Carbonite Online Backup – Don’t do it.

I’ve got a lot of data to back up. Lots. I have tried several services and were unhappy with the pace of the backups as well as the lack of reliability.

I landed on Carbonite as my next product to try out. With the volume of data I had to back up, I gave it a try. Initial backups were going at a steady pace. Faster than I expected, really. But after the initial 30 days or so it slowed to a crawl. It would have taken about 18 months to get my initial backup completed and by that time I would have double the data. It was never really going to be able to keep pace and that was a huge deal breaker.

In addition to the slow pace of the initial backup, the actual backup engine software failed to work more than a dozen times, resulting in weeks of absolutely no backups. I had to keep restarting my computer, re-installing the software, and hoping it would just start working. At one point it told me it was going to have to start the backup over again. That was the icing on the cake so I gave up on it. I couldn’t trust it with my data.

This service just wasn’t going to work. Carbonite isn’t a good solution. I emailed support and asked to cancel the account and have a refund of my remaining balance. A bit later I get a response that I need to call them during certain hours to talk to them before I can move forward. I let some time pass before I tried again.

I emailed support once more with the same request: cancel and refund. Same line. They wanted me to call them during certain hours. I responded to let them know that I would not be calling them and that this was a simple request. After a few more email exchanges and confirmations of confirmations, I was finally done with the service. Almost. At no point did they have any intention of giving me a refund on my year subscription that was used for 8 weeks. And they still haven’t given me a refund and only pointed me towards their policy on refunds – they don’t give them.

I cannot recommend Carbonite Online Backup for any real-world use (not to mention, bad business). It would have been one thing if the service just couldn’t perform, but it’s another thing entirely that they refuse to give refunds when someone is completely unsatisfied with the service.

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