I like many other people out there was distraught that I had lost a large chunk of my irreplaceable family photos and videos. So in my vulnerable state I reached out to dataretrieval.com on February 1 and was given Mark as my case manager. Before I paid any money Mark was attentive, replied promptly to my emails and called me on two occasions. The initial diagnostic was free and they said they were 85-90% sure they could recover 100% of the lost data on my hard drive. My hard drive was 640 gb and of that total space I only needed about 25% recovered, the home videos and pictures (the drive was mostly music, movies and tv shows). So I thought the process would be successful. They quoted me an initial price of "1,680.00 (tax included)" and my heart immediately sank. I couldn't afford such a hefty price tag so I asked if I could pick up my hard drive. I then received an immediate reply that they could give me a massive discount. A day later I got a call and an email saying that they could give me a "$ 880.00 or a 48% total discount!" (in the email it was bright red and bold like this).
Although still a hefty price tag I went ahead and paid. On February 16th I got an email from Mark stating the "technicians were able to successfully, completely retrieve all of your irreplaceable data intact and uncorrupted!" I received my hard drive on the 29th of February and immediately began going through the videos and found a large number of the videos and pictures did not work, showed a blue screen or played a random video or music file. I then contacted Mark on the 1st of March to alert him to this and he stated he would contact the technicians. On the 6th of march Mark replied:
"spoke to the technician, he indicated that is the way the videos were on the drive prior to failure. He can tell this because what was recovered was an exact image of the drive. Therefore whatever was on the drive is as was originally. Hope that helps."
No it did not help. I had watched a few of the videos the day before I lost everything and they worked fine. I immediately replied to Mark that this was not true. I did not get a reply from Mark that day and I have not heard from him again. Multiple emails and voicemails were left and none were responded to. After multiple calls to customer service I was able to get into contact with Leo Belkin, supervisor at dataretrieval.com, who advised that he would look into it for me a and get back to me in a week. Two weeks later I have not heard from him again. After multiple calls to dataretrieval.com I was finally able to talk to an Elana Y, who was very nonchalant and dismissive about my case. After resisting her attempts to get me off the phone or divert me to an answer machine she put me on hold and made some enquiries. She then came back and said the files were corrupted and could not be recovered. This goes in direct contradiction with the earlier email sent by Mark. She then stated she will let Leo know I called and he would get back to me as per the next steps in my data recovery.
I am currently waiting on that and will update as I get more information. I have asked for a full refund if they cannot recover my data. No one has addressed this; all they do is continue to string me along. I see now my experience with dataretrieval.com is not unique and I would implore anyone who is thinking about using them NOT TO DO IT! YOU WILL ONLY COMPOUND YOUR DISTRESS! They take your money, feed you stories and then disappear. This is a SCAM AND A FRAUDULENT COMPANY!
Please stay tuned for updates.