back to article Carbonite disputes ASA censure of cloud storage ads

US cloud backup vendor Carbonite has said it will contest the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling that its adverts claiming unlimited storage are misleading. A single UK punter complained to the ASA that Carbonite's adverts with the unlimited storage offer were misleading and breached its guidelines. The ASA found …


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  1. Roadkill

    Agent Smith, CEO of Carbonite, was quoted as saying

    Tell me, Mr. Anderson... what good is unlimited backup space... if you're unable to access it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And still

      The lemmings entrust their most valuable data to third party snake oil salesmen.

  2. Desktop Mobile

    Double Edged Sword

    All corporate entities reap what they sow here.

    i.e. They set up looping customer management systems that make it impossible for anyone to communicate effectively with them. You know premium rate number that ask you press one of a hundred options and then put you on hold for for 17 minutes (or 15 hours in OZ) whilst telling you how important your call is to them...

    Then they say they have no record of the call when someone rings them to say the building is on fire.

    I'll get my coat as it is never going to change in fact corporate amnesia will probably become a science

  3. Grendel

    Double standards at the ASA?

    Ok, so Carbonite can't claim "unlimited storage", so what about the farse that is "unlimited internet" then Mr. ASA? For years we've had the "unlimited (with conditions)", the "unlimited (with acceptable use)", the "unlimited (unless the ISP doesn't like you)" etc. etc.

    Please go sort our ISPs out first - they're a darn site closer to home and affect a lot more consumers!


    1. Oddb0d
      Thumb Down

      Re: Double standards at the ASA?

      Double standards my arse, this story hinges on the fact that someone actually complained not just thougt about it or griped about it on some random website, if you're really pissed off take some action. The amount of effort require to make a complaint is about the same as posting a comment here.

      Several ISPs in here have been sanctioned for trying to pull the "unlimited" trick and it certainly wasn't because the Ad Standards Bureau reads El Reg's comments. A recent example:

      1. GettinSadda

        Re: Double standards at the ASA?

        Um - the issue is about UK advertising for UK ISPs. Quoting an article about Australian ISPs being sanctioned by an Australian body does help!

  4. Someone

    What can the ASA do?

    This is an American company offering an American backup service. The only possible sanction would be to take away its .uk domain name. Can the ASA even do that? If Carbonite were to redirect to, say,, wouldn’t that be the end of the matter? While I would see that as no change – both domain names currently resolve to the same server in America – the information would no longer be associated with the .uk domain, and so must push it outside the ASA’s jurisdiction.

    As its first run in with the ASA, Carbonite wouldn’t have realised that all it takes is an asterisk to make it better. As has already been commented, an asterisk can make ‘unlimited’ mean whatever you want. It makes good sense to manage customer expectation anyway. It doesn’t take too many unhappy customers badmouthing you around the Internet to do more harm than the ASA ever can.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      What the ASA can do

      What they should do is get the UK's equivalent of the secret police/FBI to go in guns blazing and remove all the computer files from Carbonite's HQ. Then have them round up all the ring leaders at their homes, preferably when they are in bed and their families all sleeping soundly and have the bastards thrown in the local hokeys at local government expense.

      Win win win.

  5. lotus49
    Thumb Up

    Crashplan FTW

    I was interested in a Cloud backup solution and looked at Carbonite but this nonsense with throttling (which was not made clear in any of their marketing material) is what put me off. I use about 1TB of Crashplan's storage, which cost me about $400 for 4 years. I haven't had any issue with upload speeds and the service seems to work very well. It's invisible and multiplatform (not Android yet sadly but Linux, Winblows and Mac are all well-supported) with no apparent bandwidth restrictions.

    I have no relationship with Crashplan other than being a satisfied customer.

    1. richard?

      Re: Crashplan FTW

      To be fair to Carbonite, they are offering a simple home service and they don't claim unlimited bandwidth. Once the backup is up-to-date it doesn't take much transfer to keep it that way, so the restriction is probably not an issue for the vast majority of users.

      I've used it for a few years, because although I could do something more complex, faster etc, if whatever takes out my machine also takes out me then Carbonite is simple enough for my partner to understand to get our stuff back. I've also restored some fairly large video files without issue.

      1. Anonymous Coward 101

        Re: Crashplan FTW

        "To be fair to Carbonite, they are offering a simple home service and they don't claim unlimited bandwidth. Once the backup is up-to-date it doesn't take much transfer to keep it that way, so the restriction is probably not an issue for the vast majority of users."

        Then great. But why must they bullshit about what they actually offer?

        1. richard?

          Re: Crashplan FTW

          Bullshit implies they claimed something untrue. They claim unlimited backup, and throttling the upload speed doesn't make this untrue although you could argue it makes it less useful.

          As I said originally, for most home users who have a lots of unchanging data such as video and photos, I don't think it would cause a problem or invalidate the point of their offering.

          If you need to store more that 200GB and have a large amount of change then it would - take your pick.

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