris: Why is the email from Vincent and not you? Charles: Peter, That won't make any difference, I will put my transcripts and will work accordingly. Charles: Peter, are you with me ? Petter Morris: yes Petter Morris: just sent your email Charles: thanks, let me check your mail. Charles: Peter, did you use the same subject line while replying? Petter Morris: yes Petter Morris: I just clicked reply, attached files....send Charles: ok, I haven't received yet. need to check... Petter Morris: got it? Charles: It has not yet come. Please check if you have received any undeliverable message.. Petter Morris: no bounce Petter Morris: would you like me to put the files on the web? Charles: If you don't mind let's wait for some more time. Petter Morris: (Pasted 2 urls) Charles: I have checked the log and there seems to be a database issue along with the manifest. Charles: Go to C:Program FilesMozyHomeData using Windows Explorer. Charles: 2. Remove / delete the file named "cache.dat" and restart the computer. Charles: 3. Now try to perform a manual backup. Petter Morris: If I reconnect to support will I get you or someone else? Petter Morris: I don't want Vincent back Charles: You can connect back to me.
Computer is rebooted.
Please wait for a site operator to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Charles ' Petter Morris: hi Charles: Hi Peter. Charles: What is the status now ? Petter Morris: Now I see a restore button Petter Morris: but I am VERY concerned Charles: Great !! Petter Morris: I have logged into the web Petter Morris: and it now says I am using 16GB Charles: ok Petter Morris: and not 54GB Charles: ok wait a moment.. Charles: I am looking into your account... Charles: Peter, I would suggest you to perform a web restore and while doing so you will find an option to select the date of restore. Please browse through the dates and you should find your data. Petter Morris: when I log in Petter Morris: to the website Charles: Yes Petter Morris: before I did this 1 file backup it said "In use, 54GB" Petter Morris: then I did this 1 file backup Petter Morris: and now it says "In use, 16GB" Petter Morris: that's 38GB of data missing! Charles: ok just login and click on web restore and browse through the dates. Petter Morris: I have already done so, I am just waiting for it
Charles: ok Petter Morris: 53.82GB that says Charles: ok Petter Morris: So I have 16GB on the main site, 53.82GB on the restore page, and neither are right Petter Morris: it should be 54.2GB if I recall Petter Morris: or 52.4 Charles: Anyway, we will look into it later, I would suggest you to start restoring your data. I may have to escalate the data mismatch happening. Petter Morris: ok Petter Morris: thanks Charles: Is there anything else I can assist you with? Petter Morris: I don't think so no Charles: Thank you for choosing Mozy, Have a nice day ! Petter Morris: yes Petter Morris: there is Petter Morris: I can see a missing file Charles: ok Petter Morris: 2009-01-15 Baby Scan 2.wmv Petter Morris: Slightly important, just a video scan of my baby Petter Morris: I want this escalated immediately Petter Morris: and I want someone to phone me Charles: Peter, my recommendation would be to start restoring your data right away, I will put across this issue and get it resolved. Petter Morris: There is a problem with that Petter Morris: if the data is incorrect Petter Morris: I may end up with old or corrupted data Petter Morris: and not realise a file was wrong/corrupt until 12 months from now Charles: yes. Petter Morris: and by then it will be too late Petter Morris: It needs to be fixed BEFORE I can trust the data that is sent to me Petter Morris: I have wasted enough time on this now Charles: I will right away escalate this issue and they will get back to you. Petter Morris: I want a phone call Petter Morris: (My telephone number) Charles: Peter, MozyHome customers do not have the telephone facility. The escalation team will do whatever possible from their end to resolve your issue. Petter Morris: tough Petter Morris: Mozy has messed up Petter Morris: my baby scan video is missing Petter Morris: do you realise how important that is to me? Charles: I will put across your request and they will take it to a conclusion. Petter Morris: These are exceptional circumstances, make an exception Petter Morris: Please talk to them now before I disconnect Petter Morris: then tell me what they say Charles: We don't have direct interaction with them, all we can do is to forward your ticket with all our transcripts and they will come back to you at the earliest. Petter Morris: There is a number that mozy-pro users can phone right? Charles: yes, but MozyHome customers will be re-directed to chat support and will land back to us. Petter Morris: then you please phone that number, explain who you are, explain that mozy has messed up and lost some of my very important data Petter Morris: and tell them that to resolve the issue you would like them to treat me as a pro user Petter Morris: to fix the error that has taken place Petter Morris: When a company does something wrong, it should do its best to put it right Petter Morris: I am not after pro support because I do not understand something. I understand how to use your application fully Petter Morris: Your company has lost some vital data Petter Morris: which was there only minutes ago Petter Morris: so now it needs to take exceptional steps to rectify this mistake Charles: I would suggest you to wait until the escalation team responds back to you. I have put your issue on high priority and they will get your issue fixed without any concerns. Petter Morris: and how will they contact me? Petter Morris: by phone? Petter Morris: and how long will I wait? Charles: No, by mail and it will be done soon Petter Morris: So I have to sit here refreshing my email until I get a reply Petter Morris: How long is "soon"? Charles: Peter, you have to allow me to escalate the issue. They are our next level of support. They will get back to you at the earliest on priority basis. You can rely on these statements. Petter Morris: please escalate it Petter Morris: I am on the phone to mozy-pro support now
I explained the story to the guy on the phone, he agreed to give me telephone support (first positive action of the night). We restarted my machine, tried doing a restore again and the missing file was there!
This whole episode took over 4 hours, that's 4 hours JUST TO START doing my restore. Shocking! I have lost all confidence in Mozy after this experience. They write software which hides user interface elements instead of disabling them. The application won't show you restore history unless you do a backup first (which is pointless after a fresh installation as there is nothing to restore), and then they let staff lose on their support system who obviously do not understand the product fully.
To top it all off it's now going to take 4 weeks to restore my data. The DVD restore option is only available to USA residents. Utter rubbish!