Monday, March 7, 2011

CrashPlan needs a better support plan

I'm a believer that a product is only as good as the support that backs it.  Unfortunately for CrashPlan, this is where their product falls short.

CrashPlan is a data backup service. For free, you can back up your data to an external hard drive, or to a friend's PC across the internet. For a subscription fee, you can also back up your data to their servers — CrashPlan Central. The big draw to their service is that they have an unlimited data backup subscription.

Some time at the beginning of February, I decided to try out their 30-day trial of the service. It worked well. So well that I was impressed enough to subscribe for their 4-year unlimited plan within days of trying it.

After activating my subscription and backing up more data to their servers, I noticed that most of my data was no longer appearing under the restore option.

I used the search function to look for files that I knew I had backed up. It found them, so I was confident that they had the data backed up. But that's not very functional if I needed to restore a folder full of files where I may not know the names of every file in that folder.

I logged onto their web site and submitted a support ticket. Within minutes I received an automatic reply informing me that I could expect a response within one business day.

Two business days passed with no response.

Only after expressing my displeasure on Twitter, twice, about not receiving any response I received one — two weeks after the original submission.

They asked for more info and screen shots. They also apologized and credited me 30 days. I provided the requested info immediately.

Another week passed with no follow-up. Again, via Twitter, I got another apology and then a reply to my support request appeared in my email inbox. This time they asked for the log files, and instructed me on how to provide them. I provided them.

As of today, that was two responses in 26 days, and no solution, and I think the only reason I got any response at all was because I commented publicly on Twitter. Or was it a coincidence? Twice? I have serious doubts that I would have received any response if I had remained quiet. I have since seen other people comment, in their support forum and on Twitter, about the response times.

My original intent was to wait a full four weeks before canceling, but the more I thought about it this morning, the more I asked myself "Why?" Why should I bother? They've had almost four weeks to at least provide me with a little hope that my issue would be resolved soon. And what if I needed that backed up data immediately? Could I trust that they would be there to help me when I needed them?


I logged onto my account and tried to cancel. It failed, and informed me to contact If there were any doubts in my mind about the decision before this, they were gone now.

It took three or four attempts to cancel before it actually worked. Oddly enough, the one that worked was the one where I didn't bother to add a reason for canceling.

Minutes later, I received an email from CrashPlan informing me that my subscription was canceled and a refund — minus $2.86 for the month used(?)... so much for that 30-day credit — would be issued.

It's too bad that they weren't as quick to keep a customer as they were to let one go.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back on track... again — Week 16 progress

I must be losing my mind.

First, I forgot to write my week 15 progress. Second, I'm sure I started writing my week 16 progress — including something for week 15 — twice now, and yet, I still have nothing posted. Ugh.

So anyway, despite the fact that I had gained about 1½ lbs for week 15, that's not why I didn't write it. I simply forgot. I think the fact that I had a cold that weekend was a contributing factor.

The good news is that for week 16 I lost the 1½ lbs I gained and a bit more, putting my weight at the lowest it's been in about 6 or 7 years. In 3½ lbs, and every pound after, it'll put me at my lowest in about 25 years.

That's going to be a major milestone for me.

7/52 — Week 9

I have plenty of photos for this week, and didn't have much difficulty in choosing which ones to post. Oddly enough, it turns out that all of those I chose were shot today.

First up, is my son hugging our cat. Our cat is 17 years old. My son is 15. It's only been in the last two or three years that she let anyone, aside from my wife and I, go near her. She used to be extremely timid and cautions of our kids. I'm pretty sure she lost her hearing in the last two or three years, which seems to have contributed to her calming down. Sounds weird, but I can't explain it any other way. She'll even sit in his lap as he uses the computer. They're best friends now.

Sam watching the bird feeder and "chattering" at the birds.

Today I took a trip out to Rideau Falls, with the hope that I'd be able to shoot massive chunks of ice piled up at the bottom of the falls. They did the ice blasting last weekend. It was not to be. Maybe I'm still too early?  It was damn cold with the wind coming off the river though.

A closeup of the cool ice formations at Rideau Falls.

I saw a couple of workers on the bridge just before leaving Rideau Falls. I think what they were doing was thawing the sluice gate with hot, pressurized water.

There's a somewhat humourous story to these next two. As I drove to Rideau Falls, I passed a cool, snow covered tree that I thought would make a great photo. I decided I would stop on the way back and shoot it. So I did. Kinda.

In the winter, there's only one parking lot open along the Rockliffe Parkway and I knew it would probably be a fair walk to get to the tree. I parked and walked. And walked. And walked. In foot-deep snow. I kept thinking it had to be "soon". I couldn't find the damn tree. Either that or it looked much different than what I saw when I first passed it. After about 30 minutes of wishing I had brought my snow shoes, I knew I had to be mistaken about what it looked like. On the way back, so my walk wasn't all for nothing, I shot some of the trees. This isn't what I saw, but it's still cool nonetheless.

Looking back to where I went...

At least I got some decent exercise. I also realized that it didn't tire me out as much as it used to, when I smoked and was more out of shape.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One rant, two rant...

I am so frustrated with the lack of support for a service I pay for right now.

I'm not quite ready to turn up the rant volume yet.  Depending on how this next week goes, I may have a fairly beefy blog posting to put up. I've been keeping notes — a small diary of sorts. Next Wednesday will be the day, if things don't change in the next six or seven days..

Even then, I may still post something about it. I haven't decided. Stay tuned.

As an aside, yes, stuff is still broken and missing here on my Posterous blog. I'm serious considering dumping this and going back to only posting on my Blogspot "mirror". As with the aforementioned service, I can't trust something that loses my data. I'm glad I kept up the cross posting.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

7/52 — Week 8

I had big plans for really cool photos this week, but cold germs had other plans, preventing me from going out this morning to shoot what I wanted to shoot. :(

Soooo... I set up in the living room and tried to get some nice shots of the birds that visit our feeder. I got a few, and a few more of my stand-by model — my cat.

But first, a close up of a painting my daughter made that hangs in our foyer. :)

Most of the birds that visit our feeder are like the one on the right. But occasionally, we get a chickadee or two.

This little guy (or girl) pigged out at the feeder, but remained on the other side the entire time. :)

And last, but not least, our cat Samantha catching a few Zs in her bed beside the window.

I ordered a new lens last week and it should arrive tomorrow. I'll no doubt be playing around with it all week so I should have more interesting shots next week! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

7/52 — Week 7

I dedicate this week's seven photos to my sister's bridal shop: Kimberley Wilson Fashion and Bridal Outlet.

My wife and I spent a couple of hours there this afternoon. I shoot the photos of the dresses she sells and post them on her web site and Facebook page. These seven are probably my favourite ones. If you're on a budget and looking for a nice wedding gown or formal dress, you should check out her shop! :)


Plateau? What plateau? — Week 14 progress

I not only broke through the plateau, I killed it, shedding 3½ lbs this past week.

From what I can tell, it was a combination of using my hand weights with all of the Cardio Boxing routines, instead of just the slow ones, reducing my increased water consumption a little to something more easily managed (without making my bladder want to explode), and maybe the 2-day break from working out that I took earlier in the week? I'm not entirely sure, but I won't argue.

We'll see how this week goes.